Insureblocks

By Walid Al Saqqaf - Blockchain insurance

blockchain & smart contracts in insurance

  1. 1.
    Ep. 160 – NFTs an opportunity for the financial industry?
    1:01:37
  2. 2.
    Ep. 159 – AAIS’ OpenIDL joins the Linux Foundation
    44:55
  3. 3.
    Ep. 158 – Deep Dive on Plastic Bank’s Blockchain
    35:14
  4. 4.
    Ep. 157 – SLAFKA – Safeguarding Nuclear Material with Blockchain
    29:44
  5. 5.
    Ep. 156 – Rebalance Earth – Blockchain & Climate Change
    36:37
  6. 6.
    Ep. 155 – Digital Euro – Insights from ABI
    40:43
  7. 7.
    Ep. 154 – Trust your supplier by ChainYard
    40:58
  8. 8.
    Ep. 153 – RiskStream Collaborative’s Canopy 3.0 launch – a multi-ledger approach
    35:05
  1. 9.
    Ep. 152 – Blockchain insurance innovation – insights from Tata Consultancy Services
    43:19
  2. 10.
    Ep. 151 – How to Design your own Token System
    48:03
  3. 11.
    Ep. 150 – Bringing innovation into the Polish Financial Sector with the Blockchain Sandbox
    39:31
  4. 12.
    Ep. 149 – Innovation and blockchain in the insurance industry – insights from MSG
    36:36
  5. 13.
    Ep. 148 – Challenges and opportunities of blockchain in the insurance industry – insights from IBM
    41:57
  6. 14.
    Ep. 147 – Challenges of adopting blockchain from a governance and risk standpoint
    43:38
  7. 15.
    Ep. 146 – Self-Sovereign Identity and IoT – insights from the Sovrin Foundation
    48:49
  8. 16.
    Ep. 145 – Parametric insurance revisited – insights from Arbol
    43:45
  9. 17.
    Ep. 144 – A new approach to blockchain – Ping An’s Insights
    38:48
  10. 18.
    Ep. 143 – UN World Food Programme on the blockchain
    45:47
  11. 19.
    Ep. 142 – Smart COVID data on the blockchain – insights from HealthTrends.ai
    31:48
  12. 20.
    Ep. 141 – How can blockchain and insurance be good bedfellows? – Insights from AXA
    48:34
  13. 21.
    Ep. 140 – How Shell is using blockchain in the Energy Industry?
    49:03
  14. 22.
    Ep. 139 – Smart Contracts & Oracles – insights from Chainlink
    53:06
  15. 23.
    Ep. 138 – Regulators fostering innovation in insurance – Insights from the Bermuda Monetary Authority
    40:16
  16. 24.
    Ep. 137 – Confidential Computing – introduction to R3’s Conclave
    47:48
  17. 25.
    Ep. 136 – Convergence of Blockchain, 5G, AI, and IoT – Insights from Vodafone
    47:08
  18. 26.
    Ep. 135 – Blockchain and Digital Asset Risk Transfer Insurance Solutions – Insights from Marsh
    35:48
  19. 27.
    Ep. 134 – Reducing Friction in International Trade – Insights from Chainvine
    56:11
  20. 28.
    Ep. 133 – Farmer Connect – Coffee on the Blockchain
    39:13
  21. 29.
    Ep. 132 – FedEx’s insights on blockchain
    37:49
  22. 30.
    Ep. 131 – How can blockchain projects expand internationally – Special focus on China
    31:17
  23. 31.
    Ep. 130 – Driving trade and working capital innovation with blockchain – insights from Marco Polo
    40:49
  24. 32.
    Ep. 129 – Blockchain for Energy Consortium
    56:37
  25. 33.
    Ep. 128 – Blockchain Supporting Nature’s Solution to Climate Change – Insights from the IMF
    1:01:12
  26. 34.
    Ep. 127 – Convergence of IT Services & Financial Services – Insights from T-Systems
    55:14
  27. 35.
    Ep. 126 – AgriLedger – Blockchain within the Agro-Food Industry
    57:54
  28. 36.
    Ep. 125 – Blockchain supporting UN Sustainable Development Goals
    50:49
  29. 37.
    Ep. 124 – Reinsurance accounting blockchain, Ritablock integrates with B3i’s Fluidity platform
    36:45
  30. 38.
    Ep. 123 – Chronicled’s MediLedger – a decentralised solution for the Pharmaceutical Industry
    39:30
  31. 39.
    Ep. 122 – Coadjute – Digitizing the real estate industry
    52:27
  32. 40.
    Ep. 121 – Blockchain & Digitising Trade Finance – Insights from Contour
    48:13
  33. 41.
    Ep. 120 – UNICEF Venture Fund & Case Studies – OS City, Atix Labs and StaTwig
    48:10
  34. 42.
    Ep.119 – Is Open Source the Future of Blockchain?
    59:59
  35. 43.
    Ep. 118 – UAE blockchain deployment case studies and learnings
    46:04
  36. 44.
    Ep. 117 – Monetizing Data in a Data Privacy Manner – Ocean Protocol’s Compute-to-Data
    55:51
  37. 45.
    Ep. 116 – INATBA – International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications
    45:58
  38. 46.
    Ep. 115 – OECD Global Blockchain Policy Centre
    52:05
  39. 47.
    Ep. 114 – Utilising blockchain at UNICEF
    41:51
  40. 48.
    Ep. 113 – World Trade Organisation – Can blockchain revolutionise international trade?
    59:11
  41. 49.
    Ep. 112 – Power Ledger – powering energy with blockchain
    40:31
  42. 50.
    Blockchain Bistro – COVID19 and the economic downturn’s effect on P&C insurance
    1:01:15

Listen to Insureblocks now.

Listen to Insureblocks in full in the Spotify app

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It is rare that situations exist of naked partisanship, where for example a large technology vendor has a development plan that it wants to achieve to meet their customer’s requirements, whilst a competitor may have a different one. In those situations, there usually is a bit of a backlash where the company involved in naked partisanship usually learns a lesson not to repeat this again.

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How to incentivize enterprises to open source software?

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Chris recognises that even IBM who has a long history of open source software development still has some ways to go in its open source approach. Chris believes that there’s a recognition that the open source capabilities that are being developed, the innovation that’s going on there is really sort of a constantly commoditizing layer of capability.

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He gives the example with Kubernetes which is open source. It’s a very complex environment. Any firm that tries to install it and deploy it without any external help will probably struggle.

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The value is in delivering open source capability as a service.

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The value is in delivering open source capability as a service. The ability to optimise the delivery to the client’s requirements, the support and sustainability of the project itself is where the value is. It isn’t in the software itself.

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Proprietary software vs open source software

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In the early days of mobile operating software Apple iOS had a 75% market share. When Google decided to open source Android, Google took a 75% market share and Apple iOS fell down to 25%.

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Open source’s ability to gain adoption and the network effect usually gives it an advantage over proprietary systems.

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Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, coined the expression known as “Joy’s Law”: “no matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else”. In the open source community those people are essentially collaborating together, so a proprietary system is essentially competing against the rest of the world.

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For example, there is in excess of 4,000 people who have contributed to Kubernetes. How may engineering departments have 4,000 staff? Even the likes of Google don’t have 4,000 engineers working on a project. Kubernetes contributors come from Google, IBM, Red Hat, Microsoft and of course the very long tail. All these contributors are building expertise within that capability. That creates a market that no single vendor can realistic do on their own.

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Open source has won!

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When considering how all kinds of players collaborate around open source, it’s open governance structure, the network effect, it begs the question that the future of blockchain is open source.

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For Chris, the future of all software is open source. Chris points to how over the last five year most of the software innovations haven’t been essentially proprietary. Initially the technology may have started in some research lab but ultimately it was published as open source.

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Today enterprises rely on open source for their cloud operating systems (Linux), databases (MySQL, Redis, MongoDB), programming languages like Java Scripts and Python to name a few.

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Red Hat runs an annual survey with enterprises entitle “The State of Enterprise Open Source” whose results are quite interesting:

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Public blockchain and enterprise

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For enterprises public blockchains are a bit of a challenge due to their underlying technology, how it is delivered and their capabilities. The levels of scale and performance that most enterprises require isn’t always achievable by public blockchains. For example, VISA has a requirement to be able to process 75,000 transactions a second for a sustained period of time. That’s their benchmark. That’s the level of testing that they put all of their software deployments through, in order to get into production. Ethereum can process 25,000 – 75,000 transactions per second at its peak, not for a sustained period of time.

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Chris doesn’t believe that public blockchains are enterprise ready at this point of time. He believes for enterprises they’re better off with a private or semi private blockchain network where the entities are known and with an appropriate governance model.

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Interoperability

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Chris has been doing interoperability for the last 20 plus years, starting with XML web services.

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Deloitte whilst working on the World Economic Forum Blockchain Development Toolkit defined three layers of interoperability:

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Chris looks at interoperability as a business model problem rather than a platform one. Whilst he admits there is a certain degree of interoperability and portability from an infrastructure perspective, it is still fundamentally a business model problem. For example if you have two types of platforms a supply chain blockchain solution like TradeLens and a payment platform. When a shipment has successfully arrived at a port, this could initiate automatically a payment. The problem arises when you have to reconcile these two actions when they use different data standards. Hyperledger Cactus is trying to address those challenges but you still have to map out the data appropriately between those two systems.

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Chris likes the work that is being done by the InterWork Alliance in creating a token taxonomy framework. From a token perspective it helps to normalise and establish a standard base to describe a token so that they can be understood, independent of which blockchain they reside on.

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How can open source address the blockchain challenges of data standards and governance?

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Chris believes that blockchain industry initiatives as those done by Walmart with Food Trust in the food industry or TradeLens in the supply chain industry should be created using the same model of open governance.

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You could have a governance model based on the open source principles to manage the evolution of smart contracts, interfaces and how they integrate back to that particular industries back end systems.

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The real problem of blockchain is how do I create a consortium? How do I get to that critical mass? By having an open perspective and allowing others to join, to come and contribute in a transparent and open manner you are removing the barriers of a competitive nature between the players. Then if you don’t have a single point of control over the network you can start having a discussion in the industry at large about what standard do we want to establish and what standards do we want to use in our network.

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Where would Chris would like to see the open source movement go for blockchain?

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Chris would like to see much more collaboration between every one. More collaboration in the same manner as the Token Taxonomy Framework by the InterWork Alliance to standardise tokens. We can start standardising how you submit a transaction? If we standardise and commoditize some of the aspects that are critical to integration with other layers then you can focus on the differentiation of what’s inside the “Black box’ in terms of how does the consensus work within the blockchain and how the interactions work.

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","id":"3BiRjz4HjP3UwNHE9HT52A","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/2d627e964e49c69a762c1be83d434591134b0476","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/45d68a45ce8cb82917206b524198cd8db504f088","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/a5abe0c4373f6bbe9aaecb76db96396992ca646b","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-GB","languages":["en-GB"],"name":"Ep.119 – Is Open Source the Future of Blockchain?","release_date":"2020-07-26","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:3BiRjz4HjP3UwNHE9HT52A"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/101dc7783b37ee824f84c8ee3e8def029bfe092b","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"Mariam Al Muhairi is the Head of the UAE’s Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution and  Project Manager at the Dubai Future Foundation. She joins us to discuss the UAE’s blockchain deployment case studies and learnings. She also shares some fascinating results of a survey conducted with over 100 stakeholders from more than 60 various governmental and non-governmental entities across the UAE regarding top blockchain implementation challenges and success factors.   What is blockchain? Mariam likes to see things in the form of physical blocks. For her blockchain are blocks, identifiable by a unique code, that stores information, and stores who is transacting with the information. Each transaction is verified through a process that involves miners on a public blockchain which creates great security. This ultimately also helps to avoid blocks being tampered and used in a fraudulent manner.   Dubai Future Foundation The UAE’s Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution is an initiative under the Dubai Future Foundation. The Future Foundation was established in 2016 with a main mandate across five departments to look into the future of Dubai and identify trends that will benefit both the economy but also the society and other areas within the Emirates. The five departments include: Foresight and imagination – development of trends Content dissemination – the aim is to fill the gap in the dissemination of scientific and technological content in Arabic to the UAE and MENA region Capacity building – an academy where people can take courses but also a platform where experts present to the public A platform to facilitate the partnering up of startups with government entities Museum of the future is due to open next year as both a touristic attraction but also as a policymaking tool to see how people react to different ideas or different scenarios of the future   UAE’s Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution, which Mariam leads is a collaboration between the World Economic Forum and the Dubai Future Foundation. The Centre focuses on policy development for emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and precision medicine.   Dubai Blockchain Strategy & The Emirates Blockchain Strategy The Dubai Blockchain Strategy, launched in October 2016 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, was the result of a collaboration between the Smart Dubai Office  and the Dubai Future Foundation to continuously explore and evaluate the latest technology innovations that demonstrate an opportunity to deliver more seamless, safe, efficient and impactful city experiences. Additionally, it was about creating an industry and a market around this emerging technology as well as figure out how it could be used. The strategy establishes a roadmap for the introduction of blockchain technology for Dubai and the creation of an open platform to share the technology with cities across the globe. The Dubai Blockchain Strategy is built on three pillars of government efficiency, industry creation and international leadership. Government efficiency: under this pillar, the strategy will contribute to increased government efficiency by implementing blockchain and enabling a paperless digital layer for all applicable government services. Industry creation: this will support the creation of a blockchain industry by providing an enabling environment that encourages start-ups and businesses. Leadership: Dubai aims to lead the global thinking on blockchain technology and become the hub for blockchain intellectual capital and skill development. Since then the Dubai Blockchain Strategy was used for authoring the Emirates blockchain strategy which has more of a federal strategy. Each time the strategy is reviewed it is scaled, from Dubai to the UAE and hopefully the next time it will be outside the country and into the ME...","duration_ms":2764173,"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/2xgNhbd6JvDmPKi9lQu0ff"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/2xgNhbd6JvDmPKi9lQu0ff","html_description":"

Mariam Al Muhairi is the Head of the UAE’s Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution and  Project Manager at the Dubai Future Foundation. She joins us to discuss the UAE’s blockchain deployment case studies and learnings. She also shares some fascinating results of a survey conducted with over 100 stakeholders from more than 60 various governmental and non-governmental entities across the UAE regarding top blockchain implementation challenges and success factors.

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What is blockchain?

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Mariam likes to see things in the form of physical blocks. For her blockchain are blocks, identifiable by a unique code, that stores information, and stores who is transacting with the information. Each transaction is verified through a process that involves miners on a public blockchain which creates great security. This ultimately also helps to avoid blocks being tampered and used in a fraudulent manner.

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Dubai Future Foundation

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The UAE’s Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution is an initiative under the Dubai Future Foundation. The Future Foundation was established in 2016 with a main mandate across five departments to look into the future of Dubai and identify trends that will benefit both the economy but also the society and other areas within the Emirates. The five departments include:

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UAE’s Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution, which Mariam leads is a collaboration between the World Economic Forum and the Dubai Future Foundation. The Centre focuses on policy development for emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and precision medicine.

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Dubai Blockchain Strategy & The Emirates Blockchain Strategy

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The Dubai Blockchain Strategy, launched in October 2016 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, was the result of a collaboration between the Smart Dubai Office  and the Dubai Future Foundation to continuously explore and evaluate the latest technology innovations that demonstrate an opportunity to deliver more seamless, safe, efficient and impactful city experiences. Additionally, it was about creating an industry and a market around this emerging technology as well as figure out how it could be used.

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The strategy establishes a roadmap for the introduction of blockchain technology for Dubai and the creation of an open platform to share the technology with cities across the globe. The Dubai Blockchain Strategy is built on three pillars of government efficiency, industry creation and international leadership.

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Since then the Dubai Blockchain Strategy was used for authoring the Emirates blockchain strategy which has more of a federal strategy. Each time the strategy is reviewed it is scaled, from Dubai to the UAE and hopefully the next time it will be outside the country and into the MENA region. The Emirates Blockchain Strategy focuses on four main themes: happiness of citizens and residents; elevating government efficiency; advanced legislation; and international leadership.

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The UAE government, as a part of its digital transformation efforts, decided to capitalize on blockchain technology to transform government transactions on the federal level, 50% of which will be conducted using blockchain by 2021.

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Learnings of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy & the Emirates Blockchain Strategy

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The UAE has a very active blockchain ecosystem within both the public and private sectors with more than 40 government entities and 120 blockchain companies covering 200 plus initiatives.

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The Dubai Blockchain Strategy was put in place in 2016. At that time there was a rush to utilise the technology and to have it underpin a number of public structures or infrastructures. What was realised quite soon afterwards was that blockchain wasn’t always the solution to every challenge.

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Last year the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution UAE surveyed over 100 stakeholders from more than 60 various governmental and non-governmental entities across the country actively exploring or implementing blockchain. The primary purpose of the survey was to understand the maturity of the ecosystem and the relevant challenges and key success factors at hand.

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Two key findings came out of this survey:

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A great way to identify the initial business case is through workshops. Design thinking workshops work great for the initial ideation session in discussing whether or not blockchain is a right use case. Mariam doesn’t recommend using a template or set questions because there isn’t a one size fits all. However, with the work collaboratively done with the World Economic Forum blockchain toolkit there are some foundational questions that need to be answered such as who are the stakeholders, what are the incentives for them to be here, what they want to achieve using blockchain, what was the reason for choosing blockchain, who owns the data, who heads the blockchain, what’s the value added and many other questions.

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UAE’s embrace of technology

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Mariam explains to us that since the formation of the country in 1971 the UAE has had an outward outlook and was always rapid to adapt itself. The country has been blessed with oil revenues that along with good leadership has helped it to deal with challenges from the region and an ability to support countries around them.

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Mariam also pointed out that people at the top not just at the governmental level but also within organisations are constantly looking at what’s the next thing and how it can be used? This could have something to do with the country being quite young and its leaders being quite young. They have an innate drive to always be moving towards investigating what the future looks like and identifying new trends.

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The Dubai Future Foundation is constantly monitoring those new trends, to follow through and test them out. There is a big drive within the government for Agile Government, for the government to be like the private sector. In the early 2000s, Dubai was nicknamed, Dubai Inc, because of its approach to running the government sector like a corporation.

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There is another expression which Dubai uses to measure return on investment (ROI), called “Return on Dubai” – which means is this something that Dubai sees value in as a government, as a country and as a society? Does it bring value in the long term? As Dubai has a strong traditional economic structure in place and a low risk aversity this helps its leaders to not focus on getting an immediate return on their investment but more to focus on providing a “return on Dubai”.

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Report:  Inclusive Deployment of Blockchain: Case Studies and Learnings from the United Arab Emirates

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In January 2020, the UAE Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution contributed to the World Economic Forum’s blockchain development toolkit in April and published a white paper entitled “Inclusive Deployment of Blockchain: Case Studies and Learnings from the United Arab Emirates”. A number of key findings were illustrated in the report which by adopting blockchain technology, the UAE government expects to save:

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The use of blockchain technology will not only allow operational cost reduction but will support the digital security of national documents and transactions, as well as accelerating decision-making processes.

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The report identified that whilst heads of blockchain initiatives were aware of how to utilise the technology, service providers and corporates weren’t aware of the regulatory implications. Is there a specific regulatory policy around blockchain? A certain data privacy law in place? These kinds of questions kept coming up at a time when there wasn’t the necessary regulation in place.

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The government’s approach to blockchain was very much a try and trail, implement and then identify the areas that needed to be covered from a regulatory standpoint.

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The report also included a survey of over 100 stakeholders from more than 60 various governmental and non-governmental entities across the country actively exploring or implementing blockchain. Within the private sector there were the corporates and the solution providers. What Mariam found interesting was that there were very similar identified challenges but everyone was approaching it from their own perspective.

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Some of the report’s key findings regarding top challenges to blockchain implementation were:

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Some of the report’s key findings regarding top success factors to blockchain implementation were:

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Key Findings

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Use case: DP World

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DP World is a world leader in global supply chain solutions, specializing in cargo logistics, port terminal operations, maritime services, free zones and more. It is a leading enabler of global trade and an integral part of the supply chain. The trade enabler has a portfolio of more than 150 operations in 46 countries across six continents.

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DP World works in an ever increasing complex global supply chain with a large number of suppliers, custom officials and many other parties within their trade system. Blockchain was brought in as a solution to both generate revenue and to cut costs by paperless strategies, cutting down the time spent with custom officials (verifying packages and cargo) as well as trying to get more suppliers on board and limit time spent with the banks.

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The blockchain trade platform helped DP World to manage their large group of stakeholders and orchestrate them in a more time efficient manner.

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Use case: Dubai Land Department

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The Dubai Land Department was actually one of the first use case that was implemented in the UAE. The main reason for using blockchain was around some confusion regarding land deeds. Land deeds entered in the previous system would sometimes have been altered for different reasons partially due to version control between different officials. It was recognised that the system wasn’t operating as hoped.

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Blockchain was brought in as a solution primarily for its verification process as well for its security and traceability capabilities.

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Blockchain and COVID-19

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Mariam was recently quoted as saying: “The role blockchain technologies can play in the economic recovery post the COVID-19 disruption will be critical. The upheaval has dislocated economies and ecosystems, and has hindered supply chains because of a lack of transparency, visibility and traceability on goods being moved around the world.” She added

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“Moving forward, there must be an emphasis on rebuilding global trade networks by learning and putting into practice the lessons emerging from this pandemic. The solutions that blockchain technology provides, outlined in the Redesigning Trust toolkit, can go a long way to future-proofing and safeguarding businesses in the recovery and adaptation to the new normal.”

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Prior to COVID-19 Mariam recognised that there was a small decline in the discussion around technology. With COVID-19 there’s been a resurgence in blockchain interest particularly in supply chain, in food traceability, in health records, in immunity passports and medical supplies.

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___________________________________________________________________________________________\"\"

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This episode is brought to you by our friends and sponsors at R3. In this digital-first world, now more than ever, businesses need to modernize existing processes, systems and models – and enterprise blockchain provides the ideal solution for transacting directly and streamlining business operation.

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Developed by R3, Corda is light years ahead of other blockchain platforms in terms of privacy, security, scalability and interoperability.  And–because Corda was built to meet the stringent requirements of highly-regulated industries, it can be used by firms of any type or size and in any industry.

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Blockchain applications built on Corda can reimagine and increase the potential of existing business networks, enabling direct and trusted transactions that eliminate friction and accelerate growth.

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Check out r3.com to find out more.

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","id":"2xgNhbd6JvDmPKi9lQu0ff","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/2d627e964e49c69a762c1be83d434591134b0476","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/45d68a45ce8cb82917206b524198cd8db504f088","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/a5abe0c4373f6bbe9aaecb76db96396992ca646b","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-GB","languages":["en-GB"],"name":"Ep. 118 – UAE blockchain deployment case studies and learnings","release_date":"2020-07-19","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:2xgNhbd6JvDmPKi9lQu0ff"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/bcfff249a6e281d0f52827b00faa93cbc6c5b47d","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"AI loves data, the more data it has the more accurate the models are which leads to better business outcomes and better research outcomes. A lot of the data today is locked behind closed walls. To unlock the digital economy and to train AI models, you need to unlock private data, that is exactly what Ocean’s Compute-to-Data is doing. It’s unlocking private data while preserving privacy. Join us and Trent McConaghy, Co-Founder of Ocean Protocol, as we discuss how to unlock data in privacy manner in order to monetize it. Trent has a background in AI and has been working in the real of blockchains for the last several years with a focus on data.  His initial work was around IP and data, and then on big data with a blockchain database.   What is blockchain? A mundane definition of blockchain is that it is a database with three special characteristics: decentralised immutable assets: Decentralised as in, no single entity owns or controls it. If for example you have tens of thousands of people running it then it starts to act and look like a public utility just as a gas company or the internet itself. This public utility records “state”. Immutable means once you’ve written onto it, it’s there for good. This is very useful characteristic for tracking provenance whether of financial instruments or of a fruit flowing from a farm in one country to a supermarket shelf in another. The idea of assets is if you have the private key, or password, to something then you own it. For example, if you have a Bitcoin private key then you own approximately $10,000. Since that initial inception of blockchain a few new characteristics have been added: Smart contracts which are essentially unstoppable scripts that run on top of a blockchain automatically when they have received the appropriate inputs. Blockchains are seen as incentive machines to get people to perform certain actions. Bitcoin for example gets people to add to the security the Bitcoin network through hashing, known as Bitcoin mining. People are willing to expend computational power to do this hashing, add security to the network, in the hope of getting paid in Bitcoins by the Bitcoin network.   About Ocean Ocean Protocol is a decentralized data exchange protocol to unlock data for AI, launched in 2017. Leveraging blockchain technology, Ocean Protocol connects data providers and consumers, allowing data to be shared while guaranteeing traceability, transparency, and trust for all stakeholders involved. It allows data owners to give value to and have control over their data assets without being locked-into any single marketplace.   The data economy In July 2019, Trent recorded his first podcast with Insureblocks entitled “The Data Economy – Insights from OceanProtocol”. He sees that the data economy is already a true economy in that there is buying and selling of data but the key is that it’s really hard to see it. You could nearly characterise it as a sort of shadow data economy, where there's buying and selling data, but it's mostly behind closed doors. On the one hand it’s visible if you’re buying data feeds from Bloomberg regarding stock prices. On the other a lot of data is bought and sold behind closed doors that you don’t hear about. For example, we don’t hear about the 150 plus organisations that Facebook is buying data from in order to mine people better to sell ads to. “The more data you sell, the less valuable it becomes. Instead, if you work with privacy-preserving tools and you allow other people to develop applications and derivative products, using your data, without ever giving you a copy of your data to anyone else — you get all the revenue without the increase in supply. This means, whenever someone wants to do anything with this kind of data, you still have billing power. And secondarily, you also have better pricing power,” concludes Andrew Trask   Compute-to-data and extracting value out of private data","duration_ms":3351171,"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/40t2FjHQblNDKOHDgiFa00"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/40t2FjHQblNDKOHDgiFa00","html_description":"

AI loves data, the more data it has the more accurate the models are which leads to better business outcomes and better research outcomes. A lot of the data today is locked behind closed walls. To unlock the digital economy and to train AI models, you need to unlock private data, that is exactly what Ocean’s Compute-to-Data is doing. It’s unlocking private data while preserving privacy. Join us and Trent McConaghy, Co-Founder of Ocean Protocol, as we discuss how to unlock data in privacy manner in order to monetize it.

\n

Trent has a background in AI and has been working in the real of blockchains for the last several years with a focus on data.  His initial work was around IP and data, and then on big data with a blockchain database.

\n

 

\n

What is blockchain?

\n

A mundane definition of blockchain is that it is a database with three special characteristics: decentralised immutable assets:

\n\n

Since that initial inception of blockchain a few new characteristics have been added:

\n\n

 

\n

About Ocean

\n

\n

Ocean Protocol is a decentralized data exchange protocol to unlock data for AI, launched in 2017. Leveraging blockchain technology, Ocean Protocol connects data providers and consumers, allowing data to be shared while guaranteeing traceability, transparency, and trust for all stakeholders involved. It allows data owners to give value to and have control over their data assets without being locked-into any single marketplace.

\n

 

\n

The data economy

\n

In July 2019, Trent recorded his first podcast with Insureblocks entitled “The Data Economy – Insights from OceanProtocol”. He sees that the data economy is already a true economy in that there is buying and selling of data but the key is that it’s really hard to see it. You could nearly characterise it as a sort of shadow data economy, where there’s buying and selling data, but it’s mostly behind closed doors.

\n

On the one hand it’s visible if you’re buying data feeds from Bloomberg regarding stock prices. On the other a lot of data is bought and sold behind closed doors that you don’t hear about. For example, we don’t hear about the 150 plus organisations that Facebook is buying data from in order to mine people better to sell ads to.

\n

“The more data you sell, the less valuable it becomes. Instead, if you work with privacy-preserving tools and you allow other people to develop applications and derivative products, using your data, without ever giving you a copy of your data to anyone else — you get all the revenue without the increase in supply. This means, whenever someone wants to do anything with this kind of data, you still have billing power. And secondarily, you also have better pricing power,” concludes Andrew Trask

\n

 

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Compute-to-data and extracting value out of private data

\n\n

There’s actually no issue in extracting value out of private data. The problem is that people that have private data are very reluctant to share the data because of privacy concern, regulation concerns such as the European data protection regulation under GDPR.

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There’s always a difficult choice to be made as on one hand yu want access to large data sets including private data in order to train an AI to improve the AI’s models, improve the business outcomes or the research outcomes in science. However, doing that will hurt privacy and control. For example, large enterprises are worried that their millions of users’ data leaving their premises might fall in the wrong hands and expose them to massive liability risks as well as having a PR disaster. A good example of that is when Equifax was hacked and 147.7 million of American’s credit records was exposed.

\n

Of course, on the other hand you do nothing and therefore no extra value but no privacy concerns.

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Ocean Protocol’s “Compute-to-data” enables you to get access to data in a way that it extracts value for your models but at the same time doesn’t have any privacy or control concerns.

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Privacy is about information flows, it’s about ensuring that information doesn’t flow everywhere. To extract value out of data in privacy conserving manner can be achieve by having computation running right next to the data for AI eyes only not for humans. Humans never see this data. The data never leaves the premises. From that an AI model is built that can do predictions or maybe simple statistics are done, such as building an average.

\n

The resulting derivative information doesn’t have any privacy or control issues. The data remains secure, it never leaves the owner’s premises. The AI model runs on top of the data and extract insights that don’t impact the data’s privacy or control issues. That’s the heart of the idea of compute-to-data.

\n

This is radically different to the present manner we exchange data as it usually involves a middleman mediating between the person who wants to extract the value from data and the person who has the data. That middleman could steal the data or have their data stolen as was the case with Equifax.

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The opportunity is that, what if that mediator is a public blockchain that acts as the middleman to orchestrate those events. A public blockchain would bring in transparency and there wouldn’t be a single centralised entity that owns or controls the data. The public blockchain would help connect the people who are consuming the data with the people with the data.

\n

Ocean is leveraging its access technology so that an entity wanting to run an AI training algorithm can run it next to the data and the blockchain technology is orchestrating it.

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Ocean compute-to-data is Ocean’s response to solving the current trade-off between benefits of using the private data and the risks of exposing it. Compute-to-data lets data stay on-premise, while allowing 3rd parties to run specific compute jobs on it, like building AI models. There are multitudes of applications in science, technology, and business contexts because the compute is sufficiently aggregating or anonymizing that the privacy risk is minimized.

\n

 

\n

Could this have been done with a public blockchain?

\n

Trent recognises that this can be achieved. Sophisticated players can of course talk to each other directly. However, it becomes complicated if they wish to talk to more than one player at the same time. They could of course create numerous relationships one by one but this can rapidly become complicated with significant overheads. The opportunity is to share the data on a data marketplace. With blockchain you can have a trust platform that enables the exchange of value and manage the access rights to the data.

\n

 

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Using and trusting Compute-to-Data

\n

Compute-to-date is a general technology for varying levels of comfortability with AI and other technologies. It can be as simple as computing an average. For example, getting an average of cash flows of offices in different countries for a multinational can be tricky if data can’t leave the offices due to difference privacy rules for certain countries. With compute-to-data an average can be built for each country and summed up locally at head office.

\n

\"\"

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For slightly more sophisticated users a linear regression model can be built using data with a number of variables. Linear regression models, according to Trent, suffices 50-80% of the time when doing AI modelling.

\n

 

\n

\"\"

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The next step in sophistication are Gaussian process modelling or neural networks.

\n

What is key to understand is that the entity suppling the data knows that the AI training algorithm has been vetted and that it’s not going to basically copy all the data back to the person consuming it. Building an average calculation for example requires only three lines of code. Builders of AI models will be using trusted libraries which would have been vetted by some experts. That’s a very small ask for suppliers of data who don’t need to be AI experts.

\n

 

\n

Monetization – how is price determined for data?

\n

Ocean has a flexibly approach to pricing of data.

\n

Ocean focuses on providing tools for data providers to make a data asset sellable, so that a data consumer can purchase access to the data. In between Ocean provides technology to build data marketplaces. Price of data in a data marketplace is determined by the people running the marketplace. At the moment data marketplaces comes with a fixed price for data. Ultimately though it will be done in an automated manner where price is determined by supply and demand. Ocean’s next version of data marketplaces will also include price discovery of datasets.

\n

 

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Compute-to-date Example – MOBI

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Ocean Protocol is part of the MOBI consortium – the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative. MOBI is a non-profit smart mobility consortium working with forward thinking companies, governments, and NGOs to make mobility services more efficient, affordable, greener, safer, and less congested by promoting standards and accelerating the adoption of blockchain, distributed ledger, and related technologies in the mobility industry. Chris Ballinger, CEO of MOBI was featured on Insureblocks to talk to us about an “Introduction to the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI)”.

\n

Ocean started collaborating with Chris Ballinger in early 2017, when he was still at Toyota research, for autonomous vehicles, electric cars and car sharing. The problem that exists for autonomous vehicles is that the AI algorithms don’t have enough data to reach the required level of accuracy.

\n

A report by the RAND Corporation states that “Autonomous vehicles would have to be driven hundreds of millions of miles and, under some scenarios, hundreds of billions of miles to create enough data to clearly demonstrate their safety”. This would take Toyota 20 years to reach.

\n

Recognising that some of their way competitors were moving faster in accumulating the data, Toyota asked themselves the question “what if we pooled our data with not just ourselves but with the other big automakers such as BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, GM, and Ford?” That was the initial idea that Ocean started working on with Chris at Toyota in early 2017 by building a decentralised data exchange for autonomous vehicle data exchange around miles driven. That data exchange was decentralised with no single owner or controller that enabled the buying and selling of datasets.

\n

What Ocean identified is that the automakers weren’t keen around their data leaving their premises. For example, Toyota wasn’t so keen on all of its miles driven leaving their premises for being trained by BMW. This concern was partly privacy and partly control. There was also uncertainty on whether the data had identifiable information, or whether it was monetizable and if you shared it would you lose the ability to monetize it. Because of that uncertainty automakers were reluctant to share the data.

\n

This is where compute-to-data comes in. It enables the automakers to pool their data to build accurate enough autonomous vehicles where privacy can be preserved and controlled. What this means is that Toyota can still build an AI algorithm for their autonomous vehicle that uses data from all of its competitors without their data ever leaving their premises. BMW, Daimler, VW and all the others can do the same.

\n

The way this could work is that Toyota might train its model initially on its data to build a baseline model. To update the weights from its model it could bring in BWM data or VW data. Toyota would build a mini training algorithm that goes into the BMW data to run computations for the mini neural network and send updates to its overall neural network at Toyota. Toyota can then use the same mini training algorithm to reproduce the same computations overs at Daimler, GM and Ford to update the weights on its datasets.

\n

In the end, Toyota gets neural network AI model for driving cars that’s been trained across all the automakers that are part of MOBI while at the same time it has preserved privacy of each of those automakers as the data never left their premises.

\n

 

\n

Compute-to-data and COVID-19

\n

There are a lot of opportunities for AI models and predictions to help to tackle COVID-19. In China everyone is being tracked and are given a colour code of green, yellow or red. Green meaning you’re clear, yellow means you’ve been in contact with someone who had it and Red means you have coronavirus. This kind of surveillance is one which most people in the West are uncomfortable with.

\n

The question is can we do something similar to China but in a data preserving way? Today we are using AI technology to try and measure COVI-19 but it involves looking into a lot of PII (personally identifiable information).

\n

With compute to data you can achieve that. Trent challenges us to imagine a world where you have access to all of the data across the whole life cycle from sensing and contacting coronavirus all the way through to treatment every step of the way, to ty and prevent things from getting worse. Imagine you have access to all of this data but without seeing any PII, where you can run compute-to-data on all of these data sets in order to get a very holistic view for the whole world with AI trying to prevent each step from getting worse.

\n

All this data of course can also be very useful for health insurers who can use the data to build better actuary models.

\n

 

\n

Plans for 2020

\n

Ocean had an alpha version of compute-to-data late last year and a beta version earlier this year. The platform is now live with several customers using it in beta.

\n

Compute-to-data is now in v2 and Ocean is working on v3 which will have two new main components: data tokens and incentives.

\n

 

\n

Data tokens

\n

With tokens you can tokenize insurance contracts or tokenize real estate. There are many applications for which you can tokenize. Once you tokenize something you can think of it like removing friction for building financial assets on top of it. For example, once you have a tokenized insurance contract it can flow through the Ethereum ecosystem, and be traded.

\n

In v1 and v2, Ocean had built a blockchain based technology for access control but it was not tokenized. Part of v3 is to tokenize the access control. For example, today to read the Wall Street Journal you need to have a subscription to access the data. Instead of a subscription you could have a data token that grants you access to the Wall Street Journal’s data. However, you can also have an access token for accessing data from BMW or Toyota or to your own medical records.

\n

Ocean is providing the technology for entities to create their own data tokens and to be able to consume them. Once the tokens are created they can flow through the Ethereum ecosystem.

\n

Similar to the Apple Wallet that can hold your boarding passes for an airplane or your cinema tickets. People also have crypto wallets to store their bitcoins and ethers. Eventually inside the Apple wallet or the crypto wallet you could have data tokens that give you access to products and services such as the Wall Street Journal to give you access to its data. Those data tokens can also be used for identity and KYC purposes. You could use them to prove your identity and your credentials for example your PhD from verifiable credentials.

\n

It can also be used for insurance. For example, you can tokenize your Apple Health app data and give your insurance provider a data token to access that data to give you a lower insurance rate.

\n

 

\n

Incentives

\n

Incentives is about making incentivising people to make the ecosystem more valuable, whilst they are buying and selling data.

\n

With Ocean people will be able to set up their own marketplaces. They will have a degree of automation as market makers. People can add liquidity to his to buy and sell datasets. For every transaction a transaction fee is charged where a percentage of it is used to reward people who do work in the form of referrals, curation and adding liquidity to reduce slippage.

","id":"40t2FjHQblNDKOHDgiFa00","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/2d627e964e49c69a762c1be83d434591134b0476","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/45d68a45ce8cb82917206b524198cd8db504f088","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/a5abe0c4373f6bbe9aaecb76db96396992ca646b","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-GB","languages":["en-GB"],"name":"Ep. 117 – Monetizing Data in a Data Privacy Manner – Ocean Protocol’s Compute-to-Data","release_date":"2020-07-12","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:40t2FjHQblNDKOHDgiFa00"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/27d15f7d0707bf9b2b30a9ca8e0b5f69d1d0fe9a","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"Marc Taverner is the executive director of the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) since the middle of January 2020. He has been active in the global blockchain ecosystem for more than five years, working across 20 countries, engaging with organisations from core crypto currency companies to governments and financial institutions, through to large corporates and industry associations. As executive director of INATBA, Marc is committed to positioning INATBA as the only international organization truly equipped to convene public and private industry partners with the credible support of powerful allies like the European Commission and key advisory bodies   What is blockchain? For Marc, blockchain is a type of distributed ledger technology (DLT) where transactions are recorded with an immutable cryptographic signature called a hash. These are added into a chain of blocks, with each block, validating the prior block and creating an immutable audit trail that in turn creates trust. Distributed ledger technology is a decentralised database managed by multiple participants across multiple nodes. The reason why blockchain and distributed ledger technology is important is because it finally helps us solve the issue of trust by applying technologies such as cryptography and governance models such as consensus mechanisms.   What is INATBA? To answer the question of what is INATBA, Marc took us on his journey that ultimately took him to INATBA. In the 2014, Marc was introduced to the world of blockchain and bitcoin when he met Valery Vavlivo, CEO and co-founder of Bitfury, who made him Global Ambassador & Markets Development at Bitfury. Whilst at Bitfury, Marc learned that trying to get large blockchain applications to scale, such as the Land Registry one for the Republic of Georgia or the one the Ukraine’s Government plans to auction seized assets on a blockchain, would come up against a number of friction points. These frictions points weren’t only technology ones but also one of policy and of interoperability both between nations and between technology stacks. All these applications were interesting for those governments and created a great deal of interest with other governments around the world who wanted to leverage those applications and others. But the friction points were preventing the adoption of blockchain based technologies at a massive scale. Some of these issues are rooted around the lack of standards and interoperability between technology stacks which would cause governments and large potential customers of this technology to recoil a little from making early decisions for the fear of either putting themselves into a vendor locking position, or a situation where they've made the wrong strategic technological decision. INATBA exists to address some of those friction points. They bring a number of parties together from governments and supranational bodies in the public sector to startups, SMEs and enterprises in the private sector, to try and achieve commonality across standards, good governance and interoperability. By reducing those friction points they hope for blockchain to be massively adopted.   Interoperability Establishing standards and interoperability from a technology perspective is absolutely needed and very critical for the industry to be able to develop further. But equally important is the focus on governance structures and legal structures. INATBA established the Standardisation Committee, to work across all working groups with the aim to convene discussions with parties from different standard setting bodies, policy makers and all the elements of public sector and the private sector to reach an agreement on standards and levels of interoperability across technology, across legal structures, and across country boundaries. From a governance standpoint, INATBA promotes an open, transparent and inclusive global model of governance...","duration_ms":2758217,"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/623OjPikm1QP3hLTmvddxC"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/623OjPikm1QP3hLTmvddxC","html_description":"

Marc Taverner is the executive director of the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) since the middle of January 2020. He has been active in the global blockchain ecosystem for more than five years, working across 20 countries, engaging with organisations from core crypto currency companies to governments and financial institutions, through to large corporates and industry associations.

\n

As executive director of INATBA, Marc is committed to positioning INATBA as the only international organization truly equipped to convene public and private industry partners with the credible support of powerful allies like the European Commission and key advisory bodies

\n

 

\n

What is blockchain?

\n

For Marc, blockchain is a type of distributed ledger technology (DLT) where transactions are recorded with an immutable cryptographic signature called a hash. These are added into a chain of blocks, with each block, validating the prior block and creating an immutable audit trail that in turn creates trust.

\n

Distributed ledger technology is a decentralised database managed by multiple participants across multiple nodes.

\n

The reason why blockchain and distributed ledger technology is important is because it finally helps us solve the issue of trust by applying technologies such as cryptography and governance models such as consensus mechanisms.

\n

 

\n

What is INATBA?

\n

\"\"

\n

To answer the question of what is INATBA, Marc took us on his journey that ultimately took him to INATBA. In the 2014, Marc was introduced to the world of blockchain and bitcoin when he met Valery Vavlivo, CEO and co-founder of Bitfury, who made him Global Ambassador & Markets Development at Bitfury.

\n

Whilst at Bitfury, Marc learned that trying to get large blockchain applications to scale, such as the Land Registry one for the Republic of Georgia or the one the Ukraine’s Government plans to auction seized assets on a blockchain, would come up against a number of friction points. These frictions points weren’t only technology ones but also one of policy and of interoperability both between nations and between technology stacks.

\n

All these applications were interesting for those governments and created a great deal of interest with other governments around the world who wanted to leverage those applications and others. But the friction points were preventing the adoption of blockchain based technologies at a massive scale.

\n

Some of these issues are rooted around the lack of standards and interoperability between technology stacks which would cause governments and large potential customers of this technology to recoil a little from making early decisions for the fear of either putting themselves into a vendor locking position, or a situation where they’ve made the wrong strategic technological decision.

\n

INATBA exists to address some of those friction points. They bring a number of parties together from governments and supranational bodies in the public sector to startups, SMEs and enterprises in the private sector, to try and achieve commonality across standards, good governance and interoperability. By reducing those friction points they hope for blockchain to be massively adopted.

\n

 

\n

Interoperability

\n

Establishing standards and interoperability from a technology perspective is absolutely needed and very critical for the industry to be able to develop further. But equally important is the focus on governance structures and legal structures.

\n

INATBA established the Standardisation Committee, to work across all working groups with the aim to convene discussions with parties from different standard setting bodies, policy makers and all the elements of public sector and the private sector to reach an agreement on standards and levels of interoperability across technology, across legal structures, and across country boundaries.

\n

From a governance standpoint, INATBA promotes an open, transparent and inclusive global model of governance for blockchain that reflects the shared interests of stakeholders from industry, start-ups and SMEs, civil society organisations, governments and international organisations.

\n

 

\n

INATBA’s working groups

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INATBA has 14 working group and three committees:

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    \n
  1. Standardisation committee looks at governance and interoperability
  2. \n
  3. Legal committee looks at legal issues and is presently looking at the topic of smart contracts and the setting of standards with them
  4. \n
  5. Membership committee reviews membership applications
  6. \n
\n

\"\"

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One of the INATBA working groups is the healthcare Working Group who has been very busy working on the COVID-19 pandemic. They are working closely with the World Economic Forum’s COVID Task Force to address the challenges that the pandemic has caused

\n

\"\"

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The Energy Working Group, has been working with UCL, University College of London, looking at the topic of energy in particular peer to peer energy, and very soon they’re going to be producing the output of a series of roundtable discussions they’ve been holding over the last few months.

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\n

\"\"

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The privacy working group have been working on mapping the global approaches to privacy around the world, so that INATBA can engage policymakers to support their policy enhancements decisions and help them reach a level of commonality between themselves.

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\n

Converge of blockchain, AI and IoT

\n

The convergence of blockchain, AI and IoT is naturally built into the work plans developed by each of the 14 working groups.

\n

Convergence is also the name of an INATBA event which assembled 1500 participants from all over the world within the public and private sector for a series of high-level discussions. It is called convergence to recognise that INATBA isn’t just focusing on blockchain and DLT but on the convergence of everything that is required to establish the massive adoption at scale of blockchain and DLT, andincluding how it needs to interface with other emerging technologies.

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Convergence was last held in November in Malaga in 2019. The recording of the events can be viewed here:

\n

\n

 

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Why members join INATBA?

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INATBA is open, inclusive, democratic and transparent organisation within its governance model. It is funded through its membership fees and all of its members share an equal voice independent of its size or financial means.

\n

Governments who engage with INATBA gain access to a valuable pool of knowledge in a public or private forum fo their policy creation, development of legislation or their overarching technology strategies that include blockchain and DLT.

\n

The INATBA academic advisory body brings a level of academic rigour for the presentation of evidence from their research and compiled data. The academic advisory body brings academic impartiality which is free from undue commercial influence or political influence.

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INATBA, presently has almost 170 members, 20 government and supranational organisations and some 43 individuals representing academic institutions from 18 countries.

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COVID-19

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INATBA, together with the European Commission and University College London – Centre for Blockchain Technologies, launched a global initiative that convenes public and private entities committed to quickly activate blockchain solutions that address challenges caused by the COVID pandemic.

\n

The INATVA COVID Task Force will convene key players in the global blockchain ecosystem to identify deployable technology solutions that address governmental, social and commercial challenges caused by COVID. Working on an expedited timetable, the Task Force will analyse, sort, package and present solutions to governments and organizations to deliver real value quickly.

\n

So far 25 solutions have been presented to INATBA. Six were around helping to bring the business community together for collective action against COVID. Seven were around how to protect people’s livelihood and facilitate business continuity during the crisis. And 12 were aimed at mobilizing cooperation and business support for the COVID-19 response.

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Success in 12 months time

\n

Marc states that when you put to the  side the unprecedented conditions caused by COVID-19, in an ideal world, INATBA would have had a real impact on the growth of technology and see real uptake of some applications at a significant scale. INATBA would have influenced regulators and policymakers in getting governing bodies around the world to help them enhance or create policies and pieces of legislation and regulation that would facilitate the adoption of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies in their countries.

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___________________________________________________________________________________________\"\"

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This episode is brought to you by our friends and sponsors at R3. In this digital-first world, now more than ever, businesses need to modernize existing processes, systems and models – and enterprise blockchain provides the ideal solution for transacting directly and streamlining business operation.

\n

Developed by R3, Corda is light years ahead of other blockchain platforms in terms of privacy, security, scalability and interoperability.  And–because Corda was built to meet the stringent requirements of highly-regulated industries, it can be used by firms of any type or size and in any industry.

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Blockchain applications built on Corda can reimagine and increase the potential of existing business networks, enabling direct and trusted transactions that eliminate friction and accelerate growth.

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Check out r3.com to find out more.

\n

 

","id":"623OjPikm1QP3hLTmvddxC","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/2d627e964e49c69a762c1be83d434591134b0476","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/45d68a45ce8cb82917206b524198cd8db504f088","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/a5abe0c4373f6bbe9aaecb76db96396992ca646b","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-GB","languages":["en-GB"],"name":"Ep. 116 – INATBA – International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications","release_date":"2020-07-05","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:623OjPikm1QP3hLTmvddxC"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/26971feb7503508743114b393d5ea5a6c4274be7","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"Caroline Malcolm heads the Global Blockchain Policy Centre at the OECD,  assessing its policy implications & building solutions to ensure governments across the world can access and respond to the opportunities and challenges it raises. In this podcast she discusses with us the interesting work the OECD is doing around understanding the potential blockchain can bring to the its members, how they collaborate with other international institutions and she also invites you all to participate in the upcoming OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum 2020 .   What is blockchain? Caroline agrees that there is a wide range of views regarding defining what is blockchain. For the OECD, blockchain is just one type of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and refers itself to a combination of technologies. These technologies create a digital, shared and self-updating ledger of verified transactions or information amongst parties on a network. These blockchains and DLTs more broadly use various types of consensus mechanisms to validate and record those transactions or transfer of information. They have various governance systems with various degrees of control for the different parties on the network. Blockchain applications have been developed across lots of different sectors, and is often described as the Internet of value.   What is the OECD? The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives. Their goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all. The OECD is an international organisation with at the present moment 37 members, including Colombia who recently joined. Together with governments, policy makers and citizens, the OECD works on establishing evidence-based international standards and finding solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. From improving economic performance and creating jobs, to fostering strong education, informing the impact of emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain, to fighting international tax evasion, they provide a unique forum and knowledge hub for data and analysis, exchange of experiences, best-practice sharing, and advice on public policies and international standard-setting.   The OECD Global Blockchain Policy Centre For the last 6 years the OECD has been looking at cryptocurrencies and their impacts and potential for financial markets. In 2017, the OECD launched a project called Going Digital which broadly looked at digitalization across the policy spectrum. Within 18 months of that project being underway the OECD members decided that going forward they would put their focus on artificial intelligence and on blockchain. In 2018 the OECD Global Blockchain Policy Centre was created and in 2019 the OECD AI Policy Observatory was created. The OECD Global Blockchain Policy Centre was created to support governments to address the challenges raised by DLT and their applications as well as to seize the opportunities it offers for achieving policy objectives.  The Centre focuses a significant amount of effort on education – capacity building and focusing on what that means for policy makers. Caroline and her team recognised that there was a huge lack of understanding about why this technology was not just like any other emerging technology. The decentralised aspect of the technology was what policymakers and regulators need to be paying special attention to. The Centre created their own course for policymakers to help them get a better understanding of what is the technology, what it’s useful for, what it’s not useful for and help them understand how it is changing the policy implementation environment. Caroline recognises that striking the balance between a healthy scepticism about blockchain technology and the hype associated with it to recognising with a certain humility that we have see...","duration_ms":3125290,"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/361Lq7lLMgqXTy90HRnPpF"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/361Lq7lLMgqXTy90HRnPpF","html_description":"

Caroline Malcolm heads the Global Blockchain Policy Centre at the OECD,  assessing its policy implications & building solutions to ensure governments across the world can access and respond to the opportunities and challenges it raises.

\n

In this podcast she discusses with us the interesting work the OECD is doing around understanding the potential blockchain can bring to the its members, how they collaborate with other international institutions and she also invites you all to participate in the upcoming OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum 2020 .

\n

 

\n

What is blockchain?

\n

\n

Caroline agrees that there is a wide range of views regarding defining what is blockchain.

\n

For the OECD, blockchain is just one type of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and refers itself to a combination of technologies. These technologies create a digital, shared and self-updating ledger of verified transactions or information amongst parties on a network. These blockchains and DLTs more broadly use various types of consensus mechanisms to validate and record those transactions or transfer of information.

\n

They have various governance systems with various degrees of control for the different parties on the network. Blockchain applications have been developed across lots of different sectors, and is often described as the Internet of value.

\n

 

\n

What is the OECD?

\n

\n

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives. Their goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all.

\n

The OECD is an international organisation with at the present moment 37 members, including Colombia who recently joined. Together with governments, policy makers and citizens, the OECD works on establishing evidence-based international standards and finding solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. From improving economic performance and creating jobs, to fostering strong education, informing the impact of emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain, to fighting international tax evasion, they provide a unique forum and knowledge hub for data and analysis, exchange of experiences, best-practice sharing, and advice on public policies and international standard-setting.

\n

 

\n

The OECD Global Blockchain Policy Centre

\n

For the last 6 years the OECD has been looking at cryptocurrencies and their impacts and potential for financial markets. In 2017, the OECD launched a project called Going Digital which broadly looked at digitalization across the policy spectrum. Within 18 months of that project being underway the OECD members decided that going forward they would put their focus on artificial intelligence and on blockchain.

\n

In 2018 the OECD Global Blockchain Policy Centre was created and in 2019 the OECD AI Policy Observatory was created.

\n

\n

The OECD Global Blockchain Policy Centre was created to support governments to address the challenges raised by DLT and their applications as well as to seize the opportunities it offers for achieving policy objectives.  The Centre focuses a significant amount of effort on education – capacity building and focusing on what that means for policy makers.

\n

Caroline and her team recognised that there was a huge lack of understanding about why this technology was not just like any other emerging technology. The decentralised aspect of the technology was what policymakers and regulators need to be paying special attention to.

\n

The Centre created their own course for policymakers to help them get a better understanding of what is the technology, what it’s useful for, what it’s not useful for and help them understand how it is changing the policy implementation environment.

\n

Caroline recognises that striking the balance between a healthy scepticism about blockchain technology and the hype associated with it to recognising with a certain humility that we have seen in the past emerging technologies that have developed and grown into something that we may not have been able to envision.

\n

Since 2018 the Centre runs the Global Blockchain Policy Forum on an annual basis to show the potential of blockchain technology without it being overhyped but concrete and realistic. In 2019 the forum and even more for the 2020 forum is focused on demonstrating that blockchain isn’t something for the future but a technology that is happening now.

\n

\n

 

\n

The OECD Global Blockchain Policy Centre’s work

\n

The OECD Global Blockchain Policy Centre’s work sits in four categories:

\n\n

Finance

\n

The finance category involves work on financial consumer protection in the crypto asset space and asset tokenization. It also involves taxation work, sustainable infrastructure, and within the work of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) they are looking at both virtual assets and digital identity.

\n

Supply chain

\n

This category is looked at from two aspects: track & trace of goods and a more qualitative aspect.

\n

The track and trace of goods has come to the fore in a kind of post COVID world as society looks at preparing its systems to become more resilient in the future. COVID-19 has demonstrated that perhaps we don’t have a good understanding of our supply chains, and as much control and information and transparency as we thought we had.

\n

With regards to the more qualitative aspect of supply chain and on the due diligence of supply chain. How to use technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) to get a better understanding of what is happening in supply chain? It’s being able to see beyond just how a good is moved from point A to point B but to be able to see whether child labour or slave labour is being used within supply chains.

\n

Government and public goods

\n

This is about the delivery of public services for things like migration, development aid and sustainable development goals. It’s about using the technology for greater transparency to address corruption risks in aid delivery and ensure that when aid is given it is arriving to the intended recipient.

\n

This category also looks at transport and how blockchain is being used for urban mobility.

\n

Governing blockchain

\n

It’s about digital identity, governance of decentralised systems and understanding the new business models that can arise from it. It’s understanding and working out what are the incentives in those decentralised models and how they are governed.

\n

 

\n

Cross institution collaboration

\n

In 2019 the OECD crated this informal network along with the European Commission, the WTO, UNICEF, World Food Programme, The World Bank, IFC and the IMF to informally share information about the different projects that they are all working on and identify points of collaboration. One that really emerged quite quickly was around the issue of education for policymakers and for public sector officials for them to understand what does blockchain mean to them as a government official or as a policymaker.

\n

The OECD is developing an online course for these government officials and policymakers to help them understand what is blockchain. The aforementioned international organisations are contributing mini modules to those courses along their areas of expertise.

\n

 

\n

Different approaches to blockchain

\n

The OECD is composed of 37 member states from across the world. They recognise that there isn’t one size fits all with regards to the approach to be taken on blockchain. This reflects the various different sort of economic and government structures in different parts of the world.

\n

The OECD tries to understand what are the different policy options if there’s been no policy steps already taken by a member state. When governments have started to make moves, the OECD analyses what they’ve done and why it fits in a particular circumstance and try to tease out lessons for other countries about what could actually be useful for them to apply in their own circumstances.

\n

 

\n

Public private partnerships

\n

Within the private space one of the key challenges that often arises is around consortia. There can be challenges in terms of willingness to share information and how to reach a consortium agreement. Experts have shared with the OECD that when you have government involved it can actually sort of smooth the path to a more effective consortium.

\n

In Singapore, a collaborative project was undertaken with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and a number of the regional banks looking at how to improve KYC processes. Through this public private collaboration it was realised that by sharing information amongst the participants you can get better outcomes for both the banks and the regulators to help them meet their obligations.

\n

 

\n

Startup community and the OECD

\n

Caroline recognises that they need to be more involved with the startup communities. To help address this they held a startup showcase as part of their Global Blockchain Policy Forum in 2019. It was designed to not just to expose startups to a policy audience but also for policymakers to better understand the specific issues startups face.

\n

The OECD is doing work on individual country studies such as one in Italy focused on the sort of small to medium enterprise sectors in those countries and their blockchain community. This is to gain an understanding of what stage of development and areas of focus does the startup community have and what government policies are in place to align with overall policy objectives.

\n

For this year’s Global Blockchain Policy Forum they would like to showcase additional startups in a virtual way.

\n

 

\n

OECD’s approach to digital identity, AI and the Web 3.0

\n

The OECD has a comprehensive approach to digital identity solutions that involve DLT based ones and none DLT ones. They take a technology neutral approach when considering the full spectrum of digital identities. The OECD collaborates with a number of organisations including the Financial Action Task Force on digital identity.

\n

The OECD is also involved in the ISO’s Technical Committee on DLT in developing technical standards.

\n

Caroline admits that up to now the OECD has looked at emerging Web 3.0 technologies in isolation. However, they are working on updating their 2017 Digital Economy Outlook this year which will look at how these technologies come together. For example, it will look at where blockchain might go if you get greater adoption of the Internet of Things.

\n

 

\n

How blockchain can help in the COVID pandemic?

\n

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a series of new and pressing challenges across sectors, from the unprecedented policies required to slow infection and support the economy by governments, to the impacts on business operations right through the supply chain.

\n

As institutions have raced to adapt, questions of privacy, data security, and veracity of information have come to the fore. Governments and corporations have already turned to decentralised systems to address some of these concerns, while distributed ledger technologies like blockchain have attracted attention as a useful means of addressing specific fragilities and building future resilience.

\n

On the 27th of May, the OECD ran a COVID-19 Blockchain Webinar with a number of delegates:

\n\n

The delegates discussed the following topics:

\n\n

 

\n

OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum 2020

\n\n

In 2019 the OECD successful ran the OECD Global Blockchain Forum 2019 with a summary report that can be downloaded: “2019 OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum Summary Report”.

\n

For this year the OECD is going to launch their annual OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum 2020 .

\n

The event will run virtually from the 16th of November to the 20th of November 2020 and will convene government ministers and senior policy makers, industry leaders, academics and other stakeholders to:

\n\n

As the event is being run virtually, Caroline wants to take the opportunity to enlarge the audience to the forum by including not just policy makers but also industry experts, general public and academics.

\n

___________________________________________________________________________________________\"\"

\n

This episode is brought to you by our friends and sponsors at R3. In this digital-first world, now more than ever, businesses need to modernize existing processes, systems and models – and enterprise blockchain provides the ideal solution for transacting directly and streamlining business operation.

\n

Developed by R3, Corda is light years ahead of other blockchain platforms in terms of privacy, security, scalability and interoperability.  And–because Corda was built to meet the stringent requirements of highly-regulated industries, it can be used by firms of any type or size and in any industry.

\n

Blockchain applications built on Corda can reimagine and increase the potential of existing business networks, enabling direct and trusted transactions that eliminate friction and accelerate growth.

\n

Check out r3.com to find out more.

\n

 

","id":"361Lq7lLMgqXTy90HRnPpF","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/2d627e964e49c69a762c1be83d434591134b0476","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/45d68a45ce8cb82917206b524198cd8db504f088","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/a5abe0c4373f6bbe9aaecb76db96396992ca646b","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-GB","languages":["en-GB"],"name":"Ep. 115 – OECD Global Blockchain Policy Centre","release_date":"2020-06-28","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:361Lq7lLMgqXTy90HRnPpF"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/ae17d7332b9e93701fc52d9e6491bd51eaad8678","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"For this week’s podcast we had Christina Lomazzo, Blockchain Lead within the Office of Innovation at UNICEF. and Ariana Fowler, Blockchain Strategy within the Office of Innovation at UNICEF, join us to discuss how UNICEF and other UN agencies are using blockchain for social good.   What is blockchain? Christina and Ariana produced a report entitled “A Practical Guide to Using Blockchain within the United Nations”. As per its guide blockchain is a type of software made up of records of digital transactions that are grouped together into “blocks” of information and shared securely across computers on a shared network. When a new block is added, it is connected or “chained” to the previous block, making it difficult to change past information. All computers on the shared network retain a complete record of transactions as they occur, representing the entire blockchain. These computers are called nodes. Transactions submitted to a blockchain can only be added and previous data cannot be removed or modified. This is sometimes referenced as an immutable proof of record.   What is UNICEF? UNICEF, the United Nation’s Children’s Fund, is a 70 years old entity that is part of the United Nations.  UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children's lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence. UNICEF works to serve children and women around the world, in the areas of education, child protection, child survival such as vaccination, health, and water sanitation. Last year UNICEF responded to over 300 emergencies around the world, on gender issues, and supply chain. The Office of Innovation at UNICEF is a team that looks at emerging technologies and how this will have an impact on UNICEF and the work it performs. A data science team that looks at artificial intelligence and machine learning. A team that looks at drones and how those can be used in a variety of scenarios. Most recently a blockchain team was put together that focuses on a number of areas: A venture fund that makes early stage investments into start-ups in UNICEF programme countries. The blockchain team acts as technical mentors to those start-ups working on a variety of use cases Support internal UNICEF countries office teams who might be interested in building blockchain applications or exploring where blockchain may play a role in their process Running UN courses on what is blockchain and with young people around the world, teaching them about blockchain and Web 3.0   “A Practical Guide to Using Blockchain within the United Nations’ The UN innovation network is an informal, collaborative community of UN innovators interested in sharing their expertise and experience with others to promote and advance innovation within the UN System. Under the UN Innovation Network, Christina and Ariana produced a report entitled “A Practical Guide to Using Blockchain within the United Nations”. The purpose of producing this guide was to give an introductory resource in what blockchain is. It helps to identify if blockchain is the right technology for a use case. The guide has a number of sections: A high-level introduction to what is blockchain Tools, flowcharts and discussion points to determine whether blockchain is the right fit and if so what type of blockchain Examples of where blockchain can be used with some examples of how it is being used across the UN Resources within the UN to approach blockchain in a systematic way.   Fungi & Mycelium In the report, fungi and mycelium were used as a metaphor to explain what is blockchain. There were two reasons for using this analogy. First reasons, the practical guide is accompanied by a tool called atrium a glass space that has some greenery growing in a sheltered environment. Second reason, as they started developing the paper and thought about using the atrium, as a greenery,","duration_ms":2511621,"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/6TAq4ZnQq0JtW2skYtT9WR"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/6TAq4ZnQq0JtW2skYtT9WR","html_description":"

For this week’s podcast we had Christina Lomazzo, Blockchain Lead within the Office of Innovation at UNICEF. and Ariana Fowler, Blockchain Strategy within the Office of Innovation at UNICEF, join us to discuss how UNICEF and other UN agencies are using blockchain for social good.

\n

 

\n

What is blockchain?

\n

Christina and Ariana produced a report entitled “A Practical Guide to Using Blockchain within the United Nations”. As per its guide blockchain is a type of software made up of records of digital transactions that are grouped together into “blocks” of information and shared securely across computers on a shared network. When a new block is added, it is connected or “chained” to the previous block, making it difficult to change past information. All computers on the shared network retain a complete record of transactions as they occur, representing the entire blockchain. These computers are called nodes. Transactions submitted to a blockchain can only be added and previous data cannot be removed or modified. This is sometimes referenced as an immutable proof of record.

\n

 

\n

What is UNICEF?

\n

\"\"

\n

UNICEF, the United Nation’s Children’s Fund, is a 70 years old entity that is part of the United Nations.  UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence. UNICEF works to serve children and women around the world, in the areas of education, child protection, child survival such as vaccination, health, and water sanitation. Last year UNICEF responded to over 300 emergencies around the world, on gender issues, and supply chain.

\n

The Office of Innovation at UNICEF is a team that looks at emerging technologies and how this will have an impact on UNICEF and the work it performs. A data science team that looks at artificial intelligence and machine learning. A team that looks at drones and how those can be used in a variety of scenarios. Most recently a blockchain team was put together that focuses on a number of areas:

\n\n

 

\n

“A Practical Guide to Using Blockchain within the United Nations’

\n

The UN innovation network is an informal, collaborative community of UN innovators interested in sharing their expertise and experience with others to promote and advance innovation within the UN System. Under the UN Innovation Network, Christina and Ariana produced a report entitled “A Practical Guide to Using Blockchain within the United Nations”.

\n

The purpose of producing this guide was to give an introductory resource in what blockchain is. It helps to identify if blockchain is the right technology for a use case. The guide has a number of sections:

\n\n

 

\n

Fungi & Mycelium

\n

\"\"

\n

In the report, fungi and mycelium were used as a metaphor to explain what is blockchain. There were two reasons for using this analogy. First reasons, the practical guide is accompanied by a tool called atrium a glass space that has some greenery growing in a sheltered environment.

\n

Second reason, as they started developing the paper and thought about using the atrium, as a greenery, they started to think of systems like fungi and mycelium which are vast underground networks that are critical to plants’ survival but are often never seen but yet are so integral to forest and green vegetation. This is very similar to a blockchain network that people don’t really ever see but provide so much benefit to an ecosystem.

\n

 

\n

General uses of blockchain having at the UN

\n

Blockchain has three key categories of use cases within the UN:

\n\n

 

\n

Single source of truth

\n

Within the public records and supply chain tracking, there is a project in Afghanistan looking at land record management. It’s a collaborative project between two different UN agencies, to digitise land records and having a single version of the truth by putting them onto a blockchain so that everyone knows who owns what land and when the registry had been updated or transferred.

\n

The World Food Programme has a project, looking at how to digitise the supply chain of food in one of their largest food corridors between Djibouti and Ethiopia. Taking an analogue and paper process to making it digital and putting in blockchain features to improve its efficiency.

\n

 

\n

Tracking the exchange of value

\n

For tracking the exchange of value within digital finance also known as DeFi (decentralised finance) in cryptocurrency world.

\n

\"\"

\n

Building Blocks is the World Food Programme is a blockchain project used in several refugee camps that uses biometrics instead of paper vouchers for getting goods at stores. It’s digital accounting for some of those beneficiary vouchers.

\n

In the fall of 2019, UNICEF launched its crypto fund for UNICEF to be able to receive,

\n

hold and disburse donations of cryptocurrencies ether and bitcoin. This will allow for transparent donations and investment tracking within the United Nations.

\n

This is a project that Insureblocks supported in Christmas 2018 in its video “This is us

\n

\n

Smarts contracts and digital engagement

\n

Digicus is a smart contracts platform that allows for the streamlined processing of the disbursement of funds within the vendor procurement process.

\n

When a contractual commitment with a monetary value is made between organisations, this relationship can be codified on a blockchain and when a predetermined milestone is met, payment can automatically be sent.

\n

Digital impact tokens are being used as an incentivizing behaviour mechanism for staff at the UN. The tokens create verifiable proof of participation and can be redeemed to provide nutritional bars to children in need, creating double the impact

\n

 

\n

The Atrium

\n

The Atrium is a blockchain-based collaboration tool where the UN community can plant and grow ideas around blockchain. It’s an inter-agency collaboration tool where anyone within the UN network can sign up and participate in three key sections:

\n\n

The Atrium is built on top of blockchain and as participants interact with it they can earn blockchain based badges.

\n

When asked if Atrium really needed a blockchain to be built instead of a centralised database. Ariana, completely agreed that Atrium could have been built without a blockchain but in their next iteration there will be the possibility where UN staff will be able to learn how to programme smart contracts, write smart contracts, and then actually deploy them on this network that atrium is built on. This will give them the ability to know what it feels like to build a blockchain application and see it interact within a blockchain.

\n

 

\n

Cash transfers in refugee camps in Jordan

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\"\"

\n

This is a project supported both UN Women and by the Building Blocks of the World Food Programme where blockchain technology is being used in refugee camps to track cash entitlements that are disbursed to the people World Foord Programme (WFP) serves. Cash value from WFP or other partners is stored in an ‘account’ for individual recipients and is maintained on the blockchain.

\n

The cash that people receive or spend on goods and services is paid to retailers through a commercial financial service provider that is built on a private, permissioned blockchain, and integrated with UNHCR’s existing biometric authentication technology—WFP has a record of every transaction. This not only saves on financial transaction fees in the camp setting but ensures greater security and privacy for Syrian refugees. The project currently coordinates the delivery of food assistance for over 100,000 Syrian refugees. Source: “A Practical Guide to using blockchain within the United Nations”.

\n

 

\n

Digital impact tokens for chocolate produced in Ecuador

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\"\"

\n

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Ecuador has developed digital impact tokens on the blockchain. For every chocolate bar sold, there are impact tokens associated with that chocolate bar.

\n

When a chocolate bar is purchased the consumer has two options with their impact tokens. They can either take those tokens and send them back to the farmer. When four tokens are sent back to a farmer, a new cocoa tree is planted, with the intent that this allows the farmer to increase their production and therefore their income.

\n

Alternatively, the consumer can choose to get a discount on future chocolate purchases. Because the token is issued using a blockchain, the tokens transfer can be tracked by anyone, creating an immutable and transparent proof of impact.

\n

 

\n

Vendor payment leveraging smart contracts

\n

\"\"

\n

Christina and her team are working with the Kazakhstan office on a project called Digicus which is looking to digitise some of the financial processes in Kazakhstan mainly around vendor payments.

\n

UNICEF works with many partners to deliver its mandate and is innovating in managing those relationships. UNICEF recently leveraged blockchain to digitise and consolidate UNICEF’s agreements with its implementing partners on the ground in Kazakhstan (governments, NGOs, academic institutions) by using smart contracts. The goal of the prototype was to develop a platform to streamline processes related to cash transfers to improve the transparency and accountability of partnerships and related transfers of resources.

\n

Ultimately, the platform allowed for streamlined verification of the results achieved by partners and allowed the blockchain-based smart contract to automatically release the payment, after verification and authorisation.

\n

This platform, called “Digicus”, allows all parties to have a common understanding of what stage a project is at, what goals have been achieved, and showcases how smart contracts can be used to expedite processing of paperwork and payment. Source: “A Practical Guide to using blockchain within the United Nations”.

\n

 

\n

Linking youth to the future of work

\n

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This is a collaborative project between UNICEF South Africa and UNDP South Africa. The project is called Zlto “zlah-toh” which is really around matching young people with small jobs or micro tasks.

\n\n

Zlto is an innovative digital rewards system that is aimed at reducing employment barriers youth face such as work experience, the cost of work seeking, and access to credible networks by rewarding them for “doing good”. The micro jobs performed by the youth are stored as a “work asset” on the blockchain which are validated on the platform by recognized reviewers and serve as credible, verified work experience which can assist them in their search for employment.

\n

With the rewards earned through Zlto, young people can access quality opportunities including education, formal jobs, and small business finance. An added advantage of Zlto is that young people earn credits for the micro jobs they perform which can then be exchanged for products and services ranging from basic food supplies such as bread and milk to transport, airtime and electricity. Source: “A Practical Guide to using blockchain within the United Nations”.

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\n

Collaboration in terms of technology stack

\n

In 2019 the Office of Innovation at UNICEF drones team launched a corridor in Kazakhstan. This was the first drone corridor to test out how to coordinate drones in an emergency response scenario. The Kazakhstan country office team asked the blockchain team if they could provide certificates that were validated on a blockchain for the companies flying in the drone corridor.

\n

As UNICEF has numerous drone corridors around the world, the companies would be able to provide recognised certificates to each of the drone corridoes. This was one of the first collaborations the blockchain team had with the drones team.

\n

 

\n

UNICEF Venture Fund

\n

The UNICEF Venture Fund is a $29M pooled Fund investing in early stage, open-source, emerging technology with the potential to impact children on a global scale. It also provides product and technical assistance, support with business growth, and access to a network of experts and partners.

\n

The UNICEF Venture Fund is the first financial vehicle of its kind in the United Nations and enables UNICEF to learn from and to shape markets of emerging technology such as AI, drones, machine learning, AR, VR and blockchain, that exist at the intersection of $100 billion business markets and 1 billion persons’ needs for international development such as refugees to children and other vulnerable populations.

\n

The funds invests in frontier technologies that will have an impact in UNICEF capabilities to reach its mandate. They look for projects that are open source or willing to become open source. The blockchain team within the office of innovation passionately believe in open source technologies and digital public goods impact as being exponential.

\n

They are presently look for start-ups who have an idea for a use case that is relevant to UNICEF’s mandate to improve the lives of women and children around the world.

\n

 

","id":"6TAq4ZnQq0JtW2skYtT9WR","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/2d627e964e49c69a762c1be83d434591134b0476","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/45d68a45ce8cb82917206b524198cd8db504f088","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/a5abe0c4373f6bbe9aaecb76db96396992ca646b","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-GB","languages":["en-GB"],"name":"Ep. 114 – Utilising blockchain at UNICEF","release_date":"2020-06-21","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:6TAq4ZnQq0JtW2skYtT9WR"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/b17893a84a4529b62f8d6ec938a1c2b3474be704","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"Emmanuelle Ganne is the Senior Analyst at the World Trade Organisations’ Economic Research Department. She is an international trade expert with over 15 years of experience in international trade, trade policy, global governance, and diplomacy. In this podcast we discuss whether or not blockchain can revolutionize international trade. via GIPHY Her blockchain adventure started at the WTO in 2017 and it was ‘love at first sight”. Because her direct colleagues at the WTO didn’t quite understand the technology and its transformational opportunities for international trade, she decided to author the book \"Can blockchain revolutionise international trade?\". The book tried to build a bridge between the private sector and the IT community on the one hand and trade officials on the other. Emmanuelle’s journey over the last two or three years has been to help people understand this unique technology and to create an enabling environment that allows it to be deployed on a large scale to make a difference for international trade.   What is blockchain?   Emmanuelle took the interesting approach of defining blockchain from the perspective of how she explained it to her teenage niece. At that time her niece’s school had a Pokémon craze going on. Every day, she would bring to school a big box of Pokémon cards that she would trade with her friends. To explain blockchain Emmanuelle, asked her niece to try and imagine if she had an app on her mobile that would store digital twins of all of her Pokémon cards. Having such an app meant she wouldn’t need to bring her big box of Pokémon cards to school. She could digitally trade them as each card has its own unique digital twin like a fingerprint of that paper card. Normally you can make copies of digital documents very easily but with blockchain you cannot. The mobile app can thus also allow her niece to trace the history of the card including which one of her friends previously owned that card. Blockchain is like this mobile app. It’s like a giant repository of digital records stored in a specific order that ensures transparency and is highly secure as it also provides the guarantee that the information hasn’t been tampered with. This is achieved because everyone has a copy of the transactions. What you see is what everyone sees. These factors combined provides an environment of trust which means Emmanuelle’s niece can trade with not just her friends but with other individuals knowing that the digital twins of the cards aren’t fake and that all transactions are real and recorded. Emmanuelle’s explanation of blockchain has some similarities to how Bettina Warburg explains what is blockchain to a 5 year old, a teen, a college student, a graduate student and an expert.   Can blockchain revolutionise international trade? In November 2018, Emmanuelle published a comprehensive report entitled “Can Blockchain revolutionize international trade?” and then a year later in November 2019 she published the report “Blockchain & DLT in Trade - A Reality Check”. Whilst both of these reports are WTO publications, Emmanuelle clarifies that the opinions expressed in these publications are hers and are not meant to represent the opinions of the WTO and its members. Blockchain is a technology that presents a unique set of features that make it truly interesting to facilitate trade in terms of: Traceability of transactions Removing the need for trusted third parties Preventing double spending Recorded data on the ledger is virtually immutable and its timestamps enhances the transparency of supply chain and traceability of transactions. For example supermarket shoppers can scan the QR code of fresh tuna to trace if it was sustainably sourced and slave labour free. It can be used to check if the small farmer that grew the cocoa beans of chocolate bars was paid a fair price or if the luxury bag being purchased wasn’t a counterfeit.","duration_ms":3551791,"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/7bv1uce7nAM6yuWv4Kxccm"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/7bv1uce7nAM6yuWv4Kxccm","html_description":"","id":"7bv1uce7nAM6yuWv4Kxccm","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/2d627e964e49c69a762c1be83d434591134b0476","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/45d68a45ce8cb82917206b524198cd8db504f088","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/a5abe0c4373f6bbe9aaecb76db96396992ca646b","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-GB","languages":["en-GB"],"name":"Ep. 113 – World Trade Organisation – Can blockchain revolutionise international trade?","release_date":"2020-06-14","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:7bv1uce7nAM6yuWv4Kxccm"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/c0c0e8fc17801fafa50e56dc74ff7571bac1f5d4","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"Dr. Jemma Green is the co-founder and chairman of Power Ledger. Power Ledger is a four year old technology company, with 20 power projects in over nine countries, that facilitate two things - the trading of electricity and the trading of environmental commodities using blockchain technology. In this podcast we discuss with Jemma how their platform is revolutionising the power industry and how it is being used to democratise power.   What is blockchain? Blockchain is a like a database that can be used in many different ways. It is a common record keeping system which creates more efficiencies in the transaction process between counterparties who in the past would have had their own record keeping system. Using a blockchain enables an entry in a ledger to contain both the payment and the physical statement of a digital asset. This reduces the settlement risk or the need to reconcile and settle payments which can be very costly for the transacting parties. With smart contracts, which sit on the blockchain, you can also perform complex commerce transactions.   The Energy Industry For the last century or so electricity markets have remained relatively unchanged. It is characterised by large power stations, typically, coal and gas fired power, bringing electricity to people's homes brought by transmission and distribution networks, the grid. In the past 15 years, a new paradigm has begun to emerge as citizens and business have installed rooftop solar panels on their homes and office buildings. More recently, battery storage is being installed inside homes and businesses, as well as large scale solar and wind farms. Technology can help facilitate the dispatch of electricity via virtual power plants to stabilise the grid which historically has suffered from volatile prices creating significant problems in the market. Surplus rooftop solar power can be stored in batteries, and that market mechanism, facilitated by Power Ledger’s technology, can help the grid deliver low cost, clean and resilient power. These power technologies, along with the connectivity of blockchain to bring communities together, serves as a kind of citizen utility which provides a certain level of empowerment that has the potential to drive the next wave of innovation to democratise power. There are numerous drivers towards the democratisation of power. For some it is about getting a better price for electricity whilst for others it is their concern regarding air quality and the potential to electrify transportation in their city. Jemma believes that overall people are very engaged in the topic of electricity and becoming much more sophisticated in what they understand of the markets and what they expect of them.   Power Ledger introduction Power Ledger is a technology company that uses blockchain to facilitate trading of electricity and environmental commodities. Their vision is leading the global democratisation of energy movement. To give people access to energy and to participate directly in energy markets and improve their lives and the lives of others. Power Ledger would like to be recognised as a major contributor to transforming energy markets and sustainability globally and positively impacting the lives of 1 billion people. That’s Power Ledger’s big ambition that makes the, want to get out of bed every morning and do what they do.   Power Ledger the Uber / AirBnB of electricity Blockchain enables buyers and sellers to transact with each other directly without the need for an intermediary. In the case of electricity, households with rooftop solar panels could sell its surplus electricity to its neighbours in much the same way as Uber and AirBnb allow people to monetize their cars and spare rooms. Power Ledger works with electricity retailers in providing them with its trading platform to facilitate the retailer’s customers to trade electricity between themselves. Blockchain provides all parties with the source ...","duration_ms":2431295,"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/1GXrHlvIemtGBcPx0nPjrf"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/1GXrHlvIemtGBcPx0nPjrf","html_description":"

Dr. Jemma Green is the co-founder and chairman of Power Ledger. Power Ledger is a four year old technology company, with 20 power projects in over nine countries, that facilitate two things – the trading of electricity and the trading of environmental commodities using blockchain technology. In this podcast we discuss with Jemma how their platform is revolutionising the power industry and how it is being used to democratise power.

\n

 

\n

What is blockchain?

\n

Blockchain is a like a database that can be used in many different ways. It is a common record keeping system which creates more efficiencies in the transaction process between counterparties who in the past would have had their own record keeping system. Using a blockchain enables an entry in a ledger to contain both the payment and the physical statement of a digital asset. This reduces the settlement risk or the need to reconcile and settle payments which can be very costly for the transacting parties.

\n

With smart contracts, which sit on the blockchain, you can also perform complex commerce transactions.

\n

 

\n

The Energy Industry

\n

For the last century or so electricity markets have remained relatively unchanged. It is characterised by large power stations, typically, coal and gas fired power, bringing electricity to people’s homes brought by transmission and distribution networks, the grid.

\n

In the past 15 years, a new paradigm has begun to emerge as citizens and business have installed rooftop solar panels on their homes and office buildings. More recently, battery storage is being installed inside homes and businesses, as well as large scale solar and wind farms.

\n

Technology can help facilitate the dispatch of electricity via virtual power plants to stabilise the grid which historically has suffered from volatile prices creating significant problems in the market. Surplus rooftop solar power can be stored in batteries, and that market mechanism, facilitated by Power Ledger’s technology, can help the grid deliver low cost, clean and resilient power.

\n

These power technologies, along with the connectivity of blockchain to bring communities together, serves as a kind of citizen utility which provides a certain level of empowerment that has the potential to drive the next wave of innovation to democratise power.

\n

There are numerous drivers towards the democratisation of power. For some it is about getting a better price for electricity whilst for others it is their concern regarding air quality and the potential to electrify transportation in their city.

\n

Jemma believes that overall people are very engaged in the topic of electricity and becoming much more sophisticated in what they understand of the markets and what they expect of them.

\n

 

\n

Power Ledger introduction

\n

\n

Power Ledger is a technology company that uses blockchain to facilitate trading of electricity and environmental commodities. Their vision is leading the global democratisation of energy movement. To give people access to energy and to participate directly in energy markets and improve their lives and the lives of others. Power Ledger would like to be recognised as a major contributor to transforming energy markets and sustainability globally and positively impacting the lives of 1 billion people. That’s Power Ledger’s big ambition that makes the, want to get out of bed every morning and do what they do.

\n

 

\n

Power Ledger the Uber / AirBnB of electricity

\n

Blockchain enables buyers and sellers to transact with each other directly without the need for an intermediary. In the case of electricity, households with rooftop solar panels could sell its surplus electricity to its neighbours in much the same way as Uber and AirBnb allow people to monetize their cars and spare rooms.

\n

Power Ledger works with electricity retailers in providing them with its trading platform to facilitate the retailer’s customers to trade electricity between themselves. Blockchain provides all parties with the source of truth to underpin the buying and selling of electricity and the payment of it.

\n

 

\n

Did you really need a blockchain?

\n

Jemma recognises that there are many things that could be done without a blockchain. For example, peer to peer trading with one retailer can be done without a blockchain. This however limits what’s possible beyond that. With blockchain you can facilitate cross retailer trading and create a much bigger distributed electricity market.

\n

For example, two retailers on the blockchain can trade with each others customers. Customers with stored electricity in batteries can sell it to their own retailer or to other retailers in the network.

\n

Blockchain technology enables the tracing and verification of used energy sources to audit it in terms of environmental commodity trading like renewable energy and certificate trading. Additionally, blockchain can set all the trades both physically and financially in one block thus reducing counterparty settlement risk and removing the need for brokers which can drive cost efficiencies.

\n

Smart contracts can facilitate more complex transactions between multiple parties within an energy ecosystem like a virtual power plant. And it can also optimise the market for maximum value capture from all available income streams in a virtual power plant.

\n

 

\n

Virtual power plant

\n

A virtual power plan is where businesses or households install a battery to store their surplus electricity from solar energy and wish to dispatch that electricity from the battery into the market at times of peak demand.

\n

They might also provide what is called ancillary services to the market such as providing frequency and other control services. They might sell into the spot market to add more supply at peak times and provide grid support services to grid operators.

\n

Essentially a customer with a battery can sign up to one of Power Ledger’s partner retailers and use the platform to access the batter for that purpose. Collectively all of the batteries in the network are what’s called a virtual power plant. Together they can add up to the same size as a normal power plant.

\n

 

\n

The Power Ledger Platform

\n\n

When a utility company and customers want to gain access to the Power Ledger Platform a bond must be paid in the form of power tokens (POWR). These tokens can also be independently traded outside the platform as a digital asset on eligible exchanges. Sparkz is an exchangeable energy trading stable token, that can be used when units of electricity like kilowatt hours are bought and sold on Power Ledger’s platform. These tokens are automatically converted into sparks from the local fiat currency to enable energy trading. When energy transactions are settled, sparks are automatically converted back into the customer’s chosen currency. For example, one spark in Australia is one cent, or one spark in Thailand is one Thai baht.

\n

Sparkz are issued against escrowed power tokens via a blockchain enabled smart contract. The Sparkz are sold by the retailer to consumers who use the token to pay for energy. Utility companies need POWR and consumers need Sparkz.

\n

 

\n

Incentive mechanisms for delivering sustainable outcomes

\n

Jemma points out that in the past being sustainable didn’t always make economic sense. She believes that now making money and delivering sustainable outcomes can be intimately linked. This however depends on how the markets are set up and the incentives created through products and services can support that.

\n

Power Ledger’s platform provides a market mechanism that encourages people to install battery systems that can stabilise the grid and stay connected to the grid. In the past batteries were installed by consumers to self-supply and to be less reliant on the grid. The drop in price of solar panels and batteries makes sense to use them without government subsidies.  Connecting them to the Power Ledger platform enables consumers to trade and generate new revenue streams out of them.

\n

Electricity markets for a century had the market built on top of the physical system used to service it. Now there is an inversion where market mechanisms can create the right kind of behaviours that deliver distributed electric market that is stable, clean and low cost.

\n

 

\n

COVID-19, a wakeup call for the energy sector

\n

Jemma recently wrote an article on Forbes “COVID-19: The Wake-up call the energy sector needed”.  COVID-19 has heightened people’s desires about how to become more self-sufficient. In Australia there has been a strong demand for solar battery systems since COVID-19.

\n

Large retail outlets are thinking about how they can incentivise customers back into stores by purchasing their customers’ electricity in store vouchers thus creating a green barter system.

\n

Energy networks, retailers and operators have delivered services in much the same way for a century – driven by fossil-fuels.

\n

New technology is making it easier, more effective and affordable to use renewable energy, and the costs associated with installing those technologies, such as solar and batteries are decreasing.

\n

And most industry players recognise the need to change and evolve in order to remain relevant, or are at least are starting to, with a little nudge from COVID-19.

\n

Self-generating renewable energy infrastructure gives people the power to become self-sufficient for their electricity needs, with some even going ‘off-grid’ altogether. There is more of a sense of urgency to innovate right now and to make decisions.

\n

Global catastrophe’s like COVID-19 are also a catalyst for many things that are ripe for changes in a similar manner as how World War One saw more women get into paid work.

\n

 

\n

Global partnerships

\n

Power Ledger is working with a number of companies all across the world from Europe, to Asia and North America. Power Ledger doesn’t see itself as just selling a piece of tech. They want to help their clients achieve what’s of fundamental importance to them and to help them reach those ambitions.

\n

\n

In France, for example, they are working with the green energy retailer, ekWateur. ekWateur recognises that their customers want to be able to choose their energy mix, they want to be able to say I want solar from this farm, wind from that farm, and, and solar from my neighbours. Power Ledger’s platform enables their customer base to achieve that.

\n

\n

In the US they have partnered with Clearway Energy Group to roll out a digital commodity trading software in the United States to develop a platform to trade Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in the US. Clearway Energy recognises that blockchain can significantly improve the efficiency for the trading of RECs by linking transaction functions within a common platform.

","id":"1GXrHlvIemtGBcPx0nPjrf","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/2d627e964e49c69a762c1be83d434591134b0476","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/45d68a45ce8cb82917206b524198cd8db504f088","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/a5abe0c4373f6bbe9aaecb76db96396992ca646b","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-GB","languages":["en-GB"],"name":"Ep. 112 – Power Ledger – powering energy with blockchain","release_date":"2020-06-07","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:1GXrHlvIemtGBcPx0nPjrf"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/01326bf8171c22c4f9e8ad5ff304f76af16fa771","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"  Welcome to the Insureblocks first Blockchain Bistro. Blockchain Bistro is a new show that we are adding to our range of podcasts. It's a live webinar on Linkedin Live where we aim to discuss interesting subjects with a panel of experts. For this first show we had the pleasure of having Patrick Schmid, Vice President of RiskStream Collaborative. Patrick was recently on the podcast to discuss \"COVID19 and the economic downturn’s effect on P&C insurance: An opportunity for technology?\". For this first Blockchain Bistro, Patrick was joined with two Insureblocks partners: Mark Simpson and Rory Unsworth. Together we discussed whether or not if COVID19 and the economic downturn’s effect on P&C insurance is an opportunity for technology? We also took a number of questions from the community live in the webinar. We hope you’ll enjoy this new format and feel free to reach out to us on Linkedin or on Twitter or just add a comment below to give us some feedback or suggest some themes you’d like for us to discuss.    ","duration_ms":3675141,"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/4rUIDTtTpcsHNiQEXZvHoG"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/4rUIDTtTpcsHNiQEXZvHoG","html_description":"

\n

 

\n

Welcome to the Insureblocks first Blockchain Bistro. Blockchain Bistro is a new show that we are adding to our range of podcasts. It’s a live webinar on Linkedin Live where we aim to discuss interesting subjects with a panel of experts. For this first show we had the pleasure of having Patrick Schmid, Vice President of RiskStream Collaborative.

\n

Patrick was recently on the podcast to discuss “COVID19 and the economic downturn’s effect on P&C insurance: An opportunity for technology?“. For this first Blockchain Bistro, Patrick was joined with two Insureblocks partners: Mark Simpson and Rory Unsworth.

\n

Together we discussed whether or not if COVID19 and the economic downturn’s effect on P&C insurance is an opportunity for technology? We also took a number of questions from the community live in the webinar.

\n

We hope you’ll enjoy this new format and feel free to reach out to us on Linkedin or on Twitter or just add a comment below to give us some feedback or suggest some themes you’d like for us to discuss.

\n

 

\n

 

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