Welcome to Last week in blockchain. My name is Wim Pelgrim, a blockchain realist and with this weekly podcast you’ll stay up to speed about all the major developments on the blockchain. And if you like what you’ve heard: share this podcast, like it in your podcast app or support me by going to www.patreon.com/wimpelgrim
This week Sunny King and proof-of-stake, cool numbers about blockchain, Cognizant’s research about blockchain adoption in Europe, Rwanda’s conflict mineral solution , Sony’s DRM effort, The Onion’s guide to blockchain and Capgemini’s research in supply chain and a lot of other articles for you to read.
In blockchain the name of Satoshi Nakamoto is well known as the developer of Bitcoin. But Sunny King is also one of the founding fathers of this technology. King developed proof-of-stake, which is the faster and more energy efficient consensus algorithm. He now wants to make blockchain easier to use. He wants to do that with his “supernode proof-of-stake” in conjunction with Virtual Economy Era, his company from Hong Kong. What does this mean technically?
Proof-of-stake is the big new consensus algorithm: in PoS-based cryptocurrencies the creator of the next block is chosen via various combinations of random selection and wealth or age (in other words: stake). In contrast: Proof-of-Work is based on the amount of computing power you contribute to the network. Super Proof-of-Stake combines this technology with supernodes: specialized hardware to create higher memory and bandwith where concentrated staking. And according to VEE speed, scalability and usability will be much better.
This all sounds very cool, but being devil’s advocate: isn’t all this news aimed at creating a buzz that the new Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure is coming? We’ll see, but if you want to take something away from this news: check out information about Proof-of-Stake. That is the interesting part. The rest is marketing.
A lot of people like numbers. Numbers about the state of blockchain are of interest to me. And Enterprisersproject.com wrote a nice article about the state of blockchain in 11 stats. I talked about a part of the numbers before: the Gartner research from podcast #15. A few other numbers from that article, sources are mentioned there. This year (2018) 1.5 billion dollars will be spent on blockchain technology. That’s a big industry. But a lot of that money is spend on research and experimenting. But, 90% of corporate blockchain experiments die in that phase. That is inherent to experimenting, but hopefully the 10% will flourish. Hyperledger is one of the biggest communities in the blockchain realm: 270 organizations are a member of Hyperledger. But this isn’t the only community: 61 consortia are working on blockchain solutions: two times the number at the end of 2017! A lot is happening. You, my listeners know that, but these numbers give a nice view of the field in 2018.
A research paper by Cognizant with over 1500 decision makers in Europe found out only 2 percent of the companies is willing to cooperate with competitors to work on industry wide progress. Wow. That’s a big hurdle for the coming blockchain paradise. Especially because Coginzant writes in the summary: “In other words, businesses need to look at the rules shaping their industry or company, as well as their habitualized practices of executing business processes that can be disrupted by blockchain. They need to dismantle old conceptions of using or valuing products, services and assets – and the purpose and value of institutions themselves.” They need to, but they aren’t interested. Even more interesting is that 83% of European business decision makers expect blockchain to have an important or very important impact on their industry. How come you can’t take matters in your own hands and focus on your own company? Why wait?
Governments and law
Two interesting applications this week I want to talk about. First Rwanda, the next African country working on blockchain and second the company Sony. After South Africa and Sierra Leone in podcasts #3, #6, #8, #10, #13 and #31, Rwanda is the next African country I’ll be talking about in this podcast. These countries see blockchain as a solution to social problems facing these developing countries. A big problem in Rwanda, a country with a sad history, has a big problem with conflict minerals. To prevent conflict minerals entering the supply chain, Rwanda’s Mining, Petroleum and Gas Board announced a traceability solution based on blockchain. And not this solution in particular is interesting, but the fact that African countries are speeding up their efforts in this field. It seems the disadvantage of Africa missing out on the PC- and internet revolution of the early 2000’s is their advantage in this new development: mobile first and working on new networks and new technology. I hope we see a lot more development in this continent in the next few years.
The next new application is DRM: Digital Rights Management. Sony is working on a way to use blockchain to protect copyright by using access control technologies. And when it comes to DRM, Sony has a track record: the 2005 CD copy protection scandal. There are no details available yet, but the company says that the current system is specialized for managing rights-related information of written works, but Sony is looking to explore other avenues to apply it to other content. An interesting development, linked to other developments like Civil (podcast #26).
Oh my god!
Do you want to laugh? A lot? Then check the Onion’s guide to blockchain technology. A great Question and Answer article with funny answers about blockchain and Bitcoin. And for those of you that don’t know The Onion: it is a satirical website.
Does blockchain hold the key to a new age in supply chain transparency and trust? A question asked by Capgemini. After stating the well known benefits of blockchain, the report describes three waves of blockchain adaptation maturity. Awareness (2011-2018), Experimentation (2017-2020) and Transformation (2019-2025). After 2025 blockchain will be main stream: organizations will undertake enterprise transformation, driving enterprise integration and establishing policies for privacy and data management. The report is to big to talk about here in detail, but check the cool infographic Capgemini made for all the details, especially when you are active in supply chain management.
And of course, if you want to read some more about blockchain, you can also check these articles: TRON partners up with Baidu, Ticketmaster will use blockchain in ticketing system, Gibraltar launches blockchain courses soon, New South Wales mandates land registry shift to blockchain, China releases draft regulation for blockchain startups, Gates foundation teams up with Coil to build blockchain payment system for the poor and the port of Rotterdam will be testing blockchain.
And that wraps up this Last week in blockchain. Check my website: www.wimpelgrim.nl for more info on me and my podcast and a full transcript of this episode. Check the links mentioned in this episode in the description: Sunny King and proof-of-stake, cool numbers, Cognizant, Rwanda, Sony, The Onion and Capgemini. And I hope to see you next week for my next episode. And if you like what you’ve heard, share this podcast with your friends and on social media and click those five stars in your podcast app. See you next week!
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