Blockchain Weekly Recap 9-24-2016
IBM and China UnionPay Build Blockchain-Based Loyalty Program
Tech giant IBM announced late this week that it has partnered with credit card firm China UnionPay to develop a blockchain-based loyalty program for banks. The collaborative effort will provide consumers with the ability to exchange their credit card bonus points among different banks, enabling them to obtain the rewards they want and resolving a long-standing deficiency in existing loyalty programs that has resulted in many customers failing to ever use their points. The prototype for the new system was demonstrated at Shanghai International Blockchain Week 2016, and offers a number of innovative features.
In addition to the reward point sharing features, the new system also promises to integrate offline supermarkets and malls with the online channels. That would be accomplished using store POS systems to scan points and exchange them for merchandise. Already, there is talk that the new innovation could be used to gather other rewards-based point information from services like mobile phone bills, gas cards, and airline miles.
Accenture Patent Filed for... Editable Blockchain?
Consultant firm Accenture is raising eyebrows with a recent patent filing for a blockchain that can be edited. The patent describes a distributed ledger system that could allow an administrator to delete information or edit details stored on the ledger. That capability would be designed for us with a permissioned system, such as the type used by many financial companies today. Accenture revealed its prototype of the new ledger system earlier this week, with the company’s financial services head noting that this more correctible form of blockchain technology could prove more attractive to regulators and financial service professionals who have concerns about being able to correct errors on immutable ledgers.
Google Cloud Latest to Offer Space for Blockchain Testing
In an effort to keep pace with other major companies like IBM and Microsoft, Google has revealed that its cloud services will now be available for banks to test and explore blockchain technology. Already, reporting indicates that Royal Bank of Scotland Group has successfully used Google servers in a clearing and settlement blockchain app test. That news was revealed by GFT at the end of the week, along with news that the German company’s other banking clientele will also be utilizing Google’s services for their own tests.
Google’s serious entry into cloud-based blockchain access for its partners provides one more avenue for banks, health care companies, and others to test and familiarize themselves with blockchain technology. For many of these companies using cloud-based testing, the cloud is proving to be more conducive to rapid testing than utilizing their own company servers and computers. As a result, many experts predict that the cloud environment is likely to become an even more important part of blockchain app development and blockchain deployment.
New Survey: Asset Managers Expect Blockchain Adoption within Five Years
The results of a new survey reveal that fully sixty-four percent of surveyed asset managers anticipate using distributed ledger technology in the next half-decade. In the survey conducted by Roubini ThoughtLab, the respondents were queried about their expectations for various new technologies and investment tools. Those responding to the survey cited virtual reality and AI as technologies that they expected to experience rapid growth, with tools like web analytics also seen as rising technological stars. Forty-five percent of respondents actually expect the blockchain to achieve some level of adoption within their own business before 2021.