Blockchain Weekly Recap 10-22-2016
Eight Large Financial Firms Complete New Blockchain Bank Test
A group of eight large financial companies that includes giants like JP Morgan, Barclays, and Citi this week revealed that they had successfully tested blockchain startup Axoni’s smart contract technology. The test occurred over the course of a month, and involved equity swaps designed to demonstrate the prototype’s capacity for managing services related to margin payments, the processing of corporate actions, and other post-trade activities. Axoni has hailed the tests as evidence of how blockchain technology can increase efficiency in the equity markets.
Walmart and IBM Team to Track Chinese Pork on Blockchain
Big-box retailer Walmart is reportedly teaming with IBM to create a new supply chain program that would help to track Chinese pork and help to alleviate consumer concerns about its safety. Many American consumers have been leery of food originating from China in recent years, as a host of reports have shined a light on the nation’s struggles to guarantee food safety. With the help of IBM, the retail giant is designing a blockchain supply chain system that would utilize the Hyperledger Project’s technology to track every step of the meat’s progress from growers to consumers. Along with China’s recent overhaul of its food safety regulations, the new tracking should help to provide consumers with greater assurances about the safety of any imported Chinese pork.
Container Ship Operator Maersk Explores Blockchain Benefits
In the container shipping industry, costs related to paperwork processing have long been a drag on profitability. Now, the largest container ship company in the world, Maersk, has reportedly committed to investigating the benefits of blockchain technology to assess its usefulness in dealing with those paper bills of lading. The company recently partnered with experts from Copenhagen’s IT University in a proof of concept designed to replace traditional cargo lists with blockchain-based records. Using the paper-based systems, processing can sometimes be as or more expensive than the actual shipping of any container, since as many as one hundred different officials and other stakeholders can be involved at different times during the shipping process – everyone from customs to truck drivers and tax officials. If their tests prove fruitful, the industry could someday dispense with that costly paperwork process and rely on permanent, immutable blockchain records instead.
The Mouse Roars: Disney Unveils Dragonchain
To the wonderment of many, Walt Disney Company unveiled its new open-source hybrid blockchain platform earlier this week. The Disney blockchain is being referred to as Dragonchain, and it’s just the latest reminder of how quickly the company adapts to new technological innovations. Though there has been no clear explanation about how Disney plans to use its new distributed ledger, its description of the technology emphasized its multicurrency support and enterprise capability. For now, the real story is that the world’s second-largest media and entertainment company appears to be fully on-board with blockchain technology.
Of course, Disney has been an innovative company since its founding nearly a century ago, as it pushed the boundaries of animation technology even in its early days. Later, the company’s theme parks would carry on that tradition, with groundbreaking high-tech rides like the Matterhorn Bobsleds – the roller coaster that was so innovative that it is considered by many to be the first real example of the modern roller coaster. The company later introduced audio animatronics into the Disneyland park, followed years later by motion-base simulators and other cutting-edge advancements.
The company has even moved into virtual reality tech to assist with park design and has invested a reported $1 billion on its MagicBand technology that uses context-aware technology to provide a friction-free experience for the park’s visitors. Of course, the Mouse has been busy in recent years buying many of our most beloved childhood treasures: Marvel Entertainment, LucasFilm, the Muppets, and more. But the company has also continued to be future-focused as well, and its foray into blockchain technology is just more evidence of its commitment to remain at the forefront of innovation.