Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘blockchain’ Category

China Construction Bank (Asia) and IBM Developing Bancassurance Powered by Blockchain

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China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited and IBM today announced the development of the first blockchain-enabled bancassurance project in Hong Kong. Built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, the solution is designed to streamline CCB (Asia)’s bancassurance process and greatly enhance customer experience and the quality of services delivered through faster transaction processing time and increased transparency.

Bancassurance is an arrangement whereby a bank and an insurance company form a distribution partnership in which the sales associates of the bank can sell the insurance company’s products to the bank’s client base and through the bank’s channels. The arrangement can be hindered by delays in data transmission or incomplete information.

By working with IBM, CCB (Asia) and all parties on the blockchain now have a shared view of required policy data in real-time, reducing the need for time-consuming status checks which can delay processing time.

This is accomplished through a shared, immutable ledger used for recording transactions. It helps establish accountability and transparency among network participants, enabling CCB (Asia) and its partner insurers to deliver the services more efficiently.

The solution is now under testing with insurance providers and their clients and is expected to be available in the third quarter of this year.

The IBM Blockchain Platform which underpins the project is the first enterprise-ready blockchain service based on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0. Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.

Written by turbotodd

September 21, 2017 at 11:52 am

Posted in 2017, banking, blockchain, china, ibm

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IBM Leads the Blockchain

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Happy Monday.

First things first. If you’re a University of Texas football fan, my condolences on Saturday night. That was an epic football game between the ‘Horns and USC, and the last minute comeback by Texas during regulation deserved its own Emmy award for high drama. Then, to go into Double OT…well, let’s hope it’s a harbinger of continued great play.

As for the Monday morning tech world news, there’s certainly plenty to go around.

CNBC reported earlier that, according to Juniper Research, IBM far outranks Microsoft as the blockchain industry leader. The report wrote that "More than 40 percent of tech executives and leaders in the blockchain sector ranked IBM as top, with only 20 percent saying the same of Microsoft."

You can go here to learn more about IBM’s blockchain initiatives.

If you’re keeping track of the tech VC race, Slack just got a huge infusion of $250 million (largely from Softbank’s Vision Fund), valuing the firm at $5.1B.

SiliconANGLE on the infusion: "…Slack said it will use the latest funding to improve its ‘operational flexibility,’ a statement that is vague at best. The company also said it still has much of the $591 million it previously raised in the bank, which should at least give it lots of room for maneuvering in the months and years to come."

SA goes on to explain Slack may need the wiggle room, considering Microsoft has entered into the messaging space with its new Teams application.

In China, autonomous driving startup JingChi has raised a $30M angel round and is raising a $100M Series A. The company’s founder is Wang Jing, former head of Baidu Inc’s Autonomous Driving Unit, and will be HQed in Silicon Valley.

According to China Money Network, it completed a test drive in California in June, and is the 34th company to obtain a license to test autonomous vehicles on public roads there.

So next time you’re driving down the 101 and you see one car after another with nobody driving, you’ll know why.

Written by turbotodd

September 18, 2017 at 11:08 am

No Yuan

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First China banned initial coin offerings.

Now Chinese authorities plan to shut down domestic bitcoin exchanges, writes The Wall Street Journal, which it claims will deliver “a final blow to a once-thriving industry of commercial trading for virtual currencies.”

Apparently regulators have been investigating bitcoin and other virtual currencies since the beginning of the year, but when it became evident that Chinese investors used bitcoin as a short against the promise of a falling yuan…well, you do the math.

Bloomberg reports separately that China is home to nearly a quarter of the the world’s bitcoin trades, but that this move by the Chinese authorities will “definitely slow the development of cryptocurrencies in China.”

The move can be viewed in the larger context of a broad clampdown on financial risk as we draw closer to next month’s 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Bitcoin users will still be able to trade cryptocurrencies in China without exchanges after this move, but the process is likely to be slower and come with increased credit report, says Bloomberg.

Written by turbotodd

September 11, 2017 at 9:09 am

Posted in 2017, bitcoin, blockchain, china, crytocurrency

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IBM Introduces Blockchain Platform, New Academic and Developer Initiatives to Advance Blockchain Skills

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A group of leading companies across the global food supply chain today announced a major blockchain collaboration with IBM intended to further strengthen consumer confidence in the global food system. The consortium includes Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Walmart, who will work with IBM to identify new areas where the global supply chain can benefit from blockchain.

Every year, one-in-ten people fall ill – and 400,000 die – due to contaminated food. Many of the critical issues impacting food safety such as cross-contamination, the spread of food-borne illness, unnecessary waste and the economic burden of recalls are magnified by lack of access to information and traceability.

It can take weeks to identify the precise point of contamination, causing further illness, lost revenue and wasted product. For example, it took more than two months to identify the farm source of contamination in a recent incidence of salmonella in papayas.

Blockchain is ideally suited to help address these challenges because it establishes a trusted environment for all transactions. In the case of the global food supply chain, all participants — growers, suppliers, processors, distributors, retailers, regulators and consumers — can gain permissioned access to known and trusted information regarding the origin and state of food for their transactions.

This can enable food providers and other members of the ecosystem to use a blockchain network to trace contaminated product to its source in a short amount of time to ensure safe removal from store shelves and stem the spread of illnesses.

Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever, Walmart and others are now coming together with IBM to further champion blockchain as an enabling technology for the food sector.

New IBM Blockchain Platform

Beyond food supply chain applications, blockchains are now being used to transform processes and streamline transactions for everything from flowers, real estate and trade finance, to education, insurance and medical services.

To accelerate this adoption, IBM is introducing the first fully integrated, enterprise-grade production blockchain platform, as well as consulting services, that will allow more organizations to quickly activate their own business networks and access the vital capabilities needed to successfully develop, operate, govern and secure these networks. The IBM Blockchain Platform is available via the IBM Cloud.

The platform builds off of the successful blockchain work IBM has delivered to more than 400 organizations, incorporating insights gained as IBM has built blockchain networks across industries including financial services, supply chain and logistics, retail, government and health care.

Extensively tested and piloted, the platform addresses a wide range of enterprise pain points, including both business and technical requirements around security, performance, collaboration and privacy that no other blockchain platform delivers today. It includes innovation developed through open source collaboration in the Hyperledger community, including the newest Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 framework and Hyperledger Composer blockchain tool, both hosted by the Linux Foundation.

The integrated platform allows multiple parties to jointly develop, govern, operate and secure blockchain networks to help enterprises accelerate blockchain adoption.

For developers, easy and flexible network tools designed to bring blockchain networks up to speed in minutes. The platform also includes the first commercial introduction of Hyperledger Composer a framework that helps developers focus on the business use case and more easily and quickly map it to the application code.

Developers can create standard business language in JavaScript and the APIs help keep development work at the business level, rather than being highly technical, making it possible for most any programmer to be a blockchain developer. Additionally, a variety of IBM Developer Journeys for blockchain are available featuring free open source code, documentation, APIs, architecture diagrams and one-click deployment Git repositories to fast-track building.

In addition to food safety, IBM is advancing other blockchain supply chain initiatives using the IBM Blockchain Platform for an automated billing and invoicing system. Initial work to use blockchain for invoicing is underway starting with Lenovo. This will provide an audit-ready solution with full traceability of billing and operational data, and help speed on-boarding time for new vendors and new contract requirements.

To complement the new platform, IBM Global Business Services offers Blockchain Services, which brings deep industry expertise from its 1,600 blockchain consultants who have helped clients deploy and integrate active networks. These consultants can apply design thinking to help enterprises conceptualize and implement blockchain enabled business models to realize optimal value.

For example, during recent blockchain projects with major shipping and retail organizations, IBM consultants have been able to improve food safety traceability by 99.9 percent and decrease trade document workflow by 97percent, potentially unlocking millions of dollars in cost savings and market capital.

Expanding the Blockchain Ecosystem Across Academia and the Start Up Community

To help meet the increasing demand for a skilled technical workforce trained in blockchain, IBM is making available a wide range of resources including software, training and professional partnerships free of charge to more than 1,000 universities in the IBM Academic Initiative. Offerings include six months of access to the IBM Cloud for use of the IBM Blockchain cloud sandbox to help students hone development skills.

IBM is also working with select universities including Baruch College/CUNY, Fordham University, University of Arkansas, University at Buffalo and University of British Columbia to fund research grants, develop customized curricula and host workshops and hackathons. For technologists who want more in-depth guidance, IBM has refreshed its blockchain training and educational materials on developerWorks for Hyperledger Fabric 1.0.

As interest in Hyperledger Fabric continues to grow, IBM is also working with other companies such as Boldstart Ventures, to provide support and resources that broaden access. Boldstart Ventures has launched Fabric Foundry, the first accelerator dedicated to this framework, to foster adoption.

Written by turbotodd

August 22, 2017 at 8:41 am

Posted in blockchain, developers, food safety, ibm

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Sony and Sony Global Education Develop a New System on IBM Blockchain to Manage Students’ Learning Data

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IBM Japan today announced that Sony Corporation and Sony Global Education, a subsidiary of Sony that works to provide global educational services, have developed a new blockchain-based student education records platform.

With the solution, school administrators can consolidate and manage students’ educational data from several schools, as well as record and refer their learning history and digital academic transcripts with more certainty. The new platform, developed using IBM Blockchain, uses blockchain technology running on the IBM Cloud to track students’ learning progress, as well as establish transparency and accountability of scholastic achievements between students and schools.

The new system can record student data, sharing it with the network of need-to-know parties including school administrators and prospective employers. Using IBM Blockchain, student educational data on the platform is verified.

Educational institutions such as schools, colleges, and universities can use it to share data to help teachers more easily determine and implement unique teaching methods for each student, as well as help vendors target offerings based on verified needs. In addition, the platform can help manage a variety of student services offered by different parties and consolidate them in a single repository of information. It also enables parties to reliably share digital transcripts with one another.

Blockchain technology can help bring transparency and help build trust to transactions. It enables users to create networks that are permissioned and immutable; meaning they cannot be changed or altered by any one party. When a transaction takes place on the blockchain, all members of the network can see it, therefore operating from a common truth.

“Blockchain technology has the potential to impact systems in a wide variety of industries, and the educational sphere is no exception when educational data is securely stored on the blockchain and shared among permissioned users. We are pleased that we have worked together with IBM to build a new system which can help effect real change in the education sector,” said Masaaki Isozu, President of Sony Global Education.

The platform is built on IBM Blockchain, which is delivered via the IBM Cloud and powered by Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, a blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation.

Sony Global Education is working with various educational institutions with the intent to launch the blockchain-based service in 2018. Beyond the education sector, blockchain can be used in a wide range of fields, including supply chain and logistics. As Sony Group, which owns a variety of business domains, continues to evaluate and develop the system, it is considering how to apply blockchain to additional products and services.

IBM is the leader in open-source blockchain solutions built for the enterprise. As an early member of Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, IBM is dedicated to supporting the development of openly-governed blockchains. IBM has worked with more than 400 clients across financial services, supply chains, IoT, risk management, digital rights management and healthcare to implement blockchain applications. For more information about IBM Blockchain, visit www.ibm.com/blockchain.

Todd "Turbo" Watson
Twitter:@turbotodd
Blog: www.turbotodd.com
Email: toddhttp://about.me/toddwatson

Written by turbotodd

August 9, 2017 at 11:31 am

London Stock Exchange Group Collaborating with IBM on Blockchain Solution

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Borsa Italiana, part of London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) and IBM today announced they are building a blockchain solution to digitize the issuance of securities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Europe.

Designed to simplify the tracking and management of shareholding information, the new system intends to create a distributed shared registry containing a record of all shareholder transactions, helping to open up new opportunities for trading and investing. 

“Through our work with IBM on this blockchain solution, Borsa Italiana is taking the lead in transforming the way European SMEs can manage their shareholder data and at the same time expand credit access – all on a trusted digital platform,” said Raffaele Jerusalmi, CEO, Borsa Italiana.

The blockchain solution for unlisted SMEs in Europe is designed to replace the paper trading certificates that are commonly issued to private companies today.

With a more digitized, streamlined and transparent process enabled by the blockchain solution, various parties – including issuers, regulators and investors – will have increased insight into company information.

Traditionally, private SMEs lack access to public stock exchange networks or formalized credit structures. With this solution, SMEs in Europe can better access credit and link into a broader and more mature investor ecosystem, enabling them to set up new trading networks and obtain funding by sharing financial data in a security-rich and transparent public arena.

By implementing the blockchain solution, Borsa Italiana is taking the lead in transforming how private companies can exchange and bring transparency around shareholder data and expand credit access.

Built on Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0, a blockchain framework and and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation, the system is designed to help ensure that highly sensitive securities data can be shared amongst permissioned network participants while remaining secure and gated.

This blockchain solution, developed in collaboration with IBM, is built on highly secure infrastructure technology that provides the highest levels of encryption commercially available. The solution is also built to achieve interoperability with LSEG’s existing systems, promoting efficiency and business continuity.

You can learn more about IBM Blockchain solutions here.

Written by turbotodd

July 19, 2017 at 10:15 am

IBM Completes Successful Blockchain Trial for Bank Guarantees

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ANZ and Westpac have teamed with IBM and shopping center operator Scentre Group and have now successfully digitized the bank guarantee process used for commercial property leasing.

The trial used Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to eliminate the need for current paper-based bank guarantee documents, resulting in a single source of information with reduced potential for fraud and increased efficiency.

DLT powered by Hyperledger Fabric V1.0 is a blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation. DLT is part of what underpins a blockchain.

In addition to eliminating the need for physical document management, the trial also addressed other inefficiencies in the current bank guarantee process, including the challenges in tracking and reporting of a guarantee’s status through multiple changes.

This forms part of a broader plan to build a shared solution with the rest of the industry, and to invite other organizations to participate in a larger pilot.

Commenting on the successful trial, Mark Bloom, Chief Financial Officer at Scentre Group, said: “An update of the decades-old process for issuing, tracking and claiming on guarantees is long overdue. 

“With approximately 11,500 retailers across Australia and New Zealand, who use guarantees to support rental obligations, manual tracking of guarantees has been an extremely cumbersome and labour intensive process.”

The companies involved in the trial have released a whitepaper detailing how the solution worked and how it could be used in other situations that rely on bank guarantees. You can download it here.

Written by turbotodd

July 11, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Posted in 2017, banking, blockchain

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