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Real-World Examples Of How Blockchain Is Changing Our World Based on Article byBernard Marr, in FORBES(22 January 2018)and other sources
How Walmart Brought Transparency to the Food Supply Chain with Blockchain • In 2016, Walmart launched a proof-of-concept to track the origin of mangos sold in Walmart’s US stores. For the mango POC, Vice President of Food Safety at Walmart bought a packet of sliced mangoes at a nearby Walmart store and asked his team to identify which farm they had come from – as fast as possible. The team started calling and emailing distributors and suppliers, and eventually had an answer almost seven days later. This was not bad by industry standards, but Walmart wanted to do much better. So together with IBM, they got to work building a blockchain-based food traceability system. • The Walmart Technology team looked at their own processes as well as those of their suppliers to design the application. The Walmart engineering team worked with GS1 (the standards authority in barcodes and labeling) to define the data attributes for upload to the blockchain. IBM wrote the chaincode. Suppliers used new labels and uploaded their data through a web-based interface. The Hyperledger Fabric blockchain-based food traceability system built for tracing the mangoes worked: the time needed to trace their provenance went from 7 days to… 2.2 seconds! • Walmart now traces over 25 products from 5 different suppliers using IBM Blockchain
Cybersecurity • Guardtime – This company is creating “keyless” signature systems using blockchain which is currently used to secure the health records of one million Estonian citizens. • REMME is a decentralized authentication system which aims to replace logins and passwords with SSL certificates stored on a blockchain.
Healthcare • Gem – This startup is working with the Centre for Disease Control to put disease outbreak data onto a blockchain which it says will increase the effectiveness of disaster relief and response. • SimplyVital Health – Has two health-related blockchain products in development, ConnectingCare which tracks the progress of patients after they leave the hospital, and Health Nexus, which aims to provide decentralized blockchain patient records. • MedRec – An MIT project involving blockchain electronic medical records designed to manage authentication, confidentiality and data sharing. • LeewayHertz have a demo of how blockchain can help in healthcare • An excellent article on the benefits of Blockchain to maintain Electronic Health Records (EHRs) can be found here https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertpearl/2018/04/10/blockchain-bitcoin-ehr/#77d83ae179e7
Financial services • ABRA – A cryptocurrency wallet which uses the Bitcoin blockchain to hold and track balances stored in different currencies. • Bank Hapoalim – A collaboration between the Israeli bank and Microsoft to create a blockchain system for managing bank guarantees. • Barclays – Barclays has launched a number of blockchain initiatives involving tracking financial transactions, compliance and combating fraud. It states that “Our belief ...is that blockchain is a fundamental part of the new operating system for the planet.” • Maersk – The shipping and transport consortium has unveiled plans for a blockchain solution for streamlining marine insurance. • Aeternity – Allows the creation of smart contracts which become active when network consensus agrees that conditions have been met – allowing for automated payments to be made when parties agree that conditions have been met, for example. • LC Lite, a new blockchain platform believes their system can help tackle the 80% rate of data forgery plaguing the supply chain’s $2.3trn letters of credit (LC) market. “LC Lite’s blockchain typically replaces intermediaries by capturing the unique data of a transaction in an immutable and transparent chain of records. Its smart, self-executing contract features perform transactions automatically upon fulfillment of specified conditions in a digital Letter of Credit between the buyer and the seller”
Manufacturing and Industrial • Provenance – This project aims to provide a blockchain-based provenance record of transparency within supply chains. • Jiocoin – India's biggest conglomerate, Reliance Industries, has said that it is developing a blockchain-based supply chain logistics platform along with its own cryptocurrency, Jiocoin. • Hijro – Previously known as Fluent, aims to create a blockchain framework for collaborating on prototyping and proof-of-concept. • SKUChain – Another blockchain system for allowing tracking and tracing of goods as they pass through a supply chain. • Blockverify - A blockchain platform which focuses on anti-counterfeit measures, with initial use cases in the diamond, pharmaceuticals and luxury goods markets. • Transactivgrid – A business-led community project based in Brooklyn allowing members to locally produce and cell energy, with the goal of reducing costs involved in energy distribution. • STORJ.io – Distributed and encrypted cloud storage, which allows users to share unused hard drive space.
Government • Dubai – Dubai has set sights on becoming the world's first blockchain-powered state. In 2016 representatives of 30 government departments formed a committee dedicated to investigating opportunities across health records, shipping, business registration and preventing the spread of conflict diamonds. The Dubai Health Authority and Dubai Healthcare City Authority are working together to link license data of health professionals using Blockchain to unify policies and simplify procedures related to the licensing of healthcare professionals, enhancing efficiency and reducing costs. • Estonia – The Estonian government has partnered with Ericsson on an initiative involving creating a new data center to move public records onto the blockchain. 20 • South Korea – Samsung is creating blockchain solutions for the South Korean government which will be put to use in public safety and transport applications. • Govcoin – The UK Department of Work and Pensions is investigating using blockchain technology to record and administer benefit payments. • Democracy.earth – This is an open-source project aiming to enable the creation of democratically structured organizations, and potentially even states or nations, using blockchain tools. • Followmyvote.com – Allows the creation of secure, transparent voting systems, reducing opportunities for voter fraud and increasing turnout through improved accessibility to democracy. • Blockchain Summit India 2019: (February 22 to 23). The Summit is targeted towards enabling Indian government & ministries to speed up the process of developing a flourished Blockchain and Cryptocurrency ecosystem. 5 Major Ministries are attending the conference, as well as the largest state UP.
Retail • OpenBazaar – OpenBazaar is an attempt to build a decentralized market where goods and services can be traded with no middle-man. • Loyyal – This is a blockchain-based universal loyalty framework, which aims to allow consumers to combine and trade loyalty rewards in new ways, and retailers to offer more sophisticated loyalty packages. • Blockpoint.io – Allows retailers to build payment systems around blockchain currencies such as Bitcoin, as well as blockchain derived gift cards and loyalty schemes.
Transport and Tourism • IBM Blockchain Solutions – IBM has said it will go public with a number of non-finance related blockchain initiatives with global partners in 2018. This video envisages how efficiencies could be driven in the vehicle leasing industry. • Arcade City – An application which aims to beat Uber at their own game by moving ride sharing and car hiring onto the blockchain. • La'Zooz – A community-owned platform for synchronizing empty seats with passengers in need of a lift in real-time. • Webjet – The online travel portal is developing a blockchain solution to allow stock of empty hotel rooms to be efficiently tracked and traded, with payment fairly routed to the network of middle-men sites involved in filling last-minute vacancies.
Cold Chain Transportation • SkyCell, a Switzerland-based high tech firm that has created an IoT and blockchain-enabled refrigerated air freight container especially for biopharmaceuticals. • SkyCell’s air freight containers are equipped with sensors that monitor temperature, humidity, and geolocation. The SkyCell cloud platform records documentation like bills of lading and customs forms for each container on a blockchain-like ledger, providing a level of supply chain visibility and security • In most countries, regulators have decided that the companies have to prove temperature through the whole supply chain—from manufacture to pharmacy. Even Botox is regulated in Saudi Arabia; they check the shipment at the airport—they open the container, and pull the data. If it’s supposed to be between 2 and 8 degrees [Celsius] constantly, and the logger says it reached 8.1, they send it back,” Source: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/blockchain/skycellblockchaincoldchain
Media, Real Estate, Charity • Kodak – Kodak recently sent its stock soaring after announcing that it is developing a blockchain system for tracking intellectual property rights and payments to photographers. • Ujomusic – Founded by singer-songwriter Imogen Heap to record and track royalties for musicians, as well as allowing them to create a record of ownership of their work. • Charity:Bitgive – This service aims to provide greater transparency to charity donations and clearer links between giving and project outcomes. It is working with established charities including Save The Children, The Water Project and Medic Mobile. • Real Estate: Ubiquity – This startup is creating a blockchain-driven system for tracking the complicated legal process which creates friction and expense in real estate transfer.
Higher Education: Certificate and Transcript Verification. Dubai Shows the Way • Educhain is a Blockchain company that enables institutions, governments and corporates to issue and authenticate secure digital documents by interfacing with a Blockchain infrastructure. Its flagship solution enables academic institutions to issue official academic credentials and automate their verification. Educhain is launching an innovative Blockchain education pilot with over 15 educational institutions in Dubai and internationally. Leading education institutions in Dubai are piloting Blockchain technology for seamless exchange and attestations of academic records. “This will be the world’s first large-scale pilot of blockchain in education, ….and we are proud to launch this global pilot as one of the first practical implementations of the technology,” stated Mark Balovnev, CEO of Educhain. • Virtually every professional certification or exam (including the CPA licensure process) and some employers, require prospective applicants to submit transcripts. In addition to the time and effect, which depending on the institution in question can be significant, obtaining transcripts can be difficult if the institution in question has been acquired, changed operating structure, or relocated. A blockchain-based transcript system would provide both a permanent institutional record and readily available records for students to access. Click here to read Dubai University’s announcement of Automated Blockchain-Based Certificates.
Conclusion The above is a list of use cases of blockchain. Most of the use cases are either in prototype stage or in pilot. While some may fail to live up to their promises, others could go on to become household names if blockchain proves itself to be as revolutionary as many are predicting. Not all of these will make it into successful long-term ventures but if they indicate one thing, then it is the vast potential the blockchain technology is offering.