Blockchain technology has potential to be applied in other sectors such as insurance: experts






 

 

A woman demonstrates Alipay’s blockchain-based remittance solution between Hong Kong and the Philippines in Hong Kong on June 25. Photo: VCG

Blockchain is now one of the hottest technologies in the world, including in China. Ongoing market mania over blockchain-oriented cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin provides the evidence. But in addition to cryptocurrencies, where else in the financial industry can blockchain technology be applied by taking advantage of its decentralized nature and low-risk functions? And what are the difficulties in wider application in terms of its infrastructure technology and regulatory hurdles? The Global Times recently attended a comprehensive discussion on blockchain technology at the China Wealth Forum, where some industry insiders shared their points of view regarding such concerns.

Blockchain technology, with its signature features of decentralization and security, has the potential to be applied in other financial scenarios such as insurance settlements and financial supplier chain loans in addition to widely applied cryptocurrencies, industry observers said.

One of the main sectors which blockchain has the capacity to transform in is the insurance industry, especially in terms of automatically evaluating claims and executing insurance payments, experts said at the China Wealth Forum held in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province from July 6-7.

Blockchain is a decentralized technology where data is processed point-to-point in a closed network, enabling users to make an exchange without the involvement of third parties, drastically reducing risks.

“The smart contract based on blockchain is more efficient and error-free compared with traditional time-consuming processes whereby data has to be inputted manually and exchanged between different parties to process claims,” said Li Xiaolin, dean of the Insurance Institute at the Central University of Finance and Economics.

Take the smart healthcare insurance contract that is made up of eight indicators as an example. Traditionally, data entry for patients has been quite complicated as they would be seen by a number of doctors in different surgeries and hospitals. As such, this has resulted in coordination difficulties and confusion over medical records, experts said.

If data was shared on an immutable ledger and a universal standard for medical records was phased in, the blockchain system could automatically reimburse insurance capital to insurers and even allocate medical resources in real-time when indicators reach critical points, according to Li.

A report released by consulting firm PWC also showed that “blockchain solutions could remove 15 percent to 25 percent of expenses for more efficient data processing.” That translates to a reinsurance industry-wide saving of $5-10 billion.

Li’s opinion is also echoed by Yang Dong, a professor at the Renmin University of China. Yang further pointed out that the application of blockchain technology in the insurance sector could reshape its traditional risk-based pricing model, but could cost the jobs of insurance actuaries.

As the financial risks involved in the insurance industry are not as large as in the banking and capital markets, Yang suggested at the forum that the country’s regulators could allow insurance companies to try out reforms with blockchain technology.

Further application

Another promising way in which blockchain could be applied is in loans for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Yang Tao, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said at the forum.

“In the supply-chain financing world, the biggest issues for downstream small-sized suppliers are barriers to accessing funding. This is because SMEs are too far from core upstream producers. And the lack of credit information among those SMEs has made banks reluctant to issue loans to them due to uncertainties causing financial risks,” Yang explained, noting that within a blockchain system, private SME credit records could be uploaded and only accessed by financial institutions, streamlining the flow of information.

However, industry insiders raised concerns about the market mania over Bitcoin – the world’s most widely used application of blockchain technology at the moment – and iterated at the forum that the value of the cryptocurrency, along with other ones, is not because it is a plausible and credible alternative currency.

Wang Liyong, former deputy head of the Bank of China, noted that the reason behind this is because of Bitcoin’s volatile value and slow transaction process whereby exchanges can only be completed using blockchain. “Bitcoin is an asset similar to gold, rather than a currency,” he added. 

As such, Chinese regulators have banned the exchange of Bitcoin to prevent speculative activities, according to media reports.

Hurdles

Still, blockchain technology is in its infancy and there are some difficulties in both its basic infrastructure and regulatory framework that hinder its wider application in the financial sector, Wang pointed out.

Industry insiders at the form also noted that blockchain technology has yet to mature and applicators now have to decide which features are most important to them out of decentralization, efficiency and security.

“Decentralization allows a network of users to agree on how things should be carried out, rather than a single unit controlling everything in the centralized system. But centralization ensures things are processed more swiftly. In such a case, speed and efficiency is traded for decentralization,” Li Ming, director of the Blockchain Research Department at the China Electronics Standardization Institute, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

However, decentralization can prevent fraud and ensure security. Therefore, users should look for a solution that achieves a balance between security and efficiency.

Meanwhile, as blockchain is a closed network, another pressing issue during the application process is industrialization, or expanding the numbers of users who are willing to share and upload data to the network. Li suggested that combining centralized and decentralized systems could help speed up the technology’s wider application.

Industry insiders also pointed out that the technology’s development is also a test for financial regulators’ ability to prevent underground trading and money laundering.

For example, because of blockchain’s decentralized nature, users can easily bypass financial institutions’ cross-border capital transfer mechanisms and move large sums of money abroad. Criminals could also wash dirty money into Bitcoins, move them to a new address and then convert them into cash in another country.

As such, experts have urged Chinese authorities to adopt big data and other innovative measures to monitor blockchain transactions in real-time.

Newspaper headline: Chain reaction



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Baidu To Launch A Blockchain Reward System


While Google might still be making up its mind on whether to launch their own cryptocurrency, their rival search engine from across the sea; China, is already making strides with the technology underpinning cryptos. Baidu has announced they will be rewarding their customers through ‘Totem‘, a blockchain-based platform that helps its users protect and manage their intellectual rights and images. Backed by the company’s artificial intelligence technology, Totem will be able to monitor the web for any copyright violation. The technology additionally makes the licensing process much faster and efficient all while ensuring transparency and credibility using blockchain technology.

Totem Reward System

Totem will reward artists who upload their content to the blockchain platform. Artist such as photographers will apply using an online application, the content will be verified and once successful, the content can be posted on the blockchain platform bearing the artists signature. Currently, the platform is only rewarding users for uploading their content but promises that in the future they will reward them for any image or intellectual transactions. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s identical to the recently launched KODAKOne platform. KODAKOne similarly is a management system that protects and manages image copyrights. However, the system has a more defined reward system, users can make money by selling their images to potential buyers using the platforms in-house currency, KodakCoin. One thing that might see Totem make greater strides is that while KODAKOne is backed by Kodak, Totem will be backed by Baidu which has advanced technology and is heavily invested in blockchain technology.

Google’s Cryptocurrency Rumors

Since the beginning of the year, there have been rumors flying around that Google would be launching its own cryptocurrency. Much like most rumors, they have been baseless with most experts dismissing the idea after the internet company banned crypto related ads. However, given Google’s current business model which includes YouTube and Google Shopping, Google’s adaptation of blockchain and use of cryptocurrency could revolutionize the way the company operates and makes financial transactions. Advancement in technology and adaptation by its rival companies might just push Google to look into the technology given the rising interest in blockchain technology and use of cryptocurrencies around the world.

Facebook is also rumored to be thinking of getting into the crypto space. It all began with the social media platform lifting its ban on cryptocurrency ads and while this wasn’t much to go on, the situation has evolved to become something much more serious. The company has undergone some management shuffles that have seen the former head of Facebook Messenger re-posted to be the new head of an exploratory blockchain group within the company. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly interested in creating his own cryptocurrency and has effectively put up an exploratory blockchain group that will be reporting directly to Facebook’s CTO, Mike Schroepfer. Facebook’s interest in blockchain technology could see it overcome one of its greatest challenges; privacy. The company has in recent days and years been faced with allegations of disclosing personal data to third parties as well as data leaks within the company. By employing blockchain technology, this could be a thing of the past in the giant social media platform.

Featured image via BigStock.



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Blockchain Logistics – Changing the World or Just Marketing Hype?


Supply chain and logistics are industries in need of real change. Blockchain startups have continued to pop up over the last few years to challenge existing companies with their mostly inefficient logistical practices. Cryptocurrency projects like VeChain Thor and Waltonchain are leading this blockchain logistics initiative. VeChain is looking to capitalize on an already two year lead in the blockchain logistics space. 

As a result, existing companies are scrambling to jump on board the blockchain train (as it were) before these competitors get too much of a head start. Many in the industry believe that these old and stagnant systems need to be overhauled for the sake of safety, simplicity and well, just good old cost savings.

To get an idea of a typical out of date logistics process, take a look at the following video:

Don’t worry, if this confused the heck out of you, you weren’t the only one! Enter blockchain, a chance for technology to really simplify time-consuming processes like this. But is the potential of blockchain logistics all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s explore a little bit.

Industries in Flux

A number of established companies have already indicated their interest in using blockchain technology to improve their outdated supply chain processes. Giants from General Electric to De Beers and Samsung currently have blockchain projects in development.

Industries from Shipping to Diamonds to Food and Electronics are all targets of blockchain disruption. Technology is knocking at the door and adoption is very often the difference between staying relevant or being left behind. Here are a few logistical industries dipping their toes in the blockchain waters:

Blockchain Logistics Shipping

In March (2018) GE Transportation announced that they will be joining the Blockchain in Transport Alliance. BiTA is a trade association for blockchain education and standards in the transportation and logistics industry. Monica Caldas, Chief Information Officer for GE Transportation had this to say about the collaboration:

“As a company, we’ve defined what it means to be a digital industrial leader – employing these technologies first internally to drive productivity and then applying those learnings for our customers’ benefit as well”

GE Transportation supplies equipment and services to the rail, mining, marine, stationary power and drilling industries. They plan to assist BiTA in developing a blockchain shipping framework for the industry.

Drug Pharmaceutical

The pharmaceutical industry loses an estimated $30 billion a year due to fake drugs. Blockchain has the potential to combat counterfeit drugs by accurately tracking assets as they move through the logistics chain. Certainly, an unchangeable ledger used by companies in the space would provide a better degree of transparency and traceability.

Blockchain Logistics Food

One of the main benefits of blockchain in the food industry is finding the source of contaminated foods. 2018 Saw a breakout of Listeria in a number of countries worldwide. In a more recent incident in Europe in which 11 people died, the UK Food Standards Agency traced the contamination to a plant in Hungary. However, the source of the contamination remains unclear.

A blockchain based system could have potentially avoided such an incident. It appears that cryptocurrency tech is setting the bar high and aiming to keep you safe one bite at a time.

Blockchain Logistics Diamonds

In May (2018), diamond corporation De Beers successfully tracked its first diamonds through the supply chain from mine to retail. A blockchain platform called Tracr followed 100 diamonds as they moved from mine to cutter, polisher and finally to a jeweler. De Beers plans to launch the platform in late 2018 and claims it will be open to the diamond industry.

The company has a fairly negative reputation due to its diamond market monopoly which it held up until the 21st century. De Beers hopes that Tracr will provide consumers with some comfort that the diamonds they buy are natural and conflict-free.

Electronics Electronics

And in Asia, electronics giant Samsung is considering blockchain solutions to track global shipments. The world’s foremost producer of smartphones and semiconductors predicts that crypto tech could save as much as 20% of all shipping costs. In addition, an efficient blockchain system could help the company drastically reduce the time needed to ship goods after product launches.

Some of the Benefits

Reduced Paperwork

In a globalized world, suppliers, shippers, brokers, and other logistics professionals must use a variety of systems throughout the transport process. Many of these systems still require large amounts of paperwork to be signed, sent and filed in and to a number of different locations around the world.

Blockchain logistics could simplify this process within a single system (or several smaller systems) which record and track assets as they move through the chain. And all without the need for large amounts of unnecessary paperwork.

Blockchain Logistics

Blockchain to the rescue!

Recently a consortium of several organizations including AB InBev, Accenture, Kuehne & Nagel as well as others tested a blockchain solution in the ocean shipping industry. Real shipments were used and the group concluded that blockchain maritime solutions reduce the need for printed shipping documents by up to 80%. As a result, those kinds of savings would really reduce our impact on the environment.

Monitor Supplier Performance History

Companies will be able to track the past history of suppliers and carriers of their goods which includes things like the timely pickup and delivery of shipments. This kind of system of accountability should keep the level of service high and customers at all points of the supply chain happy as suppliers and carriers compete for good levels of service.

Monitor Freight Capacity in Real-Time

In fast-moving transport sectors like trucking, freight capacity can change on an hourly basis. Monitoring these changes and sending newly available resources to needed areas will only boost productivity in the long run.

Additional Benefits

We’ve only explored 3 meaningful benefits here that blockchain could bring to the table. Some other interesting features include:

  • Streamlined settlement of payments
  • Fraud detection
  • Smart contract implementations

Potential Issues

Industry Marketing Tactics

Blockchain is a buzzword which a number of businesses currently toss around rather carelessly. While it certainly holds a lot of promise for the industry, we first need to see some real-world applications which take advantage of blockchain tech.

There is a widespread business practice (not only in logistics) for companies to promote their use of blockchain on social media and other marketing channels. Some companies have gone so far as to place blockchain in their name most probably as a marketing gimmick to boost their share price.

Blockchain Logistics

On-line Plc share price soars after it adds blockchain to its name

Trust is Still a Problem

Much of the proposed benefits in logistics are built around the idea of RFID (radio frequency ID) and other forms of tracking. There are a few very serious issues with this approach:

How do you prevent an employee from placing a tag in error? Furthermore, how do you prevent an unhappy or malicious employee/executive from fraudulently placing a tag? Or swapping a tag at an opportune moment somewhere in the supply chain. This weakness doesn’t technically lie with the blockchain. The weak point, as usual, lies with humans.

Blockchain Logistics

RFID tag used in a bag of coffee. Photo courtesy of James Bowe

Companies may decide to integrate chips securely inside of products to prevent unknown players tampering with them. But if this happens well then, the question of privacy comes up.

It’s a classic catch 22 situation. If tags are too easily removed during transport, can we really trust their security and authenticity? If tags are not removed, does this mean that companies will have the ability to track our movements via their products? You can see how this issue wouldn’t go down well with the public at large and most certainly several regulators.

Who Develops the System?

Finally, despite claims of decentralization, we have to ask importantly which company gets to develop a logistics blockchain? Will a company with the most resources or developers take the lead? Will the developers be located in one place or collaborate internationally? Robust blockchains like that of bitcoin work exactly because power is not concentrated in the hands of a few. Can we really put our trust in a blockchain where 1 or 2 executives at major companies get to make all the decisions?

Final Thoughts: Blockchain Logistics

Much of the proposed “innovation” towards blockchain technology is being spearheaded by large established corporations with highly centralized structures. It’s highly unlikely that companies like General Electric, De Beers or Pfizer will want to voluntarily decentralize their networks. Doing so would probably hurt their profits. They’ve built up powerful corporations exactly because dominant business practices create the greatest profits.

Unfortunately, this remains largely at odds with the very definition of blockchain. Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision for Bitcoin was an open, distributed, decentralized network that was widely available to all network users. Permissioned distributed ledgers, as the phrase goes, may be of tremendous value to these companies. The jury is still out whether open ledgers will.

A lack of transparency for those outside the inner circle might cause customers to take their business to truly decentralized networks of the future. Let’s hope that established players in the logistics and supply chain industry are working to improve services for everyone. If not, they may find themselves extinct in a few years by the hands of blockchain logistics startups. Regardless of the risks, blockchain is certainly shaking things up.





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ShipChain CEO John Monarch Talks Blockchain, Logistics & Token Future


ShipChain CEO John Monarch Talks Blockchain, Logistics & Token Future
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ShipChain CEO Talks About Its Project

The CEO of ShipChain, John Monarch, has recently spoken to the media about the issues that ShipChain was trying to solve in the logistics industry and how the market could easily be improved by using the services that are currently being offered by the company. According to the CEO, there are several solutions that can be made by applying the blockchain on logistics.

Processes like price increases, bad handoffs and administrative issues can be easily solved. While many of these problems cannot be seen in the industry normally by the people who are on the outside, they turn the whole process into something more cumbersome and hard to administrate.

Monarch explains that the people involved in the industry have many misaligned incentives and this often results in poor data handling, gratuitous markups and even in diversion of the blame during the many phases of the logistics process.

The Case For ShipChain

According to the CEO of ShipChain, the best way to demonstrate how some of these issues plague the industry is by simply ordering something on the internet. As soon as the order is placed, the program will notify the “shipper” that they have an order. This is normally done via platforms like ShipStation or ShipWorks, according to the executive.

The business selling the product will then prepare to send the order via a third party logistics operators that are commonly known as the broker. Brokers charge up to 30% to coordinate the movements of packages. The broker provides tracking services and coordinates the ships, trains and planes that carry the goods.

The main problem that creates misaligned incentives starts with the brokers. They do not want to lose their power, that is, their link with the carriers. Because of this, they often do not provide communication between the carriers and the shippers.

It is also the job of the brokers to keep the products safe and it was estimated by the CEO of ShipChain that about 20% of the price in the final product is because many products are lost and the brokers make the prices of their services higher to compensate that, as they have to pay for damaged or lost goods. Sometimes the brokers even try to flee from the blame.

How ShipChain Solves The Issue

To John Monarch, the solution is very clear: you have to cut the middleman to decrease costs and problems. By using a way to connect the shippers to the carriers without the brokers, the price of the products could decrease by 30% or more.

ShipChain intends to solve these issues by creating a single “source of truth” that holds the payment in escrow and helps to handle the transactions and logistics of the product. Because of the immutable ledger of the blockchain, everybody knows who owns the package in any time and the blame for accidents is always clear.

By using the Ethereum network, the program is able to track the goods and everybody have to be thorough and informative to keep accurate records of everything that is happening. ShipChain has the potential to eliminate the brokers and replace them with technology. This decreases the costs and allows carriers to find shipments easier.

Shippers will have a huge increase in their profits and will be able to sell their products for lower prices. This can increase the profitability and the efficiency of the industry.

The company is formed by many executives with experience in this field and has advisors like Chris Perdue and Kevin Harrington, which are both fairly known in their businesses.

While ShipChain had a bump in the road during early this year because the South Carolina’s Office of the Attorney General ordered the company to cease its operations in the state, it looks like ShipChain has a bright future ahead of itself.





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Startup Street: Lionel Messi-Endorsed Startup Launches Blockchain Smartphone


The hottest buzzword of the year, blockchain, has now reached the smartphone industry.

Switzerland-based Sirin Labs AG has unveiled its first “blockchain-powered smartphone” that would allow users to store and trade cryptocurrencies securely through their devices. The phone, named FINNEY, will cost $1,000 and will be available from November, according to its website.

The smartphone will run on SIRIN OS, which is built on top of Google’s Android 8.1 operating system, and offers top-of-the-line features. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, has 6 gigabytes of RAM, 128 gigabytes of expandable storage, a 12-megapixel rear camera and a 6-inch screen with minimum bezels.





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Gyorgy Balazsi (Blockchain Competence Center), confirmed speaker at BR’s Focus on Blockchain


Gyorgy Balazsi, head of product at the Blockchain Competence Center, will speak during the first edition of Focus on Blockchain organized by Business Review on July 19 at Impact Hub in Bucharest.

He will have a speech on “How to sell the blockchain story to non-technical people within companies (big and small) and government?”

Balazsi is an alumnus of Seth Godin’s altMBA, and doing right now the Design of Business course with IDEOU. He says that right now he is focusing on how to exploit the full business potential of emerging technologies, with a special emphasis on the blockchain.

Focus on Blockchain is an industry event committed to bring together tech driven companies, entrepreneurs, crypto and blockchain aficionados and investors to explore the wealth of opportunities that blockchain unveils, learn about its use cases and understand how they can apply technology to better the world.





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What Is The Blockchain Licensing Marketplace?


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What Is BLMP Network?

BLMP (Blockchain Licensing Marketplace) is a platform that focuses on building the first Business to Business to Customer (B2B2C), decentralized marketplace that is simple, secure and blockchain enabled. The platform covers the whole supply chain management transaction process in the industry dealing with virtual goods, which includes tokenizing the licensed virtual assets to enable the easy tracking of the assets.

The BLMP network connects digital assets with global brands around the world using blockchain technology to monetize licensed goods across available digital platforms.

BLMP Network Services Offered

Brands

By simply joining the network, brands are given access to digital ecosystems that were otherwise thought to be closed so they can acquire exposure, stay relevant, and lead to the generation of extra new income. With the use of the platform, brands acquire granular insights that were initially viewed as being impossible like the tracking of the brand’s intellectual property right from the creation of the product to the eventual ownership, up to the resale markets.

Digital Platforms

Digital platforms like video games, messaging services and social networks are accessible to licensed contents while at the same time keeping creative control by joining the platform. Through the network, digital platforms get contracts that are not restrictive or long term. Digital platforms have the opportunity to only propose the right fit of the licensed virtual goods, to gain unique content, keep existing content, and to generate extra income.

Customers

Companies joining the BLMP network are beneficial to customers since the adoption by customers is simplified in that the customers only manage one account created in the digital platform that they choose even without full knowledge of crypto markets.

How BLMP Network Works

The platform is powered by the EPIK token, which are ERC-20 utility tokens. The tokens are used by users of the platform when it comes to the collection, distribution, selling of the branded virtual goods that are available across various digital platforms like mobile, video games, and social networks.

Users can interact on the platform using the EPIC tokens by collecting unique items from a variety of platforms and storing and viewing them through the EPIK application. The EPIK wallet is used for purchasing, selling, exchanging, and collecting of EPIK items. The platform’s token sale includes collectible token rewards to its users that give them special abilities on the network.

BLMP Network Benefits

Simple

The platform offers a marketplace that is very simple for its users. Customers can easily get virtual assets from a variety of brands and digital platforms that the platform coordinates.

Security

The use of Blockchain technology ensures that all the transactions done on the platform are highly secure and the data does not fall to unauthorized hands.

Easy Tracking

The platform allows for the tokenization of virtual assets by use of blockchain technology and smart contracts which ensures that all the activities of the tokens can easily be tracked and monitored at all times.





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Decentralized Blockchain Technology For Cloud Data Storage: How It Works?


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For many, cloud storage is fast becoming the most preferred means of storing data, information and files. This is not surprising seeing as it is incredibly user friendly and easy to use.

Most cloud storage services offer a point and click feature that makes uploading your files to the cloud effortless. While cloud storage has been heralded as an amazing innovation, it appears that this new sub-sector is on the verge of disruption.

Blockchain based cloud storage seems to be the next big thing in the file and data storage industry. Before we jump into that though, let’s take a quick in-depth look at traditional cloud storage.

Why Is Cloud Storage The Preferred Choice?

Apart from its convenience –easy to upload and download your data- it provides users with other incredible benefits. For instance, it does the following:

  • Serves as backup data for locally hosted data
  • Saves a ton of space
  • Cheaper than erstwhile file storage options
  • Ease of access from any internet enabled device
  • Multiple accessibility options in the form of mobile apps, websites and software
  • Ensures data is protected from natural and manmade disasters
  • Minimizes environmental impact

As you can see, cloud storage is amazing in its usage and functions. It has made life incredibly easier for anyone who requires data storage facilities and needs to access their files on the go.

So, What’s The Problem?

While cloud storage is great, it also has some pretty significant downsides. For starters, it is centralized. These cloud storage companies are owned by companies that often have a physical location where their server farms are located.

This implies that if anything happens to that server farm, that single point of failure can result in the loss of your data and files. It means that your data isn’t really as safe as you’d like to think.

Of course, these companies typically have many fail-safe measures in place in the event of an emergency, but still you have to trust that those work and they can keep your files safe.

That’s just too much trusting, considering that you don’t need to do that with other options like a decentralized cloud storage service –we’ll be talking about this shortly. That, combined with concerns about running costs can be a real issue.

What’s The Solution? Decentralized Cloud Storage To The Rescue?

It’s probably in the form of decentralized cloud storage services that stores your data on the blockchain.

Decentralized cloud storage is poised to disrupt the cloud computing sector and transform the sector, thus eliminating the worries associated with the typical centralized cloud storage services that’s the norm.

Unlike cloud storage that keeps its server source in one location or in multiple locations, decentralized cloud storage offers a storage source that’s distributed across multiple nodes across the globe.

These nodes are essentially computers that are on the network and serve as a storage device for users. This way, there’s never any downtime, your files are always accessible, and you never have to worry about losing your files. It doesn’t matter if one node goes off, others will always be online.

This also speeds up data retrievals you won’t have to deal with bandwidth issues. These data bits stored across multiple nodes will stay on for as long as possible –potentially forever- and can be retrieved whenever you need them.

More importantly, all these bits of data stored across multiple nodes will be encrypted and secure, thus ensuring that your files can only be accessed by you, while eliminating the vulnerability that centralized servers have.

Also, because it is significantly cheaper to have these files on the blockchain, decentralized cloud storage services are typically cheaper and less expensive that their central server based competitors.

Best Decentralized Cloud Storage Services

For now, there’s only four top blockchain based cloud storage services. These are Sia, Storj, Maidsafe and Filecoin. All four services utilize the same mechanism –they provide a platform where all computer users can connect and rent out their unused hard disk space for a fee or token.

As of now, Sia leads the pack, followed by Storj, and finally, Maidsafe. Filecoin doesn’t really have any tangible product for now as the project is still in its very early stage. Currently, all of them are looking to corner an even bigger share of the market.

These all have devoted communities that have adopted or are thinking of adopting these technologies. It’s just a function of who is able to corner the larger market with time. Also, they each need considerable user base to survive as they need the unused space from each device that’s hooked up to the platform.

This is a good thing because competition often drives innovation. There’s a need for multiple decentralized cloud storage platforms to ensure that the prices are competitive and reasonable, as well as consistent in their service and product deliveries.

DBT For Cloud Data Storage Conclusion

Data storage is about to undergo a significant revolution. With these cheaper decentralized cloud storage facilities, users can have access to the best possible file storage options at affordable prices. Decentralized data storage services are bound to completely change the way we interact with our data.

Of course, the survival of these companies is dependent on the increased adoption of their products. With blockchain’s rising popularity, this shouldn’t be a problem in the foreseeable future.





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FINEXPO Blockchain Event in Russia


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The Crypto Expo Moscow will be taking place on the 18th day of September 2018. This blockchain, cryptocurrency, and ICO event will be held at the Radisson Slavyanskaya Hotel. Its organizers expect that the expo will be attended by close to three thousand people, making it one of the biggest blockchain, and cryptocurrency forums to be ever held in Russia.

The Forum

This cryptocurrency forum will be a place where all the cryptocurrencies come to live. The forum will seek to look into crypto markets, ICO, and the blockchain technology. It will not only be a great place to network with crypto gurus and companies, but it will also be a place to learn more about the crypto world, and the power that it possesses.

All visitors will get a chance to take part in a show that will be filled with workshop rooms, exhibitor’s booths, speaker halls, bars, and loungers. Expo participants will also get a unique chance to interact and socialize with some of the best, and brightest crypto minds from across the globe. These are people who work with bitcoins, blockchain technology, and who have a lot of information to share on ICO.

What to Expect

As a visitor to this expo, you can expect to have all your crypto questions answered by the best in the industry. The workshop rooms and the speaker halls will be a great place to learn more about cryptocurrencies, and the kind of impact that they can have in different areas of the society.

All visitors will be granted access to the latest, and newest crypto tools currently in use. In addition, they will also be granted access to tools supplied directly by fintech companies. It is important to point out that the CryptoExpo Moscow’s agenda has been created in line with the latest developments.

The program for the expo has been filled with live performances, entertainments, fantastic prizes, lucky draws, and magic shows. Those looking to attend the forum should make their reservation by visiting the official event website. It is the only way to gain access to this flagship event to be held in Russia.

Who are the Event Producers?

The Crypto Expo Moscow event has been produced by FINEXPO. This is one of the most influential companies and is known for organizing shows, trading events, expos, and fairs. It is a company that has been doing this for more than sixteen years, having started in the year 2002.

To-date, the company has been able to connect more than three hundred thousand financial advisors, investors, and traders. It has also been able to connect three thousand brokers, and financial companies ranging from futures markets, forex, bond crypto, options, and stock.

The FINEXPO events can be used by a company to position its brand, as well as engage with critical decision makers, and business leaders. Its geography of tradeshows is quite impressive and is one that covers several countries, e.g., Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. The company has over the years received positive feedback from attendees and participants, making this Expo a must-attend.





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Blockchain’s disruption comes with total transparency


There is block-chain, and there is cryptocurrency, and the tech layperson can be forgiven for confusing the two.

Cryptocurrency has gotten most of the attention in recent years: the raves spring from the phenomenal success of the pioneering Bitcoin and its counterparts, and the alarm bells have rung at the unstable ups and downs that have plagued the movement of online money.

Still, cryptocurrency is but a subset or a part of blockchain technology that some analysts are predicting will have a greater impact on industries than its more famous component. While the Philippines is just awakening to its potential and its uses, a new younger guard of tech entrepreneurs are preparing themselves to become its pioneers.

Blockchain is the technology that makes cryptocurrency possible. It can be likened to a growing and perhaps inexhaustible chain of blocks that record all the transactions, agreements, and other kinds of documentation that happen on its platform. Several things make it a game-changer as far as business is concerned. First, it is decentralized, and does not require a third party like a bank or an organization to assess and verify the transactions.


Pundi X’s vice president and head of communications Peko Wan

Second, the power of that verification lies with the users themselves who compose the blockchain world: the buyer and the seller alike, the parties involved in the communication, and the entire community. Every transaction, bit of data, and document can be seen and read, escalating transparency to a whole new level.

Finally, it seems impervious to hacking and online forgery. As Computerworld recently pointed out, any data introduced into the blockchain can never be deleted. Any updating of said entry would need the consent and participation of all the involved participants. A hacker who wants to fake or rewrite a document without the consent of its owner might succeed doing it with dozens of computers, but the odds of his infiltrating all the computers that create the blocks are almost next to impossible.

Some of the Philippines’ neighbors are positioning themselves to become leaders of this new industry. A statement released by tech firm Pundi X points out, “In the tech world, there is a buzz around blockchain technology, and this idea holds especially true for Asia: China leads the world in blockchain patent applications in the United States, Indonesia’s government is adopting a pro-blockchain stance as it eyes becoming a hub for the tech in the region, and even the fintech applications of blockchain are flourishing in Vietnam despite a confusing regulatory environment.”

Pundi X is a multi-cryptocurrency point-of-sale (“POS”) solutions provider for retail stores seeking to accept digital currencies in the world. It has offices in Jakarta, London, Shenzhen, Singapore, and Taipei. Its vice president and head of communications, Peko Wan, spoke in the recently held Blockchain Asian Forum 2018 in Manila.

Commenting that the Philippine blockchain ecosystem is “promising,” Wan points out one aspect of the technology that can radically transform the country’s business landscape beyond the other dramatic changes heralded by cryptocurrency: transparency.

She says, “Blockchain transforms ecosystems through increased visibility. It holds the greatest benefit to financial and supply-chain sectors. Blockchain contains verified proof of transactions to ensure transparency. Everyone in the ecosystem can know the details of transactions. For the supply chain sector, items can be tracked with full disclosure of their information to make shipment processing automatic.”

On a more practical level, Wan gives an example: “Businesses and consumers establish their complete credit histories and provide access to the financial services they need.”

That just might prove to be the tip of a huge cyber iceberg with the resultant advantages of its vaunted transparency waiting to be mined. Blockchain tech has significant implications for industries related to transport and delivery.

Because of its ability to provide real-time viewing of data as it is being recorded and then stored, companies in the shipping and logistic sectors can manage and keep track of the current status of their cargo at any given time, sans the cumbersome details that bog a paper trail.

If applied to government and private processes that handle billing, taxation, and accountabilities, the transparency of the blockchain recording can greatly reduce the so-called expeditious and miscellaneous fees that cloak bribery and corruption.

In the U.S., the industries that are keenly exploring the use and application of blockchain are energy, finances, health care, and shipping. In the Philippines, not surprisingly, fintech firms that provide online currency are at the forefront.

Diverging from this is Shiptek Solutions, a shipping firm which launched its own blockchain tech to eliminate document tampering in sea-going vessels, and reduce smuggling by making visible all the entries made about the cargo, including their owners and original locations. Another dark horse is Ticket2me which sells tickets of plays, musicals, concerts, and other shows via blockchain.

The industry is also represented by two associations, to date: the Blockchain Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Association of Digital Commerce and Decentralized Industry.

Wans says that the speedy growth of the industry can come about through a community-wide effort of its players to fund, develop, and promote blockchain as a whole, as well as their own respective products. As promising as it seems, this growth must still be guarded with all “due diligence in making sure that the companies, products, and services we promote are reputable,” she says. “Advocating for the most reputable blockchain companies will create a virtuous cycle: Users will benefit from these services, and they, in turn, will become ambassadors and evangelists to others.”





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