A curated selection of meaningful moments in October that are bringing us all closer to realizing an open financial system for the world.

Seoul’s mayor dedicates more than $100 million to using blockchain for smart city services

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said he plans to invest $108 million over the next five years into public-services projects using blockchain technology, as reported by CoinDesk. Those services will cover areas such as labor welfare, vehicle history management, donations and elections, Park said.

DocuSign incorporates blockchain in signatures

Electronic signature company DocuSign said it built and released an integration with the Ethereum blockchain for customers’ system of agreement. It gives people using DocuSign another way to verify the details of a document. The integration uses a one-way cryptographic hash, according to DocuSign, which helps boost security and privacy and ensures the documents’ contents are not shared publicly.

Christie’s will use blockchain to record art sales

Edward Hopper, Chop Suey, oil on canvas, Painted in 1929

Auction house Christie’s said it will start registering art transactions on a blockchain through a pilot partnership with digital art registry company Artory. Each piece of art that Christie’s sells from the An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection this November will come with an encrypted certificate of sale for the winning bidder.

Big agriculture adds blockchain

The world’s four largest agriculture companies — Archer Daniels Midland Co., Bunge Ltd, Cargill Inc., and Louis Dreyfus Co. — said they will use blockchain and artificial intelligence for international grain trading. The goal is to increase the transparency and efficiency of international commodities trading while reducing costs, according to Reuters.

CryptantCrab presale launches

Australian company iCandy Interactive launched a presale of its game CryptantCrab. The player-versus-player game allows people to collect, mutate, battle, and trade crabs and compete to win a prize pool of ethereum. The blockchain-based game is a spinoff of mobile game Crab War.

Japan’s cryptocurrency companies receive approval for self-regulation

Japan’s Financial Services Agency gave cryptocurrency companies in the country the go-ahead to self-regulate. The Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association can set consumer protections and enforce rules if there are any violations. Japan has similar regulatory bodies for sectors like securities brokerages, according to Reuters.

Demand for blockchain engineers soars

The typical earnings for a blockchain engineer can now reach $175,000 annually, according to a new report from Hired. That’s well above the $135,000 most software engineers make each year. The demand for people who can fill blockchain roles has risen 400 percent since 2017, Hired said.

ICOs total more than $20 billion since 2017

The amount raised through initial coin offerings in 2018 has already reached $12 billion, per a new report by Autonomous NEXT, an independent research provider on the fintech industry. That’s compared with $7 billion for all of 2017. Additionally, more than 300 crypto funds have also launched, Autonomous NEXT said, and those funds control some $7.5 — $10 billion in assets.

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