We are now a fourth of the way through 2019, and in the Northern Hemisphere, spring has dawned. Blockchain use cases continued to bloom throughout winter, however, as top stories on Blockchain Tech News examined topics ranging from blockchain trends and problems to restaurant supply chains.
One story looked at how blockchain can transform restaurant supply chains by providing vital information on food from the farm to the plate. By using blockchain, restaurants can track the origins of outbreaks in the supply chain and isolate the affected products, such as E-coli infected romaine lettuce.
Another story looked at why blockchain has not broken into the mainstream yet, due to constantly changing technology, an absence of established players and a lack of standards.
It's time to take a look back at the top five stories on Blockchain Tech News for the first quarter of 2019. They are posted in reverse order.
5. How blockchain can prevent identity theft?
Our identities are perhaps our most valuable asset and should be treated as such. Unfortunately, that also makes them prime targets for nefarious actors ranging from the most two-bit con artists all the way up to experienced, organized, skilled cybercriminals. With so much of our financial data, property and everyday access to services inextricably tied to those identities, it almost goes without saying that we should roll out the best defenses at our disposal to thwart the threatening individuals looking to steal and abuse them. But do we?
I'd posit that blockchain has to play a more integral role in the prevention of various flavors of identity theft or identity fraud. As a quick, over-simplified refresher on how blockchain works, it's essentially a record-keeping digital technology based on a "distributed ledger," thereby allowing blockchain participants (and their associated computer "nodes") to collectively verify transactions and eliminating the need for a centralized authority.
4. Blockchain to transform restaurant supply chains
The blockchain has something to offer for every industry, especially for restaurant supply chain management.
One need only consider the many romaine lettuce E-coli outbreaks to realize that restaurants need a way to trace their food from farm to fork in order to avoid sickened customers and lawsuits. Blockchain can help answer this need with supply chain management.
"Blockchain has many potential use cases that can be applied for supply chain management," Julie McGill, FoodLogiQ's director of implementation and strategic accounts at FoodLoqiQ, said in an email interview. "The most prevalent has been traceability. This holds tremendous promise on its potential for transparency across the entire food supply chain."
3. What's the problem with blockchain?
Blockchain technology has the potential to change the way information is stored and shared across digital networks.
While national governments and international banks pour research money into blockchain projects, and practically the entire tech community sings the praises of the technology, it may seem like prominent immutable distributed ledgers already power our digital communication channels.
But they don't. Not yet at least. In order to for the emancipatory effect of blockchain technology to manifest itself, a number of problems need to be acknowledged and dealt with first.
2. What's on the horizon for blockchain in 2019?
Blockchain technology is constantly advancing, but it struggles to break through to the mainstream. Governments are also struggling to come up with regulations to handle blockchain technology, which scares away some businesses.
Many crypto experts believe, however, that 2019 is the year when blockchain will start to push forward in areas such as identity management and security. Blockchain Tech News spoke with Angel Versetti, co-founder and CEO of Ambrosus, and Sky Guo, CEO of Cypherium, to get their perspectives on what could be coming for blockchain this year.
1. Uncovering the key to blockchain in financial services
As blockchain continues to mature, many financial institutions are starting to experiment with the technology. The Bank of America, for example has gathered more than 50 patents related to the technology. The majority of financial institutions, however, have not yet made the jump, especially due to security and scalability concerns.
Bradley Cooper, editor of Blockchain Tech News, moderated a panel at the Financial Services Data Security Summit, sponsored by Thales and Networld Media Group, with Jose Diaz, director of payment strategy at Thales eSecurity and Sudhakar Kamalanathan, associate director of information security at Cognizant Technology Solutions on the topic of blockchain and security.
The panelists shared thoughts on why blockchain acceptance is slow going for financial institutions, security concerns, and how to make blockchain secure.