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French grocery chain collaborates with IBM’s food transparency blockchain system

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IBM has been working to innovate blockchain technology for years. The former PC manufacturer has quietly built multiple blockchain technologies and innovating in spaces like artificial intelligence with its Watson technology. IBM’s main area of keen interest is to find out what the blockchain is capable of when it comes to product information, tracking,  more specifically, food safety and supply chain transparency.

IBM offers traditional businesses streamlined access to blockchain technology. The company has largely moved its operations into a Software-as-a-Service model, and food retailers are top among its targets. Previously, IBM’s blockchain division had developed a solution for Walmart’s grocery department to improve its food safety, as explained in the following video:

More recently, however, IBM was able to strike a deal with French company Carrefour, one of the largest multinational grocery chains in the world with over 12,000 locations. Carrefour has opted to integrate Food Trust, IBM’s tailored blockchain data system, as part of its supply chain.

In the food space, the blockchain can improve food safety first and foremost. The moment a product is acquired, it can be assessed against various metrics. In the future, this might be accomplished by artificial intelligence, but for the present, this data collection could create many thousands of jobs worldwide, as data collection is a delicate and important part of any tracking system.

Carrefour is merely a pioneer in jumping on board with IBM. Since Monday, the Food Trust system has gone live, and anyone in the food industry can subscribe to the modular software system which offers three primary uses.

One problem that Food Trust helps solve is that it will give food retailers like Carrefour a quicker and more accurate glimpse into the costs associated with products they are acquiring. In the pre-blockchain-and-internet world, this was an arduous process for retailers, with entire departments devoted to figuring out how to price and value products. IBM calls this module “Trace.”

The other two parts of the initial Food Trust offering are a product for enhanced certification speed making it easier to acquire taglines such as “fair trade” or “organic” and a more basic application for accessing and entering data into the Food Trust blockchain.

Suppliers particularly now have an incentive to get on board with Food Trust and other blockchain solutions like it. Simply making their information available on the Food Trust blockchain could potentially get a smaller supplier noticed by a giant like Carrefour and lead to new revenue.

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India’s largest Mobile & Internet industry forms Blockchain Committee

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India is promoting the blockchain ecosystem in the country and the latest move in this regard is the country’s influential internet and mobile industry association has formed a committee dedicated to the decentralized (blockchain) technology.

India’s most-read business daily the Economic Times reported, with the new blockchain committee, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is batting an eye on the government to widen the blockchain industry and startups.   India’s most-read business daily the Economic Times report.

The focus is to use blockchain technology to facilitate job creation and reduce the unemployment rate in the country.  This will give a boom to the new digital economy in the country, the report added.

The new committee within the influential non-profit will be chaired by Tina Singh, digital chief at private lending giant Mahindra Finance.

She told the publication:

“Blockchain is undeniably the technology of the future, slated to bring decentralization and trust and accountability into multiple areas of business. However, in order to be more effective and enter the mainstream, blockchain technology needs the intervention of government bodies, regulatory authorities, and corporates.”

The committee includes several includes many well-reputed executives of major corporate giants spanning tech and financial sectors such as Microsoft, Mastercard, IBM and HDFC Bank, India’s biggest private bank.

Interestingly, the committee also includes Sandeep Goenka, founder of major Indian bitcoin exchange Zebpay. The app-only exchange was among India’s earliest and largest exchanges until it closed trading services less than a month ago. However, Zebpay continues to provide a wallet service to users, the exchange said it was “unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business” following the central bank’s comprehensive ban that bars banks from providing services to exchanges and the wider crypto sector.

Despite the ban and less viability on the cryptocurrency sector, which remains unregulated, the formation of the blockchain committee proves the consistent effort to integrate the groundbreaking tech into wider society.

Singh added:

The IAMAI Blockchain Committee will focus on creating dialogue between all stakeholders; curate and create content to aid skill development and move towards creating a participative economy with the usage of blockchain.”

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BTCC Chinese Crypto firm plans to start its services in South Korea

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BTCC, China’s first cryptocurrency exchange, has planned to expand its services in South Korea on October 31, 2018.

Initially known as BTC China, the cryptocurrency trading exchange was one of the largest in the world in terms of trading volume. However, owing to  China’s crackdown on crypto trading and initial coin offerings (ICOs), the exchange was asked to shut down its services in the country in September last year and transferred to Hong Kong in January 2018.

According to a report, BTCC’s Korea operations will be headed by Lee Jae-beom. He said that BTCC Koplannedaned to highlight a new vision of cryptocurrencies. The exchange will first launch its beta services this month, with the official debut set for November.

Furthermore, the exchange stated that it will provide not only the trading, buying and selling services to its customers, but it also plans to create own a wallet, a mining pool, and a consumer payments service. However, there is still no information about the coins listed on an exchange. On the South Korean version of its website, the company has not yet specified which coins will be supported on the exchange.

Commenting on the launch, Lee said: “Cryptocurrency exchanges are facing a turning point due to a downturn in local exchanges while global exchanges are making a leap here. BTCC Korea will be able to present a new strategy and vision of crypto exchanges.”

The report said, BTCC also plans to expand its services and it wants to achieve this via strategic tie-ups with local and global firms. Recently, the company announced that it had joined hands with Defytime, a producer of anti-ageing products. The partnership will helpDefytime to adopt blockchain in healthcare products.

In Hong Kong, BTCC offers a range of services and products for trading to a global customer base. In particular, the exchange facilitates the trading of five cryptocurrencies against the USD – BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, and DASH. In addition, BCH, ETH, LTC and DASH can also be traded against BTC.

 

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Toyota uses Blockhain tech to cut down frauds in Digital Ads

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Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has joined hands with blockchain advertising analytics firm Lucidity to reduce fraud when buying digital advertisements according to a press release published Oct. 16.

Formerly known as KR8OS, Lucidity was founded in 2017 in Los Angeles. It offers an Ethereumblockchain solution to track supply chain payments, so advertisers can monitor how their funds are conducted and how they can be reduced.

Through the new partnership with Lucidity, Toyota and global ads agency Saatchi & Saatchi are reportedly looking to attain transparency in Toyota’s digital ad campaign buys and eliminate wasted spending. The size of the automotive digital advertising market was estimated at nearly $15 billion in the U.S. in 2018.

Nancy Inouye, Media Director at Toyota Motor North America, reportedly told advertising trade publication AdAge that the campaign with Lucidity resulted in a 21 percent upstick in visits to Toyota’s website. As reported, Lucidity was able to flag sites and apps with a high level of impression and click discrepancy which indicates fraud or bot infiltration to move funds to sites with higher performance.

Inouye reportedly said that Toyota “wanted to go deeper into the programmatic space in particular because it is an area [where] quite frankly, we don’t have transparency and visibility.” According to AdAge, the company now plans to extend its deal with Lucidity beyond the originally planned three-week test. Inouye added:

“We are in discussions to take it to the next step and [test] further with additional campaigns for a longer period of time. We feel that if we go longer we would see stronger results.”

Tom Scott, Media Director at Saatchi & Saatchi, stated that “even with high standards of anti-fraud and viewability filters already built in, Lucidity was able to deliver significant value-add by further optimizing the campaign.” He added:

“The ability to have access to a transparent, clean set of data from across the programmatic supply chain is game-changing. We’re empowered to take action, and this is the first time we’ve been able to use blockchain technology to eliminate waste and optimize our ad buy in this way.”

Blockchain has been actively deployed within the media industry to address transparency issues like fake traffic counts, bot clicks, and domain spoofing, as well as audit ad transactions. In June, global ad software giant Mediaocean partnered with IBM to use blockchain to bring transparency to the “entire lifecycle of an advertiser’s media dollar flow.”

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