Blockchain for Business
Kittipong Asawapichayon, Country Manager for IBM Cloud and Solutions, IBM Thailand, opened up his session by introducing the Top Ten Disruptive Technologies of the New Era:
With the fast development of technology, major corporations have concerned that they will be too slow to keep up with the pace of changes. However, many are beginning to see opportunities in leveraging these new technologies to grow their business. In today’s world, if companies neglect the importance of evolving technologies and use of new platforms, they risk being left behind.
Blockchain is one of disruptive technologies that will allow businesses to collaborate together on the platform, in a new way. Blockchain based technology is creating new value by developing new business models and eliminating inefficiencies. Blockchain technology is also optimizing existing business and technical ecosystems by streamlining business processes and optimizing the exchange of value between businesses along the way, while also reducing risk by replacing uncertainty with transparency through use of trusted, decentralized ledgers.
Blockchain for Business
IBM does not focus on cryptocurrency, but rather on blockchain technologies, particularly with uses adapted for business applications, stated Kittipong. Blockchain-based systems provide many benefits to businesses. With decentralized, shared ledgers, information imported into a ledger cannot be changed. Participants’ identity is also transparent, so that engaged parties can know exactly who they are dealing with. At the same time, participants can also give provable endorsement, which means that shared information can be validated. Information can also be provided on a need-to-know basis for confidentiality.
The IBM Blockchain Platform is underpinned by technologies from the HyperLedger Project. It is a collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies used for business.
Kittipong then shared several use cases of IBM blockchain projects as follow:
IBM Global Financing: Dispute Resolution
IBM had begun adopting this technology internally first, with its IBM Global Financing business unit. One of the problems with financing services is that, some disputes can take time to resolve, causing transactions to be delayed, costing time and money. Through use of developed Blockchain based technologies, disputes could be much more easily handled by providing visibility and provenance end-to-end across the whole supply chain.
Legitimize Diamonds and Reduce Fraud
Counterfeit luxury goods will soon be a thing of the past. IBM and Everledger, a global startup that applies digital ledger technology to various industries, united to reduce fraud by applying blockchain to the multi-billion-dollar diamond industry. This will help ensure diamonds are authentic and compliant with thousands of regulations, including those imposed by the UN to prevent the sale of conflict diamonds.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), an independent diamond grading entity, is working with Everledger and IBM. Chow Tai Fook, the world’s largest jewelry retailer, will offer the blockchain-based GIA certificates on its T MARK diamonds. The data will be available to consumers via a mobile application.
The IBM Food Trust solution, which was generally available in Fall 2018, is built with several different modules, including an application to help stores gauge a product’s freshness, multi-ingredient food traceability and more. The objective of IFT is to bring together the food industry by building transparency to help better pinpoint sources of contamination, which each year causes one in 10 people fall ill (about 600M) globally and around 420,000 die, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). IBM Food Trust was originally announced in August 2017, IBM announced a collaboration with 10 food producers and retailers — Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Walmart – to highlight the “most urgent areas” in the global food supply chain.
TradeLens – Blockchain for Global Trade
Maersk and IBM jointly developed TradeLens, already in use by 94 companies, to apply blockchain to the world’s global supply chain. The blockchain-enabled shipping solution promotes more efficient and secure global trade. Shippers, shipping lines, freight forwarders, port and terminal operators, inland transportation and customs authorities can use it to interact more efficiently through real-time access to shipping data ad shipping documents, including IoT and sensor data ranging from temperature control to container weight.
Other Use Cases of Blockchain in Thailand
Blockchain Community Initiative (BCI)
In Thailand, in 2016, IBM and Kasikornbank Public Company Limited (KBank) built a new enterprise Letter of Guarantee network based on IBM Blockchain. Launched in 2017, the solution is designed to help simplify and expedite procedures for KBank’s Letter of Guarantee process, with the goal of improving the customer experience, strengthening security and reducing costs for clients and the bank.
In 2018, the blockchain for Letter of Guarantee project has gained further cooperation from more banks and large corporations in Thailand, leading to the first cooperation of its kind known as Thailand Blockchain Community Initiative that has been developed with an objective of using cutting-edge technologies, such as blockchain to upgrade the Thai business sector through a closer cooperation among 14 banks.
Related Party Transactions
IBM and Krungsri (Bank of Ayudhya PCL) successfully developed the blockchain-based pilot project to streamline the Bank’s contract management process across its offerings. With thousands of agreements exchanged daily between the Banks and its subsidiaries, the blockchain-based digitized paperwork process has improved the Related Party Transaction (RPT) process efficiency between the transacting parties by automating contract management processes, making information secured, transaction transparent, with increased operation efficiency, reduction of operation duration.
DLT Scripless Bond
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) is also opening a pathway with DLT Scripless Bond initiative, transforming the securities market infrastructure through use of blockchain based systems. BOT has collaborated with related organizations, including the PDMO, the TSD and the selling agents, to create the DLT Scripless Bond system using blockchain and Design Thinking methodology to better understand the real problems and requirement of all stakeholders. By using agile development approach, BOT successfully achieved the proof of values within only 4 weeks.
From the proof of value, the blockchain technology can successfully decrease the settlement cycle of government savings bonds sales from 15 days to only 2 days, with improved management, security, and privacy. Investors can also purchase bonds within their full rights from any bank. Bank of Thailand has recently received the Best Digital Government Award from ASOCIO from this project.
Blockchain based applications are gaining relevancy for business use, particularly in cross-industry solutions and active networks. Blockchain technology-based solutions can be applied in the Government, in Healthcare, Trade, Food, Finances, etc. There are many other possible applications of blockchain based technologies, with the potential for learning from many use cases outside of Thailand.
Leaving behind the key takeaway from the Unlock Your Business with Blockchain event is a note to the audience that with the knowledge and tools they have gained from the speakers, you could seek new opportunities to unlock your business if only you know how to apply these new technologies the right way.
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