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Found 5 results

  1. The First $100 Billion Dollar Blockchain Company Could Be The Next SAP There can be a lot of hype around how disruptive blockchain technology will be where some trumpet how it will change everything in our world today and every industry is primed for disruption. While I am excited about blockchain technology, I do not believe it’s a cure-all technology. The most common industries cited as ripe for disruption by blockchain are banking and finance, healthcare, cybersecurity, and any space where a lack of transparency or a lack of tracking and inefficiencies abound, such as creative works and supply chain management. The potential of blockchain’s disruptive nature across consumer and enterprise markets can seem like a sea captain sailing in the middle of the ocean during a foggy night. You know you are looking into vast and distant waters, but visibility is limited and the future is uncertain. Enterprise is key When I consider the potential application of blockchain on consumer-facing products and new companies that can launch from it, I get excited. When I think about the enterprise side, I get a little sleepy-eyed. At its core, blockchain technology is pretty boring. It makes backend processes more efficient, more secure or transparent as a new solution or as a middleware product. Middleware for legacy systems? Bringing large enterprises out of the IT Stone Age to the future of decentralized, distributed systems? Please stick a fork in my leg and pour a gallon of Red Bull down my throat. But boring is good and highlights a huge potential of blockchain enterprise companies. A good industry benchmark for these up and coming enterprise blockchain startups are companies such as SAP and Oracle, which are traditional enterprise database companies. I see today's enterprise blockchain startups and those in the coming years as the next generation of enterprise database companies. SAP has a market cap of over $135 billion with over $23 billion in revenues last year, and Oracle has a market cap of over $209 billion with over $37 billion in revenues. Oracle positions itself as the world’s #1 enterprise database company with dozens of core products from middleware solutions to servers to databases. Eye on Asia A little-known fact is that the core technology behind SAP’s flagship product, HANA database, came from a South Korea company they acquired in 2005 called Transact In Memory. Transact In Memory was founded by Dr. Sang Cha, who is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Seoul National University. The next generation of global enterprise database companies might not just be based on technologies acquired from the region, but wholly originated from Asia. For example, Blocko, which went through our accelerator in Seoul in 2015, has become the leading enterprise blockchain company in South Korea with over 90% marketshare. Their blockchain-as-a-service platform, Coinstack, has been implemented at Samsung, LG CNS, Hyundai and many other multi-billion corporations. For the Korea Exchange, they created a blockchain-based OTC trading market decreased transaction time from 2-3 days to 1 day. This resulted in cost savings of $73 million this past year. For one of South Korea's largest credit card companies, Lotte Card, Blocko set up a blockchain-based biometric log-in and payment authorization system which decreased authentication time from 7-10 minutes to 2-3 minutes. This simple solution reduced Lotte Card's annual security solution expenditures to $50,000 per year from over $500,000 per year while exponentially increasing its level of security. Read More https://www.forbes.com/sites/sparklabs/2017/12/15/the-first-100-billion-dollar-blockchain-company-could-be-the-next-sap/#1bcb74a91948
  2. Could Amazon and Apple be testing blockchain technology? Apple, Starbucks, and Amazon could be the next companies to get into blockchain. That’s according to Jeff Tennery, CEO at online hiring platform Moonlighting, which is getting ready for its own initial coin offering. He says that the tech giants’ large marketplaces make it easier to experiment with the technology. “If Apple Pay is as important to Apple as they’ve said it is, why wouldn’t they do some sort of cryptocurrency?” he said. “The rules are better established for bigger companies.” Moonlighting’s ICO is coming in early 2018 on the Ethereum platform, the second-biggest digital currency. With a market cap of about $72 billion dollars, it lags only Bitcoin, which stands at over $300 billion. Bitcoin may be the more recognizable name, but some industry insiders express concerns that it doesn’t have the same capabilities as the alternatives. “Bitcoin really wasn’t designed or architected to support third-party currency, and Ether really supports that,” he said. “That’s why it’s growing so quickly.”
  3. Commentary: How Blockchain Could Replace Social Security Numbers In the wake of the Equifax breach and countless others compromising Americans’ privacy, one thing has become clear: It’s time to get rid of Social Security numbers. While a string of digits on a paper card did the job in the 1930s, and got the government’s stamp of approval for identification purposes in 1972, it’s irresponsible for those nine numbers to continue to be the universal identifier for every part of our lives. We can do better; even the White House says so. But the natural follow-up question—“What’s the replacement?”—is where things get complicated. We could have a digital, national ID card system like Estonia, but that’s proven to have its own security issues. We could use biometric technology to validate identities, using retina scans or facial recognition software, but these systems aren’t foolproof. What about blockchain? Does the new, buzzy technology have the potential to one day replace Social Security numbers? The best answer we have right now is: possibly. Blockchain is the technology behind encrypted, public ledgers for storing data that cannot be erased or changed without leaving a record. It is really good at controlling information and avoiding duplication, which makes it an interesting solution for governing identities. But it’s not a rip and replace for Social Security numbers. In my 20-year career in the technology industry, blockchain is one of the most intricate and unwieldy technologies I’ve seen, so a lot of work must be done to make it a workable backbone for identity management. To get blockchain ready for primetime, collaboration between the private and public sectors will be critical. Project Jasper, a joint effort between the private sector and Canada’s central bank and payment systems operator over the past two years, is a good example of this type of work, and is a blueprint that the U.S. should follow if we ever want to see blockchain become a viable Social Security number replacement. Looking ahead, here are three of the most pressing issues with blockchain we’ll have to address before we can consider it as a universal identifier. Read More http://fortune.com/2018/01/11/blockchain-technology-social-security-number-cybersecurity-identity-theft/
  4. How Blockchain Could Revolutionize Commodity Markets Blockchain technology, which has already been adopted by gold traders, is starting to show the potential to transform other sectors of the global physical commodities markets. While it wouldn't necessarily boost commodity prices, the innovation could offer a secure means of exchange of raw materials, open up channels of trade among buyers and sellers that had until now have been perceived as credit risks, and provide more transparency and liquidity to a market that has slowly lost favor among financial institutions. The technology provides a way of accounting for financial transactions. It was developed as a means of addressing the vulnerability of stored data on exchange of assets. Many associate blockchain with bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has undergone a meteoric price increase this year, up more than 17-fold. Future contracts began trading on Cboe and CME Group this month. By Dec. 18, the January contract had soared to over $20,000. The mainstream adoption of bitcoin is becoming a reality despite skeptics who compare the boom to the 1636 tulip mania. It is unclear whether the crypto-currency serves more as a medium of exchange or a store of value. Another uncertainty is the longevity of the currency, which has many competitors. There are 4,543 cryptocoins with a $567.7 billion market capitalization, according to Cryptocoins Charts. Yet, no matter how many cryptocurrencies succeed or fail, the blockchain technology underlying digital assets is likely to remain and could make commodity trading more secure. That has already begun to happen with gold, the most liquid commodity traded. As of Nov. 1, you can own physical gold as a digital asset in a digital wallet and transfer that holding to any other wallet on the network. Although gold has multiple tradable products (spot, futures and options, ETPs, indices, physical), blockchain accomplishes what none of the other offerings do -- the ability to bring together all market participants (miners, refiners, wholesale traders, financial institutions, investors and traders and the retail sector). The Royal Mint, along with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, established Royal Mint Gold blockchain, a digital asset token to represent physical ownership of gold held in the vault at the Mint in South Wales. Earlier this month, Euroclear and Paxos announced that a group including Société Générale, Citi and Scotiabank had completed the first pilot of the blockchain-based gold trading platform developed by Euroclear. And in Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint became the latest sovereign mint to announce a blockchain product with GoldMoney. Before blockchain, transactions were recorded in an accounting ledger and eventually as entries in a spreadsheet or database stored in computer systems. This could be risky because it isn't always secure. Data can be out of date, tampered with or deleted. Digitally distributed ledgers address this concern. Rather than storing data on a server or database, blocks exist on multiple computers and networks in different locations. Should a change come about in the chain, it will immediately and simultaneously be reflected in every copy. The advantage is that the duplication of digitally distributed ledgers provides a safety mechanism. Cryptographic proofs lock in the transaction order chain in perpetuity, eliminating any disputes over the sequence of events. The blockchain is verified and validated by the high degree of visibility of every transaction, ensuring consensus. With no sole, central authority, everyone in the chain is a manager of equal stature. Read More https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-12-22/how-blockchain-could-revolutionize-commodity-markets
  5. After the bitcoin gold rush: Could blockchain change the way we give money to charity? Bitcoin’s huge surge has put cryptocurrency in the spotlight. Finance giants like CME and CBOE are bringing bitcoin into mainstream trading markets, and big businesses are looking into other uses for the underlying blockchain tech. So what’s in it for nonprofits that might want to get in on the action? There’s the potential to raise cash — but also to change the way people track how their donations are put to use. Bitcoin is already being used for donations: Fidelity Charitable told the New York Times it had received $13.5 million in bitcoin donations in the first 11 months of 2017, and groups from the American Red Cross to the United Way have accepted bitcoin. Rumi Morales ⇒, the former head of CME Ventures who’s also a board member at the Chicago Blockchain Center, has been watching the technology for years. While bitcoin’s meteoric rise may draw the attention of more nonprofits, she cautioned against charities accepting donations in the currency just to take advantage of hype. “If you simply want to jump in because you’ve heard the buzz about it, I would caution anyone against accepting buzz over real money,” Morales said. “Bitcoin and digital currencies can be accepted at some type of value, but as we’ve seen, it can be very volatile.” But she and other experts see applications beyond just the bitcoin gold rush. They see immense promise in blockchain, the system that sits at the heart of bitcoin and its numerous sister currencies. It’s essentially a mechanism to determine who owns a piece of digital currency and when they took possession of it. “It’s fundamentally a technology more than it meets any real definition of a currency as most people understand it,” Morales said. “It’s hard to separate bitcoin and blockchain, but they have very different uses. When it comes to nonprofits, personally, I feel that blockchain is more valuable.” The tech — known as a distributed ledger — is being used by major companies like Walmart and IBM as a new way to track products all the way down the supply chain. A blockchain-based system could streamline payment processing, replacing some middlemen with smart contracts that automatically send payments when certain criteria are fulfilled. It’s potentially a big breakthrough for business. But in the world of nonprofits, where accountability is king and many donors demand transparency for where their money is going, it could be a game-changer. Chicago Blockchain Center founder Matthew Roszak is an advocate for the technology’s potential to open up opportunities for nonprofits. He sits on the board of California-based BitGive, which created a bitcoin-based donation platform called GiveTrack that allows people to track their donations in real time. By using a blockchain ledger, donors and outside observers can meticulously track their donations all the way down the line, he said. “If you’re able to build a blockchain workflow and really see accountably what’s happening to the dollar … from donor to recipient, and be able to account for the nails and two-by-fours being used to build a school or what have you,” Roszak said, “then my sense, in turn, is if you have that kind of transparency, people wind up giving more.” GiveTrack launched Oct. 24 and is currently raising money for a few projects, including efforts to build water wells in rural Kenya. It only takes donations in bitcoin today, but the system is able to track progress even after the donation is converted into cash at the end of the chain. GiveTrack is one of only a handful of organizations that have been able to create a minimum viable product using blockchain to track charitable work, said Rhodri Davies, head of the Giving Thought think tank at the U.K.-based Charities Aid Foundation. Davies has been studying the implications of blockchain for nonprofits since 2013. While he sees promise in the idea of tracking donations from start to finish, including the potential to reduce corruption, he also thinks total transparency wouldn’t always be a good thing. “If you’re a development donor and you’re giving to organizations or groups of individuals in Uganda who work on gay or lesbian rights — well, that’s illegal over there,” Davies said. “If it was all on a public blockchain, and the government could just identify all the recipients, they could have a long sort of shopping list of people to go out and arrest.” On a more basic level, Davies said it could affect the way donations are distributed, taking away money from things like day-to-day nonprofit management. “A lot of donors believe that too much money is spent by nonprofits on things that they consider overhead or unnecessary core costs; it’s a challenge for nonprofits to show why it’s necessary,” he said. “Donors might be able to use a smart contract to ensure that their donation is only used on certain things like front-line services and not things like fundraising or administrative costs. All of a sudden, that could make it a lot more difficult for organizations to operate.” On the other side of the coin, Davies believes that down the road, blockchain could also facilitate charitable giving without needing a big organization in the middle — particularly if smart contracts were used to ensure that criteria are met and money is spent properly. “I’m not suggesting that it’ll necessarily do away with traditional nonprofits or charities, but it raises the question of ‘What are the bits you need to centralize?’” he said. “If you could get big networks of traditional donors coming together and get money directly to people who need it on the ground in another part of the world … then what is it about the old-fashioned model, or the kind of current model, of central governance that still has value?” Read More http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/originals/ct-bsi-blockchain-nonprofits-20171218-story.html

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