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Blockchain Demystified

6  Digital Autonomous Organisations And Company Law

Potential disappointment of citizens in the governmental machinery is possibly connected with a form of general disappointment in the public institutions. Governments operate on a smooth and sustainable basis only when they manage to exert trust and confidence from citizens. When a regime is legitimate, its citizens are committed to it [On the link between legitimacy and faith in public institutions see Weber, 1964, and legitimacy in general see ]. Such commitment means that citizens generally obey the system’s laws, they trust and have confidence in its operation, and do not undermine or flout its authority. A state’s inability to inspire trust signals a breakdown of legitimacy, which places states and societies at risk.

Under article D.7.3 of the Regulatory Framework for Stored Values and an Electronic Payment System, issued by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates in January 2017, all transactions in “virtual currencies” are prohibited. The Central Bank of Egypt issued a warning in January 2018 against the trading of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, due to the extremely high risk associated with such currencies. The Central Bank also asserted that commerce within the Arab Republic of Egypt is confined 25 Blockchain Applications only to the official paper currencies approved by the Bank. The governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, Rasheed Al Maraj, has issued a warning against cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin. During a parliamentary session that took place in the Shura Council, Al Maraj declared that the bitcoin is not recognized by any financial institution. He also mentioned that using bitcoin in Bahrain is illegal; however, Bharani citizens have the right to invest in cryptocurrencies outside Bahrain.

IBM is a frontrunner here, although several vendor and industry initiatives have been launched with new solutions and actual deployments. Below are some examples of where blockchain or distributed ledger technology is tested and implemented with some details per mentioned industry or area of application. Although indeed being hyped 25 Blockchain Applications in this stage blockchain technology is part of the arsenal of software and solutions which are highly relevant in the scope of, among others, digital transformation. Public blockchains have many users and there are no controls over who can read, upload or delete the data and there are an unknown number of pseudonymous participants.

Blockpharma is a French start-up focused on solutions to trace drug sales online. Blockpharma developed an application programming interface that can plug into pharmaceutical companies’ information systems, so when the companies release product information and QR codes, the blockchain records subsequent transactions. Blockchain Health is a software company that provides healthcare organizations with HIPAA-compliant blockchain solutions.

For specific applications, for example a land registry blockchain, titles to property may be transferred from one named individual to another. While a platform operator may opt to pseudonymise the data, by replacing a person’s name with a pseudonym, the GDPR makes it clear that such pseudonymised data will still qualify as personal data.

What is the future of Blockchain?

By 2022, at least one innovative business built on blockchain technology will be worth $10 billion. By 2026, the business value added by blockchain will grow to just over $360 billion, then by 2030 grow to more than $3.1 trillion.

Or think about how data is turned into actionable intelligence or business process outcomes, how important it is to have an audit trail and how automated processes which are moving data across the value chain and across ecosystems really are transactions. In order to leverage, let alone ‘exchange’ data it is key to have mechanisms in place, for instance to make sure that pieces of crucial data have not been tampered with and are reliable and trustworthy original versions which can be leveraged for whatever purpose. In the next sections you can find some predictions with regards to the adoption 25 Blockchain Applications of blockchain services and networks among large companies and a few of the major industries. By keeping track of all transactions, again endless applications arise, for example with regards to where the product was made. There are several existing projects with regards to the usage of blockchain in supply chain management, logistics, transportation and so forth. There are already blockchain applications in the context of the Internet of Things and some vendors have specific solutions to enable the use of blockchain for IoT to, among others increase trust, save costs and speed up transactions.

This refers to the access in the blockchain database; public blockchains are fully open to potential users while private blockchains usually restrict the use to certain predefined users. There is significant tension between the centralized nature of governments and the decentralized nature of blockchain.

To distinguish between open blockchains and other peer-to-peer decentralized database applications that are not open ad-hoc compute clusters, the terminology Distributed Ledger is normally used for private blockchains. In response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, The Wall Street Journal reported that Ernst & Young was working on a blockchain to help employers, governments, airlines and others keep track of people who have had antibody tests and could be immune to the virus. Additionally, blockchain technology was being used in China to speed up the time it takes for health insurance payments to be paid to health-care providers and patients. Mining — Blockchain technology allows wholesalers, retailers, and customers to track the origins of gems stones and other precious commodities. In 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that the blockchain technology company, Everledger was partnering with IBM’s blockchain-based tracking service to trace the origin of diamonds to insure that they were ethically mined. DTC, the Diamond Trading Company has been involved in building a diamond trading supply chain product called Tracr.


First, it will store metadata related to transactions, namely the sender’s and recipient’s addresses and a timestamp. The application of EU data protection law to blockchain-based platforms raises difficult questions. In this section, we first consider data protection law’s applicability, before reviewing who would qualify as controllers or processors and considering compliance and liability. The code of smart contracts is subject to human error and is therefore likely to contain bugs. For instance, if an attacker exploits a poorly-written smart contract, any resulting transactions are written into the tamper-evident blockchain.

The Growth Of Distributed Ledger Technology Business Initiatives

25 Blockchain Applications

The bill was enacted in December 2017 and the relevant provisions came into force on April 3, 2018. The Federal Board of Revenue “is currently investigating the traders of digital currencies for tax evasion and money laundering,” according to news sources. Moreover, the Federal Investigation Agency has “launched operations against the people dealing in the cryptocurrencies,” according to a February 10, 2018, news report.

Additionally, because blockchain content is not limited to specific machines, users can control where and how much of their information is shared. One of the major concerns about using the internet is allowing any company whose services you’re using to gain information about you. This can be a negative aspect but can be overlooked so long as the information is protected.

In Ref. , a blockchain-based firmware check and firmware update was proposed for IoT device systems. In the Lee and Lee scheme, the blockchain technology is used in your firmware proposal to verify the firmware version and the firmware authenticity file, as well as to distribute the firmware binary to the nodes connected to the network. Each IoT device is a network node, so each node must store all or part of the chain in its local storage, which means that only a few IoT devices are able to adopt this solution. So, the Lee and Lee proposition is not suitable for a heterogeneous IoT ecosystem. One of the strong points of blockchain technologies is the transparency of transactions, a concept that in general is at odds with confidentiality .

The past four years have seen cryptocurrencies become ubiquitous, prompting more national and regional authorities to grapple with their regulation. The expansive growth of cryptocurrencies makes it possible to identify emerging patterns. Though regulatory understanding of the technology is still nascent, firms can collaborate with lawmakers and policymakers to create a solid regulatory framework—and perhaps look at leveraging policymakers’ experimental facilities. Finally, companies should look at creating an ecosystem of partners in order to derive maximum value from this collaborative technology. Over time, the five vectors of progress outlined here may help enterprises lower the cost and risk of deploying blockchain while expanding the practical applications of the technology. There is a lot of work still to do before the major regulatory hurdles to blockchain adoption are cleared. Continued progress here is a vector of progress that will help to increase adoption of blockchain technology.

25 Blockchain Applications

The Bank also underscored the possibility of losing money on cryptocurrency investments due to devaluation, theft, the poor functioning of cryptocurrency exchanges, and possible links to criminal activities. The Isle of Man recently amended its online gambling laws to enable operators to accept virtual currencies. Non-convertible virtual currency, once purchased, cannot be transferred to another person and cannot be redeemed for fiat currency, either directly or through an exchange. (Note that the Schedule 4 to POCA definition does not extend to non-convertible currency businesses). The Isle of Man is a Crown Dependency of the United Kingdom and is a low-tax jurisdiction with a robust online gambling industry and burgeoning financial sector. Referred to in some reports as “Bitcoin Island,” many establishments across the Island already accept bitcoins as payment alongside its national currency. On February 12, 2018, the chairman of the board of Azerbaijan’s Central Bank, Elman Rustamov, stated that cryptocurrency is a very volatile instrument and urged the population to be more careful in dealing with cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain technology enables gamers to have a more even playing field for competing, getting rewarded, and exchanging assets across digital universes. Through blockchain, digital tokens can be securely exchanged for cryptocurrency without third-party investment. In Jordan, WFP has set up iris scanners at grocery stores within refugee camps that securely identify individuals that require financial assistance for their groceries. All transactions are instantly recorded on a private blockchain and payment is automatically transferred 25 Blockchain Applications out of the individual’s blockchain-enabled account. Adoption of blockchain could help streamline the public assistance system, which is often bogged down by bureaucracy. The United Nations World Food Programme , for example, has been utilizing blockchain as a way to distribute humanitarian assistance to refugees in a secure, private way. As refugees are often unable to open bank accounts, WFP is able to send aid directly by using blockchain and biometric authentication technologies for transaction verification and registration.

Governments are entrusted with meeting societal needs but also mandates, as they derive from their government programs. Governments do not operate nor decide in a vacuum; indeed, they make use of such technologies that reflect their citizens’ and businesses’ needs, and which accord with their financial and social conditions. Priorities in countries pre-crisis were very different from their priorities during, and post-crisis. Immigration in Mediterranean countries was not as acute as in the past few years. Similar examples of evolving government needs are countless and should remain so. Governmental decisions are expected to vary in relation to blockchain implementation.

Because the Cabinet delegates its authority over most of the matters under the Payment Services Act to the Financial Services Agency (id. art. 104), the FSA is the regulatory agency of cryptocurrency transactions. In October 2017 a number of news media outlets reported that Vanuatu would allow people to use cryptocurrency to pay the fee to obtain Vanuatu citizenship as part of its citizenship investment program. However, the Citizenship Office subsequently denied this, saying that there was no legal confirmation on the use of cryptocurrencies for this purpose and all payments were required to be in US dollars. When there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that a trader divides the amount of transaction money or the number of transactions to avoid reporting by financial institutions. With respect to the new payment regulatory framework, the MAS issued a consultation paper proposing the Payment Services Bill in November 2017.The proposed Bill would expand the scope of regulated payment activities to include virtual currency services and other innovations.

Using a blockchain ledger can create a more efficient system, opening the door for faster innovation, better regulated production, and smarter medical data security. For instance, research can be published earlier, without scientists worrying about their intellectual property. If a report is published through a blockchain-enabled system, there will be permanent record of its existence, preventing others from claiming it as their own. Through blockchain’s distributed ledger, gamers can use one perfected character or set of skills and items across digital worlds. This means they can earn rewards more quickly, then exchange them through one decentralized source.

Blockchain In The Financial Industry

From a technical perspective, governance involves the groups discussed above—users, miners and nodes—as well as a fourth group, the developers, who produce the software that nodes and miners run to support the blockchain. In the current cryptocurrency context, these four groups form a community around a shared interest in maintaining, and increasing, the value of the coin.

25 Blockchain Applications

Another Duxiaoman service offers student loans, but funds are disbursed only after the technology is used to verify grades. At Baidu itself there are also numerous projects including XuperChain, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze copyright infringement allegations and reduce the time to a judgement from three months to one week. At the end of 2019 the health insurance company started rolling out a blockchain-powered feature that allows patients to securely access and share their medical data.

Which banks use Blockchain?

Additionally, Société Generale, Standard Chartered, The Bank of England, Deutsche Bank, DBS Bank, BBVA (BBVA), LHV Bank, BNY Mellon (BK), CBW Bank, Westpac (WBK) and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia are all in the race to research and deploy this technology.

In addition, as noted in Section 4.2 above, it may be possible to determine Bitcoin user identities by other methods, such as linking public keys to IP addresses. Finally, metadata may reveal a pattern of transactions with publicly known addresses that could be used to single out an individual user, such as through a technique known as transaction graph analysis. For example, if a certain restaurant accepts Bitcoin as payment and its address is publicly known, then payments to that address would suggest that the sender visited that restaurant at a certain time. Given this, Bitcoin addresses and public keys might in certain circumstances qualify as personal data. With respect to metadata, if the platform’s users are natural persons, the sender’s and recipient’s addresses may well qualify as personal data.

Users can share health data with researchers using the integrated platform, which creates a tamperproof chain of information custody. Blockchain first appeared in a 2008 whitepaper authored by the anonymous individual or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto. More than a decade on, the potential blockchain applications beyond cryptocurrency are garnering attention. Industries from retail and finances to education, healthcare, and government are toying with blockchain, intrigued by its promise of security and efficiency. Blockchain technology has the potential to transform e-commerce by lowering transaction costs and tightening transaction security. E-commerce giants such as Walmart, Amazon, and Alibaba have begun exploring blockchain technology. For example, Alibaba filed a patent for a blockchain-based transaction system in Brazil in March 2020.

  • They use biometrics to create a secure digital identity that can be stored as a biometric hash.
  • The identification can be augmented by the available data sources which include public records and social media data mining to attach trust or preference characteristics relevant for a relationship and interaction.
  • The Bank said it would consider, in cooperation with other state authorities, whether there is any need for designing a regulatory or other response in relation to cryptocurrencies.
  • It determined that transactions to exchange a traditional currency for bitcoin or other virtual currencies and vice versa constitute the taxable supply of other services for consideration, but fall under the exemption from VAT.

For this reason, we maintain that governments may be greatly benefited from the standardization in the area of blockchain. Such standardization is extremely significant to the successful and meaningful implementation of blockchain to government applications.

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