An in depth look beyond cryptocurrencies and how corporations and enterprises are utilizing Blockchain heading into 2018. From Patents, open source projects to VC funds, Corporations and Enterprises are going all in on Blockchain.
It’s no secret that bitcoin has taken the world by storm. Whether you believe in hype, bubbles or or bursting bubbles, there is no ignoring the fact that it has thrust our eyes and imaginations upon endless possibilities. What holds and what sticks is anyone's guess. One certainty that has arisen is the fact that the underlying technologies have begun to change the world. Blockchain is here, and it can not be ignored. Arim Lakhani, a professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School, compared blockchain's impact to that of the Internet.
Here are just some of the companies that have made the leap, and what they are doing with the new technology:
SAP, the Gerrman-based software company, has already begun to roll out their initiative they are calling the “SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain Service initiative.”
SAP has launched their initiative to integrate the technology into such areas as digital supply-chain management, IoT and manufacturing. Since rolling out their initiative they have had multiple companies, clients and partners join in, 27 Companies as of today. The total market value of the 27 companies joining SAP is over 800 Billion dollars.
Mastercard has seen the writing on the wall and has already gone as far as submission for a new patent. On November 9th, Mastercard filed for a new patent for a blockchain-like ledger system for instantaneous international transactions.
Mastercard clearly lays out the steps that are very similar to a wallet with cryptos such as Bitcoin, “the payment guarantee data stored in the third data element included in the received transaction message includes at least a blockchain network identifier and (i) a public key or (ii) a destination address.” Basically, each transaction requires a key and a payment address much like a Bitcoin transaction.
IBM has been one of the loudest and highest profile proponents of blockchain. They have been one of the leaders out in front of the idea that blockchain could be utilized for commercial applications. In 2015, IBM launched their Hyperledger project, intended to promote blockchain solutions for enterprises. They have worked on it with their partners Accenture, CloudSoft, Ernst & Young, JPMorgan Chase, and over 400 others to date.
“Hyperledger is an open-source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration, hosted by the Linux Foundation, including leaders in finance, banking, Internet of Things, supply chain, manufacturing and technology.” (Source: IBM website)
Microsoft announced during the summer of 2017, that they are working on technology that it believes will speed up use of the distributed database software by enterprises. They are utilizing blockchain-based systems for more privacy and speed.
Some of the concern that have slowed down their adoption are privacy and speed. In response to these concerns Microsoft has announced they have developed a system they are calling, “Coco Framework” (Short for Confidential Consortium). Microsoft believes that the Coco Framework will be made open source and ready by 2018.
"We see a huge opportunity here. Enterprise-scale and enterprise-grade infrastructure is going to be vitally important for this financial infrastructure that will be woven using blockchain over these next few years." -Marley Gray, Principal Architect for Microsoft Azure Blockchain
UBS (Along with 5 other world banking leaders)
Six of the world’s premier lenders—Barclays, Credit Suisse, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, HSBC, MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group) and State Street—have recently joined a project led by Swiss banking giant UBS—in addition to existing members Deutsche Bank, Banco Santander, Bank of New York Mellon and NEX—with the goal of creating the utility settlement coin, a digital currency that will primarily be used to quickly clear and settle financial transactions using blockchain.
In 2017, JP Morgan Chase rolled out a blockchain pilot program for global payments. The titan in the financial services industry said the blockchain-based Interbank Information Network "will enhance the client experience, decreasing the amount of time – from weeks to hours – and costs associated with resolving payment delays.”
Oracle announced it will release a new platform in 2018 that's designed to help businesses use blockchain technology for supply chain management and smart contracts.
"Blockchain holds the promise to fundamentally transform how business is done, making business-to-business interactions more secure, transparent, and efficient," said Amit Zavery, senior vice president of Oracle Cloud Platform, in a press release.
Oracle's platform, which is currently in beta testing, is designed to provide "pre-assembled" tools for enterprises to use for anything that requires contracts, transactions, or tracking.
United Parcel Service announced it has joined the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA).
In a statement Linda Weakland, UPS director of enterprise architecture and innovation, said, "The technology has the potential to increase transparency and efficiency among shippers, carriers, brokers, consumers, vendors and other supply chain stakeholders."
Stifel analyst John Larkin wrote in a note in late 2017, "In our view, blockchain will combine with the truckload pricing futures market, with data analytics-assisted [and] artificial intelligence-assisted real time matching of loads and empties,"
Overstock CEO believes so much in blockchain, that in 2014 they started a Venture Capital fund named Medici Ventures. They have made several major investments into companies utilizing blockchain based technology.
Patrick Byrne, the Overstock CEO has been a longtime supporter of both Bitcoin and Blockchain. Byrne believes t0, a new sbusidiary blockchain-based equity trading platform, could trasform equity trading. t0 combines cryptographically secure distributed ledgers with existing market processes to reduce time and costs, and increase transparency, efficiency and auditability.
Along with t0, Overstock continues to invest heavily in blockchain
The list goes on and on, but just this list alone combines trillions of dollars of companies that have gotten behind blockchain. Most importantly these companies haveheavily invested their thought leaders, resources, money and time into the technology.