What happened: Huawei and Tencent are backing a consortium that is developing the open source “blockchain ecosystem” FISCO BCOS. The platform, which will be released next month, is geared towards enterprises and is completely coinless. It is being developed by China’s Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium (FISCO), whose members include WeBank, Tencent Cloud, and Shenzhen Securities Communication.
Why it’s important: The new platform seems to be specifically designed for the Chinese market. Last year, cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings were banned in China. FISCO BCOS is coinless, thereby complying with the regulations. It also features “observatory” nodes, which allow auditors to access and monitor real-time data flow in the network. FISCO seems to be positioning itself as a direct competitor to R3’s Corda—which is being used by Thailand to create a national digital currency (for banks)—and IBM, which has been doing testing on blockchain and international remittances.