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
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
Every minute of every day, billions of users are dutifully generating terabytes of data on the internet, from tweets to Facebook posts and Google searches, emails and chat messages, content, music, videos and much more. This data is either directly worth money or can be used to fuel business processes.
However, you have little or no ownership over the digital information that you create or the value that derives from it. All of it goes into the gaping maws of tech giants and corporations that use it to monetize their services.
The reason for this is the centralized architecture that has dominated internet services for the past decades. Under this model, you have to entrust our digital information to brokers such as Facebook and Google. These companies store our data, guarantee its security and integrity, and leverage it to improve their services. But they also use it for other business purposes, often without your consent and giving you little choice. If the broker decides to close down your account, or if their servers fail, all your data goes with it.
Blockchain technology provides an alternative that gives the ownership of data back to users. Blockchain is a decentralized database where data is replicated across several unrelated nodes. No single node can act as a gatekeeper and assume control of your data. Transactions in the ledger are stored in a permanent and verifiable way. Users who store information on the blockchain retain access to it through encryption keys, independent of the service or application that generated it.
Many companies are leveraging the blockchain to provide new business models and platforms where users are in full control and can decide which applications and services can access their data.
More at: How blockchain solves the complicated data-ownership problem – TNW
Two major Singaporean maritime companies have inked a deal with technology giant IBM to explore and trial blockchain technology for supply chain networks.
Singaporean shipping giant Pacific International Lines (PIL), one of Asia’s largest shipowners, and the Port Authority of Singapore (PSA), one of the world’s largest port operators, have entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) are jumping on the blockchain bandwagon with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IBM Singapore.
The three parties will unite to work on proof-of-concept blockchain solutions to enhance the security, transparency and efficiency of the supply chain network in south eastern Asia.
Singapore is among the world’s largest hubs for trade and travelers whilst commonly seen as the gateway to Asia from the west. Any implementation of blockchain technology for regional supply chain operations and trade finance will prove to be a significant endorsement of the decentralized innovation most prominently known as the core technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
More at: Singaporean Shipping Giants Partner IBM for Blockchain Trial – Cryptocoins News
The oil and gas industry has seen huge advances in the extraction of resources, thanks to cutting edge technologies like fracking. But it hasn’t exactly been a leader when it comes to digital adoption.
That could change, at least when it comes to the blockchain, the distributed ledger technology behind cryptocurrency bitcoin. Though they are slower to adopt the technology than those experimenting with it in finance and tech, some oil and gas industry players are exploring ways the technology could be used for everything from commodities trading to tracking flows coming from oil and gas fields.
More at: Blockchain technology could extend to oil and gas transportation – Houston Business Journal