Beyond The Blockchain Hype: Two Ways The Game-Changing Technology Is Being Applied Now

When looking for technologies that are secure and remove a middleman/broker from the execution of your business plan, thus reducing the cost to your customers or decrease in your margin, distributed ledger technology (DLT) could be an option.

Blockchain is just one in an array of tools in the technical class of DLT. DLT is the roll-up technology class; it’s on a peer-to-peer (P2P) network using a consensus protocol among all the peers partaking in the DLT, eliminating the need for a clearinghouse involvement. Each peer or endpoint is called a node on a public database called the chain.

The chain itself is validated by the P2P network nodes, but the detailed data is securely stored in the block. First, there is a block of origin, and then each block is recorded as a transaction level, and the computers on the peer-to-peer network work as one. The blocks are validated by a wider community rather than a central authority. This makes it more secure and less costly in the long term.

Many have no idea when to apply DLT technologies — and to be fair, there are still very few market applications that exist outside of the crypto exchange use cases. That said, DLTs can become game-changers, as they provide a transaction-based, validated, decentralized, single-distributed ledger as well as smart contracts and crypto-assets, including currencies in certain competitive niches once they have been identified like NFTs.

They could also create a transformative effect that enables new ways of doing business that have not emerged to date. Do not underestimate the cost savings of eliminating or preventing the need for a middleman in many business models. It could help to make sense of ways of doing business that never made sense in the past.Below are two examples from my experience.

Counterfeit drugs are a complex issue in healthcare. The supply chain in pharma is negatively affected by counterfeit activities, as it leads to manipulated and artificially inflated or deflated prices. The current siloed supply chain has no way to keep counterfeit drugs out of the supply.

While there are fewer counterfeit drugs in the supply chain in the U.S. than elsewhere, having no way to monitor origins of supply can lead to unregulated and inconsistent drugs (which could be dangerous to patients) as well as losses for companies that follow regulatory guidelines and legal drug supply to the healthcare sector.

A peer-to-peer protocol like DLT technologies/blockchain could help provide a cryptographically secure, distributed private ledger that tracks each supplied drug within the supply chain through traceable and verifiable smart contracts at a discrete transactional level. To put it simply, theft, entry of counterfeit drugs and drugs that are being sold after their expiration date would be traceable.

Also, the movement of drugs and supplies to other countries post-expiration date for philanthropic purposes could be more easily traced to their next destination, and the exact use or recipient could be documented. If you can trace the origin block and the nodes within, the DLT peer-to-peer network can validate the transactions, which would allow for tighter control on what is entering the pharmaceutical drug supply.

Supply Chain

Ever wonder where your food came from and how fresh it is — especially those prepackaged lifesaving boxes of ingredients that many of us have been ordering to increase the variety of our kitchen skills and culinary repertoire?

With all of the transformative effects of the recent pandemic and digital purchasing of foods from remote locations through national delivery services straight to the consumer’s home, having the assurance of the origin of the foods, their transport length and chain-of-custody proof would give us all the confidence in who supplied and distributed them and how it was done.

It could also prevent the ingesting of something hazardous or unsafe due to delays from farm to table. We have all heard stories of farmers and agricultural businesses struggling to turn a profit. By leveraging a peer-to-peer network like in blockchain, it could prevent data manipulation, ensuring an increase in food and agricultural supply chain trust.

During the height of Covid-19, before the variants began to emerge, I participated in think-tank activities associated with Operation Warp Speed — the mechanism in which the development of vaccines was funded and distributed through partnerships between biomedical companies and numerous agencies within the federal government.

Many interesting conversations on vaccination transport weaknesses and supply chain vulnerabilities were had. These conversations shed a light on ineffective transport practices.

Through this experience, I believe blockchain could be leveraged to connect serial data points from the point of origin (e.g., organic certifications, chemicals used with barcodes, batch identifying information, and when and who the supply was released to for transport).

In transport, Bluetooth thermostats for drug and food temperatures as well as livestock monitoring for the humane treatment of the animals being transported could contribute to checkpoints in the blockchain of things like farm to table.

You can begin to imagine all of the transformative things that could be done with blockchain, as the immutable (unmodifiable, undeniable, peer-to-peer secure) data about what we are purchasing and the companies we support could help reduce waste and cruelty as well as the costs that are built into our supply development and distribution.

Encouraging technology for the sake of technology is never advised. However, any business model reliant on intermediaries that require handoffs in the production-to-consumer chain they do not control or that need secure and reliable data across an ecosystem that is not under the organization’s direct control would benefit from this technology.

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Shawna is an IT Services executive, leveraging her medical background, leading the healthcare and biomedical vertical for SenecaGlobal. Read Shawna Koch

Source: Beyond The Blockchain Hype: Two Ways The Game-Changing Technology Is Being Applied Now

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Will Cryptocurrency Face a Quantum Computing Problem?

“If current progress continues, quantum computers will be able to crack public key cryptography,” writes CNET, “potentially creating a serious threat to the crypto world, where some currencies are valued at hundreds of billions of dollars.” If encryption is broken, attackers can impersonate the legitimate owners of cryptocurrency, NFTs or other such digital assets.

“Once quantum computing becomes powerful enough, then essentially all the security guarantees will go out of the window,” Dawn Song, a computer security entrepreneur and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told the Collective[i] Forecast forum in October. “When public key cryptography is broken, users could be losing their funds and the whole system will break….”

“We expect that within a few years, sufficiently powerful computers will be available” for cracking blockchains open, said Nir Minerbi, CEO of quantum software maker Classiq Technologies. The good news for cryptocurrency fans is the quantum computing problem can be fixed by adopting the same post-quantum cryptography technology that the computing industry already has begun developing.

The U.S. government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, trying to get ahead of the problem, is several years into a careful process to find quantum-proof cryptography algorithms with involvement from researchers around the globe. Indeed, several cryptocurrency and blockchain efforts are actively working on quantum resistant software…

A problem with the post-quantum cryptography algorithms under consideration so far, though, is that they generally need longer numeric encryption keys and longer processing times, says Peter Chapman, CEO of quantum computer maker IonQ. That could substantially increase the amount of computing horsepower needed to house blockchains.

The real quantum test for cryptocurrencies will be governance structures, not technologies, says Hunter Jensen, chief technology officer of Permission.io, a company using cryptocurrency for a targeted advertising system… “It will be the truly decentralized currencies which will get hit if their communities are too slow and disorganized to act,” said Andersen Cheng, chief executive at Post Quantum, a London based company that sells post-quantum encryption technology.

A quantum attack algorithm permutes and combines the wave functions of the qbits in a way to arrive at the right answer being the most likely. Run it a few times and the most likely answer will be the most common.

We know of two primary algorithms, Shor’s and Grover’s. Grovers reduces the complexity of a dictionary lookup to the square root of the normal complexity. So effectively halves the key size. Shor’s solved the dlog and factoring problem efficiently breaking RSA and ECC public key systems.

The approaches to making post quantum secure algorithms for Grover is to increase the key size. The approach for public key systems involves coming up with new public key systems based on other mathematics for which you can show there is no permutation or combination of the qbit wave functions that will yield and answer.

That part is a solved problem and there are many such algorithms, however the other problem is you have to show that your quantum secure algorithm is also secure from conventional cryptanalysis and this is where many promising algorithms (E.G. ones without ridiculous key sizes) have failed. The others will never make it anyway because they require silly amounts of data to be sent back and forth. Check out the NIST post quantum cryptography contenders for the current leaders in the pack.

Ignore any idiot telling you to just double encrypt – it doesn’t solve the public key problem and a block cipher is a bijective mapping. A bijective mapping applied to another bijective mapping is just another bijective mapping which will not upset Grover’s algorithm much. The problem space is in the realm of public key cryptography.

Source: Will Cryptocurrency Face a Quantum Computing Problem? – Slashdot

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India’s Largest Private Port Operator Partners With Blockchain Platform TradeLens

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India’s largest port operator APSEZ has partnered with IBM’s TradeLens platform to digitize its supply chain process.

The largest multi-port operator of India, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ), has partnered with the blockchain-based supply chain solution platform TradeLens.

APSEZ plans to integrate TradeLens’s blockchain solutions across 10 of its major courier management facilities across ports in six Indian states — four in Gujarat and one each in Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Chennai, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

Digitizing to curb supply chain shortcomings exposed by the pandemic

According to the local business news outlet, Business Line, APSEZ’s move to digitize its supply chains comes as an effort to reduce the impact of vulnerabilities of the traditional current supply chain system. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic exposed the drawbacks of the present supply chain that heavily relies on paperwork and manual processes.

The report quoted an unnamed logistics industry official saying:

“During the pandemic, we realized the price of not digitizing the industry. There will be a mindset change now and more firms will adopt the technology.”

Developed by Maersk and IBM, TradeLens is expected to help APSEZ make information sharing more time and cost-efficient, transparent, and secure.

A study by QBIS Consulting on Total Transport and Logistics Costs (TTLC) estimated that digitizing supply chain workflow can save importers of a single major port up to $220 million annually. Exporters too could save around $40 million each year. The nationwide saving could scale to as much as $860 million.

Digitizing supply chains worldwide

TradeLens has made consistent progress in partnering with major industry players in an effort to digitize their supply chains.

In December 2019, TradeLens announced its partnership with a major Asian shipping terminal Cái Mép International Terminal. The following month, Oman’s largest port, Port of Salalah also partnered with the company to digitize its supply chain. Cointelegraph reported in March that Standard Chartered became the first bank to join the TradeLens platform.

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Every day, around the world, millions of shipping containers in motion. An incredible achievement of logistics, coordination and communication. But legacy data systems and manual document handling cause friction that costs both time and money for businesses and people throughout the supply chain. TradeLens is a digital shipping platform, powered by blockchain, that enables unprecedented transparency, collaboration and efficiency in global supply chains. Learn more about TradeLens: https://www.tradelens.com #TradeLens #Blockchain #Demo

UAE Leverages Blockchain Technology to Flatten Corona Curve

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Blockchain is finding its way into almost everything these days. From banking to medical insurance, to even growing flowers, the technology is positioned by most as a one-size-fits-all. Now, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is causing countries around the world to search for novel ways to curb the spread. Some countries recommend malaria drugs, while some turn to the blockchain. 

Everyone Turns to Blockchain

Entrepreneurs from Dubai-based startup incubator In5 are leveraging blockchain technology, along with 3D printing and robotics, to ensure the wellbeing of the UAE population.

Blockchain has found its way into the distribution and tracking of medical and essential resources. In5-backed Liber Health, a patient identification platform using the technology, has created a “contactless” system to recognize patient data.

Liber touts its method is “safer” than others on the market, such as those using devices like fingerprint scanners which are likely to spread germs via contact.

CEO Syed Abrar Ahmed spoke to local publication Emirates 247 on the topic:

“The platform could save thousands of patent lives lost due to medical errors caused by the lack of auditable health data.”

He added Liber is “compatible and scalable” with every existing electronic medical record (EMR) system and healthcare application “in the world.” The startup is also in talks with private and public entities that want to incorporate Liber’s platform for their use.

Meanwhile, other startups like 3Dinova are using 3D printing to create facemasks and door handles that people can operate with their elbows, in an uncanny solution to minimize hand contact with potentially contaminated surfaces.

UAE has been a mixed bag for crypto and blockchain startups. Its government has leveraged blockchain for various projects previously, such as replacing official paperwork with digital platforms and for the storage of tamper-proof medical data.

Crypto-focussed projects in the country include partnering with RippleNet for cross-border transfers and the use of Ethereum and Hyperledger for creating a digital business registry platform.

Despite the above, no legislation for blockchain technology or cryptocurrencies exists yet, and while the government has claimed developing such regulations, there’s nothing definitive on the market as of 2020.

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Source: https://btcmanager.com

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Italian Govt Commits €15M to Protect ‘Made in Italy’ With Blockchain

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To combat counterfeit goods, the Italian government has allocated €15M to develop and implement blockchain and other tech-based solutions.

Counterfeit “Made in Italy” products are sold in marketplaces around the world. The Italian government is now fighting back against these knockoffs by investing €15 million ($16.2 million) towards the development of a blockchain-based solution.

According to a new report by dGen, counterfeits of the “Made in Italy” label caused a loss of €12.4 billion ($13.4 billion) in 2016 alone. Such losses directly impact both the income and future survival of many Italian artisans.

The prestige of being “Made in Italy”

The Italian fashion industry, and the country’s association with artisan craftsmanship, both feed into the prestigious reputation of the “Made in Italy” label. Indeed, if it were registered as a brand, it would be the third-most valuable global property (after Coca Cola and Visa).

The label’s high profile associations have led to an ever increasing problem with counterfeit goods. These fakes facilitate intellectual property theft, and tarnish the reputation of the label, the brands, and artisans who the label represents. They also cost the industry billions of dollars as a whole.

Blockchain to the rescue

The Italian government has acknowledged the threat of counterfeiting and identified blockchain technology as a potential solution. The government recently allocated €15 million to support the rapid implementation of digital technologies, including the financing of a joint project between IBM Italy and the artisan community.

Aspects of the industry that are being considered for improvement include: authentication of goods and raw materials through the supply chain, a secure ledger of intellectual property rights, provable sustainability and ethical practices, and closer relationships between brands and their customers.

It is hoped that such measures will curb the rise of counterfeit goods and secure the future of Italian artisans.

Fashion is not the only area in which Italians have been valuing authenticity as of late. Cointelegraph recently reported that Italian firm, LKS, has created a blockchain-based system that can allegedly prevent the spread of fake news

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com

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