Luxoft Holding, Inc (NYSE:LXFT), a global IT service provider, has partnered with R3, an enterprise blockchain software firm. Luxoft will lead the integration of identity management applications on Corda, R3’s open source blockchain platform.
As an R3 partner, Luxoft will use Corda technology in its blockchain consulting practice, adding integration with complimentary technologies in order to provide complete solutions. The initial focus is to allow businesses to create Corda applications that take advantage of the verifiable claims technology or identity attributes management enabled by Hyperledger Indy. Hyperledger Indy is an open-source technology for blockchain-based identity management, and a basis for the Sovrin Network – a public utility ID ledger that provides the basis for self-sovereign identity management.
Corda’s unique approach to privacy makes it well placed to support identity management on the blockchain as the platform combines privacy and confidentiality of business transactions with an ability to re-use functionality/data in the network. To help firms build complete solutions that rely on self-sovereign identity management, Luxoft will therefore build Corda identity management apps on the Hyperledger Indy and the Sovrin Network.
Luxoft has already built a proof-of-concept that combines Corda and Hyperledger Indy to demonstrate how the technology will work in producing and distributing personalised medicines to patients. It shows how an Indy CorDapp enables a person to own their own data, and how that impacts different sections of the healthcare ecosystem – from the treatment room to the manufacturer. Luxoft will be exclusively showcasing this new demonstration at the Crypto Valley Conference in Zug, Switzerland on June 22.
“We believe that the combination of Corda, the blockchain for business, and HL Indy, for decentralized identity is a powerful platform for addressing real world, enterprise requirements. Any practitioner building on a blockchain or distributed ledger technology needs to amass a toolkit that allows them to complete the job most efficiently, always applying the right tool for the job,”said Vasiliy Suvorov, Chief Technology Officer at Luxoft. “By contributing the integration framework, we hope to enable faster innovation and help both Corda and the Hyperledger Indy communities to focus on building innovative applications and spend less time on technology integration.”
“We have created a blueprint for any process that requires claims or credentials input in order to orchestrate service provisioning between multiple parties,” added Mr. Suvorov. “It will help make systems more practical, scalable and flexible, naturally supporting smart contract mechanisms that already exist in Corda.”
David E. Rutter, CEO at R3, commented: “Enabling end users to have full control over managing their identity is one of the most exciting applications for blockchain. By partnering with Luxoft, we can extend the benefits of our privacy protocols on Corda to a wider community. We look forward to working with them in the future to deliver innovative identity management CorDapps.”
Japan’s jobless rate seen up in January due to COVID-19 emergency measures – Reuters poll
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s jobless rate is expected to have edged up in January as service industry businesses suffered renewed restrictions on movement to fight spread of the coronavirus in some areas, including Tokyo, a Reuters poll of economists showed on Friday.
While industrial production activity picked up in Japan, emergency curbs rolled out last month such as asking restaurants to close early and suspending the national travel campaign hurt the jobs market, analysts said.
The nation’s unemployment rate likely rose 3.0% in January, up from 2.9% in December, the poll of 15 economists found.
The jobs-to-applicants ratio, a gauge of the availability of jobs, was seen at 1.06 in January, unchanged from December, but stayed near September’s seven-year low of 1.03, the poll showed.
“As the impact from the coronavirus pandemic prolongs, it is hard for firms, especially the service sector, to expect their business profits to improve,” said Yusuke Shimoda, senior economist at Japan Research Institute.
“So, their willingness to hire employees appear to be subdued and it is difficult to see the jobs market recovering soon.”
Some analysts also said the government’s steps to support employment and existing labour shortages will likely prevent the jobless rate from worsening sharply.
The government will announce the labour market data at 8:30 a.m. Japan time on Tuesday (2330 GMT Monday).
Analysts expect the economy to contract in the current quarter due to the emergency measures to counter the spread of the disease.
(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
China’s economy could grow 8-9% this year from low base in 2020 – central bank adviser
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s gross domestic product (GDP) could expand 8-9% in 2021 as it continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, Liu Shijin, a policy adviser to the People’s Bank of China, said on Friday.
This speed of recovery would not mean China has returned to a “high-growth” period, said Liu, as it would be from a low base in 2020, when China’s economy grew 2.3%.
Analysts from HSBC this week forecast that China would grow 8.5% this year, leading the global economic recovery from the pandemic.
If 2020 and 2021’s average GDP growth is around 5%, this would be a “not bad” outcome, said Liu, speaking at an online conference.
China is set to release a government work report on March 5 which typically includes a GDP growth target for the year.
Last year’s report did not include one due to uncertainties caused by the coronavirus. Reuters previously reported that 2021’s report will also not set a target.
(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Muyu Xu; Editing by Sam Holmes and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)
Japan’s January factory output rises for first time in three months, retail sales drop
By Daniel Leussink
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s industrial output rose for the first time in three months in January thanks to a pickup in global demand, in a welcome sign for an economy still looking to shake off the drag of the coronavirus pandemic.
But retail sales, a key gauge of consumer spending, posted their second straight month of declines in January as emergency measures taken in response to the pandemic hit consumption.
Official data released on Friday showed factory output advanced 4.2% in January, boosted by sharp rises in production of electronic parts and general-purpose machinery, as well as a smaller increase in car output.
“Manufacturers will continue to increase output over the near term as long as there won’t be any big shock,” said Taro Saito, executive research fellow at NLI Research Institute.
While economic growth will likely be negative in the first quarter, the strength in manufacturing would offset the negative impact of a state of emergency at home, which is mainly affecting the services sector, he said.
The rise in output, which followed a 1.0% fall the previous month, was largely in line with a 4.0% gain forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. Manufacturers surveyed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) expect output to grow 2.1% in February, followed by a 6.1% decline in March.
The government kept its assessment of industrial production unchanged, saying it was picking up.
Factory output fell in November and December as a rebound in car production ended on sagging global demand, but since then strong demand for tech-making equipment and electronic goods has helped turn the tide.
Still, some analysts worry that Japan’s economic recovery will remain hobbled by weaker conditions at home and as lockdown measures taken around the world to contain the COVID-19 crisis, particularly in Europe, weigh.
The government also released data on Friday showing retail sales fell 2.4% in January compared with the same month a year earlier, in a sign households tightened their purse strings as the coronavirus staged a resurgence.
The fall, which was in line with a 2.6% drop seen by economists in a Reuters poll, was largely due to sharp contractions in general merchandise and fabrics apparel spending. It followed a 0.2% fall in December.
Compared to a month earlier, retail sales in January fell 0.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the third straight month of declines. But the pace of decline was slower than in the previous two months.
“We think consumer spending will only fall around 1% quarter-on-quarter this quarter,” said Tom Learmouth, Japan economist at Capital Economics.
“We expect it to rise fairly strongly over the coming quarters as the recovery resumes and is soon given a shot in the arm by vaccines,” he added.
(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Sam Holmes and Richard Pullin)
Do You Even Know What is Happening in Your Back Office?
By Jennifer Lee, Chief Strategy Officer at Intradiem Consumers may not realise this, but many of the most important tasks required...
Dollar firms after U.S. yield spike, hits six-month high versus yen
By Kevin Buckland TOKYO (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar touched a fresh six-month high versus the yen and extended a...
Can banks acquire customers with biometric payment cards?
By Michel Roig, Senior Vice President, Head of Busines Line Payments & Access, Fingerprints When it comes to banking, consumers...
Toyota develops fuel cell system to cut carbon footprint
TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp said on Friday it has developed a packaged fuel cell system module, as it...
As yields creep up, BOJ’s Kuroda calls for ‘stably low’ rates
By Leika Kihara TOKYO (Reuters) – Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Friday stressed the need to keep interest...