SendFriend, a New York-based blockchain startup specializing in international money transfer to the Philippines, has raised $1.7 million in pre-seed funding from a group led by MIT Media Lab, Mastercard Foundation, Ripple and Barclays. Other investors include Techstars, Mahindra Finance, 2020 Ventures and 8 Decimal Capital. The blockchain-based platform, set to launch service from New Jersey and expand to other U.S. states, will allow customers, mostly overseas Filipino workers, to transfer funds back home for about 65 percent less than what is currently on the market, according to David Lighton, co-founder and CEO………………
After some resistance to blockchain and nonacceptance of the technology, Facebook, the social networks giant, has got down to developing its blockchain team and is currently looking for fresh talents to welcome to growing blockchain unit. In this regard, there have been rumors about launching Facebook’s own digital currency. They are reportedly true.
Those familiar with the matter have revealed that the company is working on developing a so-called stablecoin, digital currency pegged to the US dollar, that will allow users of the messaging app WhatsApp to transfer money on the platform.
As was reported by Bloomberg, Facebook is far from releasing the coin, as at the moment the company is “working on the strategy, including a plan for custody assets, or regular currencies that would be held to protect the value of the stablecoin.” Moreover, the focus will initially be “on the remittances market in India.”
The government of India is implementing a policy of demonetization and adoption of the blockchain technology. In September this year, mobile banking transactions worth of $6.8 million were processed, which marked a new monthly high. The country also leads the world in remittances. As the World Bank estimated, people sent $69 billion home to India in 2017.
After earning significant success in China, Huawei Cloud launched its Blockchain Services (BCS) globally earlier this month. Per a press release issued by the company on November 29, 2018, the service will help create, manage, and deploy blockchain applications economically on the company-run cloud.
Advantages of BCS
According to the company, BCS could capitalize on the advantages of Huawei Cloud’s container and security technologies, among others. Some of the areas where it could be universally applicable include the Internet of Things (IoT), finance, data applications, among others. The press release states:
“The scenarios it can be used in cover data transactions, identity authentication, proof of information (such as real estate and education), remote healthcare, food source tracing, the Internet of Vehicles (IoV), and IoT device management. It offers substantial assistance for establishing a technological ecosystem and digitally transforming industries.”
As per the information available on the official website, the professional edition is free until the end of this calendar year (December 31, 2018), while the basic version will remain free. The website further explained the use-cases of BCS in fields such as supply chain finance, supply chain trading, digital assets, and notarization for crowdfunding. All of which will be ameliorated with additional transparency.
Huawei’s official cloud website states that BCS “Enables efficient exchange of digital assets and prevents in-chain falsifications with such automated transaction capabilities as asset ownership confirmation and accounting reconciliation.”
Expounding on the advantages of using BCS, concerning other cloud systems, the press release highlighted various benefits such as its flexibility, efficiency, and innumerable security and privacy features.
Huawei’s Blockchain and Crypto Ventures
Huawei latest move is not the first foray into blockchain. Since 2016, the Chinese tech giant has been a member of Hyperledger Blockchain Consortium, hosted by the Linux Foundation. The company has been recognized for its contributions in two main fields namely Fabric and STL, and also as Hyperledger maintainer. The telecom company was the only maintainer from Asia in these sub-projects.
For the uninitiated, the hyperledger is a blockchain-as-a-service platform that enables clients or users to build smart contract applications that tend to primarily focus on public services such as ID verifications, financial auditing, supply chain, and tokenized assets.
In April this year, the telecom giant Huawei unveiled a blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform. Before that, Huawei divulged their launch of a blockchain-based smartphone, and in May, the company also announced to release BTC.com’s Bitcoin wallet in its app store.
Smart contracts built on blockchain technology may eliminate the need for middlemen. Energy grids could use that tech to increase cybersecurity. And aerospace suppliers look to blockchain as a potential investment in keeping track of their supply lines and boosting efficiencies.
But perhaps one of the most unexpected – and impactful – applications of blockchain may be in agriculture.
Blockchains could ensure vegetable quality
The blockchain is a byproduct of Bitcoin, but its application range is infinite. Blockchain can have a significant impact beyond the internet, and it is likely the concept will be applied to all industries in the future. One example of this potential is in quality assurance – a process all businesses must contend with.
An active example of the impact of blockchain technology on agriculture is the increase in traceability of agricultural products. In Aya-cho, Higashi Morokata-gun, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, demonstration experiments are being carried out using blockchain technology to assure the quality of organic agricultural products. The data recorded includes who farmed the product, condition of the soil, nature of the pesticides and production environment. This proves the quality of the product. Agriculture experts are taking notice of these products, too, which trade at almost twice the market price due to the spotlight on them.
In the manufacturing industry, the traceability of parts has been advancing significantly. The same cannot be said for that of software, though the role of software in terms of products and services will become more significant in the future. When this happens, businesses must assure the quality of the software by disclosing who wrote the program and how it was written. The blockchain should be an important part of this assurance process.
Keep information in a virtual safe
In the years to come, a company’s survival will greatly depend on “the amount of useful information” it possesses. One example is Uber, a car dispatch service provider. They are a well-known business, but like any other, they are looking further into the future to see “how they can optimize the huge customer data base they possess for their next business endeavor.” Uber may just completely change the logistics of the world by making use of “movement of people” data accumulated by their dispatch service. Imagine the impact on Japanese business if leaders thought so deeply about the relevance of their future data and technology.
Since the introduction of IoT, the number of data-collecting sensors and amount of information collected from them has dramatically increased. IoT technology becomes more capable by the day. However, too many companies use a low-security system to manage high-value information. Japan is a developed country with a strong manufacturing base, and it is the only country that can create its own social infrastructure from beginning to end. If Japanese manufacturing companies were to turn their expertise into data and store it in a trustworthy blockchain, that shift would create huge value.
Requests would come from all over the world from those who want to analyze the data. Furthermore, utilization of this data could bring about new innovations, such as a never-before-seen refinement of strong metals. Ultimately, to make use of this data, we have to keep it in a safe. That safe is a blockchain.
Data storage giant Seagate has a counterfeiting problem. All one need do is Google “Seagate and fake” and the results produce numerous guides to help ensure users the hardware they’re putting in their computer is real. But the problem is actually larger than just retail customers buying fraudulent hard drives, which sometimes come shipped as nothing more than dressed up USB sticks. Not only are counterfeits making it onto some mainstream platforms like eBay, but something called the reverse supply chain, when customers return goods, is also vulnerable, increasing the risk that Seagate itself, which generated $11.8 billion revenue this year, is accepting counterfeits back into its own supply…………..
The Stock Market and Central Bank of Singapore have successfully developed a blockchain-based settlement system for tokenized assets in partnership with some big names like Nasdaq, Anquan Capital, and Deloitte.
Bitcoinist reported earlier in August that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which is also the city-state’s de facto Central Bank, as well as Singapore’s Stock Exchange (SGX), have partnered up with Anquan Capital, Deloitte, and Nasdaq to develop a blockchain-based settlement system of tokenized digital assets.
In a joint press release dated November 11, MAS and SGX announced that the collaboration has been successful and that they’ve developed Delivery versus Payment (DvP) capabilities for settling tokenized assets throughout different blockchain-based platforms. Purportedly, this will help simplify the process after the trade and make settlement faster.
According to Ms. Tinku Gupta, Head of Technology at SGX as well as Project Chair, a patent has also been already filed:
We are delighted to drive this important industry effort to accelerate innovation in the marketplace. Based on the unique methodology SGX developed to enable real-world interoperability of platforms, as well as the simultaneous exchange of digital tokens and securities, we have applied for our first-ever technology patent.
Tokenized Assets on the Rise?
While Singapore’s Central Bank has traditionally been receptive of blockchain technology, it seems to be particularly keen on tokenized assets.
Speaking on the successful proceedings of their partnership, Mr. Sopnendu Mohany, Chief Fintech Officer at MAS outlined:
Blockchain technology and asset tokenisation are fuelling a new wave of innovation globally. This project has demonstrated the value of blockchain technology and the benefits it can bring to the financial industry in the short to medium term. The concept of asset tokenisation, as well as other learnings gleaned from this project, can potentially be applied to a broad spectrum of the economy, creating a whole new world of opportunities.
Juzar Motiwalla, Co-Founder of Anquan Capital, on the other hand, recognizes the evolution of tokenized assets and the impact they might have on existing business models:
The evolution of new forms of tokenised assets is accelerating the search for new business models, which in turn intensifies the search for dramatically improved settlement engines. […]We see keen interest in this across multiple sectors, including financial services and digital advertising.
It does seem like asset tokenization could be the next big thing. Last month Bitcoinist reported that a $30 million New York condo has been tokenized on the Ethereum blockchain.
If your hearing was sensitive enough and you were listening all over the United States, you would likely hear real estate agents, title companies, lenders and inspectors printing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of papers. These papers are scanned, faxed, emailed, distributed and shredded in ways that feels somewhat reminiscent of the technologies of an old Friends episode. Common practices in the real estate industry are often archaic and wasteful and they can be beacons for fraud across all sectors……..
Partnerships and initiatives featuring blockchain seem to be trumpeted every day. Projects that actually solve real-world problems are much rarer. The research firm Gartner surveyed 3,160 chief information officers this year and found that only 1% had put blockchain to work. Take the Australian mining giant BHP Billiton (ticker: BHP), which announced in 2016 that it would use blockchain to track its supply chain, including the movement of rock and fluid samples. But after the company tested it in a pilot project, a BHP executive said this month that the technology “hasn’t reached the point of maturity where we think it applies to us……..
How blockchain technology works?
According to the pioneers of blockchain technology, it is nothing less than an online ledger that records the data related to all transactions made throughout a business organization. Apart from the transactions that are made regarding money, other transactions that hold value are also recorded in this system.
The database that this system store does not have one location. Also, it is freely available to the public. Therefore, the chances of fraud are minimized. Moreover, this is a decentralized system, which means that it is not controlled by any party. Thus, improving the level of credibility and reliability on the system.
Benefits of Blockchain Technology
There are several benefits of blockchain technology for the business owners. The most prominent ones may include:
Improve the level of security
Decentralization that is, free from the involvement of the third party
Reduce the cost and fatigue of managing the business records in registers or manual ledgers
Along with these benefits, the most important advantage of blockchain technology is that it has the capability to protect the coy rights of organizations.
Why is blockchain system needed in business?
The blockchain is a sensitive system that is a part of every national and multi-national company. Nowadays its use has increased because of the increased hacking threats to the confidential data of organizations. In order to protect the secrets of organizations a decentralized system is adopted, and this system is what we called as blockchain system.
Also, the customers that connect to different companies for business purposes share their important data with them. So, they also need measures to protect their sensitive data because you never know when someone uses it betray you. Here again, the Blockchain development agency comes for customer rescue.
What is the right time to adopt this system for your business?
According to this Forbes article, we’re at the stage that’s called “the early majority” – which means that if we decide to adopt blockchain tech into our business operations, we’re still one of the early adopters. That said, considering your available resources and growth plan, you should probably do it at the very start of your business. An obvious reason for this is the high efficiency of this system.
As you adopt blockchain technology at the beginning, then you can manage all your ledgers without the interference of any third party. It will make the whole process clear and clean from the start. Rather than waiting for some reasonable time, adopt it right away in the beginning to stay carefree from the tensions of managing transactions through third-party involvement.
This is how this technology works for the benefit of business organizations. The potential of such systems is completely realized by business owners, and they have started using it to make their business activities clear and free from any fraud. This is the reason why this system has become indispensable for the business owners.