By Anna Massa November 9, 2017
Intrigued by how blockchain was changing finance, an ex-banker at Wells Fargo & Co. and a former executive at Nasdaq Inc. began looking for other opportunities. They looked at applying the technology to insurance, law, even music.
Then they hit on farming.
Raja Ramachandran and Phil Harris met when they were both working on Wall Street, in 2005 after Citigroup Inc. acquired electronic trading company Lava Trading. The pair remained friends for more than a decade, and decided to leave finance to start Ripe.io, which uses blockchain in agriculture, and has big aspirations to weave it through the food supply chain.
“We left financial services to find a more meaningful application of blockchain. We knew it was going to be profound,” said Harris. As Ramachandran put it, they “stumbled on food.”
More at: The Internet Of Tomatoes Is Coming, Starting With Boston Salads – Bloomberg Quint
SegWit may be live on bitcoin, but the work to realize its potential isn’t over.
Even after the bitcoin blockchain upgraded to support Segregated Witness (SegWit) last month, ending perhaps the network’s most heated debate on direction to date, the optimization has yet to leave much of a mark.
To date, only just over 3 percent of transactions are actually taking advantage of the upgrade.
But, though transactions are scarce so far, adoption is likely to grow as more wallets and bitcoin services move to support the change. At that point, SegWit will likely have more of an impact, increasing the block size to support more transactions and paving the way for more advanced scaling solutions like Lightning Network.
In an effort to work toward that goal, the developers behind Bitcoin Core, the most widely used version of the cryptocurrency’s underlying software, have been mobilizing to help boost the effort.
At least, that’s what it looks like from the latest version of Bitcoin Core 0.15.0, released last week. The release notes outline a range of improvements that focus on performance, which are at least partly geared towards laying the groundwork for wider use of SegWit.
More at: Optimizing SegWit: How Bitcoin’s New Software Is Giving Scaling a Boost – CoinDesk
Tech titans IBM and Microsoft have collaborated with the global business communications standards organisation GS1 to leverage GS1 Standards in their enterprise blockchain applications for supply chain clients.
GS1’s global standards for identification and structured data enable blockchain network users to scale enterprise adoption and maintain a single, shared version of the truth about supply chain and logistics events. This helps in increasing data integrity and trust between parties, and reduces data duplication and reconciliation. GS1 explained that the use of standards would facilitate the data stored or referenced by blockchain networks to be structured for shared communications and interoperability.
“What attracts many organisations to blockchain technology is the possibility of sharing data across corporate boundaries while maintaining a high degree of rigor and accuracy,” said Robert Beideman, Vice President – Retail, GS1. “We hope to make this possibility a reality for businesses by working with dedicated technology and industry partners—and together promoting a common business language.”
More at: IBM, Microsoft to implement GS1 standards in enterprise blockchain applications – EconoTimes
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has decided the time is ripe to start talking about what standards might be developed for distributed ledgers, aka Blockchain and fellow-travellers.
The august body will therefore convene the The ITU-T Focus Group on Application of Distributed Ledger Technology (FG DLT) for the first time in October, for a three-day gabfest with the aim of “identifying the standardized frameworks needed to support the scaling up of applications and services based on DLT globally.”
Among the “specific tasks and deliverables” for the meeting is to “study and analyse the implications of mandating interoperability and interconnection of services based on DLT. This will include the development of a standardization roadmap for interoperable services based on DLT taking into consideration the interoperability challenges and best practices.
More at: ITU thinks Blockchain and pals need interoperability – The Register
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 163 national standards bodies, has revealed that it is working on international blockchain standards.
A new ISO technical committee has defined the areas for future standardization work. An inaugural meeting of ISO TC 307 Blockchain and electronic distributed ledger technologies was recently held in Sydney. It brought together international experts from over 30 countries to set the future course of standardization in this area, and formed five key study groups for standard development:
- Reference architecture
- Taxonomy and ontology
- Use cases
- Security and privacy
- Identity and smart contracts
Craig Dunn, the chair of ISO/TC 307, for which the secretariat is held by Standards Australia, ISO’s member for Australia, said blockchain technology can have huge implications in business and government.
“Blockchain technology is a means of achieving trust and security when making exchanges, without the need for oversight by a trusted third party, and can be effective building blocks for other initiatives like anti-corruption and fraud prevention,” he said.
More at: ISO begins work on future standardization for blockchain technology – EconoTimes
Any emerging technology goes through a hype stage. It takes a while to get the kinks out and for pilots and proofs of concepts to prove use cases and shift the curve to broad adoption. The power and disruption of blockchain is evident in the news almost daily, and people are beginning to understand how blockchain distributed ledger technology works. I’ve previously blogged about soaring investments in pilots and proofs of concepts (POCs) on its security and examples of use cases. Even so, there are several issues currently slowing adoption.
Blockchain adoption is currently crossing the chasm, and I believe the next two years will be critical for resolving issues now slowing broader adoption.
What Are The Obstacles To Adoption?
Regulatory entities often lag technology innovation, and that’s certainly the case with blockchain. New products and services are evolving based on blockchain transactions, but there are currently no regulations on how the transactions should be written. Although auditability and transparency are promised benefits of blockchain, highly regulated industries may need to develop new regs for blockchain. Its distributed ledger transactions are likely to necessitate changes to industry regulations governing financial reporting as well as auditing processes. Information-sharing regulations will likely need to be altered to protect companies as well as their investors and their customers. In addition, laws will need to be enacted that govern blockchain’s smart contracts.
Source: The Primary Challenge To Blockchain Technology – Forbes
Technical organization and standards leader, IEEE, is launching a new program to create standards around consumer and patient data protection, specifically as it relates to blockchain and identity. Called, Digital Inclusion through Trust and Agency, the initiative will bring together technology innovators, policy experts and academic researchers to address the topic.
“Identity is a consideration in every business and social transaction,” explains Greg Adamson, program co-chair. “Blockchain technology could be the catalyst to making universal and dignity respecting digital identification systems a reality with its unique ability to retain identities in a secure and immutable manner.”
More at: IEEE launches standards program focused on blockchain and identity – SecureIDNews