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Blockchain Firm Raises $6 Mln From Major Energy Companies, Saudi Aramco Subsidiary

Data Gumbo Corp. has raised $6 million from major energy companies, including the venture wing of Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company Saudi Aramco.

American blockchain startup Data Gumbo Corp. has raised $6 million from major energy companies, including the venture wing of Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company Saudi Aramco. The news was published by energy-focused news outlet Worldoil on May 8.

In a Series A equity funding round, Data Gumbo ostensibly raised $6 million from companies such as Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, the venture subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, and Equinor Technology Ventures, the venture subsidiary of Equinor, a Norwegian multinational energy operator. The new investment purportedly brings Data Gumbo’s total funding up to $9.3 million.

The funds will be used for developing Data Gumbo’s commercial blockchain network and adding to the company’s technical, sales, and marketing teams. The investors purportedly expect Data Gumbo’s blockchain-as-a-service platform to improve oil and gas supply chains by eliminating disputes and enabling automated payments, as well decreasing reconciliation times between supply chain counterparts.

Daniel Carter, Senior Investment Director at Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, said that “distributed ledger technologies have the potential to bring win-win efficiencies between industrial companies and their suppliers.”

Recently, the Russian prime minister welcomed an initiative to use blockchain in agreements over gas supplies by the country’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom. The blockchain-based platform reportedly intends to allow data sharing between all the participants of a certain contract, as well as to improve the security of data.

In March, seven global oil and gas firms, including American industry giants ExxonMobil and Chevron, partnered to form the Oil & Gas Blockchain Consortium. The initiative intends to conduct proofs of concept in order to explore and apply the benefits of blockchain, as well as contribute to global adoption of the tech.

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Swiss Post, Swisscom Developing New Blockchain Platform on Hyperledger

Swiss Post, the country’s national postal service, and state-owned telecoms provider Swisscom have united to develop a blockchain platform.

The two announced Thursday that they are using Hyperledger Fabric to build their “simple, secure and sustainable” private blockchain infrastructure, intended to be utilized by their own, as well as other companies’, applications.

The infrastructure is designed to meet the high security levels required by banks, while all data hosted will remain within Switzerland, they added.

The announcement indicates that the system is more energy efficient than public blockchain offerings, stating:

“In contrast to “public blockchains” (e.g. bitcoin and ethereum), this private blockchain infrastructure requires much less energy, since it can only be used by identified users who have a contractual relationship with the providers of an application. This enables more efficient agreement procedures as well as significantly higher security and performance.”

The first pilot blockchain apps are scheduled for launch in Q2 2019, with use cases said to be focusing on corporates and government agencies desiring to digitize business processes in a “secure and verified” manner.

Swiss Post and Swisscom also said they are open to accepting other partners to join them on the project. Ultimately, they desire “to enable the Swiss economy to quickly obtain a leading position when it comes to using this promising technology.”

The two companies are already using blockchain technology for several use cases.

Swiss Post’s financial services unit PostFinance, for instance, launched a pilot project in May that provides smart energy billing via blockchain. It also stores temperature data on a blockchain for monitoring pharmaceuticals in transit.

Swisscom is working with its subsidiary, Daura AG, on a blockchain system that facilitates the issuance, purchase and sale of shares.

Swiss postal mailbox image via Shutterstock