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CEOs Say Amazon and Walmart Sparked Blockchain Revolution

CEOs are posing the question whether major companies such as retail giants Amazon and Walmart, and tech multinational Microsoft adopting blockchain technology will create a “blockchain revolution”, writes Hedge Co.net.

All of these companies have announced recent blockchain projects this year. Walmart published plans to use the technology in partnership with the IBM Corporation and Microsoft recently announced its Azure Blockchain Workbench, aiming to provide developers with tools to implement the ready-to-use infrastructure for blockchain application solutions, according to TruthMedia.

Amazon with its Amazon Web Services (AWS) blockchain templates, will now implement a system similar to Microsoft’s which claims “provide a fast and easy way to create and deploy secure blockchain networks using open source frameworks”.

Walmart’s vice president of food safety and health, Frank Yiannas, says that its new blockchain system reduces food tracking time from six days to two seconds, reducing contamination and food wastage.

According to Luis Manuel Lopez, the general coordinator at Workchain Centers, blockchain initiatives by Walmart and Amazon will have a positive impact on the retail industry.

He says, “Having started in a pure and theoretical technological world, blockchain has come second place in applications that make our life more comfortable, including assembly lines, traceability of objects… we are facing the beginning of a revolution that will change our way of doing business, buying food, curing our illnesses. And this will come sooner or later because it takes time, but it will come, sure.”

Vadim Kurochkin, CEO of Soundeon, sees the moves of multinationals unsurprising as the technology is brought to the mainstream, suggesting that research and development projects will reap the benefits due to increased activity in crypto space.

“As this technology is brought to mass-market, we foresee a robust merger and acquisition activity within the sector. Hence, early crypto-investors in successful, research and development driven projects will reap the benefits.”

Juan Imaz, founder, and CEO of Profede, also sees the potential of such companies influencing others to move towards updating its systems with the new technology:

“The cryptocurrency industry is likely to see a revolution in the near future across different industries, with the addition of giants adding, evaluating and planning to use blockchain which will change how the world works.”

 

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Intel and Filament Push for a Blockchain IoT Future

Enterprise blockchain developer Filament, which receives significant Intel investment, has released an Internet of Things(IoT)-optimized, USB Blocklet chip.

Filament chief executive Clift-Jennings explained, “Many products, not all, have the ability to connect to USB. These are for manufacturing lines – we have a version of a USB product that plugs into the onboard diagnostics port in vehicles. It’s very much trying to drive toward machines being transactive in nature.”

Blockchain can be used to increase transparency between designers, service providers, and end users, making license management safer, providing production-quality data and becoming resilient against counterfeiting via secure design storage.

Counterfeiting and product integrity

According to BusinessWire, the global total of counterfeited goods has increased to USD 1.2 trillion. Counterfeiting of clothing and textiles primarily affects profits, whereas fraudulent components for machinery, cosmetics, and consumables can have a more detrimental effect by risking health and safety. It is believed that up to 10% of aircraft parts are counterfeit. The outsourcing of services causes difficulty in tracking the source and quality of components, as well as where maintenance is carried out.

The global distribution of manufactured components, must take steps to guarantee the security of plans, and provide data that is tamper-proof and in line with regulations and production standards. This must be achieved while preventing the misuse of plans to manufacture counterfeit goods.

Blockchain IoT shaping the future

Data drives innovation so the ability to share or sell manufacturing data on a ledger could fast track other businesses. Autonomous cars are going to rely heavily on driver data to increase safety in their transition to level 5 (the highest level of autonomy). Having existing hardware produced by IBM or Filament with a variety of companies from Microsoft to Amazon offering blockchain API frameworks, this could quickly accelerate blockchain proof of concept in the industry and change how data is shared an analyzed.

Big companies such as Mastercard are already looking at the applications for blockchain to track goods, providing consumers with product integrity. This could then extend right through to the manufacturing level with the use IoT-optimized hardware.

Intel’s investment in Filament is part of their blockchain initiative for large-scale industrial IoT deployments. The vice president and general manager of Intel, Doug Fisher said, “At Intel, we believe the future of IoT will be enabled by smart, connected, secure edge-devices that drive a data-based economy.”

 

Image source: Saginaw Future Inc. – CIGNYS Corporation has three advanced manufacturing facilities in Saginaw County.
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Amazon Launches Collaboration with Consensys: An Easy Blockchain Deployment Service for Enterprises

One of the world’s most innovative e-commerce companies, Amazon.com, is venturing further into the realm of blockchain after announcing a new startup partnership called Kaleido.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the cloud computing subsidiary of the online retailer; for a subscription fee it provides individuals, companies, and governments with a cloud computing platform. The service offers a myriad of solutions and is making blockchain part of the service.

Recently, Bitcoin News reported that Amazon had begun taking on blockchain proposals from partners on AWS. In April, it had also launched ‘out-of-the-box’ blockchain templates for Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric via the platform.

Boosting enterprises into blockchain

The announcement was made at the 4th annual blockchain technology summit in New York called Consensus 2018. Now, in a new collaboration with leading blockchain incubator company Consensys, the startup called Kaleido will provide a new Blockchain Business Cloud, which is designed to speed up and simplify the blockchain integration and operation process for any enterprise.

In a press release, Kaleido founder Steve Cerveny said:

“If blockchain doesn’t become dramatically easier to use, then companies will have to walk back their investments and our society will be far too slow in realizing blockchain’s significant promise. We designed the Kaleido platform from scratch with new user experiences and tools to radically simplify the entire enterprise journey.”

He added, “They can focus on their scenario and they don’t have to become PhDs is cryptography, we give them a simple platform to build their company on blockchain.”

The company is aiming to provide AWS customers with an “easy button” to access the underlying technology that supports Bitcoin; it is also the first blockchain based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution on the AWS marketplace.

Ethereum co-founder and founder of Consensys, Joseph Lubin said, “We are now entering a new era of simple and inclusive access to blockchain technology that cuts through the hype to advance stronger, more collaborative, business relationships previously out of reach.”

Implications for future enterprises

Simplifying the onboarding process for enterprises seeking to participate in the blockchain boom is a crucial step at this stage; while the value of Bitcoin has garnered institutional and investment attention, the technology that underpins it is also getting more industrial attention than ever, going beyond the financial fascination of digital currencies.

The value of this partnership and blockchain development is far-reaching; Consensys is a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), a group of over 500 organizations dedicated to meeting the specific needs of companies with Ethereum. With Amazon and AWS backing the effort, Kaleido could completely shift the landscape for businesses involved in blockchain.

 

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Microsoft and Amazon Embrace Blockchain

Bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrencies are at the centre of a global tech breakaway from centralized systems to decentralized; the latest big movers to dip their toes in the future technology are Microsoft and Amazon.

Mainstream industry adoption

2018 has proven itself an extraordinarily productive year for the blockchain industry as a whole. During the massive bull run of December 2017, the world could barely take its eyes away from the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

As the dust of the market boom settled through January and February, the global discussion moved away from the literal value of the currency and instead began focusing on how blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies could be part of the modern and future world.

Some of the most definitive and progressive moves have come from major banks and financial institutions which in some regions are struggling to understand and regulate cryptocurrencies, while in other parts of the world, cryptocurrencies are being trialled for “cashless society” projects.

Two of the biggest names in the digital world, Microsoft and Amazon, have begun their foray into blockchain technology. They have entered into the space either due to their curiosities regarding the technology, or because they understand that the technology is an inevitable part of the future.

Multiple approaches from Microsoft

Microsoft has built its success on a centralized system and has not necessarily been a stranger to the blockchain. In 2014, it toyed with Bitcoin payments on the Windows and Xbox stores, but have since been exploring the more technical aspects of the technology beyond that of its monetary value.

In February 2018, Microsoft sought out to solve issues of digital personal data and identity management with blockchain technology. A month later in March, it backed the development of the world’s first blockchain based investment product with its cloud platform, Azure.

More recently, Microsoft displayed its passion for driving innovation by creating a simplified blockchain workbench application development tool on Azure that claims to speed up blockchain-based app creation.

Amazon

The leading e-commerce company has been under pressure for a while to begin accepting cryptocurrencies. Though it doesn’t yet seem ready to do so, Amazon has opened its doors for blockchain related proposals through its cloud computing platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The company that revolutionized the e-commerce industry is setting itself up to be at the front of the race and is investing in blockchain through their partner ecosystem and infrastructure services.

AWS is welcoming proposals from partners who are involved in healthcare and life sciences, supply chain management, security, compliance and are also seeking those who wish to innovate with the company.

It is allowing users to create their blockchain applications via the service with CloudFormation Templates that almost bypasses the longevity of manual blockchain network setups.

A warm embrace

In the face of relentless negativity and speculation, Microsoft and Amazon appear to be on the same track as the rest of the blockchain industry. Despite their views on cryptocurrencies, they seem to have great faith in the technology. Furthermore, their cloud computing services now being tied with ease-of-access tools means that industry innovations can emerge at an even higher rate with Microsoft and Amazon backing them.

 

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Amazon’s New Patent Reveals Bitcoin User’s Data

Amazon was granted a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, originally filed in 2014, which may conflict with the nature of Bitcoin’s decentralized status.

The patent primarily focuses on the sharing of data with retailers and telecom companies in order to connect transactions and purchases made with the online retail giant to Bitcoin transaction, customer shipping and IP addresses.

Amazon’s patent would allow them to identify participants in Bitcoin transactions and sell the information to law enforcement agencies among others.

It details methods with which Amazon uses its data stores to identify the participants in Bitcoin transactions to sell that information on to subscribers. Data may be stored across multiple availability zones in a region for a set time window. During that window, data is available to be read, re-read, backfilled, analyzed or moved to long-term storage.

This conflicts directly with cryptocurrencies’ guarantee of a high degree of anonymity for its users, a feature that many users find attractive, and partially the reason it has been used to fund criminal activity, a reason frequently cited by governments for its regulation.

Because IP addresses have proven not to convict those involved in illegal internet activity in the past, it appears that this not likely to be Amazon’s gain, although the company sees law enforcement agencies subscribing to transaction data feeds and paying a service fee in order to analyze customer data.

“For example, a law enforcement agency may be a customer and may desire to receive global Bitcoin transactions, correlated by country, with ISP data to determine the source of IP addresses and shipping addresses that correlate to Bitcoin addresses,” reads the patent description.

Cryptocurrency users and supporters are worried in the wake of the Facebook scandal involving Cambridge Analytica. Questions regarding ethical business practices are increasingly being asked of large corporations who have private user data at their disposal.

 

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