Blockchain for Enterprises in 2019—Perspective for the Third Quarter

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Since the end of 2018 and into the beginning of this year, there was a sense that 2019 would be the year for enterprises to adopt blockchain for business use case applications. Indeed, after coming off a wild 2017, and a bullish 2018 for cryptocurrency, 2019 would become the year for the blockchain space to return to a positive trend with new developments for business use case applications.

According to Forbes, “There are no more Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to distract the crypto ecosystem and the building mentality is back on,” (Forbes) As a consequence, companies have had the freedom to look beyond the price of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency and are more focused on use case applications and services. As we near the end of 2019, I wondered about the current state of blockchain use case for enterprises beyond cryptocurrency.

 Firsts Half 2019

In the first half of 2019 blockchain developments were led by large enterprises in nearly all business sectors, from the fintech, to supply chain, healthcare, to the farming industry. The automotive industry in South Korea sought to adopt blockchain IoT in their vehicles to help drivers optimize driving habits as a way to embrace lowering carbon emissions.

Coming out of 2018, Iliya Zaki  (Moonwhale) noted a number of mainstream companies adopting blockchain technology. These include Facebook, Apple, Amazon and a number of retailers such as Walmart, Kroger and Nestle—all house-hold names. Moreover, other large enterprises in various industries are adopting blockchain for a variety of use case scenarios. These include mining (BHP), pharmaceuticals (Maersk, Pfizer and Roche), automotive (Toyota), finance (Allianz), and software (Oracle, Cisco).

Image Source: logiticks.com – Several of the notable companies that entered the blockchain space in 2019.

While there are many use case examples for enterprises adopting blockchain in 2019, Erin Cunningham writing for BizTech offered a couple of examples.

Insurance companies such as State Farm Insurance are adopting blockchain. They have dozens of use case applications to improve efficiencies from policy administration to claims management. One area of blockchain for insureds is their ability to get money from their deductibles faster.

Manish Shah, executive vice -president and global product head at Majesco, a provider of consulting and technology services to insurers, says companies are starting to see blockchain’s potential. According to Manish Shah, “Whether it’s managing large amounts of data, the rising number of claims and transactions processed through personal devices, or creating new payment and distribution models, insurers are recognizing that blockchain can support the wide range of digital innovation that’s reshaping the insurance industry.” (BizTech)

Cunningham says that blockchain may play a “larger role in how businesses pay their taxes.”  Cunningham cites Ari Lewis cryptocurrency adviser, who had a role in working to develop OhioCrypto.com so that businesses and citizens can pay taxes with bitcoin.

Consortia

While many enterprises have gone it alone, many are actively pursuing and working to develop blockchain use case within a consortium. Many advantages are available to the enterprise that join a specialized blockchain consortium focused on their particular industry. The enterprise will be able to join their competitors working toward the same goal. In a consortium, the enterprise is part of a community that will produce solutions to industry problems.

There are many benefits of belonging to a consortium. These include cost savings on development, and shared knowledge in the development process. Forbes has identified a number of big names involved in a consortium. While not a complete list, the following include enterprises in 2019.

Energy Web Foundation—launched their enterprise-grade public blockchain with 17 applications. The network consists of 100 affiliate members that include Shell, GE, Siemens, Duke Energy and PG&E.

Humana and UnitedHealth Group—are two of the largest health insurance companies in the United States. They teamed up to address the massive data sets of provider demographic information from hospitals and medical partners.

Health Utility Network—was formed by Aetna, Anthem, Health Care Service Corporation, PNC Bank and IBM to drive blockchain enabled-solutions for the healthcare industry.

Samsung—launched a consortium that includes six major South Korean companies focused on launching a blockchain-based mobile ID system.

IBM Food Trust Network—built on Hyperledger Fabric, is looking to create an audit log for time-sensitive foods. Participants will be able to “pinpoint exactly where damaged items were shipped and they won’t have to empty all their shelves.” Consortium participants include companies like Walmart, Nestle, Dole Food, Tyson Foods, Kroger, among others.

MediLedger—is private consortium with a goal to create a drug supply chain. Participants include Walmart. In addition to belonging to MediLedger, Walmart is also “partnering with KPMG, Merck and IBM as part of the FDA’s program to evaluate the use of blockchain to protect pharmaceutical product integrity.”

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Source: Forbes, August 13, 2019

Conclusion

As we near the end of 2019, we can look at it as being a robust year for blockchain use case adoption by major industry leaders in nearly all sectors of the economy. Indeed, on a global scale blockchain looks promising as a solution for efficiencies, security, and cost savings. While blockchain may not be the panacea for all industries and use case application, nonetheless it continues to show promise.  So—whether a company will go it alone, or join an industry consortium—these companies in 2019 are on the cutting edge for adopting blockchain, and the horizon well into 2025 looks promising.

Interested in this article? Would you like to work on Blockchains? Read our other article to see if your ready for a new career path. The Demand for Blockchain Professionals: Need a New Career?

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