Category Archives: Mastercard

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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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SAP Developing Blockchain Logistics Solutions

SAP, a leader in enterprise-level software solutions, is looking to expand into the supply chain industry by applying blockchain technology to agricultural supply chains. Its farm-to-consumer program is working alongside companies such as Johnsonville, Naturipe Farms and Maple Leaf. SAP has also partnered up with the Swiss supply chain startup modum.io.

Issues and needs around the evolving global market

Currently, there is a global push towards improving the transportation of foods and goods around the world. As much as one-third of global fresh fruits and vegetables go to waste because their quality has diminished and is deemed no longer sale-worthy. Food can often be stuck in limbo in the supply chain due to documents being delayed or even lost. With a rapidly growing population and a push for a greener future, this has become simply unacceptable for the industry.

Alongside increasing profits by reducing waste, there is also a growing need for product details among consumers. Consumers are more conscious of products and are wanting to buy in confidence knowing that the item is part of fair-trade and has been ethically sourced. Almost 75% of respondents in a Nielsen global survey said that a brand’s country of origin was one of the most important factors compared with selection or choice, price, function, and quality. When it comes to food and beverages, local brands take precedence as spoilage is a primary factor, whereas for long-life products or other goods, consumers prefer global brands.

“For many categories, a global brand name is an indicator of quality, safety, and trustworthiness in emerging markets,” noted the report.

SAP among many in a movement towards blockchain logistics

SAP isn’t the first to explore blockchain logistics solutions. Mastercard is currently working on its Blockchain and Authorization Network which sets out to provide proof of provenance for goods with the ability to track items as they are created, transferred, purchased and resold, to prevent fraud. Recently, an Ethereum-based supply chain was used to track a Yellowfin tuna from the waters off Fiji to a conference where it was served as sushi. Samsung and IBM are already investing in blockchain solutions to manage shipping to streamline imports and exports.

SAP’s project lead, Torsten Zube, believes blockchain has the ability to update current food industry production models to a more streamlined, profitable iteration.

“If enterprises can access the complete version of product history,” he explained, “this could result in a shift from a central unilateral supplier-led production to a consumer demand-led supply organized by a consortium of peers.”

 

Image source: Flicker – William Murphy – Farmers’ Market Meeting House Square

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Oracle to Roll Out Blockchain Products

Multinational software giant Oracle Corp has announced its plans to roll out a platform-as-a-service blockchain product this month followed by decentralized ledger-based applications in June, according to Bloomberg.

With 430 customers in 175 countries, the California-based company is one of the world’s largest software companies, in 2015 only second-largest by revenue after Microsoft. The company specializes primarily in developing and marketing database software and technology, cloud engineered systems and enterprise software products — particularly its own brands of database management systems. In 2017, the company generated USD 37.3 billion in sales.

This is not the company’s first blockchain project, as in 2017 it launched the Blockchain Cloud Service, described by Oracle as a “comprehensive distributed ledger cloud platform to provision blockchain networks, join other organizations, and deploy and run smart contracts to update and query the ledger”.

Company president, Thomas Kurian, has also revealed that the company is currently working on other blockchain projects, and plans to make a further impact using the technology with a project in Nigeria logging customs and import duties, and a collaboration with the Banco de Chile, attempting to link interbank transactions to a hyperledger.

Many large software companies are now watching the blockchain space with interest. According to Microsoft News Centre UK, in March, UK financial technology firm Nivaura that uses Microsoft Azure, successfully registered, cleared and settled two Principal Protected Notes (PPN) linked to the FTSE 100 – one through the traditional clearing infrastructure and a second using an open public blockchain. This made it the world’s first blockchain-based investment product, according to Microsoft.

Also, Bitcoin News reported recently that global credit card giant, Mastercard, announced that it was looking to expand its offices based in Dublin, Ireland, with 175 new technology developers recruited for roles such as blockchain experts, software engineers and information security specialists.

 

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Mastercard Joins the Blockchain Bandwagon

Mastercard is looking to expand its offices based in Dublin, Ireland, with 175 new technology developers recruited for roles such as blockchain experts, software engineers and information security specialists.

Mastercard is confident that blockchain technology is the future in regards to security and integrity within financial systems. This is displayed by the array of blockchain-related patents that they have acquired in an effort to make the best of payment innovations.

Back in 2016, Mastercard released some preliminary APIs, Blockchain Core API, Smart Contracts API and Fast Pay Network API. The implementation of blockchain technology is set to change the way in which consumers pay for goods and services.

Mastercard, like Santander with its blockchain phone app, will be working alongside San Fransisco-based technology Ripple to realize its blockchain future.

Mastercard’s view for blockchain purchases

It has been estimated that up to USD 1.4 trillion worth of fraudulent goods are circulating globally. This affects companies and individuals financially and could pose health and safety risks.

The Mastercard Blockchain and Authorization Network sets out to provide proof of provenance for goods. It plans to track anything from vehicle parts, pharmaceuticals, art, electrical items and luxury goods as they are created, transferred, purchased and re-sold, to prevent fraud.

Blockchains privacy will allow vehicle owners and registered dealers to share vehicle information with each other privately. Service history can be encoded into a smart contract, containing details such as the mileage, service type and stored irrefutably on the blockchain. Pre-purchase vehicle checks will be simpler: after gaining permissions to view private data, buyers can access service history, previous owner details and car details.

The person-to-person global market – worth over USD 16 trillion – could use blockchain for faster, more secure payments with the ability to set release parameters for balances and generate custom reports on transactions.

The blockchain future is coming

Ireland is among 21 other European Union countries pushing for a wider adoption of blockchain technology in the region.

In 2016, Justin Pinkham, blockchain lead at MasterCard, said, “We believe that there is a role of blockchain in the future of commerce. This future needs to be developed in partnership with banks, merchants, and industry participants.”

Mastercard believes Dublin is a key technology hub and that future development isn’t only limited to payments, having tested pay-as-you-go solar energy provision in Africa.

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