IBM and Coop to Use Blockchain Technology for Monitoring Food Supply Chain

Coop and IBM began their partnership one year ago and announced the result of their alliance today with the introduction of “Call of Ideas.” Call of Ideas has been dedicated to the blockchain application technology, food chain, and specifically to the production of Made in Italy brand eggs.

Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT), will be used for tracking organic eggs and several other Agrifood products in Italy. The leading companies will strive to make use of disruptive technologies to boost the safety of food and enhance people’s standard of living. The system is linked to Hyperledger Fabric and permits complete transparency and visibility of scores of players in the supply chain and now includes a whopping 2 million hens.

The developed solution relies on Hyperledger Fabric, which is a framework of the Linux Foundation. It allows total transparency and visibility of various players having involvement in the production chain of Coop brand eggs with approximately 2 million hens. They get massive 200 million eggs every year.

The consumer will get the option of scanning the QR code displayed on the package and enter the particular code of the lot. They can find out the history of the product and return from point to sale to the breeding. They will be able to find out not only the territory from which eggs come but also the incubator as well from which the hen was born.

Consumers will also be able to confirm that the eggs are produced by conforming to animal welfare standards, without using antibiotics, and without caging. These details will be certified by third-party companies and highlights compliance with the laws and other requirements set by Coop Italia.

Using blockchain in the supply of egg network is the latest step in the process of transparency that will differentiate Italian food products like fruits, carrots, milk, palm oils, and also highlights the correct practices related to eggs.

Coop has emerged as the popular system of Italian consumers’ cooperatives that runs the largest supermarket chain in Italy.

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IBM works on mining industry blockchain with MineHub

IBM works on mining industry blockchain with MineHub

MineHub has partnered with IBM Hyperledger to start offering mining industry blockchain services. The MineHub platform is already live. However, it will not start working in full force for several months to come.

What this new endeavor aims to do is bring efficiency and transparency to the industry, as mining precious metals and minerals has long been considered one of the shadiest sectors of trade.

Mining industry blockchain

The mining industry is one of the biggest money generators worldwide. However, the methodology used by mining companies has not changed for decades.

What MineHub is looking to achieve is speed and transparency through the use of blockchain technology. The mining industry blockchain will allow for the easier creation and execution of mining contracts.

According to a MineHub press release, the platform will remedy the long-standing problems connected to paper-based agreements and the troublesome supply chain currently in place in the mining industry.

IBM Hyperledger

In order to achieve this transparency and efficiency, MineHub decided to turn to IBM’s Hyperledger blockchain.

Many companies and even countries have preferred to use the Hyperledger blockchain, as it is developed by a tech giant, and has pledged to remain separate from cryptocurrencies. According to official announcements, Hyperledger will never issue a native token. This makes it one of Ethereum’s biggest competitors.

Several examples of significant uses of the Hyperledger blockchain include Iran. The government in Iran has decided to turn to IBM’s services in order to develop a nation-wide blockchain system, which should facilitate the further development of the economy.

IBM works on mining industry blockchain with MineHub

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MineHub Launches HyperLedger-Powered Mining Industry Platform

The mining industry (the dig into the ground kind) is about to get a major upgrade thanks to an IBM Hyperledger powered venture by MineHub.

According to a recent press release, the blockchain-powered platform will allow for faster and more accurate mining contracts, smart contracts and trading among other things. The platform has already gone live as of today, but won’t see any actual use for a few months the company says.

Read on as we go over the basics of this exciting new venture and what it represents for blockchain adoption.

Minehub

MineHub’s Big Plan

The minerals and metals mining industry is big and complicated, to put it lightly. As a result, things can move slowly and accountability to difficult. In their official statement, the company writes that their industry “has traditionally suffered from inefficiencies due to manual, paper-based processes and a lack of transparency among supply chain participants.”

This is where MineHub’s plan comes into play, hoping to shake up the status quo. The new blockchain based system will by contrast “[increase] levels of automation and [provide] greater traceability”, while also “[improving] profit margins and [contributing] to sustainable supply chains and responsible sourcing.”

The blockchain system being used by the MineHub platform was developed through a cooperation between IBM and MineHub. The system uses Hyperledger, a blockchain system created by IBM that was targeted squarely at large corporations and does not have a “coin” of its own. According to its project director, Hyperledger will “never [have] a Hyperledger coin.”

This, director Behlendorf stated, was to prevent having to deal with what we referred to as “political challenges”.

In simple terms, Hyperledger is a competitor with Ethereum and is designed for companies and groups to build on it to achieve their own goals. However, it does not have its own coin or token, and did not hold any kind of ICO or other fundraising effort.

This keeps it out of the regulators grasp, making it more attractive to big businesses that are likely unwilling to take the risk of running afoul of the US SEC.

From Papers to Bits

The number of features offered by MineHub is impressive. It includes such offerings as on-chain contract management, completely traceable “mine-to-market” accountability. The system offers features that support credit and other financing functions as well as invoicing and payments processing and tracking.

Finally, the system allows for users to know exactly where a given shipment, product, or operation is at any moment – providing a degree of on-demand insights that was previously unthinkable.

What’s particularly interesting about the platforms offering is the use of smart contracts to automate dozens of operations that perviously had to be done on paper or by a person. The automation of smart contracts could allow for transactions to become incredibly seamless and fast, savings millions of dollars and thousands of labor hours.

Just the Beginning

Mining minerals and metals (among other things) is an industry that’s been around since the dawn of civilization. To see interest and actual concrete activity in integrating blockchain and smart contracts into such a well-established industry is truly impressive.

It’s also a clear sign that things are changing and more major industries are taking blockchain seriously. While it is unlikely that this kind of development will directly cause your crypto investments to become more valuable, what this kind of development does is further cement the legitimacy of blockchain.

The most conservative of industries need to see others taking the first step before they will be willing to dip their toes in the proverbial waters. It’s a safe bet that mineral and metal mining is a conservative industry with deeply entrenched players calling all the shots.

If the mining industry is willing to make this kind of bet on smart contracts and Hyperledger, just imagine what we might see in the coming years from a variety of big industries.


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FiO brings AI and big data to the Block 3.0 party

HONG KONG, Oct. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Blockchain technology’s incoming third wave promises to radically alter the digital economy by incorporating Artificial Intelligence and big data. One of the companies leading the way is FiO, an innovative new “middleware” ecosystem that has partnered with IBM and is set to help businesses take advantage of the latest blockchain technology.

Following Blockchain 1.0 (digital assets) and 2.0 (smart contracts), the approaching Blockchain 3.0 era promises to create compliant independent financial markets and economies that will force businesses to join in order to stay competitive.

Yet, constantly evolving technology and exorbitant research and development (R&D) costs make blockchain technology still prohibitively unaffordable for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). FiO aims to decrease the barriers to entry and help SMEs integrate blockchain and big data-driven targeted marketing into their businesses. FiO is in its final stages of development and will be completed by the end of October; furthermore, FiO will be online by the end of 2019.

Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS)

Blockchain technology is decentralized, incorruptible, and immutable by design in order to facilitate secure data storage.

FiO, an official IBM Hyperledger partner, builds on this with a seamless plug-and-play solution that uses a simple API protocol to effortlessly integrate with companies’ existing software.

FiO’s MCC (multi-cross-chain) solution acts as a flexible layer that allows clients to keep their data on either a private or public chain (or both), while its tokenization service foils traditional provenance fraud and theft by transforming ownership certificates into immutable blockchain records.

AI-enhanced Targeted Marketing

Additionally, FiO clients can also easily collect anonymized, GDPR-compliant user data. FiO uses IBM Hyperledger Indy’s Decentralized Identification (DID) to enhance blockchain big data with cutting-edge AI applications.

FiO’s tech-driven targeted marketing platform will create a sharing economy set to mutually benefit both businesses and their customers. The concept is simple participants are incentivized to provide data, yet retain full control over their privacy. By compensating users who share data via a subscription-based model, it allows businesses to optimize their targeted marketing strategy.

In addition to partnerships with IBM and leading R&D partners, FiO also has the financial backing of Forbes Asia and Infinity Leadway, an Israel-based venture capital fund. FiO is currently rapidly expanding in Asia, with offices in Taiwan, Hong Kong, mainlandChina, Japan, and Singapore.

To learn more, visit fio.one.

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View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fio-brings-ai-and-big-data-to-the-block-3-0-party-300938622.html

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Hyperledger Exec Proposes Election Voting Changes To TSC, In Hopes Of Boosting Participation

In an email sent out to the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee (TSC) mailing list, Hyperledger executive director Brian Behlendorf, proposed five new changes to the election rules in a bid to boost voter turnout. According to a report released on Coindesk, Hyperledger TSC’s newly elected chair, Arnaud Le Hors, also a blockchain staff member at IBM, added the proposals to agendas concerning governance of the enterprise blockchain network.

The TSC is the leading commission responsible of governance of the Hyperledger network system including voting on technical upgrades, approving projects and reviewing updates.

The Proposed Behlendorf Electoral Changes

In an election completed on Friday last week, IBM overwhelmingly won over half of the seats in the committee with 6 out of 11 seats going to the tech giant’s representatives. Following the huge win, the committee will now work on the latest issues of election voting amidst the community’s outrage on the IBM’s domineering influence over the enterprise blockchain solutions.

According to Behlendorf, the proposals are a reflection of what the community and internal Hyperledger community members feel about the future of the company’s elections. One such proposal is changing the election period from August to later months in the year. Behlendorf explained,

“The email I sent was to communicate back to the community some of the concerns which Hyperledger staff talked internally about. Some of them are mundane – like August might be a bad time to do critical things like an election.”

He suggested the community’s election should be conducted in October with the voter registration and data collection period held in September.

Furthermore, the proposal suggests a redefinition of who a voter is in the Hyperledger community. Currently, anyone who contributes to the code is eligible to vote. However, most of these developers email addresses are fake to prevent spam or may not be working anymore which causes a huge number of votes to go to waste.

Election Oversight Board

Behlendorf further proposes a more public and transparent electoral process that involves the Hyperledger team in charge of the election to share data and details to the TSC for approval. Across most of the open source distributed ledgers volunteers are needed to ensure the electoral process is smooth and fair.

In Hyperledger, the Linux Foundation employees take on the roles to ensure the elections are fair reducing the need for volunteer labor. In the proposed changes, Behlendorf suggests two non-TSC members to act as the election observers to ensure total fairness and transparency. He said,

“We have to make sure the TSC and governing board knows what we are doing and has enough oversight.”

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NJMEP: Using blockchain to increase food safety for manufacturers

When a foodborne illness outbreak occurs, the scramble to find its source can take days or even weeks. Inspired by a 2018 E.coli outbreak connected to romaine lettuce that sickened 210 people in 36 states, Walmart partnered with IBM and dove into a fast and furious exploration of blockchain technology as a traceability tool.

The tool, called Hyperledger, was originally tested to track two products: mangoes in the United States, and pork in China. Through Hyperledger, Walmart’s ability to trace the products sped up: prior technology allowed them to trace the origin of a certain batch of mangoes in seven days. Now, the mangoes could be traced in 2.2 seconds. For pork in China, Walmart could now upload certificates of authenticity, an area that was previously an issue, to the blockchain. According to the Hyperledger website, Walmart can now trace the origin of more than 25 products from five different suppliers. The company plans to utilize the system for more products in the future.

Changing the system in which a supply is tracked is no small feat. At New Jersey Manufacturing ProgramManufacturing Day in Somerset on Friday, Juliana Canale, the program’s food industry safety, compliance and regulatory solutions specialist, discussed how food manufacturers of all sizes can benefit from the technology, and customers can, too.

The buy-in to blockchain comes at a significant cost, but one that is offset by eventual savings, she said.

It allows food manufacturers to track any kind of unique identifier data, be it bar code, lot number, best by date, or food allergen.

“Once data is entered into the blockchain, it can’t be changed. It’s really groundbreaking technology. Any other program you have, there’s modifications that can happen with it” which makes the information less secure, Canale said. “But when this is entered it can’t be changed, which gives you the peace of mind that you’re able to consistently track that information as you’re moving forward from piece to piece.”

Allergens are to blame for a bulk of food recalls, she explained. Managing where they are is essential, and by using blockchain to manage movement in-house, manufacturers able to better segregate product in their production and distribution center to avoid compromising other foods.

Blockchain is only as good as the data that’s entered into it, she said.

“The most important thing is making sure you have the best data, that there’s nothing missing, that it’s complete,” she said. “Its a great tool to have in your toolbox, but only as good as the input. You need really good reliable data to put into your program.”

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New Version of IBM Blockchain Platform is Optimized for Red Hat OpenShift

To enable the building of blockchain networks anywhere, IBM has introduced a new version of the IBM Blockchain Platform software which is optimized to deploy on Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat’s enterprise Kubernetes platform.

Announced in Blockchain Pulse, IBM’s blockchain blog, the company says the updated platform gives users more flexibility when choosing where to deploy their blockchain network components, whether on-premise, in public clouds, or in hybrid cloud architectures.

According to IBM the blockchain platform, together with Red Hat OpenShift, provides blockchain software, services, tools and sample codes for building, operating, governing, and growing a blockchain network. The combined offering enables users to containerize smart contracts, peers, certificate authorities, and ordering services and deploy them within their preferred environments.

In addition, IBM says, the tooling of the platform delivers additional value around the Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger Fabric. The platform generates artifacts that are 100% compatible with the Hyperledger Fabric. This enables interoperation with other vendors that provide Hyperledger Fabric-based products, services, and solutions.

For more information, access the IBM blog post at www.ibm.com/blogs/blockchain/2019/09/ibm-blockchain-platform-meets-red-hat-openshift.

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IBM unveils new version of its blockchain platform optimized for Red Hat OpenShift

Tech giant IBM this week announced a new version of the IBM Blockchain Platform, its enterprise grade blockchain platform.

In an online post dated September 14, Jerry Cuomo, Vice President Blockchain Technologies, IBM Blockchain, said that the new version of the IBM Blockchain Platform software is optimized to deploy on Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat’s state-of-the-art enterprise Kubernetes platform.

IBM Blockchain Platform provides blockchain software, services, tools and sample code needed to build, operate, govern and grow a working blockchain network.

The support for Red Hat OpenShift, Cuomo explained, will offer “even more flexibility when choosing where to deploy your blockchain network components, whether on-premises, in public clouds, or in hybrid cloud architectures.”

The advanced tooling of IBM Blockchain Platform will allow containerizing smart contracts, peers, certificate authorities and ordering services and easily deploy them within preferred environments. Cuomo said that the combination offers mission-critical performance and availability in every stage of blockchain development, deployment and production.

He further explained that new version is best suited for organizations that want to keep a copy of the ledger and run workloads on their own infrastructure for security or compliance reasons, store data in specific locations to meet data residency requirements, or deploy blockchain components in multiple cloud or hybrid cloud architectures to meet consortium needs.

Furthermore, the platform generates artifacts that are fully compatible with the Hyperledger Fabric, thereby offering interoperability with other vendors that provide Hyperledger Fabric-based products, services and solutions.

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