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The building blocks of a better supply chain

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Blockchain, typically associated with financial services and volatile cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, is now being touted as the next big thing in disruptive enterprise technology. Simply put, blockchain is a distributed database that exists on multiple computers at the same time. With each new transaction, a block is added with a timestamp and a link to the previous block, and then shared with all the computers in the network. The system is highly resistant to tampering, as there are multiple copies of the same data on the network.

Enterprises are currently exploring how the technology can help them increase transparency, potentially save on costs, and speed up business processes. Forbes recently released its first ever Blockchain 50, identifying billion dollar companies that are currently actively exploring using blockchain technology. While there were a number of financial organisations in the list, a range of industries and sectors were represented, with heavyweight names including Amazon, IBM, BP, HTC, Nestle, Microsoft and Walmart.

Optimising the supply chain

Although the technology is far from mature, one area where it’s already having a concrete impact is in manufacturing and the supply chain. A recent survey by Capgemini Research Institute found that more than half of organisations were currently experimenting with or implementing blockchain to improve manufacturing and the supply chain. The technology can provide manufacturers, shipping and logistics companies with a secure, paperless solution for tracking products through every stage of their lifecycle, offering organisations greater operational transparency and control.

Blockchain can be used to enable organisations to track a product efficiently and securely, as it passes through multiple stages and even locations, over several months. This detailed audit trail introduces the potential of huge cost and time savings by making several processes transparent and paperless. This includes releasing products through customs, tracking fresh produce to identify the source of contamination, and even tracing the movements of highly valuable and sensitive items.

Going beyond the hypothetical

Many companies are already using blockchain technology to enhance their supply chains. CargoX, an independent supplier of blockchain-based smart bill of lading (B/L) solutions, is one such example. The company provides a way to process B/Ls anywhere in the world. Based on the Ethereum network, their platform dramatically reduces B/L processing time from 5-10 days to just 20 seconds, by simply eliminating cumbersome, inefficient manual processes.

FedEx recently incorporated blockchain technology to track high-value cargo, with plans o expand the solution to eventually track the majority of their shipments. To further enhance the supply chain, a new blockchain system from IBM and Maersk aims to manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers, saving valuable time and resources.

Viant, an Ethereum blockchain-based platform for building supply chains partnered with the World Wildlife Fund to track tuna from the moment it’s caught, up until it reaches the shop floor. With the industry rife with corruption and criticism over how the fish are caught, being able to track the process from start to finish on transparent supply chains is a huge step forward to reducing the human and environmental cost of fishing.

What does blockchain mean for ERP?

Because blockchain has the potential to unite a large supply chain network using a decentralised system, by integrating blockchain solutions into an existing ERP system, the two can potentially work together to improve supply chain automation. This means that every company can maintain their own internal ERP system, while joining one rule-enforced blockchain network. In fact, two of the most highly publicised blockchain pilot technologies were implemented by embedding the technology inside ERP systems.

After a two-year pilot project, Walmart announced that it will use blockchain software developed by IBM to help grocers keep track of every head of lettuce or bag of spinach, to reduce the amount of spoiled and contaminated produce on their shelves. As its proof-of-concept, Walmart’s ERP system used blockchain technology to track the journey of a mango in a matter of seconds, from the very tree it was picked, to the packing house, cold storage facility and distribution centre, through to its final destination on the retailer’s shelves.

Looking forward

It’s important to remember that blockchain is an additive technology. It’s not going to replace the need for internal ERP, now or in the future. Instead, ERP systems and blockchain will work together to strengthen the integrity and automation of the supply chain.

The benefits of blockchain technology to streamline the supply chain is resulting in new organisations, standards and pilots with leaders in the industry. Although it may take years to iron out standards and interoperability issues, as blockchain technology matures, ERP systems will be the natural place to use this technology to optimise the supply chain, increasing efficiency, compliance and profitability.

Contributed article by Andres Richter, CEO, Priority Software

Source: https://cryptonewsreview.com/the-building-blocks-of-a-better-supply-chain/

Blockchain

TrustToken and Syscoin Partner on a Stablecoin Bridge

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Decentralized marketplace and e-commerce protocol Syscoin has partnered with the stablecoin platform TrustToken.

The goal of the collaboration is to speed up payments and to provide further solutions to Ethereum’s blockchain. It also means that the five stablecoins of TrustToken, namely TUSD, TGBP, THKD, TCAD, and TAUD, will run on Syscoin’s blockchain and be available for users.

A Collaboration Between Syscoin and TrustToken

According to a release shared with CryptoPotato, the popular decentralized marketplace and e-commerce protocol Syscoin has teamed up with stablecoin platform TrustToken.

Right off the bat, this means that the stablecoins provided by the platform will now run on Syscoin’s blockchain as well. These are TUSD, TGBP, THKD, TCAD, and TAUD.

Stablecoins have grown in popularity over the past few months, mainly because of the DeFi boom, where they are used to enable staking, liquidity provision, and so forth. However, there was also an obvious challenge with all of it – scaling. Supposedly, Syscoin is intended to help with that. Using Z-DAG (Zero Confirmation Directed Acyclic Graph), the protocol claims to be able to settle transactions in less than 10 seconds with comparatively low fees.

The partnership will also enable users to mine two cryptocurrencies at the same time – SYS and BTC.

Distribution of the Roles

While Syscoin’s task would be scalability, TrustToken comes in for the stablecoin part. It’s a platform that aims at an open financial system through a selection of stablecoins.

The stablecoins it offers are collateralized, and it has also partnered with Chainlink, as well as other protocols.

The overall partnership is aimed at creating a solution for scalable and secure token payments at a lower risk interoperability with Ethereum’s network. It should make TrustToken’s stablecoins function quicker and cheaper following the enabling of the bridge.

Speaking on the matter was Syscoin’s Foundation Chairman Jag Sidhu, who said:

“Digital assets have growing needs for better usability, robust decentralized security, and a scalable way of ensuring every transaction complies with regulations. Syscoin uniquely aligns with all of these requirements. We look forward to TrustToken’s family of stablecoins becoming future-proof and gaining significant advantage with Syscoin.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/trusttoken-and-syscoin-partner-on-a-stablecoin-bridge/

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Visa And BlockFi Partner To Release A Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card

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  • The US-based cryptocurrency lending company BlockFi has partnered with the American multinational financial services corporation Visa to bring Bitcoin to the masses.
  • Bloomberg reported that the two US companies will offer a credit card that rewards clients’ purchases with the primary cryptocurrency, instead of traditional options such as cash and airline miles.
  • Dubbed the Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card, it will allow customers to receive 1.5% of their purchases back in BTC. 
  • Should the user spend more than $3,000 in the first three months after receiving the card, he will be entitled to a bonus of $250 in bitcoin. However, the innovative card will come with a $200 annual fee.
  • Evolve Bank & Trust, a subsidiary of Evolve Bancorp Inc, will be the card’s issuer. All three parties involved plan to launch the card in early 2021.
  • Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BlockFi, Zac Prince, commented that his company is “excited to add credit cards to our suite of products and expand Bitcoin’s accessibility to a broader set of customers.”
  • With the BlockFi partnership, Visa has doubled-down on its endeavors with bitcoin-related collaborations. Earlier this year, the US giant and the BTC-friendly shopping app Fold launched a Visa co-branded debit card that rewards users with up to 10% of BTC back for every dollar purchase on retailers like Hotels.com, Nike, Starbucks, and Uber. 
  • BlockFi raised $50 million in Series C funding earlier this year, and Morgan Creek Capital’s Anthony ‘Pomp’ Pompliano joined its board of directors.
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/visa-and-blockfi-partner-to-release-a-bitcoin-rewards-credit-card/

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Australian Crypto Exchange Accidentally Exposes Over 270,000 Customer Emails

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The Australian cryptocurrency exchange, BTC Markets, has inadvertently exposed more than 270,000 emails of its customers. The company apologized for the inconvenience and reassured that all other data, including users’ funds, is safe.

BTC Markets Exposes Customers’ Emails

A user going by the Twitter handle Stevosxrp.crypto took it to Jack Dorsey’s social media giant and Reddit to first complain about BTC Markets’ screw up. The Australian-based exchange later confirmed the breach on its official Twitter account.

The statement explained that BTC Markets “uses an external system to send client-wide emails.” Although the exchange has used this service for years “without an incident,” including sending test mails, this time, the testing “didn’t pick up that the sample email addresses in the batch were added to the same email, rather than sent individually.”

Consequently, the names and email addresses of account holders were exposed. BTC Markets claimed that this process was instant; therefore, “it was not possible to stop the batch send once the error was realized.”

The CEO of BTC Markets, Caroline Bowler, later revealed that all account holders were affected because the emails were sent in batches.

Funds Are SAFU, But The Damage Is Done

The exchange said that it will “self-report” to the Office of Australian Information Commissioner and “fully comply with the data breach reporting requirements.” Furthermore, the company plans to conduct an internal review.

Despite the data leak, BTC Markets reassured its users that the platform is still secure, no passwords were revealed, and all customers’ funds are safe.

Nevertheless, the exchange suggested that users’ should enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to enhance the security of their accounts.

None of those reassurances seemed to have an effect on the users, though. The Twitter thread explanation was met with numerous complaints from customers.

While most highlighted their disappointment with having their personal emails and names revealed, some took it a step further. One user claimed that the BTC Markets’ name is “now as good as dog s**t.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/australian-crypto-exchange-accidentally-exposes-over-270000-customer-emails/

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