Making the 'Chain' Work for Business

By Mike Wolff, IMR Editor

Business Insider boldly proclaimed, “Your digital life will soon be based on the blockchain foundation and you will gradually capitulate to its immense power!” in its September 7, 2017 issue. So will this prediction come true, and if so, when? The jury’s still out on that, but many global technology leaders are furiously working to commercialize the innovative blockchain platform,  which in layman’s terms is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked and secured using cryptography. Here’s a snapshot of blockchain activity worldwide, excerpted from the January/February 2018 issue of the CIMS Innovation Management Report:

School’s Open for Blockchain

Sony Corporation and Sony Global Education have developed a blockchain-based student records platform that will permit administrators to consolidate and manage student records, learning histories and academic transcripts from several schools. The platform uses IBM blockchain technology running on the IBM Cloud.

“Blockchain technology has the potential to impact systems in a wide variety of industries, and the educational sphere is no exception when educational data is securely stored on the blockchain and shared among permissioned users,” said Sony Global Education’s president Masaaki Isozu.

Blockchain Tech for Pharma Supply Chain

Zurich, Switzerland-based plans to launch a blockchain-based temperature monitoring system it says will make its easier and less expensive for pharmaceutical companies to comply with new European Union GDP (Good Distribution Practice) regulations.

“Our system reduces the need for costly and inefficient actively-cooled transport solutions. Logistics services could save up to 3 billion EUR annually with our passive monitoring strategy,” CEO Malik El Bay told Blockchain News (, Aug. 18, 2017).

Funds for bringing the system to market in Q1 2018 were raised by an oversubscribed one-day public crowdsale of the company’s MOD tokens in September, according to Blockchain News.

The tokens are built on the Ethereum blockchain, explained in a whitepaper accessible at

First Marine Insurance Blockchain Platform

Also, Ernst & Young and Guardtime have announced the world’s first blockchain platform for the marine insurance sector. According to the September 2017 announcement, the platform will launch in 2018 after a 20-week proof-of-concept in collaboration with A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S, ACORD, Microsoft, MS Amlin, Willis Towers Watson and XL Catlin.

The blockchain platform built on Microsoft Azure global cloud technology, “connects clients, brokers, insurers and third parties to distributed common ledgers that capture data about identities, risk and exposures, and integrates this information with insurance contracts,” according to Ernst & Young.

In the FinTech World

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon got headlines in September by calling bitcoin a “fraud worse than tulip bulbs.” Nevertheless, he is still a believer in the underlying blockchain technology, according to a company spokesperson. The financial giant currently has a blockchain team partnering with Digital Asset Holdings and other outside organizations.

The Financial Times reported on Jan. 31, 2016 that JPMorgan had begun a trial project with DAH to learn whether blockchain could cut trading costs. It quoted Daniel Pinto, head of Morgan’s investment bank, explaining that exploring blockchain alternatives to the complex process of selling a loan “makes all the sense in the world; it’s easier and faster operationally, and you get fewer mistakes.”

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