Tag: blockchain

IT Operations primed for dramatic change

Cisco launched its new IT Operations Readiness Index revealing how data is transforming the way businesses operate their IT.

The Index surveyed more than 1,500 senior IT leaders from across the globe to understand where organisations are on their IT operations transformation journey, revealing a four-step model for IT operations maturity, focused on how organisations handle events they face.

Joseph Bradley, Cisco’s Global Vice President, IoT, Blockchain, AI, and Incubation Business says: “Gone are the days of IT leaders relying on past monthly reports and hours upon hours of

Blockchain use changing

Blockchain experts at global technology consultancy DataArt say that there is a shift in the approaches of larger businesses to the blockchain, with many looking to invest in the technology’s potential, and an uptick in enterprise clients’ R&D and Proof of Concept (PoC) projects.

According to a DataArt report, these companies are attempting to apply the concepts inspired by blockchain to re-imagine complex, costly and inefficient business processes.

Businesses and IT are attracted to the potential offered by distributed ledger technologies (DLT) to combine multiple concepts and capabilities in a single solution. These technologies enable a fresh perspective on the accepted business processes, with a potential to make them simpler, more transparent, and less resource consuming, resulting in greater business agility, the report said.

Leading platforms and consortia such as Corda, Hyperledger or Ethereum have made significant progress this year in addressing the issues of privacy, performance, and other early-stage challenges. These platforms now combine legal prose along with the code.

Looking toward 2019, DataArt’s report said that leaders across industries taking the technology more seriously, and predict the following:

“We will see more projects apply blockchain to processes that are not directly related to payments or cryptocurrencies. For example, in the insurance industry, we expect to see a surge in R&D and implementations focused on the exploration of permissioned blockchains and applications of smart contracts that target inefficiencies and delays in business flows related to checks, controls, and reconciliation, “the report said.

Blockchain technology will be combined with machine learning capabilities, making it possible to develop sophisticated decisions (e.g. insurance approvals) automatically. Use cases that lend themselves well to this blockchain-driven innovation include contract placements, claims assessments, trigger-based invoicing, technical accounting, and settlements.

The report said that new solutions in financial services that adopt smart contract principles for data management and sharing were expected especially in areas where the data has been previously locked in PDF documents, such as financial statements or loan contracts.

“We expect to see platform solutions from the bigger players and communities such as B3i (Business Insurance Industry Initiative). Their activity could have a long-lasting effect on the industry standards and the ways businesses operate,” it said.

Blockchain-based identity management will be on the rise in 2019. Open source communities will increasingly play an important role in helping enterprises build new technical components and solutions applicable across entire industries, such as Identity Management, smart contracts libraries, and data sharing.

Blockchain implementation across industries still has a way to go, but 2019 is set to be the turning point. No longer is blockchain a mysterious and overhyped technology trialled only by the few. It is a technology embraced by industry leaders who are committed to its potential to transform businesses and industries far beyond its modest cryptocurrency and bitcoin origins.


Blockchain might work for airline distribution

banner_220x220ATPCO and Blockskye today released a “white paper” describing the key features of Blockchain and its applicability to airline distribution.

The pair announced a proof of concept (POC) on Blockchain and how it could potentially be used in next-generation airline offer management.

ATPCO, Blockskye, and SITA want to generate some debate about how the industry might create value for the market using decentralised airline offer generation based on International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC) and ONE Order initiatives.

The concept would enable airline and channel partners to handle the exponentially increasing volumes of data accurately and securely.

The POC uses NDC Exchange, built by ATPCO and SITA, because it is a neutral platform that facilitates real-time connectivity, on SITA’s global IT infrastructure, between airlines and travel sellers so that they can exchange messages easily and cost-effectively.

As airlines and sellers deliver greater value and choice through NDC, it becomes increasingly important for offers to be consistently and accurately managed.

The POC will explore augmenting NDC Exchange with blockchain technology, providing a trusted and secure offer authority that can reduce integration costs and transaction risk for airlines and sellers alike.

Head of ATPCO Research & Development Gianni Cataldo said: “Blockchain is an undeniable transformative force. With the support of Blockskye, we wanted to ask the question, ‘How could this technology be implemented to support the future-state airline distribution ecosystem, and where can ATPCO add industry value?”

The concept of a persistent offer managed by a neutral authority addresses many of the coming challenges of direct distribution. We hope this paper spurs discussion on how technology can drive paradigm shifts and in turn lead to industry alignment,” he said.

Blockskye CEO & Co-Founder Brook Armstrong said: “The travel ecosystem has been searching for a way to engage NDC, build a dynamic marketplace, and empower airlines — blockchain changes the game on all of these.”

There’s an awful lot of TLAs here – apologies – we just report the news. We don’t make it.

Security outfit finds holes in Blockchain projects

redstoneblock1Software Intelligence outfit CAST has found evidence that those peddling Blockchain solutions might be delivering a pile of hurt on customers.

CAST analysed 61 Open Source projects and nearly nine million lines of code. Popular Open Source projects review included Ethereum, Solidity and Bitcoin.

It found that blockchain was medicore on security. It analysed the software on Github that manages the wallet and lets users send and receive transactions. Cast analysed bitcoin, ethereum and solidity, finding the software seems to have some common weaknesses in it as the code is not under 90 percent compliant with security rules, this could lead the software to be hackable.

Blockchain projects were not particularly efficient.  Bitcoin mining is intentionally designed to be resource-intensive and complicated so that the number of blocks found each day by miners remains steady. At 71 percent, blockchain projects rank bottom in the research, flouting the most efficiency programming rules.

Lev Lesokhin, EVP of Strategy and Analytics at CAST and co-author of the Software Intelligence Report said: “As we saw with the Struts vulnerabilities that ultimately brought down Equifax, software quality issues that prevail in open source components are more easily exploitable by hackers. This report looks to identify many of these software risks that may put organisations on the defensive.”

The Software Intelligence Report looks at 61 different open source projects comprised of 75,000 source files and 8.9 million lines of code. The analysis is broken down by language for C/C++ and.Net, JEE and PHP applications, and scores these applications for Transferability, Robustness, Changeability, Efficiency and Security.


Airbitz doing Cashaa’s blockchain security

redstoneblock1Cashaa, the blockchain-based banking platform, has partnered with Airbitz to provide the security for its global financial services.

Cashaa, which aims to provide access to financial services for the billions of unbanked, uses blockchain technology to enable value transfer, without the end user having to come into contact with cryptocurrency themselves. Airbitz integration means, Cashaa has strengthened its service by adding secure, encrypted storage for its network of traders that work behind the scenes.

The partnership will allow the platform to scale out and offer the fastest services on the market to the widest possible audience.

CEO and founder of Cashaa, Kumar Gaurav, said: “Airbitz is one of the most secure and trusted cryptocurrency wallets, which is in line with the ethics and vision of Cashaa, in providing platinum grade service for the people around the world.”

Cashaa is one of the top 100 most influential block chain companies after its service launched earlier this year, it reckons. The platform already beta tested the transfer of fiat money for a flat fee of 1$, disrupting existing business models and signalling a new era of financial freedom.

Cashaa’s platform will be powered by the Cashaa (CAS) token. CAS holders can access premium services, instant loans, obtain a credit score, create smart contracts for trading and participate in the governance mechanism of CAS tokens. 1 billion CAS tokens will be generated with 51 percent (510,000,000) available to the public. The CAS TGE opens on 6 November until 5 December and the pre-sale is running now offering between 60 percent to  100 percent bonus tokens.

Blockchain will transform the financial services market

531596-web-1-0Those businesses who flog Blockchain tech in the financial services market are going to clean up, according to a new market intelligence report by BIS Research.

The report with the catchy title ‘Blockchain Technology in Financial Services Market – Analysis and Forecast: 2017 to 2026’ , claims blockchain could lead to a per-year cost savings of $6-8 billion in KYC/AML, $30-40 billion in trade finance, and $50-60 billion in capital markets.

Blockchain is seen as one of the most disruptive technologies to hit a number of industries including financial sector. This is being driven mainly by the increasing need to acknowledge the inefficiencies in the existing technologies and processes in the industry and increasing mistrust of the consumers in the financial services market, post-2008 economic recession.

For those who came in late, a blockchain is a distributed digital database that records and maintains a list of all transactions taking place in real time.

Each blockchain record is time stamped and stored cryptographically, which is tamper-proof and immutable. While the use cases of this technology are largely being explored across different industries such as healthcare, real estate, media and travel, and hospitality among others, the financial institutions have been the front runners in the development of blockchain technology and have already implemented a host of successful use cases, ranging from pre-IPO trading platform released by NASDAQ to cross-border payment platform created by Ripple.

By cutting out the middlemen and increasing the efficiency, blockchain is anticipated to cut the transaction and infrastructure costs by over 50 percent for finance companies. Consequentially, leading financial institutions and banks, including Citibank, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Barclays among others, have all taken the steps to deploy the technology.

Due to the large scale investments being poured into the blockchain technology by venture capitalists, financial institutions and private equity firms, hundreds of start-ups have emerged in this space, spanning across use cases such as cross-border payments, supply chain management, trade finance, asset management, capital market post-trade solutions, identity and authentication, insurance, and lending among others.

The potential of various benefits such as cost-cuts, the elimination of intermediaries, the increased transparency and security among others, presented by this technology have impelled the companies to explore the technology. The financial push from financial monoliths coupled with the rising support from governments and central banks across countries are the key factors driving the growth of the blockchain technology.

According to BIS Research Analyst Shazlie Khan: “The blockchain technology could save the financial institutions over $40 billion per year in infrastructure, IT, operational, third party fee, and administrative personnel costs.”

The blockchain industry witnessed a pivotal change for the future of its market in June 2017, when this technology entered into the mainstream financial services, with IBM building blockchain for seven of Europe’s biggest banks, which are Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale and Unicredit, in the area of trade finance. This agreement marks one of the first real-world use cases of blockchain technology in financial services, and will pave the way for further development and expansion of the blockchain technology market across the globe.

The report presents an in-depth analysis of the various factors governing the growth of the market in addition to the Porter’s five forces analysis, gauging the competitive attractiveness of the industry. The key strategies and developments segment has been added in the report to provide the readers with the recent strategic activities of the leading industry players in the market.

Frost and Sullivan predict Blockchain will push into health

blockchain-health-care-tech-analytics-records-securityThe divination and oracles section of Frost and Sullivan has been shuffling its tarot cards and consulting the entrails and reached the conclusion that in the next five to 10 years, a blockchain ecosystem will emerge which will take control of the health industry.

A new report said that on-going digital democratization of care delivery models towards a much-anticipated personalized and outcome-based treatment will be the major impetus for blockchain adoption.

The convergence of blockchain with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, mHealth and Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) provides new opportunities to explore digital health economies. At its core, blockchain would offer the potential of a shared platform that decentralises healthcare interactions ensuring access control, authenticity, and integrity while presenting the industry with radical possibilities for value-based care and reimbursement models, the report said.

Frost and Sullivan Transformational Health Industry Analyst Kamaljit Behera, who penned the report said: “Burgeoning connected health devices and the need to protect against data breaches make blockchain, with its ubiquitous security infrastructure, the obvious foundation for emerging digital health workflows and advanced healthcare interoperability. It creates an additional trust layer through unique distributed network consensus that uses cryptography techniques to minimize cyber threats.

“Blockchain technology may not be the panacea for healthcare industry challenges needs but it holds the potential to save billions of dollars by optimizing current work-flows and dis-intermediating some high-cost gatekeepers”.


Blockchain market set to grow

redstoneblock1The Blockchain market size is expected to grow from $210.2 million in 2016 to $2,312.5 million by 2021, according to new research.

Beancounters at Research and Markets have penned the “Blockchain Market – Global Forecast to 2021” report and this shows that at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 61.5 percent, the market is going to provide lots of new opportunities.

The major growth drivers of the Blockchain market are transparency & immutability, faster transactions, and reduced total cost of ownership, the report said.

The Blockchain market is segmented by provider, application, organization size, industry vertical, and region. The infrastructure and protocols provider segment is expected to dominate the Blockchain market during the forecast period, whereas the application and solution provider is projected to see the highest growth rate due to the increased demand for fast processing applications for payments and transactions.

Payments application holds the largest share of the Blockchain market in 2016. The need for banking and financial transactions has evolved from traditional payments systems to be integrated into new and always connected lifestyle which is fueling the growth of Blockchain-based payment products.

The digital identity market is expected to grow at the highest rate as the Blockchain would make digital identities more secure and efficient, resulting in seamless sign-ons and will reduce identity frauds.

The Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector is expected to dominate the market with the largest market share during the forecast period, whereas the media and entertainment vertical is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to the increasing adoption of Blockchain across smart contracts, document management, and digital identities in the media industry.
SMEs and large enterprises are rapidly deploying the Blockchain solutions. The demand for Blockchain solutions is increasing due to the cost-effective and time-efficient features; its growth is specifically high in SMEs, where low cost solutions are needed, the report said.


IBM launches blockchain service

redstoneblock1Biggish Blue has launched a service that will allow businesses to build applications on its cloud using the Hyperledger Project’s blockchain code.

Developers designed IBM Blockchain for building enterprise-grade technology using Hyperledger Fabric, the first code released by the open source group.

The Fabric blockchain can process more than 1,000 transactions per second and has the necessary features for large enterprises to build their applications, IBM said.

It added it was working with technology company SecureKey Technologies and a group of Canadian banks to build a digital identity network using its new blockchain services.

The network, set for launch later this year, is aimed at making it easier for consumers to prove their identities when accessing services such as new bank accounts, driver’s licenses or utilities. Banks involved include Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Blockchain is a digital shared record of transactions that is kept by a network of computers on the internet, without the need of a centralised authority.

Big businesses, including many of the world’s largest banks, have been increasing their investment in the technology in hopes it can help them reduce the complexity and costs of some of their most difficult processes, such as the settlement of securities or international payments.

Technology companies and professional services firms have also been ramping up their investment in blockchain, as they race to capture the nascent market.

IBM is big on blockchain and has several large clients developing applications with the technology, including Northern Trust, Wal-Mart, and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation.

IBM said it had also tested a blockchain-based asset management platform for carbon assets with Chinese company Energy-Blockchain Labs. The companies aim to release the platform, built using the new IBM Blockchain, later this year.

IBM announces blockchain services for cloud

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudBig Blue has  announced new services to help companies design and develop blockchain technology in a secure environment in the cloud.

Blockchain is the tech behind bitcoin and does a shedloads of functions such as recording and verifying transactions. The big idea is that the it can create cost-efficient business networks without requiring central control.

Jerry Cuomo, vice president, Blockchain at IBM, said in a statement that the only problem with blockchain is concerns about security.

“While there is a sense of urgency to pioneer blockchain for business, most organisations need help to define the ideal cloud environment that enables blockchain networks to run securely in the cloud,” he said.

IBM said it is addressing security problems in several ways, including cloud services with the highest Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS 140-2) and Evaluation Assurance Levels (EAL) in the industry to support the use of blockchain in government, financial services and healthcare.

The technology company also announced the opening of an IBM “Garage” in New York and London. These “garages” are similar to research labs on the blockchain created by several major financial institutions over the past year. IBM’s garages are dedicated to helping clients design and develop their blockchain networks, said Cuomo.

Garages in Tokyo, London and Singapore will also open in the coming weeks to let customers talk to IBM experts on the design and implementation of blockchain for business.