2 Weeks Ago

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has joined the Mediledger project (including IBM, Walmart, Pfizer, Cardinal Health KPMG), which is hoped will be rolled out in the summer of 2019.

The US pharmaceutical industry is worth over $450billion p.a., according to the independent statistical data company, Statista.

The US Drug Supply-Chain Act, which was announced back in 2013, is due to come into force in 2023, and the FDA is looking at how Blockchain technology can be harnessed to provide greater transparency and also evaluate methods to enhance the safety and security of the drug supply chain. According to the FDA Pilot Program website, “FDA’s DSCSA Pilot Project Program is intended to assist drug supply chain stakeholders, including FDA, in developing the electronic, interoperable system that will identify and trace certain prescription drugs as they are distributed within the United States.”

The intention is to reduce the time taken to track and trace stocks of pharmaceutical drugs and monitor the drugs’ integrity i.e. ensure they are kept at the right temperature. It is hoped that the results of the project will be made available by the end of 2019.

This is yet another example of where governmental bodies (in this case the FDA) are actively working with commercial organisations, using Blockchain technology to meet common goals and requirements. If this project is successful it will enable greater transparency, while improving the efficiency of the pharmaceutical drug sector.

 

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The Shoppers Drug Mart, which is the biggest drug store in Canada, has over 1,200 shops and has turned to Blockchain technology to help verify the provenance of cannabis supplies - as this is vital for patients using cannabis for medical purposes.

A Blockchain platform offers the promise of greater transparency of supplies while not compromising the privacy of users.

While medical cannabis has been legal since 2001 in Canada, using cannabis for recreational purposes was only legalised in 2018. According to government data, 5.4 million Canadians have bought cannabis since October 2018, and 600,000 have done so for the first time. However, the Canadian government is insisting that companies keep a monthly record on how much marijuana they have grown, harvested, sold, destroyed, used for research purposes or lost to theft. 

Cannabis sales are expected to reach over Can$7 billion next year and given the various data hacks and cyber-attacks the Canadian government are looking at how a Blockchain-powered platform can help both the private and public sector maintain confidence and reporting in this recently legalised industry. Canada is one of the first governments to legalise recreational use of cannabis, so no doubt other countries are monitoring the pros and cons in order to decide if they legalise cannabis for recreational use too!

 

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Blockchain
Supply Chain

A Month Ago

Target, who is the eighth largest retailer in the USA, has been working with Hyperledger, IBM, and Bitwise to use Blockchain technology, initially to help it improve its supply chain logistics for a number of its paper products.

Target is also looking at using Hyperledger as it is used by Cargill, who is one of Target’s main food suppliers. In a recent blog, Joel Crabb, at Target said “Working directly with one of our largest food suppliers will allow Target and all other participants to learn from one another as blockchain technologies mature. This also gives us an instant use case in determining which data to share and how to govern a multi-enterprise, blockchain-backed distributed ledger.

Once again, as we have seen in the luxury goods sector with LVMH and the shipping sector with Tradelens, Target is looking to collaborate with suppliers and other parties enabling them to all share their experience and knowledge. This style of “collaborative capitalism”, where independent organisations are actively engaging with each other and sharing information and knowledge, is intended to create a stronger, more robust and transparent solution which will help the market and not just the interests of one organisation. This collaborative style is well summarised by Crabb: Maturity in this space will take time, but we’ll only get there when enterprise partners like Target and Cargill dive in together.

Meanwhile, the third largest retail store in Russia, Dixy, is using Blockchain technology to help it develop an open-trade finance platform, called Factorin. This platform is designed to enable it to engage with factoring firms and help Dixy’s cash-flow management. The Factorin platform has been under trial for a few months and has already processed over 10,000 transactions. It has been developed to help improve efficiency, cut out human errors and speed up payments due to small and medium-sized business - which are estimated in Russia to be valued at $45 billion.

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FlashBoys, in Holland, has been working on a number of initiatives using Blockchain technology to help the retail sector in an effort to reduce fraud and improve transparency in supply chains.

One of the projects that it has developed is to use Near Field Communication (NFC) chips, and have these placed on bottles of wine or within items of clothes. An advantage of NFC chips is that no special equipment is required to read them, just a smartphone, and a product’s provenance can be held on the chip as well as other details, helping to tackle the sale of counterfeit goods.

Indeed, Flashboys is currently in discussions with Luxottica, the world biggest eyewear  manufacturer, to have an NFC chip inserted into a pair of sunglasses. Once the chip is in the sunglasses, it could create a unique token which could have information about the owner stored on a Blockchain. This would hopefully reduce the sale of second-hand sunglasses, as the new owner could easily scan them to see if they have been reported as lost/stolen. Ideas such as these are also being explored by fashion retailers, as they struggle to drive sales to their ‘bricks and mortar shops’ and find ways to differentiate themselves from online sales. One way would be to insert an NFC chip into items of clothes that are only sold in-store and say to customers “if you buy from one of our shops, you will get a discount of another purchase, or you will be able to see who and how your garment has been made”. By using an NFC chip, customers could use their mobile phones and retrieve discounts, and/or access to various different types of information. This could help retailers to encourage customers to use their physical shops more.

Meanwhile, American Express is looking at how it can use Blockchain technology to upgrade the many different loyalty programs it offers. Qiibee, founded in 2015 and based in Switzerland, also believes that Blockchain is a technology ideal for the loyalty industry as it offers brand owners more options and ways in which they can engage with customers, and hence offer them better value and information. Qiibee is trying to address the challenge such as when customers shop with a brand they like, they are rewarded with the branded token, ending up collecting numerous different tokens. These, in turn, are a hassle to use. However, by using the Qiibee platform, they can exchange the tokens they need from someone who requires the tokens they themselves have i.e. swap tokens!

So, it would appear that the retail sector is embracing Blockchain technology in a variety of ways, but I suspect, as this industry had greater adoption, more ways will be found to harness it still further for both on and off-line retailers.


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Blockchain
Supply Chain
Retail
Microsoft had a stock market valuation of $1 trillion in April 2019, and for years has been a leader in software development, transforming the way organisations do business, having developed Windows, Excel, and Word.

Microsoft is embracing Blockchain and Digital Assets more and more, an example being how it is now looking to have a “Bitcoin icon” as a currency option as part of its latest version of Excel.

Microsoft was one of the first multinational companies to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment in 2014, so it is by no means a “newcomer” to using Digital Assets. It has also been using Blockchain technology internally to help speed up license and royalty payments for its Xbox video games. Microsoft claims that it has decreased the time it takes to get statements and information on payments from 45 days to just minutes. This could help Microsoft further target the global video games market which grew in 2018 by over 10% to $135+ billion, helping Microsoft to be more efficient and profitable.

Microsoft has also been rolling out it’s Azure cloud-based service, and by using its Blockchain expertise is now attracting attention from a wide range of different industries. Working with the luxury brand and goods manufacture, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, Microsoft is creating a platform that will try and combat fraud in the luxury goods sector. Starbucks has also been using Microsoft’s Azure and Blockchain knowledge to help it have greater transparency over its supply chains. Starbucks’ customers will be able to download an App so they can see where Starbucks is sourcing its coffee beans from, and understanding how Starbucks is helping some of the 380,000 coffee farmers that it uses.

In the financial services sector, Microsoft is working with JP Morgan, as the bank will be using Microsoft’s Azure as it rolls out the JP Coin - a Digital Asset pegged to the US$. Microsoft is also working on a project to manage and verify identity, called Identity Overlay Network (ION). This enables your identity to be digitised, and then be shared, but only once you have given permission for others to have access. It would operate a little like Facebook Connect, whereby users can connect to over 15,000 websites based on details that they have initially entered onto their Facebook account. The big advantage that the Microsoft identity solution offers is that YOU, not Microsoft, control who and how your information is used.

Thus, one can see Microsoft is engaged with Blockchain and Digital Assets in many different ways, helping its clients develop new markets, such as ION, or bringing greater transparency to companies like Starbucks.

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Bitcoin
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2 Months Ago

In 2017, over $6.2 Billion was raised by Initial Coin offerings (ICOs) and, of the 875 companies that issued a Cryptocurrency, many were small start-ups using Blockchain technology i.e. “Bottom Up”.

However, we are now seeing multinational corporations like IBM, BMW, Google, London Stock Exchange, Amazon, LVMH, BP, Alibaba, FedEx, Facebook, Fidelity, JP Morgan, BVVA, Nike and governments embracing Blockchain technology as they realise the benefits this technology can offer.

The Mexican government is looking at using Blockchain technology and Internet of Things (IoT) to track grain, so grain producers can monitor the warehouses where the grain is stored. The company behind this project, GrainChain, is also hoping its platform will provide precise tracking, data, transparency, and reliability for grains in the supply chain. Meanwhile, the Central banks for Canada and Singapore have just successfully completed a test project to transfer Cryptocurrencies between themselves.

“The Bank of Canada and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have conducted a successful experiment on cross-border and cross-currency payments using central bank digital currencies. This is the first such trial between two central banks, and has great potential to increase efficiencies and reduce risks for cross-border payments,” MAS stated.

As institutions and governments start implementing Blockchain technology and Digital Assets i.e. “Top Down”, we are likely to see greater clarity around regulations which, no doubt, will lead to even greater adoption as confidence and acceptance grows.

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Blockchain
Fintech
Supply Chain

3 Months Ago

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) was set up after WWI, in 1923, to help make global trade more efficient. It has signed an agreement with a Singapore-based business Perlin to use its Blockchain expertise.

John Denton, the ICC’s current secretary general, before his appointment said. “We think this might be one which we can look back on in 100 years and say the ICC shifted blockchain in a way that enabled the private sector to function more effectively in a sustainable way and actually create more opportunities for people.”

Bold words about a technology with challenges of scalability and adoption? However, with multinational corporations like Coca Cola, McDonalds and Amazon as members of the, along with its 45 Million other companies in over 130 countries, the ICC has the global reach to raise Blockchain’s profile.

The ICC is thought to be looking to use Blockchain technology to help with cross-border transactions, traceability and transparency of goods, and to improve the efficiency of how supply chains function.

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https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeldelcastillo...5442b97f5f
Marseilles, the Mediterranean’s second busiest port and Frances largest, is using Blockchain technology to improve the efficiency of its supply chains and the way it handles freight and goods, looking at how it can make better use and share data in a highly secure manner. 

A number of ports are now using Blockchain technology, IBM and Maersk have a system that involves a number of organizations that are able to track in real time shipping data and shipping documentation. 
Meanwhile, Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, has a Blockchain initiative with bank ABN Amro and Samsung as they look at how to make the shipping of containers more efficient. Currently, there is an average of 28 different organizations involved in transport of one container from China to Europe. 
Shipping containers account for over 66% of all goods transported globally and the items they transport are valued at over $4 trillion worth of goods p.a. so efficiencies can make a huge impact. 

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Logistics And Supply Chain
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https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/french-governm...ics-pilot/

4 Months Ago

Alibaba, the world’s biggest FinTech company, which is capitalized at over $453Billion is planning to use Blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) for its vast international logistics and supply chains.

Alibaba has been experimenting with Blockchain for a while with its Food Trust Framework as it tries to improve transparency, help customers track goods and ensure their authenticity. Using QR codes customers will be able to scan a good and have greater certainty over a product's provenance.

Given Alibaba’s distribution and financial clout, one wonders how long it will be before they launch the AliCoin as a possible way to encourage and reward customers in some form of loyalty scheme. An AliCoin could then be exchanged for goods and services as Alibaba continues its expansion into banking and financial services with Alipay.

 

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Blockchain
Fintech
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Logistics And Supply Chain
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https://www.businesstelegraph.co.uk/alibaba-loo...nge-guide/
Accenture announced a new blockchain supply chain initiative to encourage farmers to be more sustainable and enable customers to have greater visibility of where and how products are grown.

Because Blockchains create a record of events that cannot easily be altered by a third party it allows one to track produce have come from, a feature that Everledger have been using for a couple of years to track diamonds, who are also part of this new initiative.

Tara Nathan, executive vice president, humanitarian & development at Mastercard “The purpose of blockchain is to enable corporate customers, governments and non-profits to monitor small farmer activity and address “accountability, waste and information transparency.”

Increasingly organizations are being challenged as to where they are sourcing their supplies- Pacifical uses a Blockchain to track tuna fishing TheGoodChain launched with very similar functionality to reward farmers, backed by ScanTrust and Cambio Coffee.

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https://www.forbes.com/sites/leslieankney/2019/...41d0971f81

5 Months Ago

The FDA has launched a new pilot programme to be able to track-and-trace medicines by 2023 electronically and keep falsified drugs out of the US medical supply chain.

The FDA have recruited Frank Yiannis, who had been at Walmart and helped them introduce blockchain to improve fruit and vegetable safety and Walmart’s ability to track and prove produce provenance.
 
The FDA said “For the drug track-and-trace system, our goals are to fully secure electronic product tracing, which provides a step-by-step account of where a drug product has been located and who has handled it. The aims are also to establish a more robust product verification to ensure that a drug product is legitimate and unaltered and to make sure that any party involved in handling drugs in the supply chain have the ability to spot and quarantine and investigate any suspect product”

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Healthcare
Supply Chain
https://www.btcwires.com/c-buzz/blockchain-to-b...y-the-fda/
Inxeption has designed a blockchain-based e-commerce platform for B2B that catalogs and digitizes product information.

It integrates product design, manufacturing, and supply chain to help companies sell products online, either for the first time or in a scalable, smarter way. UPS and Inxeption will work together to develop new shipping solutions. The platform also features real-time analytics so customers can monitor online sales, and receive real-time order status, and security notifications.

“Inxeption’s technology is attractive to UPS because it helps unlock new efficiencies for customers using B2B e-commerce platforms,” said Kevin Warren, chief marketing officer of UPS. “UPS creates alliances and partnerships to gain market knowledge and position the company as the shipper of choice in e-commerce.”


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Blockchain
Manufacturing
Supply Chain
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ups-unveils-equi...ccounter=1