Intel’s PoET (Proof of Elapsed Time) Blockchain Consensus Algorithm

Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET) Consensus Algorithm

In recent times, leading microchip manufacturer, Intel has been working on its proprietary consensus protocol, known as Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET). The new standard is an integral component of the Hyperledger Sawtooth blockchain framework and is used to provide enclave in Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX).

The primary goal of the PoET protocol is to maximize the utilization of resource while facilitating the efficient consumption of energy resources. Moreover, this standard leverages a fair lottery system to ensure the continued efficiency of the entire process. While PoET is substantially promising, consumer reception is difficult to ascertain as of now.

PoET: An Exciting Concept

Currently, consensus algorithms are developed on a regular basis. This makes it exciting to check on the new releases regularly. As of now, the market is dominated by two protocols, namely Proof-of-Stake and Proof-of-Work. These two standards are an integral component of the world’s top two virtual currencies, Ethereum and Bitcoin, respectively. Nonetheless, this duopoly is likely to subside in the near future, if the increasing number of new consensus methods is anything to go by.

Irrefutably, PoET is among the standout protocols that are competing with Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS). The concept of PoET was inaugurated two years ago by Intel, a renowned electronic microchip manufacturer. Back then, most people questioned the development of the protocol, since the company had no precedent of creating such products. However, its integration into the more massive Hyperledger Sawtooth project justified its establishment.

How It Works

Similar to the Proof-of-Work model used by Bitcoin, PoET aims to achieve a fair consensus. The difference between these two is that PoET uses energy resources efficiently as compared to its alternative. This is accomplished by replacing Bitcoin’s cryptographic puzzle with an algorithm that tones down or hibernates the mining hardware, thus consuming less power.

Fundamentally, the PoET protocol is based on the appointment of distributing leaders amongst the members of the ecosystem. The cost of regulating the election process must be proportional to its potential returns. Therefore, individuals who desire to contribute to this project are required to invest a substantial amount of money, as well as time. Furthermore, the legitimacy of every election must be validated by each member of the community.

Surprisingly, PoET will leverage the new, cutting-edge software that is compatible with all categories of computer processors, including typical low-end devices. Theoretically, this implies that every computer owner across the globe can participate in the PoET community. Moreover, the efficient power consumption of this standard is likely to enhance the public’s interest further.

The Intel website has a detailed technical explanation of the working mechanism of the PoET protocol, including its applicability in real-life situations. As mentioned earlier, PoET is a component of the Hyperledger Sawtooth, a blockchain platform that offers the base for the development of distributed ledger projects. Nevertheless, certain individuals perceive Hyperledger as a centralized platform because Intel entirely operates it. To this end, plans are underway to modify the platform to align with requirements of decentralization.

Intel is a prominent brand in the computing world, as it is a crucial supplier of electronic microchips to established corporates such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, and many others. The development of the innovative PoET concept is a brilliant move, albeit being somewhat unexpected.

Its outstanding features, power efficiency, and compatibility will require most computers, are likely to contribute significantly to the mass adoption of this consensus algorithm. Besides these advantages, the PoET protocol regulates and quickens the consensus process to ensure continuous profits, a factor that guarantees the continuity of the project.

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B3i confirms switch away from blockchain to R3’s Corda

The Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative (B3i) has announced a platform switch away from Hyperledger Fabric’s blockchain to Corda, an open source distributed ledger product created by New York-headquartered technology firm R3.

B3i LogoThe decision comes following a report by B3i Services AG that reviewed open source blockchain technologies against the B3i enterprise platform strategy.

The report focused on critical success factors of data privacy, scalability, interoperability and developer productivity. It was concluded that the Corda platform offers the best blockchain solution available.

B3i referenced Corda’s strong reputation, technologies and standards in prompting the switch and expects a full integration of Corda nodes in the professional and compliant IT environments used by its clients.

Markus Tradt, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at B3i, commented, “The Corda platform offers the optimal solution in the market to deliver the B3i roadmap and our industry-wide insurance blockchain ecosystem. We are very excited to continue our work with the Corda team.”

CTO at R3, Richard Gendal Brown, added, “We are delighted that B3i has selected Corda as its preferred platform and our engineering team is looking forward to working closely with the excellent team at B3i to bring their innovative solutions to market.”

The switch had been rumoured in technology circles for some time and sees B3i coming into line with other financial market giants that have elected to develop their systems on top of R3’s Corda distributed ledger platform.

However, the R3 platform Corda is not technically considered to be a traditional blockchain platform by many technologists, although it is considered a distributed ledger, although this is splitting hairs and semantics, as operationally many of the technological concepts in use remain the same. R3 explained the difference in this article.

Previously, B3i had been developing its products using the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain platform.

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The current status of blockchain technologies

current status of blockchain technologies

Marta Pierkarska, Director of Developer Ecosystem at Hyperledger reveals her thoughts on the current status of blockchain technologies

We are midway through 2018 and it seems everyone has bought into blockchain. But have they really? When we go to staple industry conferences, it definitely feels like there is not a single person in the world that has not heard about blockchain. At Hyperledger, we are proud and grateful to get public and social media attention. We have almost 45,000 Twitter followers and a webinar series where our community can learn, on a monthly basis, about blockchain and our frameworks.

Governments, while struggling to regulate cryptocurrencies and ICOs, are absolutely bought into the blockchain space. Today, there are 203 different initiatives around the world implementing solutions in different governments.

Thankfully, though, we also get invited to speak at conferences that are not industry specific. That’s where we learn that not everyone is crazy about blockchain. Many have often never even heard about it! From big to small, there is a whole world outside of our echo chamber. They ask: “what is blockchain?” and “how is it different from a database?”, “can I have a blockchain where I don’t share any information with anyone?” and, of course, “what is the killer app for blockchain?”

It is good to step out of the comfort zone. It challenges us to look from the outside and ask: “what is the adoption of blockchain in enterprises today?” Hyperledger has now reached almost 250 members, showing how much interest there is in enterprise blockchain applications. If you belong to the Innovators on the Rogers’ Diffusion Curve, then 2018 is a year of deployment. We see enterprises going live with their platforms in the supply chain, financial technologies, healthcare and the government. In fact, the need for a collaboration platform was so high that we have launched Public Sector and Healthcare Working Groups.

The working groups reflect a significant shift in thinking from those getting deeper into the deployment process. While developing Proofs of Concept, enterprises believed that one can simply do it alone. That there can be one blockchain per company and the technologist can develop ways for the ledgers to talk to each other.

However, blockchain is a Peer-to-Peer network. To scale and make use of its full benefits peers, or nodes should come from different parties. This means evolving from “blockchain is a decentralised database system” to “blockchain is a distributed record of data” mindset. The shift has led to the creation of a number of consortia in various domains since the beginning of 2018. Some examples: we.trade, developed by nine different banks; TReDS, a similar platform in India; the Intelligent Healthcare Network for claims management in healthcare and Realtor® Association Blockchain, which created regional repositories of activity of their 1,200 members. This aim for collaboration and modularity shows a new level of maturity in the space. Not everyone is crazy about blockchain though. Many are still looking to understand the return on investment in the blockchain space. Or are still looking at how to choose the right technologies – ones that will scale with time – and for the right use cases. Is it better to use a sniper approach and target a small number of big projects or a machine gun one: blockchain everything and see what sticks? Which of the solutions implemented today will stand the test of users and time? Frustration when experimenting with blockchain is unavoidable.

Departments spent money on horizon 2 projects, but only a few of them can move to horizon 1. Even then it requires more financial engagement. Blockchain will not solve all our problems and will not be valuable in all industries. All sectors are facing challenges around security, as well as the usability of the newly developed DLT-based projects. While blockchain is being used for security updates in The Internet of Things (IoT) or a better voting mechanism, it also brings new attack vectors. Questions arise about how we evaluate smart contracts, how we ensure the consensus cannot be broken, what information should be stored on a blockchain and how. On the usability front, there is a need for better user interfaces and the integration tools to encourage a wider adoption.

The maturing market is starting to ask the right questions and new industries are adopting the technology. Governments, while struggling to regulate cryptocurrencies and ICOs, are absolutely bought into the blockchain space. Today, there are 203 different initiatives around the world implementing solutions in different governments. In art and music for IP protection and proof of provenance, in shipping and logistics for a bill of lading or in education for certification storage, there is growing interest and increasing adoption. Still, there remains a huge demand for education. Not only on what blockchain is, but also how to share data through a blockchain, while preserving the most important IP in enterprises and PI in the case of individuals. As with any new technology, the demand is there but supply remains scarce. But we are getting there.

Marta Pierkarska

Director of Developer Ecosystem

Hyperledger

info@hyperledger.org

www.hyperledger.org

@hyperledger

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Meet the Hyperledger Summer 2018 Interns Part 2

We first announced the return of Hyperledger’s Summer Internship Program back in March. The program offers students one-on-one mentorship from some of the leading technologists in our community and builds their development portfolio with projects that will feed into the larger Hyperledger ecosystem. The students applied to work on an extensive line-up of internship projects proposed by our community mentors.

In case you missed the first postin this series, it included information about six of our interns. Today, we’d like to introduce the other six interns, see what they will be working on and help you get to know them a bit better. We asked each intern a few questions including:

  1. How did you first become interested in blockchain, and why are you excited to work on Hyperledger and your project in particular?
  2. How do you see blockchain technology evolving over the next five years?
  3. If there’s one or issue you hope blockchain can solve, what is it and why?

Let’s see what they had to say!

Daniel McSheehy

Pursuing a Bachelor’s in electrical engineering at the University of Texas

Hyperledger intern project: Hyperledger Fabric Chrome Extension

1. I was originally intrigued by Etherium and the possibilities of smart contracts. I worked on an Etherium game called EtherStocks based on these smart contracts. A user would use a chrome extension wallet called MetaMask that the website would detect and all the users assets and data would load. The user would never have to login and all the assets were safely stored in the user’s wallet. This is similar to my Hyperledger project, which is to build a chrome extension that can securely access the Fabric network and opt in to allow websites access to certain data. This could make Hyperledger Fabric more accessible but still very secure.

2. Before widespread adoption of blockchain, blockchain technology needs to be more scalable with reduced transaction costs and computational power. I predict there will also be advancements in permissioned blockchains such as Hyperledger Fabric that deal with security and storing sensitive information. Permissioned blockchains could then replace current IT infrastructures such as medical or supply chains.

3. In emerging countries, there is often a problem with a lack of stable currency and available capital. While obviously cryptocurrencies can replace unstable currencies, there’s also an opportunity for regulated blockchain crowdfunding. Startups in emerging countries could be offered funding from thousands of people all over the world. With smart contracts, these startups would be held accountable to continue to receive funding.

Shuo Wang

Pursuing a Master’s degree in computer science at Tsinghua University in China

Hyperledger intern project: Design Effective Operational Platform for Blockchain Management

1. I read the original paper on Bitcoin in 2016 and became attracted by its decentralized way to build trust. It is amazing to keep the whole system working without a centralized third party.

Hyperledger focuses on developing distributed ledgers among parties in an industry consortium. It aims at better performance and flexible smart contracts to support complex applications. I believe permissioned blockchain will change the business models of more and more industries, and Hyperledger is playing a leading role in that era of innovation. My internship project is for Hyperledger Cello, where I will be building an operational platform to manage blockchain. I feel excited to work on Cello and help develop blockchain as a service.

2. Cryptocurrency has aroused great public interest in the last few years. More importantly, blockchain has introduced us to the philosophy of building decentralized trust, and we are exploring how it can change our lives in various aspects. In the next five years, I think blockchain will achieve higher transaction throughput with lower latency, which is currently a bottleneck to support business applications. Blockchain platforms will become more mature and secure so that companies will have the confidence to handle their business processes in blockchain. Based on this, more novel business models will come forth to change the world fundamentally, and I feel excited to be part of this process.

3. The supply chain is a great application scenario where blockchain can make a significant difference. Different parties in the supply chain share a distributed ledger of business transactions. Blockchain could make the whole process of supply chain more traceable and transparent. In addition, blockchain’s immutability helps the transaction records gain more trust from the financial institution. It is essential to the small and medium-sized enterprise because they could obtain more credit and more loans based on their business operation history in the blockchain.

Dixing Xu

Pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Information and Computing Sciences at the Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Hyperledger intern project: Hyperledger Fabric SDK-py

1. During my second year of university, I joined a research team and did some research on cryptocurrency trading with deep reinforcement learning [1]. Although it’s not necessary to learn the technology behind what you trade, I found the idea of decentralized currency fascinating and learned how to implement some test nets to play around with. Later, I participated in a hackathon, and our team used Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Composer to build a decentralized house-renting platform [2]. Hyperledger Fabric is very friendly for developers to build applications with a modular architecture. However, Hyperledger Fabric only supports Java & NodeJS SDK. So I want to help the community develop a Python SDK since Python is very popular among AI researchers and data scientists. I am really excited to see the interaction between the Hyperledger and the data science communities.

2. It is hard to tell where blockchain technology will lead to in five years since the technology is evolving very fast with many talented people are contributing. In my opinion, there will be more efficient algorithms to reach consensus balancing among speed, scalability and finality. More and more developers will get interested in developing DApps or writing smart contracts. I also see an exciting usage named “predictive smart contracts.” An example is GainForest [3], where the team use smart contracts to reward people for saving forestland and neural networks to predict the deforestation for the area.The reward can be adjusted based on the risk determined by the prediction. Combined with blockchain and AI, the smart contracts formed strategic incentives from data. I think such applications that combine blockchain and other state-of-art technologies are very exciting and we will see more in the next five years.

3. I hope blockchain will solve the issue of inefficiency in value-based transactions and administration of central authority. With distributed ledgers, it is very easy to track records of all transactions and verify the validity of the transaction. There are several reasons for adopting blockchain technology. First, it can reduce the cost and simplify the logic. The ledger is not a new concept, but, with the openness of Internet and the security of cryptography, blockchain provides a faster and safer way to verify key information and establish trust. Last but not least, with smart contracts, one can easily build an autonomous system that improves the efficiency of verification and execution.

[1] Jiang, Zhengyao, Dixing Xu, and Jinjun Liang. “A Deep Reinforcement Learning Framework for the Financial Portfolio Management Problem.” arXiv preprint arXiv:1706.10059(2017).

[2] “DSharing” hackx.org, www.hackx.org/projects/169

[3] Dao, David. “Predictive Smart Contracts” Medium, 23 Nov. 2017, medium.com/@daviddao/predictive-smart-contracts-dc15b9986d8c.

Roger (Meng Kang) Hsieh

Pursuing a Masters degree in management information systems at National Chengchi University in Taiwan

Hyperledger Intern Project: Utilizing Hyperledger Fabric to Develop Supply Chain Application

1. At first, I heard about blockchain and Bitcoin from my friends. I didn’t know much about them. But then the price of Bitcoin grew and grew, and I started to get interested. This is the first time I am studying blockchain. My lab focus has been on fintech. I study deep learning and distributed computation. But we found that we need blockchain to verify whether our prediction results are worthy of trust. So I devoted myself to blockchain. I found Hyperledger Fabric to have many advantages like that it is open source and has a unique mechanism. I am looking forward to building a blockchain application. I am excited to work on my supply chain project. I hope I can succeed in building the project and making myself more proficient in technological and English speaking skills.

2. Blockchain is very important. It can make record immutable and can be anonymous or published. So I think blockchain will become an industry infrastructure norm like the internet. As long as the threshold is easier. It can be easy to deploy on a server and easy to develop an application. Hyperledger, Ethereum … and so on will compete to become leaders of blockchain industry. Like iOS, Android and Windows.

3. I hope blockchain can accomplish financial information transparency. I hope it can make the government become more efficient and reduce corruption. And make supply chain information open to everyone so farmers, workers and the poor can get what they should get. With smart contracts, we can offer donations and scholarships when the right conditions are achieved. With blockchain we can make the world better.

Ugobame Uchibeke

Pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in computer Science and psychology at University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Hyperledger intern project: Hyperledger Composer Modelling Tools

1. My interest in blockchain was sparked by a meetup I attended in Toronto in the spring of 2017. I was amazed by the potentials of blockchain as demonstrated by a sample coffee seller and grower blockchain network. The talk and demo inspired me to learn more about the technology and start exploring platforms that are built on it. Around the same time, I got a offer to work at the Royal Bank of Canada in the Amplify Program with 54 other students from three countries who were brought into the bank to solve some of the bank’s biggest challenges using the latest and greatest technology. My project used Hyperledger, and we won two of four awards and $25,000. We also filled a provisional patent. After this, I was hooked. I then went on to do some more blockchain work and wrote a research paper to be presented in the 2018 IEEE International Conference on Blockchain.

2. The original paper by Satoshi was for a network that was truly open and decentralized. This is good for many use cases like for Bitcoin and some cryptocurrencies. However, blockchain technology, the engine driving these cryptocurrencies, has more potential and can change the way we do business by digitally enabling more entreprises to be more robust, secure and profitable. In the next f ive years, I see private and permissioned blockchains being used by many companies to streamline their processes, enhance auditability and compliance, provide transparency and modernize security. For me, this is one of blockchain’s greatest potentials, and Hyperledger is at the forefront of this technological shift and disruption.

3. The fashion industry is full of many innovative and creative people who come up with ideas and design new clothes and trends. Sadly, they often do not get credit for for their work or they have the design copied by large fashion companies. A recent case was a shirt designed by Word, a woman-owned branding agency, to raise money for planned parenthood. Their design was later stolen and mass-produced by Forever21, the big fast-fashion brand. This is sad and I think something can be done about it. I would like to see us being able to store, verify, transfer, revoke and contest our rights to a design on the blockchain. I am passionate about this because my mother was a fashion designer who started with less than $5 and grew her business to many states in Nigeria, trained and sponsored more than 100 women, and came up with new ways to design clothes but did not get credit for her work. It’s personal for me and I would like to see upcoming fashion designers get credit for their work. I am looking forward to a time when we can do this on a blockchain network, and I am eager to continue learning and contributing to the advancement of blockchain technology.

Martin Martinez

A PhD student studying distributed systems, security in IoT and blockchain-related systems at the University of Southern California

Hyperledger intern project: Simulating Hyperledger Networks with Shadow

1. The first time I heard about a blockchain-related system was actually when I found out about Bitcoin. A few years ago, my curiosity led me to search around the web for information about how governments, organizations and even hackers could eventually track any individual who had Internet access. While reading about identity protection and how computer networks work, I came across Tor and how this system makes it more difficult to trace a user in the network. Additionally, I found out that, in order to make online transactions untraceable, users used a cryptocurrency called Bitcoin in this platform. Then, five years later, my advisor started a blockchain class at my university, and I found out blockchain was the technology behind Bitcoin. The class involved multiple reading assignments about developments that shaped the blockchain landscape, which made me aware of the endless possibilities of this technology. Because of this, and after reading the paper written by Satoshi Nakamoto, I learn that blockchain as a technology had a bright future in lots of different applications.

Particularly, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work on my project, which involves the use of the Shadow network simulation tool currently used by Bitcoin and Tor deployments but not yet for Hyperledger. I believe there is a vast potential for what currently Hyperledger can offer, and I am looking forward to working with David, my mentor, and the rest of The Linux Foundation community to integrate the Shadow tool as a viable solution for simulating and assessing the performance of blockchain deployments in Hyperledger networks.

2. Similar to Satoshi Nakamoto, I believe that blockchain is not just the technology behind Bitcoin but a large-scale platform that will enable advancements in other fields. As a result, I can see advancements empowered by blockchain in fields such as storage (guaranteed immutability and protection of data), supply chain (quality verification of the goods) and even data mining (aggregation and distribution of the training data set). Over the next five years, more and more industries will embrace blockchain due to its properties and, in the long run, this will benefit society as well.

3. I am from Peru and I can see how the agricultural industry is still one of our strongest sources of income. However, at the same time, I consider that sometimes bigger companies take advantage of the small farmers by buying those supplies at a lower rate than what the market has to offer. Therefore, if these farmers could empower their product by showing their high quality and checking this information in a inmutable and distributed way, which is where blockchain can help, this will force bigger companies to offer a fair price for them. It can also help these companies keep track of the quality and ensure and show it to the end customers. Another problem that I see that my country sometimes faces is in the healthcare industry. Sometimes, health records for every patient are not provided during a transfer from one clinic or hospital to another. This lack of information causes delays or even a bad diagnosis due to missing documentation of previous symptoms. Therefore, I believe blockchain and its immutability property could help patients to be able to transfer all their information between organizations while saving time and, sometimes, saving lives.

That’s it for all of our interns this summer! We look forward to seeing all that they can contribute to the Hyperledger community.

We hope you join them in the effort by contributing to Hyperledger projects. You can plug into the Hyperledger community at github, Rocket.Chat the wiki or our mailing list. As always, you can keep up with what’s new with Hyperledger on Twitter or email us with any questions: info@hyperledger.org.

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How Blockchain is Reinventing Business Process Management

Guest post: Jesse Chenard, CEO, MonetaGo

When the general population is asked about blockchain, their understanding is often limited to Bitcoin and possibly other tokens. From there, they may associate blockchain with payments. Those with a more sophisticated understanding may understand the concepts of executing logic on a distributed ledger or distributed application platform. However, we know from experience that implementing blockchain within enterprise in the next year or two will likely not be a glitzy process, especially within heavily regulated environments.

One of Blockchain’s best fits in financial services is as a communication layer for Business Process Management (BPM). By leveraging smart contracts and the auditability of distributed ledger technologies, blockchain can facilitate processes involving multiple parties following specific regulatory guidelines. In these scenarios, the technology is being used primarily as a way to share documentation, communicate information, and track different states of transactions. Integration of these systems with existing workflows and back offices provides better visibility among all participants. It is not about pushing everyone to adopt a whole new platform. Instead, it is about enabling simple integration of legacy infrastructure into new networks which are able to provide improved functionality. This is how blockchain technology based on Hyperledger Fabric is used among competing Indian factoring exchanges to securely and confidentially share information which reduces fraud around receivables financing.

If blockchain technology provides value in BPM, how is it different than the BPM solutions and services available today? BPM is not new. Traditional BPM services that do workflow management have been around for decades. The difference, however, is that traditional BMP services tend to handle internal workflows within a single organization only. They do not manage the workflow process and information across organizations. If they do, they fall into the same trap that blockchain is helping to move away from, which is having a centralized repository of information controlled by a third party (in this case, the business process or workflow provider). If a third party holds data and is responsible for passing it from one organization to another, there is a risk of resiliency problems that come with that central or single point of failure.

Blockchain technology allows for the creation of a peer-to-peer BPM system that eliminates the central repository of information and allows multiple corporations to exchange information directly with counterparties while guaranteeing the integrity of the process. The system allows for organizations to verify and enforce that specific steps are being taken and performed correctly by any party on the network. This is essential when dealing with regulated transactions that require specific guideline compliance. With blockchain systems, one can code guidelines into smart contracts, and the verification of a party conforming with those guidelines can then be performed by a counterparty as well. As a result, everyone can enforce the rules on everyone else and ensure that the correct steps are being taken throughout these workflows. This is real-time auditing that provides assurances to counterparties that corners are not being cut.

Additionally, allowing the participants and counterparties to maintain control of their own data is another important benefit of using a blockchain for BPM. Even though participating organizations have enforced rules upon them by the network, they still maintain control of their data rather than a third party.

Along these lines, another BPM-related problem that blockchain technology can solve is internal fraud. Consider the recent BNP fraud where a sophisticated and long-running scheme disguising billions of dollars in financial transactions was perpetrated in violation of American sanctions against Sudan, Iran and Cuba. From a risk perspective, a blockchain network enforces transaction rules on a party’s own employees so that they cannot misbehave and circumvent rules and regulations.

What types of organizations today stand to benefit from incorporating blockchain as a communications layer to do BPM? Any over the counter (OTC) transactions which are off-exchange can benefit from a distributed ledger network. Example OTC transactions include loans, swaps, and bank guarantees. Basically, transactions where one person or party is dealing directly with another person or party with no intermediary.

While saying blockchain technology as a communication layer for Business Process Management is a promising use case, it is by no means an out of the box solution – a lot depends on the actual workflow, the use case, and the local laws and regulations. There are a number of different choices based on the varying inputs. However, if blockchain can provide an auditing source among multiple parties for sharing documentation, communicating information, and tracking different states of transactions – all without having to hand over data to a third party – it may just be the beginning of major change in the Business Process Management market.

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Fujitsu Launches “Blockchain Asset Service”

Fujitsu Direct Store has introduced the “Fujitsu Intelligent Society Solution Blockchain Asset Service” on June 6th, 2018. The newly introduced system tokenizes coupons and loyalty points and makes them storable and usable by transferring the information onto a blockchain. This implementation should provide faster data transfer and storage on customer’s transactions in a decentralized register.

The company is a daughter company of Fujitsu Ltd., a Japanese ICT and business leader and blockchain-wise, which is also a participant in the Hyperledger project. Many great things are expected to come from this implementation, and it is essential that big brands keep joining the blockchain industry.

Testing the system

During the test period, Fujitsu installed blockchain software in companies from the public services enterprises like the telecommunications provider, transportation sector, and shopping malls. They also conducted a pre-launch trial in the locally famous chains of convenient stores “FamilyMart” for the purpose Fujitsu itself explained best in this statement:

“With this service, users can collect digital points or stamps by reading QR codes located in specific areas with smart devices, and then exchange them for coupons and other benefits that can be used in stores… Also, collection and usage data for the points, stamps, and coupons, which are recorded on the blockchain distributed ledger, can be linked with user information for analysis.”

http://www.fujitsu.com/global/Images/20180606-01b_tcm100-3813164.jpg

The innovation they are bringing is allowing customers to buy something in one store, get reward points, and spend them anywhere they want in the same ecosystem. Fujitsu is connecting the various businesses and creating a service layer culture of sharing. The developed system can be installed on android operated mobile phones in the form of an application. Thus, no particular knowledge of the ledger technology or operation is required by the customers, nor from the retail merchants.

Fujitsu has been funding a variety of blockchain research projects that have led to different real-world implementations in the past and is very supportive of the improvement of blockchain technology. This implementation only adds to the perception that Fujitsu is a global player in the blockchain industry, one that is producing results for the worldwide community.

Featured Image via BigStock. In article artwork via Fujitsu.

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Blockchain Service Platform launched by SAP

Blockchain Service Platform launched by SAP 13074

News

Jun 8, 2018 at 7:43 PM

Blockchain cloud platform launched by SAP. A multinational enterprise application company SAP has launched his own digital platform.

The announcement was made on Wednesday; this cloud-based service is designed to provide innovation with a framework to make business application in addition to blockchain systems like Hyperledger Fabric. Hyperledger Fabric is a blockchain platform which was started by Linux Foundation, wherein SAP is also the major contributor.

The SAP Blockchain cloud platform is launched to assist the corporates to develop Blockchain-based software.

SAP made this announcement in an event. The cloud-based solution intends to provide enterprises with a framework to construct business applications. In addition to Blockchain systems like Hyperledger Fabric, the Blockchain platform started by the Linux Foundation, where SAP is also a principal contributor. An analysis came out after the job has been officially rolled out after working with 65 companies in the Blockchain innovative measures which helped various industries like supply chain, production, transport, pharmaceuticals, and food.

In the previous report, they stated that the provider will work with U.S. sausage manufacturer Johnsonville, Naturipe Farms and Maple Leaf. They will start a project to monitor the source of food products throughout the supply chain as part of their Farm to Consumer initiative. SAP along with this innovative program will also form a Blockchain group. Through this initiative, they intend to help eligible members to utilize the technology developed by the team.

SAP has also joined the race like other enterprise organisations like ORACLE, IBM, MICROSOFT and AMAZON who have developed Blockchain based applications for their users. Many corporations use back-office management of everything from finance to logistics. Blockchain can present some engaging use cases for its users such as supply chain management.

What does SAP want to say with this?

SAP is working on what the users want. The organization has conducted a survey among 250 of its users. They’ve come to the conclusion there is an enterprise interest in exploring Blockchain technology though it’s still nascent

We are announcing the general availability of the SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain Services. We are announcing the general availability of the SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain Services.

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Fortune: R3 Blockchain Consortium Is ‘Running out of Money’, Director Denies Rumors

While last year R3 had implied that the company had a larger goal of raising $200 mln in funding, R3 told Fortune that the figure came from a now-cancelled plan to sell a stake in a research subsidiary. The unnamed former R3 employees told Fortune that the consortium’s internal financial targets are “10X short” of their revenue, with the figure described as “laughably off.”

Charley Cooper, an R3 managing director, told Fortune that the company is not in danger of running out of revenue and will release an update on their finances at the end of the calendar year:

“We currently have more than sufficient funding and at this point have no plans to raise additional money.”

At the end of May, Forex settlement provider CLS invested $5 mln in R3 as part of a reported third round of R3 fundraising.

One unnamed former R3 employee told Fortune that one of the problems the consortium faced was a lack of developers for R3’s Corda blockchain:

“Although R3 will say 1,300 architects are contributing to Corda, if you look at the public release notes of R3, there will be no more than three people listed. The public version of Ethereum had 10,000 developers contributing.”

R3’s founding members had included banking giants JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, but Goldman Sachs (and bank Santander) left the consortium in 2016. An unnamed Goldman Sachs source told Fortune that the bank left due to the unexpectedly large size of the consortium.

R3 recently partnered with enterprise startup Bloxian Technology, which is notable in that it is a step away from the business model of partnering with banks. R3’s turn to enterprise blockchain sales means that they are now competing with organizations like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, whose members include JP Morgan and Microsoft, as well as Hyperledger, according to Fortune.

R3 also filed a lawsuit against Ripple (XRP) last year, claiming that the latter had violated an agreement for R3 to purchase 5 bln XRP tokens for $0.0085 before the end of 2019. Ripple denies an obligation to pay, citing R3’s alleged failure to follow through on parts of the agreement. The case will be held in New York City, with the value of 5 bln XRP now equal to around $3.3 bln — which could represent a much-need cash infusion, Fortune reports.

R3 did not respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment by press time.

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Blockchain Could Decrease the Power of Tech Juggernauts, Hyperledger Exec Claims

Tech juggernauts have enjoyed their reign in their historic rise during the dot-com boom. Since then, companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon have dominated their respective markets without facing real competitions.

That is until blockchain came into the picture. Hyperledger’s executive director, Brian Behlendorf, recently said that the technology that underpins cryptocurrency will weaken some of these tech giants’ hold in the industry, Cointelegraph reported.

Behlendorf shared during an interview with Swiss business newspaper Handelszeitung that a lot of companies in Silicon Valley have a “blind spot when it comes to blockchain.” He said that while these companies will certainly take blockchain and create a business framework around it, the decentralized nature of the technology itself will cause these businesses to lose some of their prowess.

The executive director likened the crypto rise to the dot-com emergence in the late ‘90s. “It was the time when Silicon Valley founders could capitalize on any kind of business plan. Even the investment market around Blockchain today is definitely overheating. The good side is that in this way a lot of capital is flowing to develop software.”

As for Hyperledger, Behlendorf said that they’re not interested in initial coin offerings (ICO) nor are they looking at the cryptocurrency market. What they’re focusing their attention on is how to develop blockchain and leverage the benefits that the technology possesses. He went on to say that the supply chain isn’t taking full advantage of blockchain’s capabilities, this despite the fact that numerous businesses in this sector have adopted it, with new shipping companies being created around it.

Ralph Carter, FedEx’s vice president of trade and international affairs, said that the traditional methods of the supply chain industry usually revolve around the management and collection of revenues. However, blockchain can improve that system, specifically on cross-border activities.

Auditing firm Deloitte outlined in its report called “New tech on the block” that the supply chain industry will benefit most from blockchain tech, seeing as it can provide transparency and precise monitoring and conduct rapid transactions without the need for paperwork. If the supply chain correctly implements this nascent innovation, consumers will be the ultimate beneficiary, gaining an upgrade in the form of safer and higher-quality products while enjoying lower prices of goods.

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Hyperledger Exec: Blockchain Will Diminish Power of Tech Giants Like Google

Executive Director of Hyperledger Brian Behlendorf said he expects blockchain technology to curb the power of Silicon Valley’s major technology companies, Cointelegraph auf Deutsch reported today, June 6.

In an interview with Swiss business newspaper Handelszeitung, Behlendorf said that the coming wave of technology “will not be shaped by Silicon Valley,” adding that too many companies in Silicon Valley want to be the center of the world and “have a blind spot when it comes to blockchain.” Behlendorf stated:

“Tech giants such as Google , Amazon or Facebook will undoubtedly pick up blockchain and generate business models from it. However, I think that the core of Blockchain — as a decentralized technology — will diminish [their] market power.”

Behlendorf said that he sees a parallel between the current blockchain and crypto boom, and the dot-com craze of the late 1990s:

“It was the time when Silicon Valley founders could capitalize on any kind of business plan. Even the investment market around Blockchain today is definitely overheating. The good side is that in this way a lot of capital is flowing to develop software.”

According to Behlendorf, Hyperledger is “not looking at the [initial coin offering] ICO market or the cryptocurrency market at all. We are looking solely at the potential of blockchain technology.” He added that blockchain projects in testing supply chains are not given enough attention.

UK-based Juniper Research recently published a study, suggesting that the integration of blockchain technology by multinational tech companies was only a matter of time. According to the study, 6 out of 10 such companies are considering adopting the technology or already in the process of developing their own blockchain services.

Last month, Facebook formed a Blockchain Exploratory Committee led by Coinbase board-member David Marcus. Marcus said the team would, “explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.”

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