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World’s Largest Business Organization Embraces Blockchain

The International Chamber of Commerce counts members from 130 countries among its ranks.Getty

From the embers of World War I emerged a new kind of organization, led by entrepreneurs, committed to ensuring the free flow of goods across the world’s war-ravaged borders.

The International Chamber of Commerce, whose mission is to streamline global business, is one of last vestiges of the League of Nations, founded in 1920 by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to peacefully settle international disputes. By 1923, following the League’s lead, the ICC had established international courts to arbitrate business disputes, and in the aftermath of WW II, it represented global business interests at the Bretton Woods conference, which established the current monetary order.

“If goods are able to move across borders without the need to be accompanied by troops,” says John Denton, the ICC’s current secretary general, “there is a higher probability of peace and prosperity.” The Paris-based group, which represents 45 million businesses in more than 130 countries and brands itself the world’s largest business organization, is now making its boldest play in a generation.

With global borders hardening once again, this time behind border walls, broken unions and looming trade wars, Denton signed an agreement with the Singapore-based blockchain startup Perlin Net Group to explore how the technology, made popular by bitcoin for its ability to move value without banks, could help the ICC continue its mission to facilitate the free flow of goods.

“We can trace back the ICC interventions that made a big impact on the global economy in the 20th century,” says Denton, who was a fellow at the Australian Institute of International Affairs before being appointed secretary general of the ICC last year. “We think this might be one which we can look back on in 100 years and say the ICC shifted blockchain in a way that enabled the private sector to function more effectively in a sustainable way and actually create more opportunities for people.”

According to the terms of the agreement, part of which was shown to Forbes, the ICC and Perlin will create a new group, the ICC Blockchain/DLT Alliance, a reference to distributed ledger technology similar to the blockchain that powers bitcoin. The companies are exploring how Perlin’s blockchain platform, which has yet to publicly launch, could be used to shine a light on obscure supply chains and simplify cross-border trade finance.

As part of the agreement, the ICC will help Perlin recruit members to its nascent blockchain alliance, specifically by making introductions to the organization’s massive member pool, which in addition to most national chambers of commerce includes direct membership from companies like Amazon, Coca Cola, Fedex, McDonalds and PayPal. Also, as part of the agreement, Perlin will join the ICC as an official technology partner, offering free access to its blockchain platform during the early stages of the project.

Denton shared his plans with the ICC Banking Commission at its annual event in Beijing earlier this week, and the agreement, which was signed on March 20, will be formally announced at an ICC event in Singapore later today.

Unlike some early blockchain consortia, the ICC Blockchain/DLT Alliance already had projects under way when it was announced. According to the agreement, the ICC and Perlin will share the results of their first blockchain proof of concept, a collaboration with the fabric giant Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), in May at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit.

For that project, called “Follow Our Fibre,” APR is logging data in the blockchain at every level of its supply chain, from the trees that are harvested to the chemical treatments that turn them into the silk-like rayon substance through to the massive spools that are later sold to clothing producers.

“Globally, there is a dynamic shift in the textiles and fashion sectors calling for a more traceable and transparent supply chain,” says Cherie Tan, vice president of communications and sustainability at APR. “Follow Our Fibre will enable us to leverage powerful blockchain functionality to drive greater efficiencies.”

Other proofs of concept in the works that stand to benefit from the ICC partnership include a project with Mfused, a cannabis processor in Washington State that is using Perlin’s tech to prove the origin of its plants by recording every level of its supply chain, from when they are planted to when the cannabis is inhaled, in a shared, distributed ledger; a project with an unnamed tuna processor in Latin America; and a developing project in Africa to trace the origin of cobalt, which has a long history of being mined by unethical supply chain participants.

Assuming enough supply chains are unified on the Perlin blockchain, businesses could log digital representations of the commodities, called tokens, on the platform. This will enable the counterparties to trade directly, with bills of lading required to move freight and letters of credit, which are typically handled by banks, all tracked directly on the shared ledger.

“An interesting economic model is we could effectively launch governance around this,” says Denton. “If we’re able to tokenize this we could insert ourselves as the trusted intermediary, and there would probably be an admin charge, but not much.” A 2018 report by the ICC, the World Bank and others found that 90% of the world’s trade finance was being provided by 13 banks, something Denton thinks is evidence of a need to decentralize.

Perlin’s blockchain, like ethereum’s, is being designed to let users track and move all kinds of value and write distributed applications (dapps) that don’t rely on centralized processors. Also like ethereum, Perlin will have a native cryptocurrency, called perls, which are expected to be minted over the coming three months or so, depending on regulatory considerations.

While supply chain management is increasingly seen as ripe for disruption by blockchain, models like Perlin’s, which rely on tokens, have had difficulty gaining traction as regulators clamp down on what is required of such tokens. By contrast, models using permissioned blockchains, such as what IBM is doing with a number of industry-specific consortia, and what R3 and Hyperledger are doing more generally, are seeing broader interest.

Perlin founder Dorjee Sun positions the nascent ICC network as similar to competing consortia but for small and medium-size businesses. “This is a massive democratization effort of DLT, because now any company of the 45 million ICC members can give the benefits of DLT a try,” says Sun. “Not just massive companies that can afford IBM’s services.”

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I report on how blockchain and cryptocurrencies are being adopted by enterprises and the broader business community. My coverage includes the use of cryptocurrencies su

Source: World’s Largest Business Organization Embraces Blockchain

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JP Morgan unveils its own cryptocurrency | Crypto Insider

J.P. Morgan might seem like the most unlikely party to create a cryptocurrency asset. Jamie Dimon, J.P. Morgan’s CEO, is known for his negativity toward bitcoin. In a September 2017 article, Fortune reported on Dimon calling BTC “a fraud.” Although, the same article included details of Dimon’s apparent positive sentiment toward blockchain technology solutions, as seen in J.P. Morgan’s previous research and projects in the field.

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Italian government brings together 30 experts to build national blockchain strategy – TokenPost

Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development has brought together 30 experts in a bid to boost the country’s blockchain strategy, CoinDesk reported.In September, the ministry had launched a call for applications for the selection of up to 30 members of a group of experts for the drafting of a national strategy on distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) and blockchain.

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3 Very Important Ways Blockchain Technology Will Save Social Media Marketing

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You probably heard about the hot water Facebook is in. The eyebrows raised over the way Cambridge Analytica and Facebook used consumer data is a definite red flag for everyone on social media. However, there may be a savior for social media via blockchain technology.

Facebook is the most widely used social media network with over two billion monthly active users. The social media giant is also in trouble for mishandling millions of users’ consumer data.

 Consumer data was often collected like this . . .

The unsavory attention Facebook is getting has caused the company to make some big changes in the way it does business. These changes are ultimately causing issues for content marketers.

Changes to how data is used and privacy policies affecting marketers and businesses that leverage social media include:

  • No more Facebook Messenger chatbots (at least for the time being)
  • Stronger restrictions on Facebook data
  • Decrease in the number of organic posts for businesses
  • Decrease in the collection of mobile user data

These new policies may alter the very fabric of social media. It is also a blow to content marketers who use Facebook to target consumers via ads.

Won’t New Social Media Policies Favor Users?

The troubling news of how Facebook misused user data has caused a stir in the digital marketing space. The big question is can social media be saved? Well, chances are, people will continue to use social media.

Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social channels allow people to connect with friends, family, topics, and issues they care about. This is what makes social media so powerful.

With little surprise, the changes to social media policies after the Facebook situation had severe consequences for marketers. For example, cost per thousand impressions (CPM) has skyrocketed to 77 percent as impressions drop significantly.

Problems for users are also possible. In theory, many would think that stricter user data privacy policies would return power to users. Not really.

Yes, there are benefits for consumers, but social users may also be bombarded with a slew of non-targeted ads under new policies. This could also open up consumers to more malware attacks via ads.

Is there a solution? Can social media be saved in a way that benefits both consumers and marketers? The answer to both is absolutely. Enter blockchain technology and decentralization.

How Blockchain Technology Will Save Social Media for Consumers and Marketers

The relationship between blockchain technology and social media is nothing new. In fact, much of blockchain and cryptocurrency popularity can be attributed to social media through networks and forums.

Ironically, the technology social media helped reach the masses will be the technology to save it. How? The obstacles social media is struggling with can be overcome using blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology can return control of personal data and browsing history to users while still allowing marketers to still deliver targeted ads. It is a win-win way to ensure debacles lie the one Facebook is currently recovering from will never happen again.

What is the catalyst blockchain technology serves up that social media is in desperate need of? Decentralization! Here are a few ways decentralizing social media will make the difference.

1. Transparent Open Source Social Networks

Many consumers have got a bad taste in their mouth when it comes to centralized institutions. Facebook, Twitter, and Google are networks that can be censored by the government and have algorithm biases in place to direct consumers toward the content they consume.

However, blockchain technology is all about decentralization. It will take out the centralized bias and oversight, thus returning social networks to peer-to-peer interactions. This will make social channels open source and highly transparent.

Steemit is a good example of a decentralized social platform where people can share content via peer-to-peer interactions.

2. Fraud Free Advertising and BAT

Marketers are simply not getting the ROI on ads anymore. Why? Middlemen are selling off inaccurate user data. Marketers are also not the only ones getting middleman consumer data either, so are online scammers.

This has caused a lot of fraudulent ads and malware attacks on consumers. These attacks have led to the rise of ad blockers and other online safety measures, because consumers no longer trust the ads they get.

Blockchain technology can change this. By cutting out the middlemen, users regain control of their browsing data. Marketers can then ask consumers if they would like to share their data with them in return for cryptocurrency like the Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Contrary to what many would think, BAT is good for marketers. Instead of getting inaccurate consumer data from middlemen, they no get data straight from people interested in the products and services they are delivering ads on.

This leads to better ROI for marketers, and less chance of fraud and malware attacks for online consumers.

3. Better Influencer Marketing

Cutting out the middlemen, marketers can decrease operation costs. Where can you invest this saved marketing money? Influencers. You can save on influencer marketing by cutting out middlemen here too. For instance, influencer manager or agency fees can be as high as 30 percent per ad campaign.

Using blockchain technology and its decentralized protocols, you can analyze the true value of influencers as well. From micro-influencers to celebrities, blockchain verification protocols make vetting influencers accurate and easy.

This allows marketers to pinpoint what influencers have the biggest ROI potential, and ensure that the audience they are appealing to is real and not social bots.

Building Better Social Networks with Blockchain Technology

There are plenty of upsides to decentralizing social media. Not only will user data be managed and used better, marketers can get a clearer picture of consumer behavior. This can lead to increased trust via transparency, better influencer marketing campaigns, and most importantly, increased ROI. How can blockchain technology help your social media marketing game?

By: Nick Rojas

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