Category Archives: decentralized system

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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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HSBC and ING Announce Successful Utilization of R3’s Blockchain Platform

HSBC and ING bank have recently reported that they have utilized blockchain technology using R3’s Corda blockchain platform.

The banking conglomerates used the tech to achieve a transaction that oversaw soybeans, shipped from Argentina to Malaysia via Singapore. Additionally, a letter of credit between the two banks was issued directly from the R3 Corda platform.

HSBC and ING commented that the transaction was a success, demonstrating that blockchain technology had been used in a commercial and operational setting.

The trade finance industry is worth around USD 9 trillion. Using any number of conventional monetary means of managing these transactions can take days, with multiple parties included. With blockchain technology on a single platform, the transaction took less than 24 hours to be completed.

Credit letters are one of the most commonly used methods for reducing the risk involved between importers and exporters. These letters help guarantee more than USD 2 trillion worth of transactions annually, and it is a lengthy and time-consuming paper trail that can take between five and ten days to complete.

Vivek Ramachandran, HSBC’s head of growth and innovation stated, “Trade finance transactions have been made simpler, faster, more transparent and more secure. The need for paper reconciliation is removed because all parties are linked to the platform and updates are instantaneous. The quick turnaround could mean unlocking liquidity for businesses.”

The transaction was received well by third parties involved. “Blockchain is a key technology we are exploring and using with our customers and, now, using for ourselves with the completion of this transfer on Corda,” explained Rani Misra, regional treasurer, APAC, Cargill.

Events have led R3, the company behind Corda along with 12 other supportive banks, to further the reach behind this technology, in a hope to expand the network as a utility for the trade finance sector and to waive all paper-based documentation.

 

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Ripples xVia Continues to create New opportunities

UniPAYExchange4FreeFairFXRationalFX, and MoneyMatch are among 5 new customers to adopt Ripples xVia API solution to power payments.  xVia provides a payment platform for less developed countries with emerging markets so they can make faster payments and mitigate manual reconciliation costs.

Emerging markets

Emerging markets often have some aspects of a developed market, but don’t necessarily have a high income, many opportunities for foreign investment, capital flows, or any other developed qualities. The four largest emerging markets are Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

These markets currently face obstacles for global payments as they do not have financial systems in place to that of more developed countries. They are often reliant on banking systems outside their own countries so they can take part in global commerce. Digital commerce in these emerging markets is growing with more businesses looking to join the global economy. Hedge funds in the fourth quarter for China and India, were up 20 percent,  reaching USD 230 billion in assets under management.

Africa currently is dependent on mobile money for its primary method of commerce. Vietnam is quick to follow China with growth in e-commerce and is looking to digital wallets as a means for cross-border payments. South East Asia’s digital trade is rapidly growing with almost 30 percent of online sales made over social media.

Shaping the future of global commerce

Millions of new businesses and people are all looking to access the global market. India is set for more than a billion new people to be interested in banking over the next five years. With transaction times growing, a higher demand for financial services we need to improve the way in which we exchange currency around the world. “Ripple’s goal is to provide a fluid flow of money that can help provide the opportunity both into and out of emerging markets, but also broadly around the world.” Blockchain technology has the ability to create a decentralized solution to improve global commerce.

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Sony to Combat Piracy with Blockchain

Sony the Japanese technology company, made an application on Thursday for a patent for a blockchain system to store digital rights data.  Digital rights management (DRM) systems, restrict access to copyright-protected content to those who have the permissions, this is often via a paid service or purchased copy. Customer identification could be stored on the blockchain, which could be used in the verification process to validate if they have the appropriate permissions to view or listen to the media. Sony believes a blockchain-based system could prevent piracy across a variety of media and data such as video, audio, games, and scientific data.

Impact of piracy

In a day and age where we have the internet at our fingertips, copyright infringement is a growing concern. Producers, developers, and service providers are continually looking to improve systems to protect their products.

Digital TV predicts a total loss of USD 52 billion across 138 countries between 2016 and 2022 for streaming services. Piracy, not only affects profits by the loss of subscription fees but puts ad related profits into the pockets of criminals. These figures do not include profit losses from illegal cable and satellite services.

According to Sandvine’s studies TV service providers are set to loose up to USD 4 billion as a direct result of pirated TV services. Up to 6.5% of North American households are believed to be viewing this illegally streamed media. As technology improves and more content begins to migrate to media players like HBO and Netflix, the material becomes more accessible to hackers. Piracy is no-longer a concern for just Hollywood and the music industry.

The computer game industry loses up to a fifth of its U.S market to piracy, USD 3.5 Billion. Globally, piracy costs the market 8.1 Billion a year.

Music piracy was on the rise in 2017 and was up by 14.7% from prior years. The US was at the top of the list, with 27.9 billion visitors to illegal music sites annually.

The Future

By country, the U.S. is affected most by the impacts of piracy and the industry is looking to take preventative measures. If piracy was to continue at its current rate, we would inevitably see a loss of profits, leading to a reduction in services or media offered. Blockchain could bring a fairer future for content providers and producers alike.

 

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IBM and Marsh to Partner for Blockchain Insurance Platform

IBM and insurance broker Marsh are developing a blockchain-based platform to maximize efficiency in insurance verification. ACORD Corporation and ISN will also be working in partnership with them.

The system will be built on IBM’s blockchain platform as well as the Hyperledger Fabric code.

Why a blockchain-based insurance platform?

A blockchain-based insurance platform can help in reducing time, errors and finally costs. Distributed ledgers have the ability to reform the global insurance industry by maximizing efficiency, giving legal certainty and instant access to documents and mitigating the issue of a single point of failure.

The distributed ledger will replace dated, manual, paper-based systems or digital systems by making the records irrefutable as well as having multiple copies stored. Removing the need for reconciliations and other tasks from a central authority will further reduce costs.

In a world where interactions are time sensitive, instant access to data will result in higher productivity, benefiting businesses. Blockchain will allow multiple participants to view, record and add up-to-date records that will provide more legal certainty due to their tamper-proof nature.

Proof of insurance via a distributed ledger with timestamped transactions will contribute further to increased integrity.

With a decentralized system, there will be no single point of failure. If one party was to have downtime or connectivity issues all data is recorded on the blockchain as transactions and can be revisited upon reconnection.

A permission-based system will allow participants to decide who joins the chain to view or add data. The system will normally consist of the broker, the insurer and the regulator.

How will the system work?

The broker will create a policy while actively mining to contribute to the verification of transactions. The insurer can then create multiple offers based on the statistics from the broker. The broker will then accept the offer and create the insurance policy.

Each interaction is verified and recorded on the blockchain providing transparency among all three parties as they can instantly view the offers or tamper-proof policy.

How quickly will systems change?

Insurance companies are often slow in modernizing its business processes. With a general lack of expertise and awareness around blockchain, companies are outsourcing their IT needs to other firms such as IBM. As blockchain becomes more mainstream and companies develop competitive edges, there will be a wider adoption of the technology.

Expertise in blockchain and security will have to grow to match the demand for new systems, while companies will have to collaborate in order to migrate their interactions over to blockchain. With the current salary rising for blockchain developers, however, not all companies may be eager to migrate currently.

 

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