Important Blockchain Innovations Everyone needs in 2018 | TechBullion

By Angela Scott-Briggs October 22, 2017

Blockchain has the potential to reshape the society in innumerable ways. Lately, there has been enthusiasm and profit taking resulting in what might look like a bubble popping. In the circumstances, it is useful to go through some important blockchain innovations everyone needs in 2018, without regard to the current value of tokens powering them.

Identity Management

The importance of provable identity management is increasing by day in the world where virtually anything including live news conferences can be faked. Estonia has already begun a digital citizenship programme. With time, all organisations that require some form of identification will have a form of an encrypted database, preferably a decentralized one that will be difficult to modify without permissions. A shift to crypto-based identification would be a good change for everyone, once you lose your ID card, you would only need to regain access to your remote credentials.

Public Trust and Accountability

The application of blockchain technology in marriage records, health records, title deeds and even in voting will revolutionize how things are done. Companies such as Factom have experimented with keeping records of real property on blockchain. Similarly, Votem has made important milestones in creating a trusted blockchain voting system. This is significant as elections are now hotly contested with losers alleging electronic vote rigging.

More at: Important Blockchain Innovations Everyone needs in 2018 | TechBullion

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Mastercard unleashes blockchain APIs to boost development – Computer Business Review

By Tom Ball    October 23, 2017

Mastercard is targeting cross-border payments by releasing its blockchain APIs, entering the arena with the likes of JPMorgan and IBM.

Financial institutions and their end users are set to be benefit from blockchain APIs released by Mastercard, intended to allow organisations to test their own capabilities.

Developers from these institutions will be able to harness the Mastercard blockchain APIs to work on their own capabilities, targeting area such as cross-border payments and transparency.

While financial institutions are being targeted with this new initiative, Mastercard is also aiming to enhance the banking experience for end users.

Mastercard unleashes blockchain APIs to boost development

Mastercard Labs executive vice president Ken Moore, said: “By combining Mastercard blockchain technology with our settlement network and associated network rules, we have created a solution that is safe, secure, auditable, and easy to scale.”

More at: Mastercard unleashes blockchain APIs to boost development – Computer Business Review

American Express Eyes Blockchain for Customer Rewards System – CoinDesk

By Nikhilesh De    October 23, 2017

The travel and merchant arm of American Express may be weighing the use of blockchain within a personalized customer rewards system, public filings show.

A new patent application published last week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office details a concept for offering customer-specific types of rewards (including points, a virtual currency or specific items tied to a product). The filing indicates the financial giant would make these offers by compiling personalized data about the customer, such as their historic spending patterns.

The application cites the tech as one resource for storing and updating information among a number of possible approaches, detailing:

“The blockchain structure may include a distributed database that maintains a growing list of data records. The blockchain may provide enhanced security because each block may hold individual transactions and the results of any blockchain executables. Each block may contain a timestamp and a link to a previous block.”

More at: American Express Eyes Blockchain for Customer Rewards System – CoinDesk

Global Blockchain Technology Market will reach $7.74 billion by 2024 – TechBullion

By Angela Scott-Briggs    October 23, 2017

A report by Grand View Research Inc. predicts that the global blockchain technology market will reach $7.74 billion by 2024. The distinguishing feature of blockchain technology that has contributed to its growing popularity is the ability to keep all electronic transactions in a public ledger allowing all participants connected in the network to track information through a secure network, thereby eliminating the need for third-party verification. While the technology was first applied to Bitcoin and later other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, its uses continue to increase by the day. Blockchain technology is also used in:

  • Smart contracts
  • Physical asset registration
  • Trade execution and settlement
  • Asset exchange
  • Cash reserve management
  • Supply chain management

More at: Global Blockchain Technology Market will reach $7.74 billion by 2024 – TechBullion

The Blockchain of Food – Forbes Science #NewTech

Guest post written by Raja Ramachandran and ripe.io team    October 23, 2017

ripe.io, a start-up at the forefront of creating a blockchain solution for our food system was a recent participant at The Mixing Bowl’s FOOD IT: Fork to Farm and recognized as one of Forbes’ Top 25 Most Innovative Ag-Tech Start-ups of 2017. Raja, their CEO, has compiled and written with his team, the following perspective and analysis on how to initiate, gain adoption and run a “Blockchain of Food” in the food supply chain. We would like to share it with you.

Theme 1 – Blockchain Participants’ Friction

The actors interested to participate in the “Blockchain of Food” are driven by a need to demonstrate the superior quality of their methods and products. Most of the participants in the supply chain complain about the lack of transparency and trust by other participants. The participants are asking for a better supply-chain collaboration method. The blockchain can provide this… if they are willing to collaborate.

More at: The Blockchain of Food – Forbes Science #NewTech

Venezuelans use bitcoin ‘mining’ to escape inflation – Yahoo! News

By Alex Vasquez, AFP    October 21, 2017

Caracas (AFP) – Inside a locked room in an office building in Caracas, 20 humming computers use their data-crunching power to mine bitcoins, an increasingly popular tool in the fight against Venezuela’s hyperinflation.

In warehouses, offices and homes, miners are using modified computers to perform complex computations, essentially book-keeping for digital transactions worldwide, for which they earn a commission in bitcoins.

While practiced worldwide, Bitcoin mining is part of a growing, underground effort in Venezuela to escape the worst effects of a crippling economic and political crisis and runaway inflation that the IMF says could reach 720 percent this year.

Having no confidence in the bolivar and struggling to find dollars, many Venezuelans, who are neither computer geeks nor financial wizards, are relying on the bitcoin — currently valued around $6,050, or other virtual currencies.

Caracas office worker Veronica says her boss installed the 20 machines in early 2015.

“These are machines that bring in $800 a month (more than 26 million bolivars),” says Veronica, who refused to give her full name because of fears of arrest.

Source: Venezuelans use bitcoin ‘mining’ to escape inflation

Blockchain: A new aid to nuclear export controls? – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

By Aaron Arnold    October 19, 2017

Don’t worry if you have yet to hear about blockchain, the emerging technology set to reshape everything from finance and trade to global governance—you are in good company. According to one recent survey of 12,000 people in 11 countries, 60 percent had never heard of the technology and 80 percent could not explain how it works. Yet, for a technology that few understand, blockchain is sure making waves. The World Economic Foundation (WEF), for example, found that 80 percent of global banks will have initiated blockchain-related projects by the end of 2017. Perhaps even more startling: By 2027, the WEF predicts, 10 percent of global gross domestic product will be held in blockchain technology.

While most people have not heard of blockchain, many do know of its most visible implementation, Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency used to store and transfer value. Although cryptocurrencies tend to dominate media attention, the underlying technology, blockchain, has far-reaching applications; it can be used to store property records, clear and settle accounts, ensure the validity and execution of contractual arrangements, and—possibly— prevent the illicit procurement of weapons of mass destruction-related goods and technologies.

More at: Blockchain: A new aid to nuclear export controls? – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists