Blockchain is rarely employed alone. Real life cases are often based on hybrid adoptions of blockchain with such tecnhologies, as AI, IoT and Big Data. Digital Asset Live Editor-in-Chief talked to Geoffrey Weli-Wosu, Domineum Blockchain Solutions CEO and Founder. Geofree has also recently authored a very interesting column on hybrid adoptions.
Q1: You wrote recently, that “Blockchain technology was initially created to provide the bitcoin platform with both anonymity and security in the world of finance”. However, now all tech giants, starting with Microsoft and IBM look into blockchain based solutions to digital and decentralised identities. What lessons may be drawn in this development?
A1: Microsoft and IBM are the two tech giants. With the advent of blockchain technology many tech behemoths embracing this phenomenal technology. To remain relevant in this highly competitive environment, IBM and Microsoft also step in.
Both of these tech giants are increasingly reliant on their distributive ledger initiative and they lay down the foundation of Blockchain-as-a-service platform in an attempt to revolutionize the financial landscape with an aid of these latest and highly practical tools. The two big corporate giants IBM and Microsoft are harnessing the true potential of this technology to streamline regular business operations.
IBM Blockchain Offers Transparency and Efficiency.
IBM asserted its Blockchain-based solution for financial services will pave the way for a transparent, simple, secure, and efficient financial transaction without reliant on the financial intermediary to act as the mediator between the sender and recipient.
IBM’s Blockchain solution tend to streamline plenty of business operations predominantly:
Clearing and Settlement
Blockchain-based solutions could reform traditional inefficient transactions that take higher than expected time to settle. By deploying Blockchain to resolve this problem, transaction settlement time would significantly reduce from days to minutes.
Know Your Customer
Blockchain could facilitate financial institutions to verify the real identity of their customers by consolidating all the essential credentials pertains to a specific customer and alleviating administrative efforts and unnecessary time.
Microsoft Emphasized on Streamlining Core Business Functions
Microsoft’s Azure provides its services to a host of businesses, but according to the recent survey conducted by the Microsoft themselves, Azure is revolutionizing the financial services in five different ways:
Azure can help financial services firms eliminate the need for manual verification and audits and strengthen the exchange of data between two peers.
Azure paves the way for “operational simplification and data transparency between many parties” which mitigate the risk of fraud and eventually lead to better risk management. High-value insurance that included wartime and aviation insurance currently use inefficient paper-based tracking mechanism that is prone to human avoidance.
What Lesson Do We Learn from the IBM and Microsoft Azure Foray into the Blockchain?
Businesses can embrace the power of Blockchain technology in a highly innovative way. It is quite evident from the progress done by Microsoft and IBM in the past few years, no other industry can capitalize on the full benefits of Blockchain apart from the financial services industry.
Companies like Amazon and Oracle are highly competitive in terms of Blockchain adoption.
Though these big corporations aren’t alone in this regard. Online payment giants like PayPal also massively invested in the Blockchain-driven startup Cambridge Blockchain, a startup that helps financial institutions to smartly manage sensitive data with an aid of shared ledger.
New players will consistently be entering into space in an attempt to disrupt the norm. It is quite evident from the market trend different corporates are competing with each other to develop and deploy a business-friendly BaaS for financial services.
Arguably, contrary to the sports there might be more than one winner in the business world where each corporate is competing with another to implement BaaS-driven applications.
Q2: About so-called hybrid adoption. Where Blockchain is combined with e.g. Artificial Intelligence, what role does Blockchain play in hybrid adoptions?
A2: With the advent of blockchain technology, many corporates and individuals are embracing the convergence of Blockchain with other technologies like IoT and specifically artificial intelligence. The convergence of Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence has gained massive industry traction.
Joe Rogan’s asserted in JRE podcast: “There has never been a great time than now to explore the intersection of both these technologies”
Rationally speaking, blockchain is a distributive, decentralized and immutable database that is used to store data leveraging the power of cryptography. On the flip side, AI is a particular area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of a machine that replicates human behavior.
Blockchain plays a very significant role in hybrid adoption. To keep that in perspective, let’s have a look at one particular scenario. Tracking, Explaining and Understanding AI Decision
Harnessing Blockchain paves the way for decoding the decision taken by AI, which is sometimes beyond the scope of a layman or a person who is unaware of the under the hood algorithm behind AI. This is due to the fact that Blockchain technology can effectively evaluate a large number of variables independently to learn which one is most relevant to the task AI is attempting to complete.
Despite the effectiveness of AI decisions, there is always a trust deficit in the general public. With an aid of blockchain, it is possible to gain some valuable insights and acquire the maximum level of transparency thereby public trust is restored by tracking the decision-making process.
Q3: Please provide some working examples of a hybrid adoption?
A3: The primary focus of AI and IoT systems are internet-enabled TVs and refrigerators. But they are equally implementable in virtual domains as well. Leveraging the power of AI, smart devices can make life-saving decisions via biometric data.
Here are some real-life examples of the intersection of Blockchain with AI and IoT.
- Ethereum Blockchain which lays down the foundation of smart contracts is known for its efficacy. The data that emerged from the IoT devices can trigger some specific tasks. To keep that in perspective, the automobile sector is a good example. Let’s imagine IoT sensors installed in a car detects some part of the car stops working. IoT sensors unleash the power of AI to identify defects in a car. Herein the power of Blockchain comes into play in this scenario. Before the claimant starts his car and comes to know defect in his car, IoT sensor installed in a claimant’s car identifies a defect, the claimant will be astonished to see insurance money is credited to his bank account eventually he no longer has to go through the tedious manual process. Even though there is no real-life implementation of this Blockchain-based solution, but it is a probable solution.
- Let’s suppose you are planning your holiday trip to Switzerland and you’ve already searched for the best hotel in Switzerland at a very reasonable price. You receive a confirmation notification via your smartwatch thereby you go for it. You use Ethereum (a prominent Blockchain-based cryptocurrency) to pay for the hotel. Unfortunately, your flight gets delayed and unfortunately, you get stuck in the airport. The Airline has an AI-based solution that is capable of performing sentiment analysis therefore, airlines can evaluate how disappointed you are with their services for this inconvenience. Herein the power of Blockchain-based digital storage comes into play. As your hotel management has your digital identity stored, airlines can inform them about your delayed arrival.
Q4: Where will we see more hybrid adoptions in the near future, in your view?
A4: An individual or corporate owner can explore countless ways in which Blockchain can be converged with other cutting-edge technologies like Big Data, IoT, and AI. Therefore, many experiments have been conducted to identify the ultimate use cases.
All three cutting-edge technologies like Blockchain, IoT, and AI have evolved too much in the past few years.
Imad Labbadi, CEO of VeCap, a company involved in the security of IoT-enabled smart devices asserted: “Blockchain technology has substantial importance in the rebuilding of the internet. The further convergence of AI and IoT is unfortunately hindered due to the security vulnerability which is inherited from the internet in its present form. This is where the extraordinary security feature of Blockchain comes into play”
As Blockchain is very less prone to malicious activities that’s why it paves the way for the convergence of Blockchain and other technologies like IoT and AI.
The corporate and individuals who unleash the latest technologies strongly believe that an idea of the fourth industrial revolution does not solely rely on one specific technology but instead, it relies on the intersection of all of them in different facets.
For instance, if an IoT has security and privacy concerns then it could be easily patched with an aid of Blockchain technology which can store the data in a tamper-proof manner. Similarly, if an AI has a problem with recording data then distributive ledger technology can address this issue.
Therefore, Blockchain developer’s community and potential investors need to stop worrying about deploying single Blockchain in each sector which sometimes leads to havoc. But instead, they should think about how they can best capitalize on the coalition of blockchain with other technologies like Big Data, IoT and IoT because that’s the only way to remain competitive in the fourth industrial revolution.
Q5: What other technologies than AI fit hybrid adoptions with blockchain, and why?
A5: Blockchain which is a distributive ledger technology has gained massive traction in areas beyond cryptocurrencies. As of today, many technologies are harnessing the potential of Blockchain technology to work effectively like IoT, Big Data, and Cybersecurity.
According to the statistics revealed by IDC: “By 2019, 20% of all the IoT deployments will have some basic level of Blockchain-enabled services”
Blockchain which is the underpinning technology behind Bitcoin has been mentioned by almost all research firms and it has plenty of use cases apart from FinTech. Arguably, the convergence of Blockchain with other tech giants is the reason of concern for many companies and there are already some solutions for the implementation of Blockchain in IoT, Big Data, Cybersecurity, supply chain logistics, and Insurance claims.
How Blockchain Benefits IOT
- Reduce the trust deficit between the parties
- Massively reduce settlement time
- Make IoT-enabled devices highly cost-effective for the consumers by eliminating middlemen and intermediaries
Combination of Blockchain with Big Data
- Blockchain-generated Big Data is comparatively secure as it is not vulnerable to tampering due to the inefficient network structure
- Blockchain-driven Big Data is credit-worthy that means it is structured, abundant and complete which makes it a best suit for the further analysis
Combination of Blockchain with Cybersecurity
Today, the business world is heavily reliant on the internet to grasp a noticeable market share. But an opportunity always comes with some shortcomings. Cyberattacks have become massively popular today due to the advent of sophisticated pieces of malware. These cyber attackers deploy advanced techniques to exploit an organization’s security and to steal valuable data such as financial data, health records, intellectual property, and personally identifiable information.
Herein the potential use case of Blockchain in securing an organization comes into the picture. Blockchain can play a vital role in ensuring the security of an organization as the technology can prevent fraudulent activities through its consensus mechanism and detects data tempering due to its underlying characteristics of immutability, transparency, auditability, data encryption and operational resilience.
Q6: What potential applications of IoT and blockchain do you envisage?
A6: The recent breakthroughs in the IoT and blockchain are experienced across the world. According to the study conducted by Deloitte, Blockchain will add $3.1 trillion to the global economy, and the global IoT market is expected to surge from $157B in 2016 to $457B in 2020.
Here are some of the potential applications of Blockchain and IoT devices
- Blockchain can be used to track sensor data management and to secure IoT-devices from the malicious activities
- IoT devices are comparatively less-effective from the security standpoint but distributive ledger technology enhances the effectiveness of IoT devices through identification, authentication, and seamless secure data transfer.
- Instead of relying on the third-party to eliminate trust deficit, IoT sensors can leverage Blockchain for the data-in-transit between the two devices
- Distributive ledger technology safeguards the IoT devices data from breaching and effectively eliminates the single point of failure within an ecosystem.
- Blockchain-enabled devices pave the way for smart contracts, individual identity, the integrity of data, and supports peer-to-peer communication by removing all the technical inefficiencies.
- The operational and deployment cost of IoT devices can be significantly reduced as there is no intermediary involved.
Blockchain-driven IoT devices are highly effective for streamlining business processes, improving customer experience, and achieving substantial cost-effectiveness.
Q7: Your Advice to Practitioner Who Intends to Deploy a Hybrid Adoption in Their Firm/Organization
A7: Blockchain, IoT, Big Data, Hadoop, and Artificial Intelligence are amongst the hot burning topics in the corporate environment and tech enthusiasts. Even though all of these technologies have different domains and potential implications, but researchers are continually exploring ways to integrate these technologies.
PwC predicts that by 2030, AI, Machine Learning, and Blockchain will escalate global GDP by 14%. Undeniably, Blockchain can make AI more coherent and understandable. Deploying Blockchain into AI, we can trace the underlying algorithm behind machine learning that is responsible for a specific decision. Apart from that, the Hybrid adoption of Blockchain boosts its efficiency.
A combination of Blockchain with other cutting-edge technologies is still largely an unexplored area. Even though the hybrid adoption garnered massive scholarly traction, but the projects devoted to this phenomenal idea are still very rare.
Hybrid adoption paves the way for the optimal usage of data. Needless to say, data is a linchpin of an organization’s security and without adequate data, no AI algorithm can work properly and Blockchain ensures the security, integrity, and availability of data to neural networks. Besides, hybrid adoption allows us to glean valuable insights from the data. With an aid of Blockchain, corporate practitioner audit all the intermediary steps AI algorithm takes to make decisions.
If you are working on an enterprise as an IT practitioner and you are overwhelmed by the abundance of data then big data analytics is the only available option to you. Incorporating Blockchain technology into Big Data analytics could enhance its security. Additionally, using Blockchain to manipulate firm/organization data can make the information well-structured and credit-worthy. Thus, we can deduce Hybrid adoption in an enterprise makes the data analysis much more efficient and easier than ever before.
Hybrid adoption would be extremely revolutionary, but it must be implemented with the utmost precautionary measures. There has never been an ideal time than now to embrace hybrid adoption. Stay ahead from the rest of your competitors by exploring the possible ways of merging Blockchain and other advanced technologies.