Looking Beyond The Hype – The Blockchain Credibility
- Mar 12, 2020
- By proproots
- In Uncategorized
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Blockchain has caught the attention of individuals, corporates, and governments. In a world looking for ways to make its existing processes more efficient, Blockchain seems to fit in with ease. Here is an article that will help you distinguish between the hype and reality, with real-life use case scenarios.
In brief, blockchain is a distributed ledger that allows untrusted parties to establish confidence with ease and efficiency. The use cases for blockchain begins at digital currencies, security aspects in BFSI and ends with the entire gamut of the supply chain.
In spite of various opinions and hypes surrounding blockchain, companies across the globe see that the benefits outweigh the negatives. Here are few companies who want to have implemented blockchain and/or created their own blockchain.
Companies that Use Blockchain :
There is no surprise that FedEx is using blockchain to optimize its supply chain. The company plans to digitize paper legal documents and is shared through fax, e-mail or courier. In addition, real-time information is unavailable in 6-decade old electronic data interchange(EDI).
FedEx has formed an alliance with other leading players like DHL Express and UPS to form the Blockchain in Transport Alliance(BiTA). BiTA is an industry organization with more than 500 members.
FedEx plans to use IoT sensors and has been developing Proof of Concepts to track packages and store the data on the blockchain. However, the company believes that blockchain is a team game and the more participation, the better are the results.
Walmart uses IBM’s Food Trust to track leafy greens sold at its retail stores. After a breakout that sickened people who ate lettuce, Walmart decided to use blockchain. In the old system, it took weeks for the government and the company to track the source of the lettuce. If blockchain had been used, the source could have been found within 2.2 seconds i.e. faster than the speed of thought.
Facebook along with its partners like Visa, Master, Uber, and others aims to create a new kind of digital currency backed by a basket of real-world assets & international currencies—such as the U.S. dollar, the euro, and the Japanese yen. Facebook plans to develop its own permissioned blockchain, Calibra. Libra is promoted as a “stablecoin,” to compete with volatile Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a medium of Exchange.
Though the vision of a single currency seemed viable on paper, questions were raised by regulators pertaining to KYC/AML. This was worsened by the fact that Facebook did not reply to any of the concerns raised. Critics and Skeptics believed that Libra could cause an unstable financial market and reduce the sovereignty of central banks.
Companies that have Developed Their Own Blockchain
IBM & Linux
The Hyperledger project is a series of open-source blockchains and its related tools. It was started in December 2015 by the Linux Foundation. They have received significant contributions from IBM, Intel and SAP Ariba in a bid to create a collaborative blockchain project.
Hyperledger is a blockchain suited for enterprise-level use cases like supply chain management, banking, and other distributed applications. Not only this, companies have used the Hyperledger framework and tweaked to provide customized blockchain solutions to their customers.
The advantage Hyperledger has over other public blockchains is that there is no need for a “Hyperledger Coin” as gas to run the ecosystem. Hyperledger Project never intended the use of blockchain for cryptocurrency rather for enterprise applications. Currently, Hyperledger is the host of the following projects:
Developed by Intel, this modular blockchain suite uses Proof of Elapsed Time (PoeT) consensus mechanism.
Developed by a couple of Japanese companies to easily incorporate the blockchain framework enterprise.
Fabric is a project led by IBM. Using a plug and play implementation of blockchain technology to develop highly scalable projects.
Burrow is a permissible smart contract machine which has the specification of Ethereum.
A tool for building blockchain business networks
Hyperledger Explorer is a module of blockchain, led and hosted by Linux Foundation. Designed to develop Web applications with better UI/UX.
Indy includes tools, libraries and further components for digital identities rooted in the blockchain.
A blockchain-as-a-service deployment model.
Ripple is a digital payment protocol and its cryptocurrency is XRP. An open-source and peer-to-peer(P2P) decentralized platform developed for a seamless transfer of money fiat and/or cryptocurrency.
RippleNet operates in more than 40 countries spanning over 6 continents. They have grown rapidly at a rate of 350% between 2017 and 2018.
Ripple focuses on the payment settlement and remittance system like the SWIFT system. Rather than using blockchain mining as a consensus mechanism, Ripple utilizes a group of servers to confirm transactions.
Ripples use its cryptocurrency XRP to send cross-border payments thereby helping the BFSI institutions in avoiding hassles with respect to having pre-funding accounts in destination currencies. This allows faster, low-cost money transfers when compared to traditional banking systems.
JP Morgan & Microsoft
In May 2019, Microsoft Azure and JP Morgan formed an alliance for the installation of Quorum Blockchain on “As a Service” model. Microsoft will take the lead on the installation of the Quorum permissioned platform. In addition, software patches and updates along with a full suite of application development tools and a template to govern the ledger will be taken care of by Microsoft Azure.
In late 2019, Microsoft introduced a data management offering that was interoperable with JP Morgan’s Quorum Ledger. This helped supply chain operations when integrated with IoT devices.
Not only have government institutions have embraced blockchain, but there has been widespread acceptance of blockchain technology by governments. Though wary about cryptocurrency, countries like India & China, the two largest populated countries in the world, have started to use blockchain.
Crypto-friendly countries like Malta, Estonia, and Singapore have embraced both blockchain and cryptocurrency. It has become the hub for the ICO-market with businesses being registered at the above mentioned three countries for crowdfunding. However, the biggest boost or hindrance, depending on which side you are in, was the USA’s SEC calling ICOs & such offerings as securities.
The use of blockchain in every conceivable aspect has been adopted by other countries like Japan, UAE, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The power of blockchain will be unleashed in the current decade by corporations, governments as well as small businesses.