Big Tech Embraces Blockchain
Beyond Blockchain #5: Amazon, Tesla and Allianz scramble to adopt blockchain technology
Small and large-scale enterprises, both within and outside the tech industry, have made significant progress towards the adoption of blockchain technology. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) has helped major enterprises address significant bottlenecks in their operations and significantly improve processes surrounding security and overall performance.
This week’s release of the Move Digital Beyond Blockchain series is the first to feature a top-five company — Amazon. A recent job posting from the $1.8 trillion company sparked significant market movements in the Bitcoin world while also providing a rare snippet into what the company is planning to do with blockchain-based payments.
Other developments in the world of enterprise blockchain over the past fortnight have come from industries including insurance, supply chain, and banking. We cover these developments while also considering how new businesses can improve their operations through DLT.
Amazon Sparks Bitcoin “Wildfires” With Blockchain Job Posting
On July 22nd, Amazon posted a job ad in search of a digital currency and blockchain lead. The ideal candidate is expected to have expertise in “Blockchain, Distributed Ledger, Central Bank Digital Currencies, and Cryptocurrency,” and would join the Amazon Payment Acceptance and Experience team.
The job posting was followed a day later by speculative reports suggesting that the company would soon start accepting Bitcoin payments and also launch a digital currency. The rumors caused the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to soar. Amazon denied the claims earlier this week.
The eCommerce giant labelled the rumors as “not true,” but did admit it remains focused on exploring what blockchain-based payments “could look like for customers shopping on Amazon.” Undoubtedly, a blockchain payment system that will serve Amazon’s 197 million monthly visitors could drastically lower the platform’s 2.9% to 4% transaction fee and also mark a crucial step towards mainstream adoption of DLT.
Tesla taps blockchain to promote sustainable batteries for EVs
Elon Musk’s Tesla inked a deal with the world’s largest metal mining firm, BHP. BHP is based in Australia and will supply Tesla with nickel, a natural mineral used for producing batteries.
BHP will look to boost trust in its products by implementing a blockchain-based traceability system to track mineral production and distribution. This would allow Tesla and other consumers to trace and verify that the nickels were produced and sourced using ethical and sustainable practices.
BHP’s Nickel West operation will supply the nickel for Tesla’s batteries, and already claims to have a lower carbon footprint than other mining competitors. That claim, if true, will now be backed by an immutable supply chain record stored on a permissioned blockchain network shared by the partners.
Allianz customers in 23 countries can now process Insurance claims on the blockchain
Europe’s largest insurance company Allianz has adopted DLT in a bid to streamline international motor insurance claims. The solution is built on the HyperLedger Fabric blockchain network and provides a single record source for resolving customer claims.
Before now, Allianz employees would rely on exchanging several emails and sometimes taking several days to verify claims. However, the solution allows for data such as policy numbers, claim details, and involved countries to be logged onto blockchain for increased reliability and accessibility.
Clients in over 23 countries can now settle claims within a few minutes or hours after an accident takes place. The company has already processed 145,000 transactions involving some 10,000 international claims. This faster turnaround time saves time for employees and clients and is also set to create another revenue stream if Allianz decides to licence the solution to other insurers.
Private Swiss bank integrates blockchain-based identity system
Julius Baer, a Switzerland-based private bank with over $530 billion worth of assets under management, integrated a blockchain-based system developed by startup WeCanComply. The solution is also built on the HyperLedger Fabric network and will streamline the process that the bank uses to onboard asset managers.
Rather than submitting multiple documents with different banks, asset managers can use the same document to either register with Julius Baer or make changes to their accounts. Other partner Swiss banks are already using the blockchain-based identity solution including Lombard Odier, Pictet and Edmond de Rothschild.
U.S. Congressional Task Force touts blockchain for digital identity infrastructure
The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Task Force on Artificial Intelligence recently organized a session deliberating how blockchain could be combined with artificial intelligence to build a secure digital identity (“ID”) infrastructure for Americans. The preferred solution would follow strict privacy guidelines and help reduce identity fraud both online and offline to the absolute minimum.
Who is Investing in Blockchain?
Paystand raises $50M for a B2B blockchain payments application — California-based payment startup Paystand is combining cloud technology and a private version of the Ethereum blockchain to build a payment platform for business-to-business (B2B) transactions. This month the company raised $50 million in a Series C fund raising round led by NewView Capital, with participation from SoftBank and King River Capital. Paystand makes money from charging a monthly flat fee instead of the usual fee per transaction model.
Russia’s Telecom Giant MTS invests $11.7M in a blockchain trade finance startup — MTS is one of the largest telecommunication companies in Russia. This week, the company reportedly acquired a 51% stake Factorin, a startup that provides a blockchain-based solutions for trade finance. Factorin already counts 41 local banks and companies as customers and claims to process roughly $230 million worth of trades monthly.
Discover blockchain solutions that bring A-level improvements to your business
At Move Digital, we specialize in helping enterprises implement DLT solutions. Irrespective of the industry, we have helped businesses reduce costs and improve processes by introducing DLT systems into their operations. If you need help mapping out your enterprise’s blockchain strategy, feel free to send us an email.