Advertisements

World’s Largest Business Organization Embraces Blockchain

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.”

Be among the first to get important crypto and blockchain news and information with Forbes Crypto Confidential. It’s free, sign up now.

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

Source: World’s Largest Business Organization Embraces Blockchain

Advertisements

11 Websites That Will Make You Smarter About Money

Not everyone has a financial adviser, and not everyone has the time to read a personal finance book. Luckily, there’s the internet. We’ve made learning about money easier for you by compiling a list of some of our go-to websites for money advice……..

Source: 11 Websites That Will Make You Smarter About Money

12 Suggestions To Upgrade Your Business’s Tech In 2018

1.jpg

With global information technology spending hitting $3.5 trillion last year, integrating more technologically advanced systems makes sense for large and small businesses alike. As a technology professional, you are charged with integrating these tech systems into your business without causing too much stress or disruption.

Knowing where to add and upgrade the tech solutions can help you manage your company’s overall IT strategy now and in the future. To help, 12 members of Forbes Technology Council provide the best technologies for companies that want to upgrade from older systems. Here is what they recommend: 

1. Start With Integration In Mind

There are many arguments for and against upgrades to software systems, but no matter what you choose, the best attribute I see in systems is their ability to integrate and connect to other applications that your business uses. If it can connect to other apps, then the win is far bigger than just upgrading a legacy system — it turns into a benefit that can help the whole business. – Joe DwyerPropelware

2. Automate

Many organizations are upgrading systems and thinking about how to migrate to the cloud. To get the most out of an upgrade, consider automating manual and repetitive tasks, and you will be much farther ahead of the game. – Gabby NizriAyehu Inc

3. Migrate To Cloud Software

For small and medium-sized companies to reduce maintenance costs and increase accessibility for enterprise resource planning, accounting, inventory management and e-commerce, it is prudent to migrate to a cloud software. A cloud ERP solution is a good option for managing all of a company’s needs. – Raj Kellampalli, NetScore Technologies

4. Try Hosted Email

Hosted email, whether it is an exchange provider or Google Suite, takes a considerable amount of resources that were traditionally spent keeping those systems running and updated locally. They provide highly stable, managed platforms that put the responsibility for upkeep on the provider. I have seen this move free up both time and capital in several cases. – George HeimelSquare360 Inc.

5. Focus On Security

Lack of security has become a crisis for our technology-dependent world. Historically, security has been considered as a nice-to-have feature and something that can be added when needed later. We have learned the hard way that security must be designed into every technology and application, and it cannot be left out to reduce the cost. – Jamshid Vayghan, IBM

6. Opt For SaaS Software

SaaS software provides an alternative route to standard software installation options. It is usually available at a lower cost and is immediately ready for use, permitting for quick proof of concept operations. Additionally, SaaS solutions are usually on the cloud environment allowing scalability and integration with other SaaS offerings. Upgrades are also simpler to carry out, and less expensive. – Alexandro PandoXyrupt 

7. Focus On Task Over Tech

Never simply grab the latest software because you think you should. Think about how you can fix a process versus install new technology. A great example is Slack — many people love it, but many install it because they feel they have to. If you have diverse remote workers, but don’t need constant communication, your best bet may be to install a process management system over a synchronous chat. – Diego FischerInstacarro.com 

8. Choose Centralized CRM Applications

Inter-office email is often a crutch for some businesses. People become too dependent on it for information. Unlike inter-office email, help-desk applications and centralized CRM applications provide collective, customer-specific information, systems issues and action items requiring attention. Communicating through a CRM allows subscribers to search combined real-time information. – Michael PlummerOur Town America

9. Embrace Video

All companies, large and small, must embrace streaming video communication to employees, partners and customers. Modern, efficient platforms that handle the entire video management/delivery workflow are emerging. The cost and complexity of producing good video content is coming down. So tell your team to step away from the keyboard, summon their inner Spielberg and embrace video. – K.C. WatsonSherpa Digital Media

10. Fix Only The Bottlenecks

A generic answer like “go cloud,” or “use Slack” will probably bring little or no value to the technology experts in this council. My advice is, before upgrading your technology, find the real bottlenecks in your processes and fix them. Sometimes the fix will require new technology, sometimes not. Focus on the barriers to growth and efficiency and relentlessly fix them with adequate solutions. – Stefan Petzovswisscom.com

11. Use Agnostic Content

Companies managing large amounts of data often keep it siloed within isolated and proprietary systems that can’t communicate with each other. Instead, website content, product inventory, client info, employee details, digital assets and everything else can be managed within a single database as a service (DBaaS). Less training, easy access, lower costs and most importantly: the agnostic content can be used anywhere. – Ben HaynesRANGER Studio LLC

12. Check Out Your Current Vendor First

Your current vendor is the first place to look. If you’re happy with your current vendor, chances are they’ll have a cloud-based option to which you may be able to upgrade. – Sayer MartinOrchestrate, LLC

By: Elite CIOs, CTOs & execs offer firsthand insights on tech & business.

 

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar