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Enterprise Blockchain Is at a Private-Public Crossroads

The big players in enterprise blockchain face a decision: stay with underwhelming consortia projects, or invest in public networks like Ethereum.

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Looking back 12 months, our (Prysm’s) review of 2019 was naive, to say the least. We cited challenges to a successful 2020 for enterprise blockchain. And, while those predictions were not far off, they were overshadowed by a global shore-up of innovation budgeting, a mountain of layoffs and just about every other form of disaster that might get in the way of a technology revolution. 

To say that 2020 was a complete miss for enterprise blockchain would not be accurate. A few new networks and major corporate initiatives were announced, including PharmaLedger, Dole and a group of major Japanese maintenance companies, the Japanese government and IOTA.

Guido Molinari is the managing partner at Prysm Group, an economic advisory focused on the implementation of emerging technologies. He is a member of the Economic Advisory Committee at the Algorand Foundation and a Fellow at the Royal Society of Arts. This post is part of CoinDesk’s 2020 Year in Review – a collection of op-eds, essays and interviews about the year in crypto and beyond. 

But many of these projects barely grew. According to Prysm Group internal data dating back to 2016, the average enterprise blockchain consortium has gained less than one new participant beyond its founding members. There are a few outliers such as Italy’s banking network Spunta. But, for an industry whose primary purpose is to build a network adopted by other future members, this is not an encouraging figure. 

2020 may have just accelerated a preexisting trajectory.

Over the last year we have seen consulting firms, technology providers and large cloud players look to better define their strategies for enterprise blockchain in hopes of trying to push the industry past the trough of disillusionment. In 2021, we see major firms at a crossroads between a private versus public approach for enterprise blockchain.

There are key differences in the way major players seek to establish themselves on the private versus public spectrum. As you can see from our chart here, some are betting on a single protocol, some are spreading their bets. The variety of strategies raises the question of who, if anyone, will be the best positioned for 2021?

(Prysm Research)

Most major firms sit on the private end of the strategic spectrum. In the single protocol top left quadrant, we see dominant players such as IBM and R3 with their respective commitments to Hyperledger Fabric and Corda. IBM has seen some internal shifts and a realignment of its blockchain strategy with its cloud offering. R3 has unveiled a series of major partnerships over the year, first with ConsenSys spin-off Kaleido and then with IBM itself

A third major player, ConsenSys, remains fully supportive of Ethereum, and with the acquisition of Quorum from JPMorgan it has cemented its position in enterprise offering. It now looks well-positioned to be involved in all initiatives surrounding the number two public blockchain network. 

In the protocol agnostic bottom left quadrant, Salesforce remains focused on private initiatives for its 150,000 clients and Accenture now has alliances across the full spectrum of available private chains. This has allowed the consulting firm to spread its bets across several competing platforms and hedge against any potential losers. 

Does that signal that a public approach will champion? We think that is likely going to be the case in the long run.

Deloitte and the other Big 4 accounting firms have focused primarily on building proof of concepts on private chains for their clients and have yet to showcase a consortium in full production.  

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has taken a user-friendly approach, allowing clients to easily launch networks on Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum with just a few clicks. While AWS has announced some initial customers with appealing use cases like Legal & General in the reinsurance business and Nestle in supply chain tracking, it has yet to show a multi-party consortium coming together, which will be needed in order to capture the economic value of this network based technology. 

Others firms are embracing the public path at the crossroads, like EY with its now full commitment to public Ethereum. EY hopes the network started by Vitalik Buterin, now shifting towards its new proof-of-stake consensus model, will be able to scale and lower its transaction costs, two key hurdles that will need to be overcome in order to position the platform to become the bedrock of potentially billions of enterprise transactions. 

Google has kept a mostly behind-the-scenes role with a series of public networks announcing throughout the year the Mountain View, Calif., company joining their networks as a governing council member, validator or block producer

See also: Stephanie Hurder – Why Enterprise Blockchains Fail: No Economic Incentives

Thinking about the crossroads we are at for enterprise blockchain, the burning question is, who will win? Is it winner take all? Probably not. But one would guess there will be losers as well as winners. And with blockchain technology expected to generate $1.7 trillion in  economic value in the next decade, these firms will be working to push forward their approach in attempts of grabbing a piece of that trillion-dollar pie.

As uncertainties remain of even what will take place tomorrow in the world of blockchain, it is near impossible to predict how the future will shape up in the year to come. But by looking at the history of internet development perhaps we can find some clues. 

We know from this past that it was a single open internet built on the TCP/IP protocol that pushed aside many early attempts of closed networks and went on to dominate. Looking to the right-side quadrants of our chart, does that signal a public approach will win? We think that is likely going to be the case in the long run.

See also: Paul Brody – Public Blockchains Are Set to Reshape Global Commerce

We also know that rather than interoperability of many different systems, one system went on to command the market. If it is one protocol to rule them all, then is it ConsenSys’ and EY’s bet on Ethereum that will pay off? If we accept their designation of the largest public network (after Bitcoin) as the TCP/IP of internet 3.0, then perhaps yes, and surely they would be well-positioned to capture the largest slice of the coveted internet of value pie.

Based on our experience working with many of the firms making these decisions, the signals seem to indicate that enterprise networks will, over time, transition to a winning open blockchain network. Looking back to our 2019 review, I remain convinced that demonstrating value, putting in place the right incentives design and an early, adaptable governance will be the three key components to take them there.

Disclosure

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/enterprise-blockchain-private-public-crossroads

Blockchain

Government Blockchain Week Story

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From September 27- October 1 of 2021, the Government Blockchain Association, GBA, will be bringing together blockchain enthusiasts from around the globe for their big event, Government Blockchain Week in Washington DC.

In spite of the ravaging of COVID-19, the GBA is planning to hold this event live in many of the iconic buildings of the Capital City. The September week will be the third time that this event has been moved farther into the future in hopes that when Government Blockchain Week finally happens, attendees will have no fears of contracting the virus.

The week will begin with a Blockchain Foundations class on Monday, along Embassy Row at the British Embassy’s Rotunda building. At the same time, Blockchain Use for State and Local Governance will be held at the Attorney General’s Office downtown.

On Tuesday, a DC government agency building will host the Blockchain, Innovation & Economic Growth with Pitch Competition. Competitors from around the globe will be pitching their blockchain solutions to a panel of investors and government policymakers. Prize money, as well as the chance to advance to the World Business Angels Investment Forum world competition is at stake. The winners will be chosen at the end of the day.

While this is going on, the Department of International Trade UK at the British Embassy will host Blockchain, International Trade and International Aid.

On Tuesday evening, attendees can purchase tickets for Blockchain Ambassadors, held at the historic Whittemore House, for an evening to network under the stars. This cocktail party, the first of 3 Evening Receptions, will feature strolling musicians, parlor talks in the grand rooms of the mansion, catering fit for a President, networking in Eleanor Roosevelt’s library, finishing off with brandy and cigars out on the patio as the evening comes to a close.

Wednesday will be a day full of cryptocurrency and cybersecurity. Beginning with the Legal, Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Forum happening in tandem with the Money, Banking and Cryptocurrency Forum. Guests will agonize over which one to attend, because they will miss the other.

In the late afternoon, selected guests will be invited to the FinTech Round Table, hosted by the Embassy of Bahrain. This invitation only meeting of the minds will allow banking regulators and finance policymakers a chance to meet and discuss the changes that are happening in their industry.

On Wednesday evening, on the rooftop of the International SPY Museum, the GBA will host CryptoNite, and electric, black tie event filled with intrigue and drama. Words cannot describe what CryptoNite is. You just have to be there. This is the second of the 3 Evening Receptions.

On Thursday and Friday, the big guns of the Speakers’ list will show up at the Congressional Auditorium of the US Capitol where GBA will host their 2-day flagship event, The Future of Money, Governance, & The Law. During these two days, global leaders in blockchain, finance, cryptocurrency, government, and law enforcement will discuss where and how blockchain will dramatically change their industry. During the 2 days at the Capitol, GBA will host their

Annual Achievement Awards,

and a Digital Art Show.

On Thursday night, on the rooftop of Capital View 400, the guests of Government Blockchain Week can purchase tickets to attend the

Inventors and Pioneers Evening Reception.

For centuries, inventors and pioneers have shaped and impacted the whole of humankind. On this night, we celebrate the inventors and pioneers of the 21st Century who will impact the decade and the century to come. This final Evening Reception will be a great celebration of a monumental week, overlooking the dome of the Capitol under a sky full of stars.

Government Blockchain Week, September 27 through October 1, 2021, will be packed with forums, presentations, competition, awards, art, parties, and most of all, powerful and impactful networking. Anyone who hopes to make a stand in blockchain technology will benefit by attending this monumental event.

Author Bio

Kathy Dache’ is the Events Director of the Government Blockchain Association (GBA). She has over 30 years of training and events experience. She co-founded a blockchain professional networking group in 2016 and helped launch the Government Blockchain Association in 2017. She has conducted extensive research on blockchain and cryptocurrency topics including economic analysis, financial systems, and the impact of cryptocurrency adoption on governments. She has developed presentation and training materials on blockchain use in healthcare, identity management, supply chain management and many others. She has also been the GBA liaison for GBA speakers and dignitaries. Her passion is graphics and art.

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Blockchain

Wall Street Bets ‘Chairman’ Tweet Sends Dogecoin (DOGE) Soaring 85% in Hours

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The price for the popular meme coin, Dogecoin (DOGE), went flying today. The cryptocurrency skyrocketed by almost 90% in just a couple of hours after the ‘Chairman’ of the now popular Wall Street Bets group tweeted about it.

  • About a couple of hours ago, the ‘Chairman’ of the popular Wall Street Bets group asked whether or not DOGE has ever been trading at $1.
  •  After the Tweet went live, DOGE’s price went for the skies. The cryptocurrency soared by about 85% in a matter of hours and reached an intraday high at around $0.0145. The price has since corrected, but it appears that there’s still momentum in the market.
  • The reason for this excitement is what recently happened with the stock price of GameStop.
  • The Wall Street Bets group on Reddit saw more than 2 million people joining it with the common cause of buying GME stock against the trades of Wall Street hedge funds, who have been shorting it.
  • Not long after that, the price soared by up to 600%, causing mayhem on Wall Street and even getting one large hedge fund out of its position for what was reported as a massive loss.
  • The entire ordeal even saw the CEO of NASDAQ say that they would potentially halt trading in case of increased social media chatter.

“When we evaluate how we would manage through a situation where you see a significant run-up with a stock that is not based on news or fundamentals, we have technology that evaluates social media chatter, and if we see a significant rise in the chatter on social media channels and we also match that up against unusual trading activity – we will potentially halt that stock.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/wall-street-bets-chairman-tweet-sends-dogecoin-doge-soaring-85-in-hours/

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Reddit Doubles-Down on Blockchain: Partners With The Ethereum Foundation

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The giant social media platform Reddit has doubled-down on its blockchain and cryptocurrency involvement with a new partnership with the Ethereum Foundation. As a result, Reddit plans to utilize the Ethereum network to create larger-scale applications like the Community Points introduced last year.

Reddit Doubles-Down On Blockchain

CryptoPotato reported last year that the San Francisco, US-headquartered platform launched Community Points as tokens built on the Ethereum blockchain. Users from two subreddits, namely r/CryptoCurrency and r/FortNiteBR, were able to receive the ERC-20 coins and spend them on various services, such as membership purchases or voting on polls.

Reddit asserted that the points will be a measure of reputation and contribution within each of the communities. Earlier, a platform administrator going by the handle u/jarins reaffirmed the relationship between Reddit and the blockchain space with a fresh partnership with the Ethereum Foundation.

“In this new stage of our partnership, immediate efforts will be focused on bringing Ethereum to Reddit-scale production. Our intention is to help accelerate the progress being made on scaling and develop the technology needed to launch large-scale applications like Community Points on Ethereum.”

Furthermore, the post explained that the Ethereum choice was rather apparent as Reddit was looking into exploring an open-source and publicly available scaling technology.

An Increasing Commitment To Blockchain

The post highlighted that the most recent initiative with Ethereum is a step to increase the platform’s “commitment to blockchain,” which should help bring “the value and independence of blockchain technology to millions of Redditors.”

Consequently, Reddit has established a designated Crypto Team and is looking for “engineers who want to build the decentralized Internet.”

Aya Miyaguchi, the executive director at the Ethereum Foundation, also commented on the new partnership. She noted that the team behind the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap continues to “be impressed with Reddit’s vision, and by how it maintains its culture and philosophies, which were key in forming this relationship.”

Additionally, representatives of both parties plan to host an online session to answer users’ questions.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/reddit-doubles-down-on-blockchain-partners-with-the-ethereum-foundation/

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