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1

Built by Linux Foundation with IBM’s involvement in 2015, Hyperledger is the backbone of many blockchain enterprise systems. It was originally created with a goal to make collaboration between multiple businesses more efficient.

Hyperledger offers the “umbrella” strategy, incubating and promoting a vast number of business blockchain technologies, frameworks, libraries, interfaces, and applications.

According to the official statement on the platform’s website,

“Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration, including leaders in finance, banking, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing, and Technology.”

Some of the top practical advantages of choosing Hyperledger as your enterprise blockchain solution include permissioned membership (Hyperledger is a permissioned network, where all participants have known identities), performance, scalability and levels of trust, as well as protection of digital keys and sensitive data (this feature is especially valued by financial institutions for protection of customer information and other sensitive documentation).

Real Use Cases
Due to the high adaptability of the Hyperledger blockchain enterprise system, there’s a number of real use cases currently presented – below are just a few examples, listed in no particular order.

#1. Supply Chain for Pharmaceuticals
In April 2017, IBM announced several new blockchain enterprise systems to be built on Hyperledger Fabric.


Click to watch

The company partnered up with the Chinese conglomerate Sichuan Heijia to build up a blockchain-based supply platform for pharmaceuticals. Small and middle-sized pharmaceutical retailers in China often find it extremely difficult to secure financing due to the underdeveloped credit system and a lack of established credit evaluation, as well as risk control. After pharmaceuticals are delivered, retailers often have to wait from 60 to 90 days before getting paid.

With the help of the Hyperledger blockchain curated by IBM, the drugs will be tracked all the way through the supply chain, encrypting trading records. Such transparency will establish the authenticity of the transaction, lowering the credit risk of pharmacies and allowing the payment period to be shortened, with the funds possibly transferred even on the next day after trading.

#2. Blockchain-based Platform for Trade Financing
In the same month, April 2017, IBM partnered up with Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group and Mizuho Bank for creating a blockchain-based platform for trade financing.

According to the Japanese bank, blockchain technology helped them shorten the deal processing time from a couple of days to just two hours, also allowing to save on labor costs while increasing transparency through document digitization.

Additionally, Mizuho Financial Group is working with IBM to ultimately conduct all their trade transactions on Hyperledger Fabric. According to IBM’s official press release, such system will enable all parties to view the latest shipment data, which will drastically cut the trade transaction and processing costs.

#3. Blockchain-based Education and Training
In another project announced by IBM in April 2017, they’ve partnered up with the National University of Singapore to develop a module on financial technology in order to improve students’ education in this area, equipping them with the fundamentals of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.


Click to watch

Implemented in early 2018, the module is focused on educating students on the technology behind distributed ledgers, as well as its diverse use cases, from banking to digital currencies to supply chain management.

NUS faculty members co-developed the curriculum of the new module in cooperation with IBM researchers in order to encourage students and faculty members to contribute to developing the technology further. The module is co-taught by NUS academic staff who use Hyperledger Fabric to deliver the course content. 

Get More Info Right HERE

2

Public and private blockchains differ more in how they’re used than how they’re built. The underlying similarity is that they’re blockchains: distributed, encrypted ledgers, monitored and verified by their users. In other words, they’re both networks that share an immutable record of transactions.

The real difference on a technical level is who has access to them.

Private blockchains
Private blockchains can be accessed only by those who have permission, and the network administrators can edit transaction records. Hyperledger and Ripple are private blockchains.

The confidentiality problem
Blockchains come with an inbuilt confidentiality problem. The audit log of transactions is available to all users. Solutions to this problem that make blockchain suitable for businesses (which don’t want uninvited users to have access to all their business data) include hybrid, private and consortium blockchains as well as various methods of building decentralized applications with inbuilt permissioning on public chains.

Why would you choose a public blockchain?
Public blockchains are the default choice. They deliver two key benefits over private blockchains:

1. Autonomy
A public blockchain exists separately from the entities that use it and participate in its governance. This means that, for instance, there’s no-one who can change the rules of the blockchain, alter or reverse transactions, or otherwise interfere.

Thus, a public blockchain can be truly ‘trustless’: users don’t have to trust other participants, because they interact in a manner mediated by the rules of the blockchain; and they don’t have to trust the blockchain’s administrators, because in a traditional sense, there are none.

2. Accessibility
Public blockchains are accessible to anyone with a computer and an internet connection. Some general purpose blockchains allow the implementation of smart contracts on the pre-existing blockchain, meaning users can achieve business goals on an extant network. And the newest generation of blockchains for general computing are deliberately designed to permit the construction of smart contracts and ‘Decentralized applications’ or Dapps directly on the blockchain.

The blockchain applications market is unravelling along a segmentation of activity that is spread along two sets of variables: private vs. public blockchains, and new vs. existing business models.
William Mougayar


Why would you choose a private blockchain?
Private blockchains are usually built to order for business or organizational use. For their users, they deliver:

1. Control
Private blockchains are controlled by a consortium of privileged users who can issue or deny permissions, alter rules, revert transactions and modify balances.

Obviously, this is totally opposite to what a public blockchain gives its users. But it allows a centralized organization to replicate its organizational structure on the blockchain, which is vital in cases where the organization will be held responsible for the validity of that information. For instance, a government land registry could benefit from the security and auditability of a blockchain, but it can’t relinquish its ultimate authority over the records.

2. Trusted known validators
In some public blockchain structures, the validators aren’t known, and in PoW blockchains dependent on mining, 51% attacks are a constant danger.

51% attacks occur when over half of a blockchain’s validators collude, outside the blockchain, to sign blocks they know contain false information. They represent the main known security threat to PoW blockchains, because miners could theoretically collude in this way.

While there has never been a 51% attack on the BitCoin blockchain, there have been 51% attacks on other PoW blockchains. In one, hackers made off with $18 million after an attack on the BitCoin Gold blockchain, in which they altered the blockchain’s own records so that they could spend the same money twice, known as a ‘double spend.’

In a private blockchain the validators are known. As long as they’re accountable using structures outside the blockchain, this makes the blockchain more secure against these types of attacks.

3. Lower operational costs
Transactions are cheaper in terms of computing and electrical power. They only need to be validated by a few nodes, which can be configured to do this efficiently. By comparison public blockchains have many more nodes, requiring far greater computational redundancy: every node is basically doing the same work, which is the key to blockchain’s security but also the reason why blockchains can be expensive to run.

Public blockchains tend to express their relatively higher operational costs as relatively high transaction fees for their users. BitCoin’s hit an average $52 per transaction at their highest, and while that’s an outlier, average transaction fees for public blockchains can be a problem: Ethereum’s transaction fees have actually been higher than BitCoin’s in the past.

But these transaction fees reflect the higher costs of operating these high-redundancy, high-node-count blockchains. Even if what you’re sending is a file, a message or an action that triggers a smart contract, rather than currency, you’ll find operational costs are higher on a standard PoW public blockchain.

On a private blockchain transaction fees and electrical costs can be kept to a minimum, though it should be noted that some public blockchains built on other consensus algorithms can also be considerably cheaper to run.

4. Predictable technical performance
Nodes are the entities in a blockchain that take part in creating a new block. On a private blockchain, nodes can be very well-connected and it’s possible to ensure all of them are running as intended, something that can’t be done on a public blockchain.

Partly this is because private blockchains typically operate nodes on dedicated hardware, whereas a public blockchain involves many consumer-level laptops and desktop computers. This is another advantage of private blockchains: hardware requirements can be known in advance because user numbers are pre-determined, so high performance can be baked in.

If anything goes wrong, it’s also possible to step in via an administrator account and fix a private blockchain manually.

5. Privacy
Private blockchains that limit user access, and manage user privileges centrally, offer better privacy. This should be of limited concern to most users, since blockchain already offers massively improved security and privacy.

However, a private blockchain eliminates identity privacy concerns. On a public blockchain, usernames are visible to other users. On a private blockchain, the same is true but users are permissioned, meaning user names can be real names and reflect organizational roles without any privacy issues.


Which Choice Is Right? Read More HERE

3
Beyond Bitcoin [closed] / Blockchain and KYC: Know Your Customer Better
« on: February 07, 2019, 08:10:42 pm »

With the increase in popularity of digital systems over the last few decades, the problem of fraud and identity theft became prominent due to the fact that each company you deal with, from banks to retail outlets, has a different way of verifying your identity.

Each company has to verify your identity somehow, and it’s particularly important for financial institutions. This gave rise to ‘know your customer,’ or KYC protocols to help companies ensure they know who they are doing business with. Typically this involves a long, drawn-out practice where certain documents are shown, and some sort of background check or verification takes place.

In research, a 2017 survey by Thomson Reuters found that the average time it takes to complete KYC checks is 32 days, up from 28 days in 2016. It also showed that 85% of customers had a bad experience due to it, and 12% changed banks as a result.

The pressure to increase KYC compliance has been coming from regulators, keen to stop the increasingly sophisticated financial crimes we are seeing each year. According to the survey cited above, financial firms ended up hiring an average of 307 new employees to deal with these regulations in 2017, up from only 68 new employees in 2016.

But there is a solution in sight. Blockchain-based KYC takes advantage of a secure, public digital ledger to give almost instantaneous and truly secure verification of identity. Due to the immutable and unchangeable nature of the record kept in the blockchain, fraud could become a thing of the past.


KYC History
Back in 1989, G7 nations formed a task force called the FATF to curb money laundering. The task force has since grown to include over 40 member states, and deals with anti-terrorism as well as anti-money laundering (AML).

Some key requirements brought about by the task force included prohibiting anonymous accounts, creating EDD (enhanced due diligence), suspicious transaction monitoring and risk management. The administrative burden has only been increasing since the inception of these KYC regulations.

Current Challenges
There is no global standard, so KYC practices vary by institution. This leads to redundant work and limits the ability for different financial institutions to collaborate to verify identity. Customers are subject to time-consuming and difficult-to-accomplish onboarding processes when opening new accounts.

Regulations are often changed, creating costly and effort-intensive obligations for companies to comply. Also, material changes in customer information are often not being updated, which causes inaccurate information in many bank systems.

Blockchain for KYC



There are many inherent advantages to blockchain KYC solutions. Many companies are working on a ‘digital signature’ that would keep a secure copy of all your KYC-compliant documents stored on a blockchain. Particularly if this is a public blockchain, it would be decentralized and both transparent and secure.

A bank or other financial institution who is looking to verify customer identity would simply need to be given permission to access the personal information, making blockchain KYC incredibly efficient. It would also be standardized, so every financial institution globally would be able to share and view the same data.

Updates to personal information would be done in the blockchain, meaning any institution using the system would also be privy to any information changes. Seamlessly, customers could update their personal information across all their accounts simply through their digital signatures. KYC using blockchain would mean that they wouldn’t need to contact each institution with changes, and the institutions would never miss such changes as they do now.

Blockchain in KYC is one of the most promising applications of the decentralized technology, serving a real need by decreasing KYC administrative costs and lost time while at the same time increasing security and transparency.

KYC using blockchain represents a true paradigm shift, away from individual institutions doing repetitive and redundant work.


More About KYC Blockchain Implementation Right HERE

4

Blockchain solutions have been gaining popularity among businesses over the last few years as a way of expanding their revenues and optimizing their processes, but is it really worth it? When should businesses use blockchain, and when should they stray away from it?

For the past decade, blockchain has been implemented in many industries worldwide. A lot of companies now use blockchain technology to track and trace their products and funds. Just earlier in December, the Irish Red Cross teamed up with AID:Tech, a Dublin crypto startup, to create a peer-to-peer donation platform called “Trace Donate.” The app allows the Irish Red Cross and their monetary contributors to see the donations and follow where their monetary donation is going.

The Italian government is also actively implementing blockchain technology. In December, the country even announced 30 blockchain experts to join the government as consultants on the use of blockchain on a state level.

A lot of corporations worldwide have also turned to blockchain. For instance, Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, is using blockchain for their food safety, tracking the produce through IBM’s blockchain platform all the way from suppliers to consumers.


However, just because blockchain is effective, it doesn’t mean it’s for every business and organization, and there are times when blockchain isn’t necessary. Let’s take a look at some of these examples.


Click to watch

Scalability Trilemma And Business Priorities
When it comes to blockchain, there are three main issues, better known as scalability trilemma: security, speed, and decentralization.

Blockchain needs security because otherwise it will be susceptible to hacker attacks just like any other conventional technologies. Decentralization is also important because it makes the system stronger and immune to censorship, by not allowing it to become controlled by any single owner.

Without decentralization, transactions can be made without the funds being there to back it up, and transactions can be canceled or blocked without justification, which would bring us right back to the issues most merchants are currently facing — chargebacks.

Most blockchain technologies favor security and decentralization but thus sacrifice speed. According to AngelList co-founder, Naval Ravikant, blockchain can be “incredibly inefficient.”

“It’s worth paying the cost when you need the decentralization, but it’s not when you don’t,”
he states.

Costs. In 2019, Blockchain Is Still Expensive
Speaking of costs, blockchain is not a technology you can implement or run on a budget in 2019. If a small business was to use blockchain, the running of blockchain and the associated fees could cost more than the profit generated from it. Some of these costs can include:

*Development of a custom solution (most enterprise blockchains have to be developed from scratch)

*Customization to tailor the software, if it’s not a 100% custom-made solution

*Expert consultants’ fees during development or customization of any enterprise-grade blockchain

At the time of writing this article, ready-made or BAAS (blockchain-as-a-service) solution which could be affordable and accessible for small business are extremely rare, so we’re cutting this option out of our equation.

Plus, don’t forget about energy consumption! In order to run a successful enterprise blockchain, the company has to have enough servers with the right configuration required for the current tasks, additionally to their support and maintenance. All of this makes bills, including electricity ones, skyrocket, and energy usage could be an issue even for large-scale companies which use enterprise blockchains.

Read More About Complexity and Necessity Of Blockchain For The Business Right HERE

5

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system used for the distribution of information without the need for human interaction. There, information on computing devices, objects, humans, animals and all sorts of things using a unique identifier can be shared over a network.

At its most basic level, a thing in the Internet of Things can be a patient wired to a heart monitor, a cat implanted with a tracking chip, or a car using sensors to alert drivers when the tire pressure is low. It is an evolved technology achieved through the merging of wireless technologies, microservices, and the Internet.

Let’s look at the traditional methods of health monitoring compared to the IoT-integrated methods in order to achieve a greater understanding. Smartwatches now have the ability to track aspects such as heart rate, physical activity and inactivity, calories burned, and much more. The watch, in this case, would be a human’s unique identifier. The processes and collecting and processing the generated data, which would take a substantial amount of time in the past, are now streamlined through IoT.


The major concerns associated with IoT are security and privacy. Blockchain addresses these issues through its use of a distributed ledger. Blockchain has the ability to track innumerable numbers of smart devices and log the data they collect on either a public or private ledger.

The ledger is shared across all the users of the network, and therefore cannot be altered by a single individual without a general consensus. It runs on cryptographic algorithms which are extremely difficult to decipher, making it practically impossible to hack. Basically, blockchain helps to close the gaps in security associated with IoT.

Where IoT automates the collection of data, blockchain automates its security and authenticity. As shown by OpenLedger, blockchain paired with IoT can bring substantial benefits to various industries:

Healthcare: Blockchain can enable the tracking of a patient’s chronic condition in real time.

Supply chain: Blockchain can improve inventory management.

Automotive: Blockchains’ authentication aspects make it a valuable tool to prevent the trade of fraudulent parts, as well as streamlining payment and document processing, which is often prone to problems associated with human error.


Read More About Notable Use Cases HERE

6
Beyond Bitcoin [closed] / Most Interesting Blockchain Startups of 2018
« on: February 03, 2019, 04:32:36 pm »

Most people learned about blockchain in relation to the decentralized digital currency that it underpins, but quickly use cases emerged in dozens of different industries leading to an explosion of blockchain-based startups.

Whether it be in supply chain, healthcare, the Internet of Things, finance, security, or even AI, blockchain development startups are some of the most buzzworthy ones of 2018.

For our blockchain startups list, we chose the most successful and innovative companies to help you understand just how versatile the new technology is. Their cutting-edge ideas will transform how businesses operate in the coming decades.

PATRON

Click to watch

Aiming to capitalize on the influencer marketplace, PATRON hopes to disrupt the stranglehold that Silicon Valley and firms like Facebook and Google have over powerful media influencers. The Japanese startup is working on creating a network where companies and influencers can come together and transact.

The firm raised almost $30 million between public and private ICOs, and has been actively developing a platform to connect influencers directly with companies, cutting out the agencies in-between that often charge a premium for making such connections. With the global influencer marketing to reach $10-billion worth by 2020, PATRON is poised for success if they can deliver on their goals.

Buddy

Click to watch

One of the hottest blockchain startups is focused on making blockchain integration easier for companies looking to implement the technology. There is often a fog surrounding just how to put together a blockchain-based solution, and Buddy is working to automate the application development and deployment process.

Already boasting high-profile partnerships with the likes of Github, Google Cloud Services, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Marketplace, Buddy claims to have 200+ companies using their app development system. Their ICO is currently at the private sale stage, and a solid team and roadmap make this Polish firm one to watch.

BurstIQ

Click to watch

Healthcare is a data-intensive industry where both privacy and access of information are equally important, so it’s no surprise some of the biggest blockchain startups are in this space. BurstIQ is trying to consolidate users’ health data into a secure ‘data wallet’ that they can have better control over.

Identity management is one of the key strengths of the blockchain architecture, and BurstIQ recently announced a partnership with Shyft, a blockchain-based identity verification company. The goal is to allow governments, healthcare institutions, and patients to securely manage, share and access healthcare information while maintaining full HIPAA compliance.

Look Closer At Othe Anticipated Blockchain Startups HERE

7

Healthcare can be a complex and convoluted industry. The systems put in place for our health are outdated in terms of security, efficiency, and cost.

Blockchain healthcare use cases are being discovered by the day, and with them the entire healthcare system can be completely overhauled. Many healthcare and blockchain companies are currently working on or have already released blockchain-based systems to improve healthcare for both professionals and patients. By decentralizing patient health history, tracking pharmaceuticals, and improving payment options, blockchain is becoming a valuable tool for healthcare, revolutionizing the industry worldwide.

MedRec Improving Medical Record Access

Entities involved:  MIT Media Lab, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Project status:  MedRec 2.0 is currently being tested on databases. Its code is open-source and currently hosted at the Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Its developers are currently hoping to further build the program and then deploy it on a network.
Sources: MedRec site

One of the most popular healthcare use cases for blockchain is patient data management. Medical records tend to be separated by health agencies, making it impossible to determine a patient’s medical history without consulting their previous care provider. This process can take a significant amount of time, and may often result in mistakes due to human error.

Developed on the Ethereum blockchain, MedRec is a “system that prioritizes patient agency, giving a transparent and accessible view of medical history.” MedRec is intended to store all of a patient’s information in one place, making it simpler for patients and doctors to view. In its current design, providers maintain the blockchain through the Proof of Authority (PoA) mechanism.

SimplyVital Health Cutting Costs by ConnectingCare

Entities involved: SimplyVital Health
Project status:  ConnectingCare is currently available for use through the SimplyVital Health website. SimplyVital Health has launched an ICO as the first of its four road map phases till Health Nexus’ eventual release, which is expected in 2019.
Sources:SimplyVital Health site

SimplyVital Health has two projects running on the blockchain technology. ConnectingCare, according to CTO of SimplyVital Health Lucas Hendren, “uses care coordination and financial forecasting to help providers in bundled payments get insight into what happens to patients when they leave the hospital.” It is currently on the market, helping healthcare providers determine how much a patient’s care will cost them when bundled with multiple organizations.

Upon the release of ConnectingCare, SimplyVital Health was able to collect data on the blockchain and determine what was needed for their next project, Health Nexus. Health Nexus stores a patient’s information on a blockchain for all the parties to view. It also will possibly allow patients to sell their data to researchers for profit.

Taipei Medical University Improving Medical Record Keeping

Entities involvedTaipei Medical University, Digital Treasury Corporation
Project status:CargoX has released its platform to the public, and now the company plans to expand the project to function with Letters of Credit.
Sources: phrOS site

The Taipei Medical University Hospital and Digital Treasury Corporation (DTCO) have recently released phrOS. It aims to increase transparency between medical institutions by putting all of a patient’s medical information on a blockchain.

It includes images, as well as various information concerning a patient’s condition. The information can be accessed by doctors and the patients themselves through a mobile app. It also increases the security of medical information through the Decentralized Ledger Technology (DLT).

Get More Useful Information HERE

8
The idea of cryptocurrency is enough to scare any government around the globe. Unlike fiat currency, cryptocurrency has no backing, it is decentralized, and the overall technology behind it requires a significant amount of research in order to understand completely. Not to mention many banks see it as a threat to the traditional financial industry.

In Bangladesh, bitcoin users can face up to 12 years of jail time, China has not only banned the use of cryptocurrencies, but even news organizations reporting on cryptocurrencies have now been targeted. However, despite a few countries’ disdain for virtual currencies and crypto markets, many others have begun embracing them.

Cryptocurrencies don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Countries like Malta and Belarus have realized this, and instead of prohibiting the use of cryprocurrency, have identified the importance of it for future economies.

Malta
https://youtu.be/UNLbkyyxJ4o]
Click a pic to watch

Malta is the place to be when using cryptocurrencies. The country has embraced cryptocurrencies along with the blockchain, the technology behind them. Facing heavy regulations in Hong Kong, Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, moved its offices to Malta, where the country tries to work with cryptocurrency institutions rather than implement harsh regulations to snuff them out.

Unlike banks abroad, the Maltese banking industry intends to work with cryptocurrencies rather than against them. Malta banks realize that cryptocurrencies are here to stay. The adoption of a Utility Settlement Coin (USC), a cryptocurrency being developed by major banks worldwide, would further enhance Malta’s image as a friendly hub for cryptocurrency users, however, the adoption of a USC in the region remains unclear.

United States
https://youtu.be/41sWJOJ35d4]
Click to watch

The U.S. has embraced the use of cryptocurrencies but has identified the need for regulation. Is it illegal to buy bitcoin in the U.S.? No, and it never has been. Is cryptocurrency legal? Yes. Moreover, it is now even being accepted in various states throughout the U.S. on a governmental level, such as in Ohio, which has become the first state to allow taxes to be paid in bitcoin.

Nonetheless, the amount of fraud, theft, and scams that have occurred in the cryptocurrency community within the past few years has led financial watchdogs, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to implement various regulations. Two bipartisan bills have recently been put forward in the U.S., which will protect cryptocurrency investors while stimulating cryptocurrency market growth.

Read About Other TOP-5 Best Places For Cryptocurrency Users HERE

9
Beyond Bitcoin [closed] / Blockchain in Logistics: 10 Real-Life Use Cases
« on: January 31, 2019, 06:36:27 pm »

Blockchain has become a valuable tool for a multitude of industries. Additionally, it is becoming an integral part of the supply chain. Its ability to streamline inventory management and track the shipment of goods has the potential to update traditional business practices in a dramatic fashion.

But what about blockchain logistics use cases? As shown by several companies and government organizations below, blockchain is making quite an impact on business logistics worldwide.

1. U.S. Defense Logistics Agency Increasing Relief Efficiency

Entities involved:  U.S. Defense Logistics Agency
Project status:  Research on the potential blockchain uses in future relief efforts is in progress
Sources: DLA press release

The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), in charge of the supply chain for all branches of the American military, recently held an event focusing on how blockchain can be used to improve collaborative efforts within the DLA.

Using Hurricane Maria as a case study, the DLA in conjunction with its Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) team, identified various areas in which blockchain could have improved relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Current DLA practices are managed by different agencies, making it difficult to coordinate responsibilities, as well as track resources and, as a result, 20,000 pallets of water were wasted in the Hurricane Maria relief process. Although blockchain is only being discussed, its eventual implementation into the DLA’s systems has the potential ability to save many lives, and decrease the time needed to provide relief services to regions affected by a natural disaster.

DHL and Accenture Applying Blockchain for Pharmaceuticals

Entities involved: DHL, Accenture
Project status: DHL and Accenture have developed a working prototype of the blockchain, meaning there are only a few more steps before it is ready to be properly implemented into their systems.
Sources:Accenture press release, Blockchain in Logistics Reporte

As many as one million lives are lost each year due to counterfeit medications. Global postal provider DHL along with the major technology consulting company Accenture hope to decrease that number with blockchain.

The tandem released a trend report, detailing findings on a working prototype that tracks pharmaceuticals from the point of origin to the consumer, preventing tampering and errors. CIO at Chief Development Office, DHL Supply Chain, Keith Turner described his enthusiasm for the prototype saying,

“By utilising the inherent irrefutability within blockchain technologies, we can make great strides in highlighting tampering, reducing the risk of counterfeits and actually saving lives.”

The prototype was made up based in six different locations used to track pharmaceuticals across the chain. Manufacturers, warehouses, distributors, pharmacies, hospitals and doctors would all have access to the chain, ensuring the legitimacy of medications and preventing tampering through each step. The blockchain was able to handle more than 7 billion unique serial numbers and perform 1,500 transactions per second, signifying the prototype would be able to trace a significant amount of medications in a small amount of time.

3. CargoX for More Efficient Bill of Lading

Entities involvedCargoX
Project status:CargoX has released its platform to the public, and now the company plans to expand the project to function with Letters of Credit.
Sources: CargoX press release

Bill of lading is a form of receipt detailing a list of a shipment of goods given by a carrier to the person or entity consigning the goods. Paper bills of lading can take up to ten days to process, while CargoX was able to cut that time down to four minutes with the use of blockchain and smart contracts.

CargoX ran a pilot project on the Ethereum blockchain shared between four parties: the Chinese exporter, the carrier/logistics provider, the consignee in Slovenia, and a release agent. CEO of CargoX, Stefan Kukman, praised the project saying,

“In our business, the standard is 2-10 days, so if we do it in four minutes, or even an hour, we’re doing great.”

Get More Useful Info HERE

10

Blockchain is a relatively new technology, yet already its uses continue to pile up, introducing more and more world-changing solutions. Additionally to many other real-life use cases, blockchain has been particularly valuable in supply chain management.

Below are ten blockchain supply chain use cases that are increasing revenue and cutting costs for businesses around the globe.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and IBM Streamline Oil

Companies: ADNOC and IBM
Project status: pilot program just completed; the blockchain is still in its early stages.
Sources: ADNOC, IBM, ADNOC press release

United Arab Emirate’s state-owned oil company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in collaboration with IBM successfully launched a blockchain supply chain system pilot program. The idea is to track oil from well to customers, while simultaneously automating transactions along the way.

While still in its early stages, ADNOC hopes to eventually expand the chain to include customers and investors, making its business more transparent in the process. ADNOC produces about 3 million barrels of oil a day, and by fully implementing blockchain technology, they will be able to keep track of all oil produced, reducing the time and costs associated with shipping.


De Beers Diamond Tracking

Companies: De Beers
Project status: After completing a successful pilot, De Beers is currently working with other diamond producers, retailers, and banks to develop the best governance setup for the platform.
Sources:Tracr, De Beers press release

Blood diamonds, or conflict diamonds, are those that have been mined under violent circumstances or in unsuitable conditions. They are heavily produced in Africa, and their sales are often used to fund various conflicts in the region. The world’s largest diamond producer, De Beers, has taken the steps to end the sale of blood diamonds by announcing its first successful blockchain supply chain program.

Through its program, Tracr, De Beers was able to track 100 diamonds from mine to cutter and polisher, then finally to jeweler. Photos of a diamond’s progress can be uploaded to the blockchain, as well as information concerning its color, quality, and location. Tracr not only gives customers peace of mind, but if applied to all diamonds, could stop the production of blood diamonds altogether.

Walmart, JD.com, Tsinghua University, and IBM’s Food Safety Alliance

Companies:Walmart, JD.com, IBM, Tsinghua University
Project status:A pilot program was completed in 2017, and Walmart announced that it will require suppliers of its romaine and other leafy greens to upload their data to the blockchain by September 2019.
Sources: Walmart video presentation, IBM press release, Tsinghua University, JD.com, Forbes

It seems like there is a new E.coli outbreak every year. As it takes time to locate the origin of an outbreak, many retailers are often forced to throw out their entire inventories of produce. These four entities hope to increase food transparency and shipment efficiency with blockchain technology. The efforts are divided into two sections: Walmart and JD.com handle production and shipment of produce, while IBM and Tsinghua University handle the research and maintaining the blockchain. Unilever, Kroger, Nestle, and Tyson Foods all plan to collaborate as the project advances, with more food corporations to join along the way.

Get More Useful Info HERE

11

There are lots of blogs out there, but very few of them are real industry experts and creators. To help you get straight to the source and hear right from the industry insiders that do know what’s going on, we’ve compiled a list of the top blockchain bloggers we think you should follow. Make these blogs part of your everyday reading to stay up on industry trends and be ready to act before the crowd, not after.

Antony Lewis


Creator of the popular online resource, ‘Bits on Blocks,’ Antony has been one of Asia’s top 100 Fintech influencers for two years in a row. Having worked first in traditional finance, he helped launch iBit (now Paxos) and dedicated his career to researching and developing blockchain.

Not only does his blog, established in 2015, have current features and industry analysis, but it shares Antony’s opinions in a thoughtful and meaningful way. Instead of talking in buzzwords, he focuses on what these new technologies mean for everyday life. There are also a great many resources for learning the basis available if you’re new to the market.


Robby Schwertner


This Austrian industry expert is a wealth of information, especially on his LinkedIn feed where he posts updates and industry news regularly. He also maintains his own blog where you can read opinion pieces and interviews.

Also an active speaker on the topic, Robby is often travelling to conferences to give talks on the subject. He is an ICO advisor and moderator/organizer of workshops to develop new ideas and applications for blockchain technology. His excitement for new technology is contagious, showing through in what he writes and speaks.


Vitalik Buterin
[img=https://i.imgur.com/EuvO6zV.png][/img]

Truly one of the giants in the industry, Vitalik is a co-founder of one of the industry-leading companies, Ethereum, and despite his professional involvement, still finds time to share ideas on the future of the market.

With many blockchain solutions built on the Ethereum platform, and with his advocacy for the future of ‘smart contracts,’ Buterin is a true innovator and pioneer. While he may not have as many posts, or post as regularly as other bloggers, his incredible experience and insight make this a must-read for anyone in the industry.


Want to know more? Get it HERE

12
Beyond Bitcoin [closed] / Short-term trading vs long-term crypto trading
« on: January 23, 2019, 06:26:45 pm »

In the fast-moving world of cryptocurrency, savvier investors come prepared with a strategy tailored to their specific goals to take advantage of market volatility.

Factors to consider before diving headlong into the crypto pool include identifying:

* which currencies fit one’s trading profile
* how investments will be funded, and
*how much groundwork will be put to better anticipate market swings

Long-term trading, for instance, deals in speculation that a cryptocurrency will grow in value over a longer period of time. It’s ideal for a lay trader or those wishing to take a more passive role in their long-term investment, banking on currencies which appear most promising.

For those with shorter trajectories, riskier speculation could pay dividends as investors play on the violent ebbs and flows of the market to earn big on more immediate returns—or just as quickly lose.

Whichever strategy hopeful investors employ, it’s essential to understand what role cryptocurrencies will command in one’s portfolio. Study up on market indicators to inform predictions, but foremost, be prepared to make amendments to the plan midstream to minimize losses and capitalize on opportunities. Check out our tips on how to become a crypto trading guru, and also how to choose which cryptocurrency to invest in!

13
Still Don’t Understand Blockchain?


Blockchain, the technology powering cryptocurrency and a multitude of companies worldwide, is now finding significant uses across various industries. Given that it is expected to revolutionize the way the world does business, it is complex and often difficult to understand. Instead of searching the Internet for the best explanation of blockchain, you can look up the following resources that give some insight into what blockchain is and how it functions.


Blockchain: Simply Explained
Produced by: Simply Explained

Type: Video


This video provided by Simply Explained gives a brief explanation of the history of blockchain, and describes its various components. It discusses the elements of a distributed ledger and the democratic process involved for the transparency, security and privacy of blockchain transactions.

Click the pick to watch



Blockchain in 100 Words
Produced by: Deloitte

Type: Article


In this article, Deloitte attempts to explain blockchain in under 100 words. It uses the analogy of sending a shared file between two government accountants in order to explain the basics of a distributed ledger. The article continues after 100 words to give readers a deeper understanding of blockchain as a whole.

Click to Read



Digital Data Gone Rogue
Produced by: Wired

Type: Video


Wired gives a brief breakdown of how blockchain’s security features function by explaining the concept of a distributed ledger. It also covers how blockchain is being used by financial, medical, and food businesses, and its potential uses in the future.

Click to watch




Get More Useful Resources HERE

14
As if cryptocurrencies weren’t complicated enough for new investors, now Ethereum has a hard fork coming up on January 16.

A fork is essentially an update or change to a cryptocurrency blockchain protocol. There are two main types: a soft fork and a hard fork. Soft forks are backward-compatible, meaning that nodes on a network can still recognize newly coded blocks implemented by the soft fork.

A hard fork, on the other hand, isn’t backward-compatible. Newly created blocks cannot be recognized by the network’s nodes, which means that at times a new network needs to be created to cater to new blocks using an updated protocol. A prime example of a hard fork is the creation of Bitcoin Cash in the wake of the bitcoin hard fork in 2017.

So will Constantinople introduce a new cryptocurrency?


The Constantinople hard fork differs from bitcoin’s in that it is non-contentious, meaning it is being embraced by a majority of the Ethereum community. Bitcoin’s hard fork in 2017 was contentious, meaning there were major disagreements in the cryptocurrency’s community. For instance, many believed bitcoin’s network was no longer sustainable, and therefore a new network was needed, causing the development of Bitcoin Cash.

The Constantinople hard fork is expected to take place on January 16 at a block height of 7,080,000, and most in the community seem prepared for the change. Major exchanges and trading platforms have expressed their support for the fork, and have prepared all the technical requirements needed to adapt to the update. The main goal of Constantinople is to ease the future transition of Ethereum from the Proof-of-Work (PoW) mechanism to Proof-of-Stake (PoS), while cutting costs and increasing efficiency of the network.

Constantinople’s market effect


The arrival of Constantinople has had a positive effect on Ethereum (ETH) value. In mid-December, ETH was trading around $80, an all-time low for the cryptocurrency. With Constantinople’s approach, that value nearly doubled in less than a month, reaching $160 on January 4 and reclaiming the number two spot in value rankings, as shown by CoinMarketCap.

As of this writing, however, its value has dropped to about $118, returning to the third rank in value, as Ripple has reclaimed the number two spot again. The drop isn’t associated with Constantinople but with the drop of the cryptocurrency market as a whole. Ethereum isn’t far behind and will most likely reclaim the number two spot as we get closer to Constantinople.

Read More About 5 Ethereum Improvement Proposals & More HERE

15
If you have ever told someone you are a crypto investor, they have probably responded with such questions as “Isn’t that what criminals use to buy drugs?” or perhaps “Aren’t cryptocurrencies kind of pointless?” You may have responded by rolling your eyes or simply denied their claims, as these are the usual reactions from people who have yet to understand the actual uses of cryptocurrency.

These are just a few myths associated with cryptocurrencies that crypto investors constantly face. If ever given the chance, feel free to use the following list of proper responses.

Myth 1. Cryptocurrency is only used by scammers and criminals


Out of every myth on this list, this one is by far the most ridiculous. Unfortunately, one of the earliest forms in which cryptocurrencies were displayed to the public was through news reports of its illicit uses on the dark web. Due to a few people using cryptocurrencies to purchase illegal items, it was deemed by many as a currency for criminals.

Consider this — is Gwyneth Paltrow a criminal? What about the Winklevoss twins? No? Well, they are just a few of the law-abiding crypto investors utilizing cryptocurrencies every day.

Cryptocurrency, like any new offering or technology, is a double-edged sword. While cryptocurrencies have provided many positive uses to society, they can also be used negatively — however, that doesn’t necessarily mean this is what they were designed for. Same as if someone uses dollars to purchase illegal goods, that doesn’t mean a dollar itself is illegal.

Myth 2. There are no ‘real-world’ uses

Another common myth that someone even brought up to me today. In response, I described the current situation in Venezuela. The country is suffering from hyperinflation causing its national currency, the bolivar, to drop in value by almost 95%. To purchase a simple meal, Venezuelans literally need to pay with stacks of cash, this is why the cryptocurrencies are being widely adopted throughout the country. Their low fees and instant transactions make them much more useful than Venezuela’s national currency. In this case, their ‘real-world’ use is so real that cryptocurrencies are literally feeding the country plagued by hyperinflation due to the negligence of the government and central banks.

Besides providing an alternative and stable currency to an entire nation, cryptocurrencies can be used to purchase various products and used as an investment tool as well.


Read About Rest 3 Myths HERE

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