The Blockchain Ecosystem
Today, it is estimated that there are about 150,000 cryptocurrency users in Malaysia; and 10 million users worldwide. However, underlying the cryptocurrency (and bitcoin) is the blockchain technology that is proving itself to be the world’s biggest revolution ever, like how the Internet fabric changed the default manner of human society and living.
BlokTex Sdn Bhd’s latest and 4th ‘Unchain the Blockchain’ awareness event held at The Co, Bangsar, saw its Innovation Advisor Suresh Naidu, giving an pretty holistic and comprehensive view of the entire blockchain ecosystem.
Speaking to a group of about 50+ participants, legally-trained blockchain advocate and enthusiast Suresh Naidu – gave a layman and fun Tutorial 101 of what the decentralized computing concept of blockchain all about, how decentralized computers are designed, the mechanism how worldwide machines compete (and are rewarded) to confirm a transaction ie. mining, how the digital ledger cannot be tampered with without extraordinary effort, the Satoshi legend and myth, etc.
Blockchain, he shared, is the underlying technology fundamental behind the world’s current Bitcoin craze and exponential interest in blockchain-centric innovations for the future. And this same blockchain concept has become, ‘The building blocks for a new way of conducting business”.
Aptly themed ‘The Blockchain Ecosystem” – the talk basically saw Suresh going through 17 areas where blockchain has already seen enterprises and startups providing specific blockchain applications for their user segment.
The Blockchain Ecosystem
- Banking & Payments – An estimated USD400 billion is sent globally from developed world to undeveloped countries, imagine the banking transaction commissions that could be saved if these were done by the blockchain in a decentralised manner that does not require the 3rd Meanwhile, IBM predicts that 15% of world banks will use some form of blockchain remittance by the end of 2017. Some examples shared were the ABRA-BTC and Circle remittance.
- Cybersecurity – Blockchain-based cryptography is currently used to verify and secure data, preventing and resisting unauthorized changes n hacks
- Supply Chain Management – SKUCHAIN, FLUENT, BLOCKVERIFY and PROVENENCE were some of the companies and initiatives focusing on the future SCM that allows transactions to be documented in decentralized manner; reduce time delays, monitor labour, waste emission and facilitate verification of products’ fair trade status of products (eg. LUXTAG)
- Forecasting – blockchain technology changes how research analysis and forecasting is done, for example AUGUR – which is a global decentralised prediction market Ethereum that allows for forecasting events and be rewarded for predicting them correctly.
- Networking n IoT (Internet of Things) – In 2015 IBM’s ADEPT system was developed in partnership with Samsung, to build a distributed network of devices – a decentralized Internet of Things. The other IoT-related blockchain project is IOTA, that runs the Miota network; the idea of using blockchain for IoT is for central communication for all IoT devices, for their software to be automatically updated, energy usage monitored, etc
- Insurance – In the hugely lucrative segment of insurance, blockchain is the new way to ‘manage trust’, whereby entire global insurance market is based on trust management, the æternity blockchain is becoming the backbone for digital insurance markets.
- Private transport & ride sharing – Some of the bigger blockchain-based transportation models building built-in ewallets for parking toll n fuel; and some big players in this space include ARCADE CITY, LA’ZOOZ, ZF, and INNOGY.
- Online data storage – Decentralized cloud file storages that would disrupt more traditional providers such as Dropbox Google Docs, include Storj and Sia and Ethereum (Swarm)
- Charity – To solve the issue of transparency and accountability, initiatives such as BitGive Foundation is leading the way for many to lets donors see where their donations go; manage crowdfunding and such.
- Voting – Audience guffaws were audible when this area was highlighted as one that could benefit much from blockchain technology. Democracy Earth & FOLLOWMYVOTE are two examples of projects that are ‘aiming to disrupt democracy’ by try leverage blockchain technology to avoid rigging, more efficient and autonomous voter registration, identify verification.
- Government – A main example of something already in the works is the target declaration by the Dubai government that all government documents will be put on the blockchain by 2020; CONSENSYS is an example of a company building decentralized apps on the Ethereum, targeted for governments.
- Public Welfare – This is an area that suffers from inefficiencies and bureaucracy redtape all over the world, be it for public welfare resource distribution, jobs allocation and unemployment help. GOVCOIN is a company that is using blockchain to change the lives of benefit claimants, and Ethereum-based “Circles” is a currency created to address the universal basic income issue
- Healthcare – This is a sector where data sensitivity in storing, updating and sharing patient medical records is central to good healthcare management. GEM’s blockchain-based architecture allows healthcare companies to build patient-centric care models for their healthcare network; and TEIRION anchors medical records data to the blockchain to prove integrity and timestamp of any data, file, or process.
- Energy Management – Blockchain based TransActiveGrid is a peer-to-peer energy transaction & distributed energy resource control that allows users and (neighhours) buy n sell renewable energy from each other over the Transactive Grid
- Online music – In aspirations for a ‘fairtrade’ music ecosystem, the Mycelia foundation uses blockchain to establish the ethical, technical and commercial standards for the billion dollar music industry.; meanwhile Ujo Music uses uses blockchain technology to create a transparent and decentralised database of rights and rights owners – hence solving licensing issues and ensuring that musicians get fairly and directly paid.
- Retail – Marketplace giants like Amazon and eBay may have a run for their money when blockchain-based retail marketplaces such as OB1’s OpenBazaar’s free online marketplace to buy and sell goods / services using Bitcoin, with no fees or restrictions.
- Real estate – Much of the challenges faced in real estate paper tracking and transfer ownership administration will be solved with the likes of UBITQUITY, a blockclain secured platform for real estate record-keeping.