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
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
Bringing blockchain technology to the enterprise is a top priority for Microsoft. Other projects in the cryptocurrency and blockchain sphere are working toward a similar goal. Microsoft’s CoCo Framework for enterprise blockchain networks may very well prove to be a game changer. Microsoft aims to facilitate the adoption of distributed ledger technology in the enterprise sector, and a unified framework would certainly help make that happen.
COCO IS COMPLETELY OPEN-SOURCE
It is no secret a lot of enterprises have been keeping a close eye on developments in blockchain technology. No company can afford to miss out on the next big thing in this sector. Distributed ledgers have the power to completely transform business models, accounting methods, record keeping, and anything else one can think of in the administrative department. Embracing this innovative technology remains a big hurdle for most enterprises, as there is no unified approach in this regard.
This is why Microsoft has introduced the CoCo framework earlier this week. It is an open-source system designed to provide high-scale and confidential blockchain networks for enterprise purposes. The main objective of the initiative is to boost global adoption of blockchain technology among companies and corporations. Rather than seeing private blockchains created which can only be used by select parties, CoCo wants to slowly steer enterprises in one direction to ensure a unified approach to distributed ledgers.
More at: What is the CoCo Blockchain Framework? – The Merkle
Healthcare blockchain is gaining traction as a future information exchange tool as vendors and organizations release frameworks for implementation.
August 10, 2017 – Microsoft announced the release of its Coco Framework to reduce the complexity of operational and security needs present in many healthcare blockchain implementations.
The framework aims to provide organizations with a steady guide on how to build and deploy a blockchain network as IT infrastructures continue to digitally transform.
Blockchain is the exchange of information between nodes (e.g., users, organizations) via a shared database without the regulation of a third party controlling the data through a single silo. It leads to the creation of a trusted history of transactions between organizations sharing data.
Each transaction between organizations consists of a block, which holds the data from the current transaction along with a hash linking back to the previous transaction, thus creating a chain. Every transaction is documented and users cannot go back and alter past data.
Blockchain is emerging as a secure way to share clinical data and PHI because it eliminates the need for organizations to trust the entities with which they are exchanging information. However, the technology currently lacks the standardization necessary for widescale healthcare deployment.
More at: Healthcare Blockchain Frameworks Emerge as Demand Rises – HITInfrastructure.com
Microsoft today introduced Coco Framework, with the aim of making blockchain networks enterprise ready. The CoCo Framework is a big help for enterprises, as more and more enterprises are looking to apply blockchain to meet business needs.
The open source Coco Framework system will bring performance and the processing power that enterprises are looking for. According to Microsoft, this will be achieved since Coco is “specifically for confidential consortiums, where nodes and actors are explicitly declared and controlled.”
Microsoft also revealed that Coco Framework will also bring an alternative approach to Ledger construction. It will help enable entire-ready block chain networks which can do the following:
- Throughput and latency approaching database speeds.
- Richer, more flexible, business-specific confidentiality models.
- Network policy management through distributed governance.
- Support for non-deterministic transactions.
Source: Microsoft introduces Coco Framework, makes blockchain networks enterprise ready | On MSFT