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Blockchain Newsletter for August: How the world is putting blockchain to work

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blockchain pulseBlockchain is widely recognized for its use cases in the supply chain, from track and trace capabilities and provenance transparency to dispute resolution and streamlining communications between participants in a complex network. Active projects can be found in supply chains for food, beverages, aerospace, automotive and shipping, to name a few.

Blockchain-enabled trading networks like these are delivering value. A recent study from the IBM Institute of Business Value found that 41 percent of network participants report a positive return on investment (ROI). Nonetheless, blockchain for business goes beyond trade solutions. For your end-of-summer reading, we bring you other use cases in the news. Take a moment and get inspired. How can blockchain address problems in your industry?

Blockchain in the news

Beyond the supply chain: Innovative use cases in government and telco

Crime, corruption and cybersecurity are in the blockchain spotlight as governments globally look for new solutions to chronic problems. The World Economic Forum offered up a new report on five anti-corruption use cases for blockchain-based governance. In Australia, 300+ attendees tuned in to a Blockchain Australia-hosted panel discussion about blockchain in cybersecurity that focused on immutability as a counter to attacks that aim to manipulate data.

Learn how industries are revolutionizing business with IBM Blockchain

Beyond crime, South Korea, with its “digital new deal” initiative, has a number of projects in trial, including in blockchain-based data management in healthcare. Municipal governments are also getting on board. Dubai unveiled a nationwide blockchain-based data network for sharing Know Your Customer (KYC) data between licensing authorities and financial institutions. On a larger scale, Beijing unveiled ambitious plans to become a global hub for blockchain technology by 2022 and followed that announcement with details of 12 initial key projects.

In the telecom industry, 5G may grab the headlines but blockchain is also a strong technology play. Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Vodafone finalized a blockchain-based trial for automating roaming charges settlement. With 5G, the need for blockchain-based roaming settlements will only grow. South Korea’s SK Telecom has blockchain projects underway for digitizing mobile phone insurance claims and providing digital identity services, similar to a bank-led identity service in Canada. And Singapore telecom MyRepublic recently trialed a blockchain loyalty program.

Announcements highlight enterprise blockchain use cases in production

In the supply chain space, J.M. Smucker will trace coffee beans used for its 1850® Coffee brand using Farmer Connect, a traceability platform built on IBM Blockchain and designed to increase visibility and fairness in the coffee supply. Detailed information about 1850® Coffee is made available through QR codes affixed to its packaging. The codes call up the Thank My Farmer web-app that shows consumers where the coffee was sourced and lets them contribute to projects helping coffee farmers.

Providing an audit trail of environmental conditions as drugs travel from source to patient is the use case for Sonoco ThermoSafe’s PharmaPortal platform. The vendor-neutral blockchain-based network will provide end-to-end traceability of temperature-controlled drugs, including vaccines. Aerospace manufacturer Honeywell announced expansion of its blockchain ledger GoDirect Trade to include aircraft record generation and search capabilities.

In media and entertainment, Tech Mahindra, part of Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group, has launched a blockchain-based digital contracts and rights platform that aims to prevent digital content piracy. It’s designed to monitor authenticity and usage of online content and manage payments to content creators.

Singapore-based Solve.Care, recently named Industry Solution of the Year at the 2020 Enterprise Blockchain Awards, has launched two healthcare solutions. Global Telehealth Exchange connects doctors and patients, and Team.Care Network is a workforce health management solution.

IBM Business Partner DoshEx, headquartered in Johannesburg, has launched an enterprise smart contracting solution that combines IoT, smart contracts and blockchain immutable records. One use case for the platform is managing construction contracts over the life of a project. It also can provide condition monitoring, proof of presence, safety and compliance management, milestone monitoring and payment certification.

What else we’re reading

Tracking COVID-19 hospitalizations
The US Dept. of Health and Human Services is using blockchain to track COVID-19 hospitalization data, and India has also launched a COVID-19 tracking platform built on blockchain. While finding a vaccine is critical, blockchain will be a key tool in equitable distribution of billions of doses worldwide.

Regulation watch
The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced that national banks can now provide fiat bank accounts and cryptocurrency custodial services. Meanwhile, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) wants to keep a close eye on smart contracts and has put out a call for a blockchain forensics tool. Around the world, relationships between regulators and crypto are, well, complicated.

Securities lending and blockchain
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange says that in November it will launch a blockchain-based national market where Israeli institutions can lend securities directly to one another.

Stiff fines impede blockchain in Russia
Launching an enterprise blockchain project in Russia can take several years, and certification by the Federal Security Service can cost more than $100,000.

August’s features of “watch, read and listen”

You’re invited to a BlockpARTy!
We’re celebrating blockchain visionaries with art. Attend our series of virtual events, starting 19 August, to hear from IBM clients and see five artists’ interpretations of five key blockchain themes, starting with consumer confidence and trust. You can register now.

Conference: IBM Blockchain Executive Virtual Summit
For senior leaders and supply chain executives. Register today for this no-charge immersive event taking place this fall.

Webinar: The power of blockchain in uncertain times
Jason Kelley, General Manager of IBM Blockchain, and Ronak Doshi of Everest Group talk about blockchain as a catalyst for supply chain innovation today.

Contest: How can blockchain help with COVID-19 recovery?
Tell us your best thinking on how blockchain can help organizations collaborate and ensure strong safeguards for employees, and you’ll have a chance to win six months of free cloud services.

Smart Paper: Answers to your top enterprise blockchain questions
Learn what blockchain can do for business and demystify key concepts like “permissioned” and “public versus private” in this collection of quick reads.

Getting started with IBM Blockchain

We’re here to help you use blockchain technology to reach your business goals, no matter what your industry or the size of your business. Here are two ways to get started:

Still not sure where to start? Schedule time to talk with one of our experts specific to your industry, and they can help guide you in the right direction.

Thanks for reading our August edition of “Blockchain News You Can Use.” We’ll be back next month with more. In the meantime, if someone forwarded you this email and you’d like to subscribe, sign up here.

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Managing Editor

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