Fortune 100 Companies – Oracle, Amazon, IBM – Embrace Blockchain
Fortune 100 companies are what fuel and drive the world’s capitalistic markets. While many of them have been heavily criticized for their monopolistic practices and paying relatively low wages to their lower level employees, there’s no doubt that they have offered and continue to offer quality services that are in very high demand.
Oracle Corporation, which sits at the #81 spot on the list of Fortune 100 companies, has announced plans to launch what it calls platform-as-service blockchain. Thomas Kurian, head of product development at Oracle, noted that the new product will allow for other platforms to be integrated onto it. Furthermore, the company will launch blockchain-powered apps some time next month.
Blockchain for Nigeria and Big Pharma
The American multinational computer technology company is also using Hyperledger to monitor and document bank-to-bank transactions, with the help of Banco de Chile. Notably, Oracle is working the Nigerian government as well by helping it to leverage blockchain technology in order to log customs and imports data.
The Fortune 100 company intends to penetrate the pharmaceutical sector in the foreseeable future with its blockchain efforts. It plans to use the distributed ledger to help pharmaceutical companies cut down on product recalls by efficiently monitoring the distribution of medicine. Other Fortune 100 companies have also entered the blockchain industry, including Amazon.
Amazon and Microsoft Working Extensively with Blockchain
The retail giant launched blockchain templates as a product on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The templates are designed specifically to work with Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum. Meanwhile, Microsoft Azure, a cloud-computing service, offers Ethereum Blockchain-as-a-Service (E-BaaS), which it developed through a collaboration with ConsenSys.
Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) has become quite a popular product among Fortune 100 companies. In fact, there is heavy competition between Amazon, IBM, and Oracle as all three try to offer their customers the best service possible. AWS launched BaaS just six months after Oracle released its own version, which also happens to use Hyperledger Farbic. IBM seems to remain ahead of the pack, though, releasing its BaaS product a year prior to Amazon.
Facebook Announces Formation of Blockchain Research Group
Facebook has also made it official that they will form their own blockchain research group so that the company can “best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch”, according to Facebook Messenger Vice President David Marcus. This appears to be a follow-up and update from January of this year when the company CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that he would begin learning about cryptocurrencies, so that his team can integrate them into their services.
Blockchain Use Cases Being Explored By Everyone
It is not only Fortune 100 companies that are looking into blockchain technology. Just about every type of organization, including world governments and the departments working under them, are now engaged in efforts related to adopting this distributed ledger technology (DLT). Recently, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security announced the development of a blockchain-powered platform which will allow authorities to record evidence from police investigations.
This was revealed by the nation’s Intellectual Property Office, after a patent for the blockchain solution was acquired back in November, 2017. The blockchain system records data transferred to the cloud and uses timestamps. First, however, the deposition data is forwarded to a cloud service provider and then after obtaining multi-signature authorization from all the contributing parties, the record is permanently stored on a blockchain. This is basically how a blockchain system works, so it remains unclear as to actually why the government body had to register a patent.
China Becoming a Blockchain Hub
Notably, China is poised to become the world’s leading economy, surpassing the US in terms of annual GDP by 2030, and it remains at the forefront of cutting-edge technology such as blockchain. In fact, the nation’s 30-year-old island Hainan province is where Huobi Labs will set up a “Global Cultural and Creative Blockchain Lab.” While most of the Fortune 100 companies are still largely based in the United States, this may begin to change and we might see more of them being based in China, as we head into the future.
It has been reported for quite some time that China’s capital city Beijing now has more billionaires than the state of New York. Moreover, Beijing has more billionaires than any other city in the world. And, even though there are no crypto or blockchain related companies that have entered the ranks of the Fortune 100 companies, this could change as well in the next decade or two. This, of course, would depend heavily on the long-term success of the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. At this point, the best we can do is carefully watch all the developments unfold in the cryptosphere and positively contribute to them as best as we can.
Cardano, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Architects Continue to Work Progressively
The developers of Cardano are planning to make meaningful contributions as they recently announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology. Per the MOU, the Cardano team will work closely with Ethiopian developers to develop blockchain solutions for the country’s Agritech sector. Although Cardano’s mainnet has not yet been launched, the crypto-platform sits comfortably in the top 10 cryptos in terms of marketcap.
To its credit, Cardano has a solid development team backing it, which has largely been put together by former Ethereum leader Charles Hoskinson. However, many respected crypto experts still believe that Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, will continue to play its dominant role in terms of market adoption and acceptance. This can be credited to perhaps the strongest group of loyal and skilled programmers and companies backing its ongoing development and upgrades.
Yes, transactions on the Bitcoin network are still painfully slow, however, a layer-two solution known as lightening network is being worked on extensively. The goal is to leverage the lightening network to make Bitcoin scale more effectively. Basically, this layer-two technology aims to work by transferring transactions onto off-chain payment conduits. This is done so that BTC payments can be processed without the requirement of having to spend time waiting for the next transaction block to mined.
Companies working aggressively to make this promising solution a reality include ACINQ. Last month, in April, ACINQ introduced a wallet app for Android that uses the lightening network to send payments. At this stage though, the app is not yet set up to receive payments. There are also various types of implementations being worked on for Bitcoin’s proposed lightening network. For instance, the version that ACINQ is working on is called “eclair”. Meanwhile, the Lightening Labs company is behind the “ind” implementation. Ideally and hopefully, the objective behind these efforts is to make BTC payments as easy and user-friendly to process as swiping a credit card.
As Bitcoin and Cardano developers work intensively on their blockchain networks, Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum squad also seems to be making substantial progress. Similar to Bitcoin’s lightening network, there’s no official deadline or target date set for Ethereum network’s heavily anticipated upgrades. However, a number of noteworthy developments for the Ethereum blockchain have recently surfaced.
On Tuesday, Ethereum’s Casper developer Danny Ryan shared the first release of a network upgrade on GitHub that will enable the platform’s software users to build applications using their preferred programming language and also to test the new release. The Ethereum community envisions that the successful implementation of this and other related initiatives will enable the network’s blockchain to function in a “hybrid” manner by using proof-of-work and proof-of-stake. For now, proof-of-stake will only be used to validate “checkpoints” at set intervals due to the prohibitive 1,500 ETH cost (stake) of running a validation node.
Proof-of-work will continue to be used by the Ethereum blockchain, which of course, consumes a lot of electricity due to mining. Future plans include migrating completely over to proof-of-stake by significantly lowering the stake amount and after more network upgrades. In the meantime, the first Casper release will be subjected to extensive auditing procedures and will also require more coding, specifically for Ethereum clients. It’s imperative that this code be written and be written properly because Ethereum clients are like the end-product that people use to run the network’s protocol.
Getting into the habit of becoming a close and objective observer of the developments in the crypto and blockchain space will likely pay off in the long-run. That’s because it’s not only the Fortune 100 companies that are beginning to immerse themselves in this futuristic industry, as we have covered here. The crypto and blockchain industry is now also establishing connections with the ongoing development of Artificial Intelligence.
Let’s try to bring more positive energy into these promising ecosystem, so that it can further help our future generations.
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