When you're a global manufacturing giant, it stands to reason that you might need a fair amount of organisation and security when it comes to shipping your wares. With that in mind, it's not particularly surprising that Samsung Electronics Co.is considering investing in a blockchain ledger system in order to keep track of its global shipments.
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My favourite thing about Graphite, the new blockchain-based Google Docs competitor, is that it's so much faster. Docs used to be the lightweight alternative to MS Word; now it feels similarly slow and bloated. While I still use it for collaborative work, I've been leaning toward Apple's Notes app in all my solo writing; it's much faster but has some stupid design choices, such as a bad default font and bright yellow link text. (My second favourite thing about Graphite is that it looks crisp and handsome.)
In response to the emergence of blockchain as an important technology Melbourne's RMIT University has launched a new Developing Blockchain Strategy course. The 8-week online course starts on 19 March and was developed by the University’s Blockchain Innovation Hub, Stone and Chalk and Accenture with the goal of educating business leaders to develop a rich and relevant understanding of blockchain.
Over the past few months, Lifehacker has written a lot of articles trying to demystify the world of cryptocurrency, but there's still a ton left to cover. You could probably spend the rest of the year reading about cryptocurrency and still have more questions than answers. I'm not recommending anyone actually do that, but if you want to, there's a website you should check out.
The problem with most blockchain "explainers" is that they provide more detail than what matters to most people, using language that is foreign to most people, which winds up leaving people more confused than when they started. Instead, without worrying about being a technically perfect description, here's an explanation of blockchain your parents could understand.
With the meteoric rise in popularity of Ethereum, cryptocurrencies and blockchains are back in the news again. Graphics card prices have soared with the promise that those who have the computers and know-how to do some serious mining can take home huge sums in a Bitcoin-like gold rush to snatch up as much virtual currency as possible. But how easy is it to make your fortune in cryptocurrency? And is it worth your while getting started?
We're a week into the new financial year. Now that the finance team has calmed down and budgets for the next year are finalised it's a good chance for IT leaders to take a breath and look ahead. We are in the middle of a time of massive change so planning ahead has never been more challenging. What are some of the technologies you should be tracking and planning for?
Of all the technology I read about, blockchain most feels like a solution people are trying to apply to the wrong problems. The application of blockchain as a platform for crytopcurrencies is the most well-known use, but governments and private businesses are looking to use it in other areas, notably identity. Dr Mark Staples, from Data61 is an expert in blockchain and a number of other technologies. I spoke with him at the recent Data61+LIVE event in Melbourne.
Blockchain has something of a mixed reputation, mainly as it's the underlying technology used in cryptocurrency applications that are often used by criminals to transfer funds without detection. But cryptocurrency is just one application that the blockchain platform can be used for. Accenture and Microsoft have teamed up to use blockchain as the basis for an identity management platform.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has used blockchain technology to complete a trade transaction with a major US bank to facilitate the sale of cotton to China. Blockchain technology is often associated with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin but it can be used broadly to track ownership and authenticity of documents as well as digital and physical assets. CBA is claiming it as 'the first global trade transaction between two independent banks'. Here are the details.
No new technology since the dawn of the internet has captured the imagination like blockchain. Designed to run unregulated electronic currency, the blockchain is promoted by many as having far broader potential in government, identity, voting, corporate administration and healthcare, to name just some of the proposed use cases. But these grand designs misunderstand what blockchain actually does. Blockchain is certainly important and valuable, as an inspiration for brand new internet protocols and infrastructure. But it’s a lot like the Wright Brothers' Flyer, the first powered aeroplane. It’s wondrous but impractical. Read on to find out more.
The use of blockchain in financial services would need to be carefully regulated with access restricted to only approved participants. Institutions should also be required to use "kill switches" to stop computers automatically executing in times of stress. These are some of the recommendations of outgoing chair of IOSCO Greg Medcraft based on concerns from global regulators. In short, blockchains are risky business.
Acronis, a company that specialises in hybrid cloud data protection, has established a dedicated research and development team to develop applications of blockchain technology for secure data protection. The technology, created for transactions of cryptocurrency Bitcoin, has long been thought to be a viable technology for use within the finance industry, though Acronis believes it could help guarantee data authenticity, privacy and control.