In efforts to boost their credibility with Blockchain and gain first mover advantage in what promises to be the most emerging industry of 2016, a number of corporations have started testing the potential of Blockchain applications. Companies including JP Morgan, Intel, Sony and others have been testing the program in recent months, and many other companies are deep into development phases in their attempts to gauge the viability of the technology.
JP Morgan, the nation’s largest bank, has been testing the program as part of an effort to deal with emerging threats from Silicon Valley. The head of JP Morgan’s Investment Banking division, Daniel Pinto, said the company was interested in seeing if the distributed ledger could be repurposed for currency clearing purposes, and settlement to give clients faster turnaround times and reduce the bank’s risk. At a conference last year, Daniel remarked that while bitcoin may not necessarily have much of a future, the blockchain technology that supports it “might very well be very useful” in tracking ownership of some securities and cutting down the time it takes to transfer a loan. J.P. Morgan is also participating in several industry groups that are focused on developing blockchain as a way to improve efficiency in lending and trading, among other things. Those groups include R3, the nonprofit Linux Foundation and Digital Asset Holdings.
Intel on the other hand, is combining Blockchain with arguably the second most interesting market that has recently developed – fantasy sports. The concept works by enabling the exchange of digitized assets which represent shares of different sports teams; participants can sell or trade their shares, with players winning at the end of leagues based on the shares they own. The concept was presented earlier this month by Intel during closed-door meeting for the Hyperledger Project.
Sony on the other hand, announced plans to build a centralized platform for educational assessment and testing scores using the Blockchain technology. Sony hopes to use technology that uses the Blockchain to house educational data that can be securely shared with other services and third parties, to ‘realize an entirely new infrastructure system’ which could possibly become central to candidates and their test results. The company explained more in a press announcement: For example, after taking an examination to demonstrate his or her academic proficiency level, an individual could direct the testing organization to share the test results with one or more third-party evaluating organizations. This would be a first if implemented on a system-wide basis.
Even global professional services such as PwC, are trying their hand at Blockchain and helping facilitate the process of development for companies. PwC’s Blockchain Solution Portfolio, a suite of 12 services aimed at spanning the cycle of analysis ongoing at major financial firms, features elements focused on education, evaluation and, ultimately aims to foster collaboration between PwC clients and industry partners. PwC’s focus on Blockchain, along with that of many other established companies competing with each other on infrastructure and research, makes 2016 a promising year for the development of the Blockchain.