The 2019 survey performed by Deloitte reveals that the financial technology sector remains a leader in blockchain implementation. But, at the same time, other industries have been more careful. They have been conducting research on case studies that can show ROI which justifies the investment and effort of executing blockchain technology.
That said, blockchain adoption by different industries is now reaching a turning point. Sectors including government, technology, life sciences, telecommunications, and healthcare are expanding their blockchain footprint by taking initiatives. As per the Deloitte study, investments of $5 million or more in new blockchain initiatives are expected in the next 12 months. The same survey also shows that blockchain technology has become a critical priority for companies of 57% of the respondents. With this, a 10% increase has been seen since 2018. And with the initiatives we are unfolding next, it is most likely that blockchain technology penetration is going to rise even further.
Blockchain For Climate Change
Hyperledger, an open-source collaborative platform developed to promote cross-industry blockchain technologies has recently announced a one-of-a-kind initiative. Hyperledger Climate Action and Accounting Special Interest Group were launched at the recent World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. The new Group at Davos will explore how blockchain can help the world meet climate goals as per the Paris Agreement.
The Group will welcome participants to share ideas on how blockchain can help governments and companies cut down global emissions together.
Furthermore, the technology may be used to develop a transparent global database to track emissions and identify problems and their solutions.
Participants of the new Group will examine how Hyperledger’s blockchain can work as an open climate project. Group members will work on creating the mechanisms needed to enable trustless emissions and climate statistics reporting. In addition, they will also develop protocols and standards appropriate for organisations and governments across the globe.
Cognizant, a leading American MNC has joined this league. It will soon be working with several prominent organisations to advance the blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) for users worldwide.
Hyperledger’s ecosystem and DLTs are at the core of the creation of a global and open climate accounting system that aids in integrating all actors and actions under the same worldly goal. This is as per the Hyperledger’s proposal for the use of their blockchain technology in combating climate change.
IBM Blockchain Improving Ground Water Management
Freshwater Trust, a US-based nonprofit working to conserve freshwater ecosystems and SweetSense, an IoT sensors provider have entered the partnership. This collaboration aims at improving the sustainable use of water resources by applying blockchain technology from IBM.
In particular, the project is focusing on tracking Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta in California in “real-time”. The river delta stretches over 1100 square miles and supplies water to the San Francisco Bay Area and coastal and southern California.
SweetSense is already helping over millions in Ethiopia and Kenya by tracking groundwater through their IoT sensors. The same technology will be used in this initiative.
The IoT sensors will gather and relay water extraction data to satellites. This data will be then recorded on the IBM Blockchain Platform hosted in the IBM Cloud. It will also support the establishment of smart contracts to automatically execute transactions when certain conditions are met.
As explained by IBM, a web-based dashboard will enable water consumers including financers and regulators; and farmers to monitor and track the usage of groundwater.
This will be of benefit, for instance, when a farmer is not planning on irrigating their land for a season. He could sell water credits to another farmer via blockchain.
This way, blockchain can establish trust and transparency while developing a scalable and cost-effective platform for preserving water resources – anywhere in the world.
Water Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation are jointly funding this project. And the University of Colorado Boulder will extend research support, as per IBM.
Blockchain Entering e-Commerce Industry
A new report from Statista shows that online buying will surpass US$740 billion by 2023. In between this enormous rise in demand, there is a constant issue concerning the sale of counterfeit items.
According to a recent Washington Post report, more than 750 online retailers allow misrepresented items on their platforms. More shockingly, over 90% of these sellers are supported by Shopify, the world’s third-largest online e-Commerce platform after Amazon and eBay.
Therefore, with the aim to take action against this problem, Shopify has decided to leverage blockchain to stop customers from getting cheated.
Real Items Foundation, a San-Francisco based blockchain firm used the capability of VeChain blockchain and remotely-hosted application Tokenized Asset Manager (TAM). The aim was to enable retailers to generate non-fungible tokens (NFT). When customers purchase a product with an NFT, they get to verify the authenticity of it. This includes information related to the product’s origin, method of sourcing, supply and distribution.
A recent tweet by Real Items Foundation offers a sneak peek into this advanced plugin developed for Shopify.
All that online shoppers need is a smartphone through which they can scan the QR code and confirm the authenticity of the item. The ease of its use is that consumers don’t require to install additional apps. They can just use their smartphone cameras to scan QR or access it using WeChat.
At present, the plugin is in its beta testing phase. It is being considered by many retail stores such as food, health, skincare, cosmetics, etc. The plugin is expected to be launched during the first half of 2020. This is as per David Mernard, CEO and founder of the Real Items Foundation.
Mernard also stated that the plugin will also enable brands to leverage the potential of a public blockchain to guarantee originality.
Digital Signature Service Using Blockchain
In 2019, China launched a blockchain-based smart ID system in order to improve interoperability between infrastructure, data, and cities. A more or less similar initiative has been established in Korea.
Raonsecure, a leading ICT security software company in Korea has developed a decentralised ID platform that uses blockchain innovations. The platform will be available on a mobile app that is capable of processing biometric information without requiring certificates.
This project has been performed by the company in collaboration with the Military Manpower Administration, a Ministry of Defence agency.
And now the newly Military Civil Complaint Portal site is providing the blockchain-based digital signature service for the first time in Korea. With this, users can easily log in and pass identification procedures without the need for an accredited certificate – like a digital identity card.
Users can download an authentication app from Google Play or App Store. After installing the app, users need to identify verification and authentication process. The next step is to just log in to the blockchain platform at the Military Civil Complaint Portal. The information is according to Newsis, a South Korean News agency.
In addition, users can use the app to manage different complaints such as active duty military service and alternative service applications.
Blockchain is increasingly being recognised as a game-changing technology in different sectors. The most important aspect of blockchain technology is its capability to establish transparency, trust, and authenticity. And these are being observed as the biggest drivers along with its potential when integrated with IoT, AI, and sensors.