Mastercard unleashes blockchain APIs to boost development – Computer Business Review

By Tom Ball    October 23, 2017

Mastercard is targeting cross-border payments by releasing its blockchain APIs, entering the arena with the likes of JPMorgan and IBM.

Financial institutions and their end users are set to be benefit from blockchain APIs released by Mastercard, intended to allow organisations to test their own capabilities.

Developers from these institutions will be able to harness the Mastercard blockchain APIs to work on their own capabilities, targeting area such as cross-border payments and transparency.

While financial institutions are being targeted with this new initiative, Mastercard is also aiming to enhance the banking experience for end users.

Mastercard unleashes blockchain APIs to boost development

Mastercard Labs executive vice president Ken Moore, said: “By combining Mastercard blockchain technology with our settlement network and associated network rules, we have created a solution that is safe, secure, auditable, and easy to scale.”

More at: Mastercard unleashes blockchain APIs to boost development – Computer Business Review

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American Express Eyes Blockchain for Customer Rewards System – CoinDesk

By Nikhilesh De    October 23, 2017

The travel and merchant arm of American Express may be weighing the use of blockchain within a personalized customer rewards system, public filings show.

A new patent application published last week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office details a concept for offering customer-specific types of rewards (including points, a virtual currency or specific items tied to a product). The filing indicates the financial giant would make these offers by compiling personalized data about the customer, such as their historic spending patterns.

The application cites the tech as one resource for storing and updating information among a number of possible approaches, detailing:

“The blockchain structure may include a distributed database that maintains a growing list of data records. The blockchain may provide enhanced security because each block may hold individual transactions and the results of any blockchain executables. Each block may contain a timestamp and a link to a previous block.”

More at: American Express Eyes Blockchain for Customer Rewards System – CoinDesk

Docker, IBM expand partnership – ZDNet

By Stephanie Condon    October 18, 2017

As IBM looks for ways to grow its cloud business, it’s working with Docker to provide more assistance for cloud migrations.

IBM and Docker announced Wednesday that they’re expanding their existing partnership, with a focus on helping companies use Docker containers more rapidly to move existing workloads to the cloud.

There are three new elements to IBM’s partnership with Docker, beginning with the creation of Docker Enterprise Edition (EE) for IBM Cloud. Docker EE for IBM Cloud follows the April rollout of DockerEE for Linux on IBM z Systems, LinuxONE, and Power Systems. Once workloads are transitioned to the IBM Cloud, enterprise teams can connect and integrate them with IBM Cloud services in areas like AI, analytics and blockchain.

More at: Docker, IBM expand partnership – ZDNet

Blockchain Services For Governments – ETHNews.com

By Jeremy Nation    October 17, 2017

While blockchain technology might be disruptive to certain elements of the private sector, governments are also looking at it to develop modern infrastructures.

Governments are developing blockchain platforms to integrate with various offices and agencies for a variety of reasons. These platforms offer a transparent means of operation that can deliver privacy and security, as well as feature robust, immutable decentralized databases.

Governing bodies have choices for how to deploy blockchain technology, be they projects that are incubated internally or provided to the government as a service. For instance, today, October 17, 2017, tech giant Microsoft announced a suite of services powered by its Azure Government blockchain platform designed to cater to the needs of government entities. The announcement was made at the Microsoft Government Cloud Forum held in Washington D.C., where a number of new features were revealed, including a facet of its platform called Azure Government Secret, designed to “deliver multi-tenant cloud infrastructure and cloud capabilities to U.S. Federal Civilian, Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, and U.S. Government partners working within Secret enclaves.”

More at: Blockchain Services For Governments – ETHNews.com

IBM Blockchain Payments To Use Stellar In Major Partnership Deal – The Cointelegraph

By WIlliam Suberg    October 16, 2017

IBM and payments network KlickEx have announced Stellar as the backbone of its new “cross-border payments solution.”

In what it describes as the first use of public Blockchain technology “being used in production to facilitate cross-border payments in multiple integrated currency corridors,” IBM is already convening a group of big banking partners to further the initiative.

“Currently, cross-border payments take up to several days to clear,” Stellar co-founder Jed McCaleb said in an accompanying blog post.

“This new implementation is poised to affect a profound change in the South Pacific region, and once fully scaled by IBM and its banking partners, could potentially change the way money is moved around the world.”

More at: IBM Blockchain Payments To Use Stellar In Major Partnership Deal – The Cointelegraph

Accenture Leverages Blockchain Technology Innovations for Enterprise IT Use – The Cointelegraph

By Lisa Froelings    October 11, 2017
Blockchain technology consortium Accenture is leveraging all forms of innovations in Blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) in its bid to make the technology feasible for enterprise information technology (IT) application. The company is specifically focusing on security issues to prepare for the widespread adoption of Blockchain technology.

According to Accenture’s Financial Services Industry Blockchain managing director David Treat, the company is committed to making Blockchain a reality for their clients.

“Accenture is committed to supporting these efforts by leveraging our expertise across the company – from regulation to innovation – to make Blockchain a reality for our clients.”

More at: Accenture Leverages Blockchain Technology Innovations for Enterprise IT Use – The Cointelegraph

Deloitte tracks ship certificates using blockchain technology – Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

In International Shipping News    October 4, 2017

Deloitte has implemented blockchain technology to help it track ship safety certificates across the world, reported CoinDesk.

The company partnered with DNV GL to implement a private, shared blockchain which aims to reduce the occurrence of fraud.

Traditional verification, safety, and environmental impact certificates for ships and offshore structures can be forged, and ensuring a given certificate is genuine can be a time-consuming process.

Deloitte’s solution creates a digital ID for each certificate on its private blockchain, removing the potential of fraud. Certificates are verified by scanning a QR code on the document.

The process is almost instantaneous and requires little overhead in terms of processing power.

The authentication system was deployed in September and there are currently 90,000 certificates stored on the blockchain.

Source: Deloitte tracks ship certificates using blockchain technology – Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide