Blockchain Weekly Recap 11-5-2016
R3 Consortium Adds ABN Amro
The R3 blockchain consortium recently welcomed Dutch bank ABN Amro into its ranks. The bank has previously invested in Digital Asset Holdings and has been investigating distributed ledger technology for some time – both internally and in cooperation with academics in its area. Now, the bank is looking to expand its efforts by gaining access to the experience and knowledge of the more than sixty organizations that currently serve as members of the consortium. As ABN Amro’s Innovation Centre chief, Arjan von Os noted, “This is exactly the right time for us to step in.”
TamTam Travels to Leverage Blockchain in Travel Industry
UK startup TamTam Travels is reportedly planning to incorporate blockchain technology in its business model, combining that tech with a membership portal that provides discounts and other benefits related to travel services for its members. The startup is promising savings of as much as 50% on things like fashion, groceries, and even concierge services for travelers. This would represent one of the first truly notable blockchain incursions into the travel and tourism sectors of the economy. That industry remains one of the largest in the world, with estimates of its economic contribution reaching into the trillions of dollars.
KBank Partners with IBM for Blockchain Document-Verification
Kasikornbank (KBank) has reportedly utilized IBM’s blockchain expertise to incorporate blockchain-powered document-certification in a new bank service. The service is designed to increase accuracy and security, minimize risk, accelerate verification speeds, and provide a common standard for document storage and retrieval. KBank promises that the new service can verify and certify data in a secure and transparent way that allows easy and efficient auditing. The service will, if it lives up to its promises, help to reduce document-related operational processes, which should result in lower operation costs and increased speed and efficiency.
The bank plans to create a platform that will provide access to other banks and organizations, and has already started to plan for a certification service that will be marketed to retail and corporate users. The service is the first of its type to be designed in Thailand, and utilizes the IBM Bluemix blockchain service and the Hyperledger fabric.
Did Someone Say ‘Better Burger’?
We recently touched on Walmart’s plans to enable better supply chain management of Chinese pork using blockchain technology. It’s an interesting concept and one that should offer at least the potential for improved food security in a world where global food supply chains often lack the type of safety assurances that most Americans want. A recent Harriet Green article on Venture Beat offers some additional insight into how the blockchain could combine with the Internet of Things (IoT) to track and control everything from the various stages of supply chain contact that foodstuffs pass through to the temperatures at which foods are maintained.
You can read the entire article on the VB site. A word of forewarning, though: Green’s first paragraph interrupted this report by a full half-hour, as she left me with little choice other than to run out for a quick burger at my favorite dive (which I responsibly ordered to-go, to minimize down-time). What can I say; burgers are my kryptonite. If you suffer from the same vulnerability, don’t say that I didn’t warn you.