By Bojan Simic, Forbes Councils May 31, 2018
A crypto-craze fueled by digital currency volatility is bringing blockchain technology, the digital ledger system that underlies such currencies, into the spotlight. At the same time, recent calls to take back ownership of personal identity are making blockchain’s decentralized nature more appealing. As demonstrated by consumer data breaches — including those affecting Orbitz, Saks Fifth Avenue and more recently, Delta Airlines — our personal information is highly susceptible to fraud when stored in centralized databases. As an increasing amount of the world’s banking and commerce moves online, the temptation for mischief and theft has increased as well. However, blockchain may hold the key to keeping identities safe through its core feature of decentralization.
Identity Data Risks Are Growing
Blockchain could act as the foundation of the root identity question “Who Am I?” as opposed to the authentication query “Am I Who I Say I Am?” These systems can securely store and make readily available all kinds of information, including sensitive data like our financial history and health records. As consumers, our need to present this data at the time of service, or the point of sale or care, has risen with service providers’ increased online presence.
More at: Can Blockchain Solve Identity Fraud? – Forbes Tech #CyberSecurity
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By Raj Sharma, Forbes Councils May 31, 2018
There’s no doubt that blockchain is a hot topic, with management consultants and blockchain experts routinely featured as keynote speakers and panelists at numerous industry events. You can frequently hear: “Before you go in front of your board or executive team, come up with a business case for blockchain.” Perhaps you might have heard this variation on the theme: “Don’t try to sell the technology, it has to be about the business problem that blockchain solves.” It is a common practice to repeat this mantra every time a new technology starts to show promise and everyone starts to jump on the bandwagon. It is particularly difficult to address these questions in the context of blockchain, which is why consultants and enterprises keep fumbling around for a business case.
Blockchain is a transparent, immutable ledger of contracts embedded in digital code that cannot be altered. It is a shared database that timestamps every transaction that occurs. Blockchain enables direct exchange of value between A and B without the need for the middlemen — be it a central authority, broker or notary.
However, despite all the technological advantages it offers, in its purest form, blockchain may not have a place within the confines of an enterprise.
More at: Is There A Business Case For Blockchain? – Forbes Tech #CyberSecurity
By Asia Times Staff May 31, 2018
President Xi Jinping has told a meeting of China’s leading scientists and engineers that today’s “new generation of technology” has the capability to solve the world’s biggest challenges, and this includes food security, energy security and climate change.
This technology, that Xi said spans artificial intelligence, quantum computing, mobile communications, Internet of Things and also blockchain, has the capability to create “breakthrough applications” that can then build a new “scientific and industrial revolution.”
Xi was, reported Xinhua, speaking at the Great Hall of the People as he made the opening address to this week’s 19th Meeting of the Academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the 14th Meeting of the Academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
More at: Xi Jinping says blockchain can help ‘reshape the world’ – Asia Times
May 31, 2018
Complaint charges self-described ‘blockchain evangelist’ Titanium President Michael Alan Stollery in ongoing ICO fraud case.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has obtained a court order halting an ongoing fraud involving an initial coin offering (ICO) that raised as much as $21 million from investors in and outside the US. The court also approved an emergency asset freeze and the appointment of a receiver for Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services Inc, the firm behind the alleged scheme.
More at: SEC charges ‘blockchain evangelist’ behind alleged $21 million scam – The Global Legal Post
By Ken Silva May 31, 2018
With underlying tech pioneered by data and analytics marketplace Experfy, in the Harvard Innovation Lab, the Cayman Islands-based Expercoin is launching an initial coin offering (ICO), with a private presale beginning on June 1, to help build a decentralized education platform.
According to Expercoin, its platform will use blockchain technology to support upskilling, assessments, mentorships, and peer-to-peer financial aid.
Having built a leading AI-powered platform that combines work and upskilling for Fortune 500s, the Experfy team is now launching Expercoin, which will decentralize its technology stack through a new corporate entity, the company stated.
More at: Harvard’s Experfy Launches ICO for Blockchain Education Platform – Blockchain News
By John Moore May 31, 2018
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple (the company) has spoken about breaking bitcoin’s hold on prices in the wider cryptocurrency markets.
As analysts continue to search for a way to both predict the machinations of the cryptocurrency markets, and Bitcoin et al‘s effect on other financial indicators such as the stock market, Ripple (the company) CEO Brad Garlinghouse is claiming that the world’s first – and still number 1 – crypto could soon lose its influence over the price of other cryptocurrencies.
It’s a widely accepted truism that, when Bitcoin rises in price it drags up the value of other cryptocurrencies – certainly the major ones – with it. However, Garlinghouse – interviewed by CNBC – believes that “over time you’ll see a more rational market and behaviors that reflect that.”
More at: Ripple boss says “more rational market” will see cryptos come out from BTC’s shadow – Crypto News Review
By Marie Huillet May 28, 2018
A new report issued by audit and consulting firm Deloitte has found that blockchain technology will become a critical asset to the retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. The report analyzed over 50 potential blockchain use cases and suggests that the “potential impact” of the nascent technology “is huge.”
According to the report “New Tech On The Block”, blockchain will become “a standard operational technology across the financial, manufacturing and consumer industries,” saying that the next five years will be “a tipping point” as businesses begin to grasp blockchain’s potential. The report emphasizes that businesses should assess whether their strategic objectives warrant blockchain investment, adding that those who do not at least consider the possibilities are “at risk of falling behind.”
The report tackles the rationale for blockchain across three main areas – consumer, supply chains, and payments and contracts – scoring each in terms of the added-value that blockchain systems could create. Although it focuses on business adoption, the report nonetheless highlights that:
“The ultimate beneficiary will be the consumer. If blockchain can create efficiencies and save costs throughout the supply‐chain, these benefits can be passed on to the consumer in the form of lower prices. If blockchain provides more transparency across the supply‐chain, these benefits can also be passed onto the consumer in the form of safer products and higher quality.”
More at: Deloitte Report Says Businesses Who Don’t Consider Blockchain ‘Risk Falling Behind’ – Cointelegraph
By James Paine May 28, 2018
Managing a supply chain isn’t easy, and that’s the case even when you’re running a small business. By the time that you start to look at larger national and international companies, the supply chain starts to look less like a chain and more like a web, full of interconnectivity and riddled with inefficiency.
Supply chain management is such big business now that all sorts of specialists are starting to crop up who make it their mission to iron out these inefficiencies and to save companies money. Artificial intelligence, machine learning and other new technologies are already being applied to the challenge of optimizing the supply chain, but there’s another new technology on the block that’s ready to change the game.
I’m talking, of course, about blockchain, the technology which underlies bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and acts as an unhackable, decentralized ledger. It’s been described as “a record-keeping mechanism that makes it easier and safer for businesses to work together over the internet.” You can probably already see why it has a lot of potential when it comes to supply chain management.
More at: How Blockchain is Disrupting Supply Chain Management – Inc.com
By Ryan Johnston May 29, 2018
Virginia Tech’s McBryde Hall, home to the university’s Department of Computer Science, which will soon offer classes in blockchain technology. (Idawriter/Wikimedia Commons)
With the help of a $3 million investment, Virginia Tech’s computer science department will create a blockchain-focused curriculum, marking the university’s first foray into studying the much-hyped technology.
Beginning this fall, students in computer science will be exposed to elements of blockchain technology in their courses and research projects, said Cal Ribbens, head of the Department of Computer Science. Blockchains are decentralized, electronic, distributed ledgers that can display multi-party transactions on a public record, granting an inherently high level of security and organization.
Virginia Tech is expected to launch two to three new blockchain-focused courses over the next year, Ribbens told EdScoop, culminating in what he believes to be the nation’s first undergraduate minor in blockchain technology within the next two years.
More at: Virginia Tech to build blockchain-focused curriculum – edscoop
By Jane Edwards May 29, 2018
The Office of Personnel Management has developed a blockchain technology-based prototype as part of a new employee digital record platform, Federal News Radio reported Friday.
“We’ve actually prototyped a blockchain for an employee transfer,” David Vargas, director of the human resources line of business at OPM, said Thursday during a panel at the IBM-sponsored Think Gov conference.
More at: David Vargas: OPM Develops Blockchain-Based Prototype for Federal Employee Transfer – ExecutiveGov