The second quarter of 2017 was a wild one for blockchain companies and investors, with nearly 60 initial coin offerings (ICOs) closed in the quarter for more than $750M, and it looks like this is just the beginning. It seems that blockchain is about to have an impact on nearly every industry.
While banking, finance, and real estate are the so-called usual suspects by being ahead of the curve, even industries like education, social media and security are being disrupted by blockchain-powered startups. Blockchain tech has an inherent connection to cybersecurity. Blockchain technologies are, after all, the culmination of decades of research and breakthroughs in cryptography and security. It offers a totally different approach to storing information, making transactions, performing functions, and establishing trust, which makes it especially suitable for environments with high security requirements and mutually unknown actors.
More at: 3 Ways Blockchain Is Revolutionizing Cybersecurity – Forbes Investing #CyberSecurity
As many as 15 European countries have been affected by the Dutch egg contamination, as well as others around the world. The Food Standard Authority (FSA)’s investigation is currently working hard to remove all contaminated products from UK supermarkets. Initially thought to have affected 21,000 eggs, this figure has now ballooned to over 700,000.
The grocery supply chain is broad and complex, characterised by many players frequently holding potentially inefficient, manual records. As a result, it is often extremely difficult to map the paths of goods, and supermarkets have a hard task on their hands to unearth the foods and products that are tainted from the infected Dutch eggs.
However, blockchain could provide the solution for future scenarios. It is already being used by food suppliers and retailers to prove authenticity and increase consumers’ trust in their brand. But it can also be used to provide complete transparency across a product’s end-to-end supply chain journey. Not only will this help prevent the spread of contaminated goods, but it can also cut down food fraud which is estimated to be worth $40 billion.
More at: Blockchain could have solved Dutch egg supply chain worries – Information Age
Approximately 90% of the world’s trade travels by sea and one would expect the industry’s supply chain to be the height of modernity by adopting disruptive technology and strategies. However, this could not be further from the truth. While online trading platforms are under development, the traditionalism of the industry prevails with various parties involved in each voyage, typically communicating via trade managers.
In this archaic set-up, someone with enough muscle and innovative ideas could be like a tsunami, rolling through and disrupting the traditional container shipping movement.
Enter Amazon. This biggest online retailer in the world is no longer just that. Amazon obtained the title of a non-vessel operating common carrier in early 2016 for cargo shipments between China and the US. This cemented their role as a complete logistics company and freight forwarder as they already are in aviation, trucking and manufacturing — the complete supply chain.
Manufacturing is new step for Amazon and they won a patent earlier this year to develop a system to rapidly create clothing and other products after a customer order is placed. This forms a cheap and simple method for Chinese exporters as Amazon have effectively wiped out the middle man, acting as a shipbroker for itself and on behalf of smaller companies.
These developments would allow Amazon to have complete control over certain areas of their own supply chain. With Amazon taking away a chunk of the market on which container companies thrived, shipping companies should be wary of Amazon’s continued expansion across the supply chain.
Of course, the container industry has its own major players, who may not stand idly by while Amazon rips up the rule book.
Container giant AP Moller Maersk is leading the way for other container players on how to stay afloat in the storms buffeting the logistics chain.
The container market has been hit hard by financial woes over the last decade and is crying out for cost-cutting schemes. In response, Maersk is in the process of developing a blockchain initiative in partnership with IBM. This will be the equivalent of unclogging a smoker’s arteries as information will flow smoothly, unhampered by the convoluted paper trail previously involved in a single voyage.
More at: Amazon vs Maersk: The clash of titans shaking the container industry – Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide
Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company, has published a new document in which it emphasizes the technology innovations around blockchain and profiles five blockchain vendors that are evaluating the limitations in the current generation of technology.
The vendors included in the “Gartner’s Cool Vendors In Blockchain Platforms” include
- BlockCypher addresses the complexity of building, deploying and operating blockchain-based applications.
- Lightning Network addresses the scalability limitations and latency shortcomings of the bitcoin.
- Rootstock brings over to the bitcoin stack the powerful smart-contract capability that is part of the Ethereum platform.
- Tendermint advances the state of the art in consensus engines and in interoperability among blockchain platforms.
- Zcash addresses the problem of lack of privacy in blockchain-based transactions.
More at: BlockCypher and Zcash among Gartner’s ‘Cool Vendors in Blockchain Platforms’ – EconoTimes
We are living in an exponentially expanding trust gap. — Richie Etwaru
Blockchain will disrupt every industry. Blockchain is a disruptive technology because of it’s ability to digitize, decentralize, secure and incentivize the validation of transactions. A wide swath of industries are evaluating blockchain to determine what strategic differentiation can exist for their businesses by leverage Blockchain. Here is high level overview of what is Blockchain, and what is it used for via MIT Technology Review.
“Blockchain, also known as distributed ledger technologies, show significant promise in addressing the trust and transparency required for a digital world. Opportunities exist to rethink cooperation and control governance, financial control, flow of wealth, the trust gap, and transforming transparency of organizations. Consequently, society faces a unique opportunity with blockchain to transform how we engage with each other.” — Ray Wang
To learn more about the importance of Blockchain and its disruptive nature, Ray Wang and I invited a Blockchain expert author, who believes that every company will be disrupted by a trusted version of itself, and one of the first chief digital officers of a multi-billion dollar publicly traded company to speak about the importance of distributed ledgers and the future of trusted companies to our weekly show DisrupTV.
More at: Blockchain: Every Company is at Risk of Being Disrupted by a Trusted Version of Itself – HuffPost
Washington [state] regulators recently introduced exchange rules for any firm wanting to allow customers to trade in cryptocurrency. They said they created Senate Bill 5031 to make the ecosystem fair for cryptocurrency exchanges and their customers. However, a number of exchanges have left the area, because they believe the rules were too burdensome. Now Washington lawmakers are defending the bill on the grounds that it helps the exchanges and their clientele.
Poloniex, Bitstamp, Kraken, and Bitfinex are a few of the exchanges that left the area after Washington announced its regulatory requirements in July. Each company provided their reasoning why they stopped servicing Washington area customers.
Bitstamp wrote a letter to its customers back in 2016, saying, “After long and careful deliberation, we are sorry to inform you that due to recent regulatory constraints imposed by the State of Washington, Bitstamp will cease to serve customers from The Evergreen State, effective 20th December 2016.”
Bureaucrats Claim Bill is Good
Charlie Clark, deputy director of the state’s Department of Financial Institutions and director of the authority’s division of consumer services, did not comment on the specific companies that left. He did suggest the restraints were not imposing or negative, though. He mentioned State financial regulators spent months preparing and detailing the bills.
More at: Washington Politicians Defend Regulations as Cryptocurrency Exchanges Flee – Bitcoin News
NTT Data, Japan’s largest IT services firm, has announced a new blockchain consortium with members representing a number of varying industries.
In an announcement this week, NTT Data unveiled details of the working group which will see 13 founding members unite to explore use cases for blockchain technology. The companies represent industries such as insurance, logistics and import & export trade, NTT data revealed.
Due to be established on August 30 with an official launch, the consortium is expected to last until March 2018. Its objectives include tackling issues in the lead-up to practical applications of blockchain technology, validating the feasibility of blockchain applications before planning a sweeping systemization of the innovative decentralized tech for the future.
More at: Japan’s Largest IT Firm NTT Data Unveils New Blockchain Consortium – Cryptocoins News