IBM, Columbia University offering blockchain courses for startups

Tech giant IBM is collaborating with Columbia University to provide two accelerator programs for blockchain-based firms.

The accelerators “will offer entrepreneurs and blockchain network founders around the world access to the expertise and resources they need to establish blockchain networks,” according to IBM’s press release.

The two programs will each be for 10 startups, and will involve the participation of “technical, academic and business mentors from IBM and Columbia.”

“The goal of these programs is to help network founders develop their ideas into sustainable and scalable companies offering blockchain solutions. For those already further along in their journey, the programs are designed to help them achieve scale and build successful business networks,” the statement from IBM read.

As part of the courses, students will have access to IBM’s agile design workshops as well as use IBM’s Cloud technology. They will also be connected to researchers and students from the university.

The Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator is for pre-seed, idea-stage companies with affiliations with either Columbia or any other university based in New York City, and will be held for eight weeks.

The IBM Blockchain Accelerator, on the other hand, is for later-stage growth companies. It will take place both in New York and San Francisco, and also be held for eight weeks.

Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator Executive Director Satish Rao said, “Early- and late-stage teams will undoubtedly benefit from IBM’s technology resources, expertise and established network coupled with Columbia’s ground-breaking research and talent in blockchain and data transparency, all while benefiting from rapidly growing NYC blockchain communities.”

IBM Blockchain Accelerator Managing Director David Post said, “The possibilities presented by blockchain technology are seemingly endless, and we are seeing strong dedication by technical talent to build game-changing applications.”

IBM has been an active player in the blockchain industry, acquiring numerous blockchain-based patents such as for the recording of scientific research and for security systems. It has also partnered with both startups and more established institutions in a variety of industries, to promote food safety and more efficient supply chains, among other things.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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IBM patent to place scientific data on blockchain

IBM is looking to use blockchain technology for the recording of data used in scientific research.

The company filed a patent that will involve “integrating a blockchain and data collection and analysis for open scientific research.”

“Currently, problems exist because there are limited platforms that allow for sharing information about scientific research and showing transparent data collection and analysis steps. As a result, various contributors to research and/or publications may not receive accurate and/or full recognition for work performed,” the application read, adding that among existing platforms, there were inadequate “requisite controls and mechanisms to allow for trustworthy data, as there are few options for ensuring that data will be resistant to modification.”

Cited was a paper by Eric Topol entitled ‘Money back guarantees for non-reproducible results,’ published in 2016, that suggests blockchain as a solution to issues of data transparency, specific descriptions of which were lacking, according to the company.

IBM said the inability to modify data on the blockchain could be applied “to analyze the reliability and provenance” of information being presented. It said that a log that traces research and analyses could be added with “summary blocks and correction blocks” that “can also be added to the blockchain representing the post analysis of the research results.”

The system will make peer reviews and reproduction of results easier, with one database accessible to all researchers and analysts, “without worrying whether the data or results had been manipulated by the original researchers or at any other step during the process,” according to IBM.

The tech giant has been at the forefront of the use of blockchain in various industries, in association with other companies and organizations. With Maersk, it launched TradeLens to tackle supply-chain problems. Last month, its patent for a blockchain-powered network security system was approved, allowing for monitoring of data that remains unchanged.

IBM has collaborated with Singapore shipping company Pacific International Lines for the digitizing of the process for which bills of lading are used.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Smart Dubai, iBM launch gov’t-backed blockchain platform as-a-service

Dubai has rolled out the first government-endorsed blockchain platform as-a-service in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Smart Dubai, a government technological initiative, and IBM Corp. announced the launch of the Dubai Blockchain Platform—the first of its kind platform in the Middle East that will allow organizations in the country to test, build and launch blockchain-based products. The platform will utilize IBM’s enterprise-ready IBM Cloud, and will be developered United Arab Emirates. Once launched, the platform will be available for organizations in the UAE to test, build and launch blockchain-based products. This service will be delivered via an IBM Cloud environment built in the UAE.

In a statement, Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, director general of the Smart Dubai Office, said, “The Dubai Blockchain Strategy set a clear path for the emirate to have the world’s first fully digitized government by 2021.” The Dubai Blockchain Platform is part of the country’s objective towards “transforming the emirate into a full-fledged smart city that tops global competitiveness and happiness indexes,” according to the official.

The new Dubai Blockchain Platform will aid in integrating digitized services and experiences into citizens’ everyday lives. The technology will also be used to run all the transactions locally, and also lower operational costs. One of the first services that will migrate to the new blockchain platform is the Dubai Pay Blockchain Settlement program, which officially launched last September 23. The program allows entities to reconcile and settle payments with other government agencies in mere minutes instead of the usual 45 days.

The platform, which is powered by IBM‘s mainframe technology LinuxONE, will conform to the Information Security Regulation (ISR) standards issued by the Dubai Government. LinuxONE is capable of running more than 6.2 billion web transactions per day.

“Dubai has been a pioneer in blockchain technology since its inception, while other major cities around the world were reluctant to embrace it for city-wide implementation,” H.E. Dr Aisha noted, adding “The Dubai Blockchain Strategy set a clear path for the emirate to have the world’s first fully digitized government by 2021.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Carrefour joins IBM Food Trust blockchain network

IBM has announced the commercial launch of its Food Trust blockchain network, with European supermarket giant Carrefour as its first major client.

After 18 months in testing, the Food Trust network is now available. So far, the ledger has been able to process 3 million transactions. Small to medium enterprises (SME) can buy a subscription to use the Food Trust, with prices ranging from $100 to $10,000 per month, depending on the size of the business.

IBM is working towards making food safe through a more transparent and efficient global food system. This is why the trust is focusing on reducing food waste, ensuring a more collaborative and transparent supply chain and optimizing the food supply. Participating retailers, food industry providers, service and technology providers can utilise IBM Food Trust APIs as well as hardware and software, and can also write transaction data directly on the blockchain network. With the Food Trust, companies in the food industry can run their businesses more effectively and provide safer food at lower costs.

Before switching to IBM, Carrefour had worked on its own blockchain for more than a year with its internal engineer teams. Now, Carrefour aims to spread IBM’s Food Trust blockchain solution to all its 1,200 stores in 33 countries by 2022.

Aside from Carrefour, other organizations joining the IBM Food Trust also include cooperative Topco Associates LLC, retailer-owned cooperative Wakefern, and suppliers like BeefChain, Dennick Fruit Source, Scoular, and Smithfield. Walmart, meanwhile, has been an early proponent of IBM’s blockchain technology and has announced that it will begin acquiring the use of the trust to capture digital, end-to-end traceability event information.

Senior vice president of IBM Global Industries, Clients, Platforms and Blockchain, Bridget van Kralingen, explains what the Food Trust system aims to achieve. She says, “The currency of trust today is transparency and achieving it in the area of food safety happens when responsibility is shared.” She stated that the Food Trust project has shown that the blockchain can improve transparency and enhance food traceability, adding, “Ultimately that provides business benefits for participants and a better and safer product for consumers.”

Besides the Food Trust, IBM has another project up its sleeves. IBM will be focusing on shipping and global trade in a collaborative effort with Maersk. The two are working together on a flagship platform dubbed TradeLens. For now, Maersk is the only carrier onboard TradeLens; however, plans are ongoing to scale the platform. Ramesh Gopinath, vice president of IBM’s blockchain solutions, explained, “IBM Food Trust is making this big announcement; similarly, TradeLens will also have a commercial availability announcement. And at that point, I can guarantee you it will be in the same shape we are in here.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Shipping giant teams up with IBM to put ‘Bill of Lading’ on blockchain

Pioneering tech firm IBM has reached an agreement with one of Singapore’s leading shipping companies, Pacific International Lines (PIL), over a blockchain solution that seeks to simplify Bill of Lading documentation.

The crucial shipping document, which itemises a ship’s cargo as a consignment receipt, is set to be given a digital makeover by the technology, replacing traditional paper-based systems with a blockchain-tracked alternative.

The partnership with Pacific International Lines will see the launch of a new ‘e-BL’ electronic bill, which will exist solely within the blockchain environment.

The document is especially important in maritime and shipping law, both as proof of cargo ownership, a paper representation of the conditions of consignment, and as a transferable receipt for cargo at different stages of the shipping process.

With a view to speeding up the shipping supply chain, PIL Executive Director Lisa Teo said the blockchain platform would be a significant improvement on the currency Bill of Lading process. In a statement, Teo said, “Traditionally, information flow is predominantly handled via manual processes and the supply chain is slowed down when there are many points of communication within its framework.”

According to the PIL executive, “The use of blockchain technology to allow for the direct exchange of documents and information via the decentralized network to boost transparency, eliminate disputes forgeries and unnecessary risks will be key for this industry to progress.”

With the bill of lading transferred between parties, there is an in-built scope for loss and fraud – issues the blockchain solution will eliminate.

The project comes around a year after IBM reached an agreement with the Port of Authority of Singapore to explore applications of blockchain technology relevant to the sector.

At the time of the agreement, the CEO of the Port Authority of Singapore Tan Chong Mong said that blockchain in shipping could help streamline international trade. According to Tan, “Blockchain has the potential to reduce inefficiencies and gaps within the supply chain, promote more cost-efficient transactions and facilitate the continued growth in world trade.”

The project is the latest to come from IBM in the shipping sector, one of several areas where the IT giant is pioneering new technologies on the blockchain.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Marsh extends IBM deal for blockchain-based proof-of-insurance

Risk management firm Marsh is taking insurance to a different level. The insurance brokerage is expanding its collaboration with tech giant IBM to launch a commercial blockchain solution for proof of insurance to a wider customer base.

In April, Marsh introduced a commercial version of an insurance verification it developed with IBM. Now, Marsh is taking advantage of IBM’s connections with Saleforce, a customer relationship management company.

The partnership between Marsh and IBM will provide a platform that will speed up the process of clients seeking to hire contractors. Sandip Patel, insurance general manager of IBM, explained the impact of the distributed ledger technology on the insurance sphere, saying:

“Distributed ledger technologies are driving efficiency across many industries by enabling legacy manual processes to operate more efficiently and with greater transparency and trust. This innovation is an ideal example of how blockchain can be used to drive real business results and collaboration in the insurance industry.”

The blockchain-based proof-of-insurance solution developed by Marsh and IBM is powered on the IBM Blockchain. The project also includes ACORD, which is a global standards-setting body for insurance and financial services industries, and ISN, a supplier information management service, as partners.

Sastry Durvasula, chief digital, data and analytics officer at Marsh, explained, “By making proof of insurance accessible digitally and instantaneously for our clients through Salesforce, we are streamlining a key business requirement through easy and secure sharing of proof of insurance.”

Marsh isn’t the firm firs to look at blockchain to power an insurance solution. In September, People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC) announced that it will apply blockchain technology to its operations through a new partnership with blockchain platform VeChain. PICC also partnered with DNV GL, a global quality assurance and risk management company, to improve fraud prevention and ensure that business becomes more time and cost efficient. Equally in August, the American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS) introduced an open blockchain platform to ensure that the collection of statistical data by insurance carriers is secured.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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IBM secures blockchain network security patent

Tech giant IBM has secured a patent for a blockchain-powered network security system, the latest blockchain IP to be tied up by the firm.

The patent describes how blockchain technology can be used to monitor network security breaches within computer systems, one of many specific use cases filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) by the IT firm.

According to the preamble to the filing, the system would rely on a distributed network of monitors, recording and writing log data to a blockchain, while providing essential safeguards against hackers who try to cover their tracks.

The patent stated, “The present invention may include configuring monitors in a chain configuration by configuring a network address of a primary monitor to a backup monitor. The present invention may include configuring a sensor to communicate with the monitors. The present invention may include receiving a first set of information from the sensor to a primary and backup monitor and broadcasting the information to a plurality of monitors and logging the information.”

The patent continues to describe how networks can use node consensus to identify irregularities in reconciling data from their network monitors.

“On a computer system or network, data may be monitored for many different purposes. Data monitoring may identify problems, observe conditions or track metrics by logging the events of a given computer system or network,” according to the patent filing. “Having synchronized monitors set up in a blockchain configuration ensures consensus among the monitors. Since one monitor alone cannot alter the event log in the past or cannot fake the event log in the future, if one monitor is hacked, then there may be no consensus among the synchronized monitors and the event may not get written into the log.”

Information detected by the system is passed to multiple monitors, allowing consensus for automatically validating information. In the event of a discrepancy, the system will instantly detect and flag the potential breach.

According to IBM’s filing, this technology would “create a less vulnerable network,” and “may alert the monitor security program of inconsistent data.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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IBM files patent for blockchain-based drone fleet security

Tech giant IBM is seeking to patent a system that will utilize distributed ledger technology (DLT) to address security and privacy concerns following the increasing popularity and usage of drones—both commercially and recreationally.

IBM first applied for the patent in March 2017. According to the document published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the patent application is for a blockchain ledger that could be utilized to store information about unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flights. The goal, according to the patent application, is to ensure that airspace controllers, regulatory bodies and even UAV owners can check and supervise the rising number of drones in the sky.

The blocks will include data points related to drones flight patterns, including UAV location, manufacturer and model number, flying behavior, weather conditions, and even proximity to restricted zones.

According to the patent application, “The data may be managed as part of a secure chain of data blocks (e.g., in blockchain networks) associated with the UAV that chronicles a status path of the UAV through its recent and/or complete history. In this manner, the various characteristics and parameters of the UAV may be securely tracked using the secure chain of data blocks.”

In the proposed system, the permissioned blockchain could incorporate variable block time that can change in response to environmental triggers. For instance, in UAV no-fly or restricted fly zones—national parks, military bases, and a predetermined radius around a major airport, transactions are added to the blockchain associated with the UAV more frequently in response to a triggering event, such as when the risk level is high (e.g., flying near one of the no-fly or restricted fly zones). Additionally, a smart contract may be implemented to determine that a UAV operator is meeting agreements regarding operation of the UAV.

In contrast, drones that transport emergency medical supplies or perishable medication may be granted special permission to fly in restricted airspace without interference from the authorities. Regulators will be able to see from the blockchain data if a particular drone has the permission to fly over the area.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post IBM files patent for blockchain-based drone fleet security appeared first on Coingeek.

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IBM files patent for blockchain-based drone fleet security

Tech giant IBM is seeking to patent a system that will utilize distributed ledger technology (DLT) to address security and privacy concerns following the increasing popularity and usage of drones—both commercially and recreationally.

IBM first applied for the patent in March 2017. According to the document published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the patent application is for a blockchain ledger that could be utilized to store information about unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flights. The goal, according to the patent application, is to ensure that airspace controllers, regulatory bodies and even UAV owners can check and supervise the rising number of drones in the sky.

The blocks will include data points related to drones flight patterns, including UAV location, manufacturer and model number, flying behavior, weather conditions, and even proximity to restricted zones.

According to the patent application, “The data may be managed as part of a secure chain of data blocks (e.g., in blockchain networks) associated with the UAV that chronicles a status path of the UAV through its recent and/or complete history. In this manner, the various characteristics and parameters of the UAV may be securely tracked using the secure chain of data blocks.”

In the proposed system, the permissioned blockchain could incorporate variable block time that can change in response to environmental triggers. For instance, in UAV no-fly or restricted fly zones—national parks, military bases, and a predetermined radius around a major airport, transactions are added to the blockchain associated with the UAV more frequently in response to a triggering event, such as when the risk level is high (e.g., flying near one of the no-fly or restricted fly zones). Additionally, a smart contract may be implemented to determine that a UAV operator is meeting agreements regarding operation of the UAV.

In contrast, drones that transport emergency medical supplies or perishable medication may be granted special permission to fly in restricted airspace without interference from the authorities. Regulators will be able to see from the blockchain data if a particular drone has the permission to fly over the area.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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