Category Archives: Las Vegas

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Autodesk CEO Says DLT Best Tool to Combat Corruption in Construction Industry

The CEO of global design software giant Autodesk has suggested that DLT can make a significant impact on curbing corruption in the construction industry.

CEO Andrew Anagnost, who has a PhD in aerospace and astrospace engineering, was speaking at an Autodesk University event in Las Vegas when he was asked by journalists why his company had not taken the blockchain route as yet.

“Oh, we are,” he replied. “We just don’t have a point of view we have stated publicly.”

Autodesk is the maker of design software for manufacturing, architectural, engineering and construction industries, as well as for the media and entertainment industry. Its architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) software suite now delivers 3D modeling of building designs and also includes building information modeling (BIM), which tracks data on materials used in construction and building fit-outs.

The question by the journalist was certainly a topical one given that the construction industry has been considering the inclusion of blockchain smart contracts for some time. Anagnost was quick to praise blockchain’s traceability and accountability:

“A technology like that in an environment like construction where various people involved in the process don’t trust each other is going to find some kind of application… When people are paying hundreds of millions of dollars on large projects, something is always happening somewhere that isn’t quite right. There’s always someone bleeding off resources or money in some inappropriate way.”

In terms of fighting corruption, Anagnost made the point that people fighting new technology being introduced into the construction industry are more than likely to be those who don’t wish to have their activities tracked. Of these he said:

“They don’t actually want a clear record of who did what, when and how. It’s going to take a lot of us enforcing this and making it not optional to trace who did what and when… one of the big technological problems we’re going to have to solve is making sure it is not optional to provide traceability and accountability.”

 

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Amex Looks to Blockchain for Customer, Merchant Security

Multinational financial services corporation American Express is exploring the potential of a blockchain solution to increase customer and merchant security.

Vice president of technology at American Express, Tereasa Kastel, spoke at the Oktane 18 conference in Las Vegas earlier this week, discussing the multiple uses for blockchain being explored by the corporation.

Protecting identities and information

As reported by TechRadar, identification security and protecting user information formed the basis of Kastel’s speech. She discussed the prospect of an immutable blockchain solution to American Express’s objective of providing the highest levels of user security and data protection.

“If you’re in this industry, you have to have a voracious appetite for all things identity… to be able to work in a world where there is constant change, you… have to always ensure you can stay ahead of the curve,” she noted.

“Being in the financial industry, we have to be somewhat conservative on what legal and regulatory requirements there are,”‘ she added, commenting on the disparity between government policy, or lack of, regarding blockchain.

Despite this, Kastel said: ”On the other hand, what empowers an individual user to do in terms of controlling their identity, and have that identity be immutable, is something you can’t pass by.”

A blockchain identity wallet

Kastel outlined that initial blockchain probes would be limited to financial transactions. Now, however, she reported American Express is looking into creating a blockchain identity wallet.

”We were starting to explore what would an identity wallet look like, and could blockchain be used to help serve as, both internal, but also external card members and merchants,” Kastel said, detailing a visit to the corporation’s research and development lab.

She added that “American Express is a very innovative company”, in an acknowledgement of blockchain as the next seminal development in the technology industry.

Hyperledger blockchain technology

While Kastel’s talk was predominantly focused on the significant role of blockchain in American Express’s future service development, it coincided with the announcement of the corporation’s utilization of hyperledger blockchain technology.

This is being offered to merchants as an opportunity to create tailormade rewards programmes for individual American Express cardholders.

 

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