While Bitcoin (BTC) has continued to range trade, industry upstarts have continued to make strides in the right direction. This week, reports arose that Ethereum-centric ConsenSys had bagged a partnership deal with two household names in the retail and higher-education sectors.

Ethereum Powerhouse Scores Partnership

Reuters recently revealed that Harvard University’s public health graduate institution, U.S.-based ‘think tank’ New America, and apparel heavyweight Levi Strauss & Co. have plans to create a blockchain-based ecosystem.

The three collaborators, who have been funded in part by the U.S. State Department, are purportedly seeking the help of Consensus Systems (ConsenSys) to produce a blockchain system “designed to augment outside auditors of factory health and safety with self-reporting by workers.” Effectively, this system is an on-chain survey that will improve transparency of conditions in factories and working environments.

The venture will purportedly go live during the second quarter of 2019, with implementation first occurring in three factories in Mexico, which employ 5,000 individuals.

This is the second time that Harvard University has made a notable foray into the crypto & blockchain realm. Just days after Yale University was revealed to have made an investment into Paradigm and A16Z Crypto, rumors arose that Harvard, who sports a similar-sized endowment, made a similar capital allocation.

ConsenSys Making Strides Amid Crypto Winter

ConsenSys’ sudden partnership with Levi Strauss and one of Harvard’s internal colleges comes just weeks after the Ethereum development consortium, deemed a “decentralized company,” scored a venture with AMD — one of the world’s most preeminent tech companies.

In early-January, ConsenSys announced its business partnership with AMD and Abu Dhabi-based Halo Holdings. The trio intends to “develop optimized datacenter solutions” for blockchain-related workloads and processes, by creating an arm named “W3BCLOUD,” which presumably stands for Web 3.0 Blockchain Cloud.

ConsenSys will do a majority of the heavy lifting when it comes to blockchain technologies, while AMD will provide hardware, servicing, and its industry expertise. The third company’s role wasn’t publicly divulged, but Halo is a pro-technology investment group, making it likely that Halo is financially backing and advising this newfangled venture. A press release claimed that W3BCLOUD will be focusing on creating solutions for governments and corporations.

Yet, ConsenSys didn’t full sell-out to centralized parties, as the release noted that a push for the adoption of decentralized applications will become a part of the effort’s modus operandi as well.

Interestingly, the New York-headquartered upstart has purportedly been making the aforementioned strides as it has struggled internally. Case in point, as hinted at in a previous Live Coin Watch report, the company has struggled.

Per an exclusive The Verge exposé, the company has plans to lay off 50% of its 1,300 staffers, after already letting 100 go in December. While Joseph Lubin, a diehard crypto believer that is the founder of ConsenSys, has rebutted these comments, it is clear that the firm is still in the midst of some conflict.

But how will this internal tumult end? For now, no one knows for sure. So sit tight, keep on checking in, and hope for the best.

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