Harvard’s Experfy Launches ICO for Blockchain Education Platform – Blockchain News

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

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Deloitte Report Says Businesses Who Don’t Consider Blockchain ‘Risk Falling Behind’ – Cointelegraph

By Marie Huillet      May 28, 2018

Deloitte Report Says Businesses Who Don’t Consider Blockchain ‘Risk Falling Behind’

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

How Blockchain is Disrupting Supply Chain Management – Inc.com

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

Virginia Tech to build blockchain-focused curriculum – edscoop

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

David Vargas: OPM Develops Blockchain-Based Prototype for Federal Employee Transfer – ExecutiveGov

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

VC blockchain investment hits US$1.3 bln, topping 2017 funding – ejinsight

May 24, 2108

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 24

Translation by Jonathan Chong [Chinese version 中文版]

About US$1.3 billion has been invested in blockchain companies in the first five months this year, surpassing the amount of venture capital in the field for the whole of 2017, Crunchbase reports.

A number of large funding rounds related to blockchain technology have been reported this year.

Orbs, an Israeli startup that offers blockchain as a service for consumer brands, raised US$118 million.

Ledger Wallet, a Paris-based bitcoin wallet maker, raised US$75 million; Project Shivom, a German company that applies blockchain technology to genomics, raised US$32 million; and blockchain analysis platform Chainalysis raised US$16 million.

More at: VC blockchain investment hits US$1.3 bln, topping 2017 funding – ejinsight

Blockchain is Transforming How Supply Chain Giants are Operating – EconoTimes

May 24, 2018

“Blockchain. Blockchain. Blockchain. That’s all I hear about when I go to meetings.” This was Ken Brown’s sentiment during the Global Supply Chain Summit conducted on Tuesday. Brown is the senior vice president of SICPA North America, a supply chain security firm.

The popularity of blockchain among supply chain giants is understandable since the technology offers transparency, precise monitoring, data security, and acceleration of transactions. All of these benefits can drastically improve a company’s operation that is involved in the supply chain ecosystem.

Ralph Carter, FedEx’s vice president of trade and international affairs, said that traditional strategies mostly focused on control and collection of revenues. But because of blockchain enabling companies to operate securely and rapidly in the digital world, border management is being integrated into that design.

He added that efficient borders are required in today’s competitive market in order to stay relevant. “People need to be able to move items in and out quickly,” Carter said.

Indeed, commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Kevin McAleenan said that the proliferation of e-commerce has increased the incoming and outgoing numbers of shipping activities. This, in turn, placed a lot of weight on his agency. He has to keep the trade flowing while simultaneously increasing protection of consumers from counterfeit products, as well as being vigilant of illicit activities.

More at: Blockchain is Transforming How Supply Chain Giants are Operating – EconoTimes