Event Management and Ticketing Platform

The event management and ticketing industry is a huge market, particularly the event management software market. Markets Insider reported that the Event Management Software Market is projected to grow from USD 5.7 billion in 2019 to USD 11.4 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 15% from 2019 to 2024.

However, despite the great potential of the event and ticketing industry, there are numerous problems and issues plaguing the current centralized event ticketing industry. The main issues include ticket counterfeiting, ticket scalpers, instant sell-outs and overpriced resale tickets on secondary markets (EventChain, 2017).

The good news is that the blockchain could fix the aforementioned issues.  A blockchain is a distributed digital ledger that can be used to record transactions and other data across a decentralized peer-to-peer network made up of a cluster of computing devices.

Using blockchain technology, every ticket sales can be publicly verified, and thus the authenticity of the ticket can be guaranteed. It is also able to prevent fraudulent sales and counterfeiting. It sets rules (using smart contracts) preventing secondary ticket websites from hoarding tickets and charging inflated prices for premium events. If the rules are broken, the fraudulent accounts are frozen and the tickets are made invalid.

In a nutshell, blockchain-based event and ticketing system has the following benefits:

  • Elimination of ticket duplication and counterfeit tickets
  • Elimination of scalpers
  • Elimination of ticket touts and purchasing bots
  • Fully transparent ticketing aftermarket
  • Automatic refund at the time of cancelation

Use Cases

BitTicket

The Edinburgh-based Citizen Ticket is an event ticketing platform backed by blockchain technology that uses the cryptocurrency Ethereum Classic. In May 2017, they deployed the blockchain-based ticketing system BitTicket and delivered the first live event using blockchain technology.

BitTicket is a ticket delivery service that event organisers, venues, and artists can use to secure their tickets with blockchain technology. BitTicket provides users with one wallet QR code that holds all their BitTickets securely, no matter which ticketing provider they bought them from. They simply present it along with proof of ID to gain entry. Due to the security of BitTicket identity, ticket transfer to friends and family can be done easily and with assurance. BitTickets are immutable, transferable, and verifiable.

BitTicket guarantees the following:

  • Your purchased ticket is genuine
  • Inherent protection against industrial-scale ticket touts and ticket purchasing bots
  • Transfer your tickets securely and with ease between friends & family
  • Provides one wallet for all your tickets – no more individual tickets

GUTS

GUTS uses blockchain technology to create a transparent ticketing ecosystem where inflated secondary market prices and ticket fraud are eliminated. Their motto is simple, transparent and secure.

GUTS brings numerous benefits for different stakeholders:

  • Artist and Managers
    • A fair chance for all the fans to attend the show
    • Expand the fan base with exact data
    • Direct communication with your fans. Send them a message right before the show starts.
  • The venue, Festival and Theatre Operators
    • No ticket fraud: fewer complaints and a stronger image
    • You know exactly who is present, anytime (and who isn’t)
    • Automatic refund procedure at the time of cancelation or resale
    • Identification via mobile phones means a shorter queue
  • Ticket Providers
    • Complete control on the tickets at both the primary and secondary market
    • Easy to integrate with existing ticketing solutions

LAVA

LAVA is a blockchain-based ticketing system that guarantees fair and secure smart tickets for music lovers. The system could prevent ticket touting and fraud ruining festivals for music lovers.

The LAVA ecosystem has the following features:

  • 100% Safe
    • Using latest blockchain technology to eliminate ticket fraud
  • Smart Tickets
    • Smart tickets to stop the exploitation of festival tickets using a unique digital footprint
  • Lava Wallet-Eliminate printing completely by generating the ticket digitally and sending the digital ticket to the Lava wallet directly.
  • No booking fee

PouchNATION

PouchNATION is an event management software system that uses the blockchain technology to good effect. PouchNATION is the first platform to implement blockchain and new digital currency across all verticals in event management. Its components comprise guest registration, cashless payment, access control, activity tracking, social engagement and detailed analytics reporting.

This innovative platform could overcome issues that the ticket industry is currently facing with managing events, attendance tracking apps, eliminating duplicate tickets, and validating registration at the door.

They have executed over 100 events including cashless events in Indonesia events in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar.

EventChain

EventChain is a global Smart Ticketing blockchain project that will allow events worldwide to sell SmartTickets through a peer-to-peer network, solving the issues of the centralized event ticketing industry.

It implements the EventChain token network for event management presents to ensure faster transactions, indisputable ticket vouchers, transparency from event hosts and fully flexible and programmable SmartTickets. With the use of the EVC token, smart contract code, and the Ethereum blockchain, EventChain’s transaction network brings increased accountability, transparency, and security to event ticketing.

To fix the excessive ticket fees, EventChain is distributing EVC tokens, a digital ERC20 token created for buying, selling, and programming SmartTickets on the Ethereum distributed network. EventChain claims that their transaction fees are much lower and the transaction confirmation speed is near seconds.

A Conceptualised Event Management and Ticketing Platform

After examining the above use cases, I propose that we can use a similar concept to develop blockchain-based event management and ticketing system for a decentralized platform. Below is a simple conceptual model of Event Management and Ticketing platform:

The platform allows an event organizer to create an event and broadcast it to the website as well as the Token X wallet. The event should comprise details such as event title, date, time, venue, and a ticketing ordering button. The participant can then order tickets by paying Token X. Once the organizer receives Token X, the e-ticket shall be automatically delivered to the participant’s mobile wallet. To enter the event venue, the organizer just needs to scan the e-ticket of the participant.

To build the platform, we need to build a smart contract layer on top of the platform to automate the buying and selling of event tickets. We shall use Solidity to write the contracts. There shall be at least two smart contracts – the event contract, and the ticket contract. The event contract will need to link to the ticket contract as it needs to use the data in the ticket contract. The keyword to access the data in another contract is import. For example, we can create an event contract event.sol that imports the ticket contract ticket.sol, using the syntax as follows:

Pragma Solidity ^0.5.0
import "./ticket.sol";

The event.sol file shall create an event contract that specifies event details such as total tickets, collected funds, start time, etc. The code could be as follows:

Contract Event { 
struct EventDetails { 
uint256 ticketAmount;
uint256 SoldticketAmount;
uint256 CollectedFunds;
uint256 StartTime;
 }

The event contract shall also include a create event function, as follows:

function CreateEvent{
uint256 _ticketAmount;
uint256 _Startime
}

There are many more functions to be included in the smart contracts but I will not dwell further as this is not a technical paper.

References

Blockchain-Based P2P Lending – A Conceptual Model

Traditional P2P lending models are facing many issues. For example, the cost of onboarding customers remains high, so investors are wary of this kind of investment model. Besides that, this area is heavily regulated by the securities commission in most countries. While a handful of P2P companies have been approved to operate their businesses, many more P2P operators who failed to obtain a license are facing the nightmare of shutting down

Traditional P2P lending cannot allow borrowers and investors to directly match financing but rather needs to be handled as a credit intermediary through the P2P lending platform. The financing cost is increased because of the need to pay the agency fee. Other issues include the limited scalability of P2P lending services on an international scale. This is due to the aforementioned problems of loan repayment guarantees, as well as to regulatory issues (rules and regulations vary from country to country). There is also work to be done on accelerating the process of granting loans and so on.

Although P2P lending platforms are supposed to be operating in a decentralized manner, they are still largely operating in a centralized model. Data is usually stored and maintained on a central database, which might lead to human errors and manipulation of data. 

On the contrary, data stored on a blockchain are stored on the decentralised and distributed network, where every stakeholder has access to a copy of the same ledger. Furthermore, data on the blockchain is immutable, so no party can alter and manipulate the stored data. These characteristics of the blockchain will greatly enhance data security, increase transparency and instill trust amongst stakeholders. Therefore, blockchain is the perfect solution to solve the woes of current P2P lending models. Indeed, a dozen companies have started to deploy blockchain-based P2P lending platforms.

Blockchain-based P2P businesses are broadly divided into two models, the hybrid model and the pure cryptocurrency model. The hybrid model involves using cryptocurrency and fiat money while the pure cryptocurrency model uses only cryptocurrencies.

The Hybrid P2P Lending Model

This model uses a combination of fiat currency and cryptocurrency to provide P2P lending services. Let us examine a few companies that implement this model.

1. SALT

SALT (Secure Automated Lending Technology) is a leader in the blockchain-based P2P lending industry. SALT’s model allows borrowers to use their crypto assets as collateral to secure loans from an extensive network of lenders on the platform. It means SALT does not bother to check the credit score of borrowers but grant eligibility based on the amount of crypto assets they are willing to put up as collateral. The main advantage for SALT borrowers is the ability to borrow fiat money against the security of their crypto assets, which is considered more practical to ordinary people than the pure cryptocurrency lending model. 

To sign up as a member of SALT, a borrower needs to purchase SALT tokens, the cryptocurrency of the SALT platform. SALT is minted using an ERC20 smart contract. After signing up, borrowers have to deposit a certain amount of crypto assets (cryptocurrency) as collateral into the platform’s unique, multi-signature wallet address created by SALT’s Secure Automated Lending Technology. After the terms of the loan are agreed and approved, the lender will make a deposit in fiat money into the borrower’s bank account. The borrower will be obligated to make repayments in fiat money or stable coins (currently accepting USDC, TUSD, and PAX) on a regular basis before the 15th of the month. In the event of a default, his or her crypto assets will be transferred to the lender. 

In order for an asset to be qualified as collateral on the SALT Platform, it must meet certain eligibility requirements. First and foremost, it must be a blockchain asset. This means that the ownership of the asset must be recorded on a public or permission blockchain. Digital assets will be onboarded based off community demand.

Examples of the current eligible collateral include Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTE), Dogecoin (DOGE), Dash (DASH), TruUSD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), Paxos Standard Token (PAX), and PAX Gold (PXG).

2. Nexo

The Nexo P2P model is somewhat similar to the SALT model. It also possesses a cryptocurrency known as the Nexo. According to the Nexo website, the NEXO Token is the world’s first US SEC-compliant asset-backed token and is backed by the underlying assets of Nexo’s loan portfolio. It can be used for discounted interest rates and loan repayments, as well as collateral. One incentive for holding the NEXO token is that it pays dividends to holders. Thirty percent of the profits generated from Nexo loans go to a dividend pool that is then distributed to NEXO holders. Currently, dividend payments are being made in Ethereum (ETH), but there’s a good chance that this will expand to other cryptocurrencies in the future.

The loan approval process is fully automated. A credit line becomes instantly available to the borrower once the application is approved and there is no credit check. The borrower can spend money instantly with a card or withdraw money to a bank account. Spending on the credit line will incur an APR from 5.9% of what the borrower uses. Some advantages of NEXO compared to SALT is there is no minimum repayment, no hidden fees, and the interest is debited from the available limit. Besides that, the borrower can make repayments at any time. On top of that, the Nexo website states that it is the only insured account that lets you borrow instantly in 45+ fiat currencies and earn daily interest on your idle assets. Furthermore, NEXO makes its loans available worldwide. Anyone who holds cryptocurrency can take advantage of a Nexo loan. And since the loans are fully collateralized there’s no need for borrowers to worry about credit history or approvals.

Though the use cases for Nexo loans will be somewhat limited since they’re collateral-backed, the use of cryptocurrencies as collateral makes for an attractive alternative for those who hold cryptocurrencies and don’t want to sell yet and give up future gains, but still need fiat currency for immediate use.

At the moment, more than twenty cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, NEXO, XRP, TRON and more can be accepted as the collateral. Any loans taken can be repaid using cryptocurrency, fiat currency, or the Nexo token. They have made it as easy as possible to repay any loans. In contrast, SALT only accepts loan repayment in fiat currency, which is an inconvenience for the borrowers.

Pure Cryptocurrency P2P Lending Model

1. ETHlend

ETHlend is a decentralized cryptocurrency credit platform and the world’s first crypto lending marketplace. Unlike SALT and Nexo, it operates exclusively through Ethereum smart contracts. ETHlend also has a token known as the LEND token. It is the native ERC20 token of the ETHLend platform. Its token can be stored in any Ethereum wallet in a similar way as other ERC20 tokens.

The lending process at ETHlend is quite simple. When creating a smart contract, ETHLend requires borrowers to send ERC-20 tokens as collateral for ETH loans in the event of a borrower’s default. Currently ETH, BTC, LEND and more than 150 ERC20 tokens are accepted as collateral. There is no limit in the loan value, as the amount you can borrow depends on the value of your collateral. Borrowers can borrow up to 50% of their collateral value and up to 55% if LEND is used as collateral. This means the borrower needs to send to the smart contract 200% of the value of the loan in crypto assets. To become a lender, you will need to register on the platform and send to your in-app wallet some Ether and any of the currencies accepted in order to fund a loan or create a loan offer. The accepted currencies are ETH, LEND, DAI and TUSD. This also means borrowers will receive the aforementioned cryptocurrencies as loans.

The borrower needs to repay the loan in accordance with the contract, plus interest on the loan, and send them to a smart contract. The lender receives their ETH and interest from the smart contract, and the pledged tokens are unlocked and sent back to the borrower. In the event that the borrower cannot repay the loan, the lender will get the payments plus a liquidation fee from the collateral.

2. Elix

Elix is an Ethereum-based platform for lending, crowdfunding, and payments. The Elix team primarily focused on mobile platforms and usability in order to attract as large a user base as possible from the start. I will not discuss the payment and crowdfunding component of this platform, but rather concentrate only on its P2P lending component.

The uniqueness of this system lies in the fact that Elix offers a peer-to-peer lending program based on mutual incentives for the lender and the borrower. In Elix, both the lender and the borrower are incentivized by the system to meet the terms of the loan. When applying for a loan, participants can choose a mining period in order to receive system rewards in the form of a new token, “Token P”.

If the borrower pays the loan on time, the reward is divided between the lender receiving 65% and the borrower who receives 35%. If the borrower has late payments, the lender receives 100% of this fee. Token P will have a fixed maximum supply that the team expects to achieve in only a few decades.

The P2P Lending Conceptual Model

After reviewing the aforementioned P2P lending models, I think the best model that suits a blockchain-based P2P lending conceptual model is the Nexo model. As it is a hybrid of the fiat and cryptocurrency model, this platform needs to work with a licensed P2P operator. I propose the following model:

Using a combination of BTC, ETH, USDT, and Token X as collateral

The proposed P2P lending platform will accept BTC, ETH , USDT and Token X (the hypothetical cryptocurrency) as collateral. Any loans taken can be repaid using fiat currency, BTC, ETH , USDT and Token X with a certain interest. Loans given to borrowers should be fiat currency. The crypto assets should be stored in a secure wallet. In the event of default, the crypto assets (USDT, ETH, BTC, and Token X) will be transferred to the lender.

The loan approval process should be fully automated with no credit checks. The credit line should become instantly available to the borrower once the application is approved. Repayment should be flexible too. I propose that we use a wallet for borrowers to access the credit line offered by the P2P Lending platform and receive the funds once the loan is approved. Besides that, the borrower can repay the loan using the same wallet. Lenders can also access potential borrowers’ information using the wallet and deposit fiat money to be used as loans. It means we need to integrate the wallet to the P2P lending platform via an API.

I propose that 30% of the profit generated from P2P lending to be deposited into a dividend pool and distributed to Token X holders. This way it incentivises people to buy and hold Token X.

References

Initial Exchange Offering(IEO) Explained

After the craze of ICOs subsided, two new crypto crowdfunding methods emerged, namely the Security Token Offering (STO) and the Initial Exchange Offering (IEO). Among the two, IEO is more popular as STO poses a higher barrier of entry, is more expensive, and is subjected to more stringent regulations by the securities commission.

In a recent article, Reuters reported that IEOs have raised $1.5 billion so far in 2019, compared with just $836 million raised from ICOs. A dozen of amazingly successful cases of IEOs have driven more project owners to embark on their own IEO journeys. Famous IEO cases include the sale of the BitT Torrent (BTT) token on the Binance Launchpad, raising $7 million in just the first 14 minutes of the sale opening. Veriblock did even better, raising $7 million in April through an IEO on the Bittrex exchange in just 10 seconds. A truly amazing feat! It is safe to say that IEO has taken over ICO as the preferred choice of fundraising in the cryptocurrency industry.

What is IEO?

According to Binance, an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) is a fundraising campaign that is administered by a Crypto Exchange Platform.  An IEO allows investors to purchase a new cryptocurrency (or token) while raising funds for its crypto project. 

Though ICOs and IEOs both raise funds through token sales, the way they sell tokens is different. For ICOs, the project team themselves conduct the fundraising campaign. Meanwhile, IEO fundraising is conducted on a crypto Exchange platform, where the users of the Exchange can buy tokens with funds directly from their own exchange wallet. 

Advantages and disadvantages of IEO

Advantages

INCREASED INVESTOR CONFIDENCE

Investors are more confident in investing in IEO tokens as the project has to undergo stringent KYC/AML checks by the Exchange platform that handles the IEO projects. The Exchange platform will also evaluate the business model of the project and also audit its technical infrastructure, including its blockchain system and smart contracts. Therefore, many scam projects will be filtered and eliminated. The Exchange platform acts as a trusted third party that can reduce considerable risk in crypto investment.

WIN-WIN FOR THE PROJECT OWNER AND THE EXCHANGE

For the project owner, it is a cheaper and easier way to raise the necessary funds for the project, while not embarking on long marketing campaigns and roadshows. The token is also listed on the Exchange immediately after the IEO campaign.

For the Exchange, conducting an IEO means more revenue for them. An Exchange that hosts an IEO will typically charge a fee for the campaign and get a cut from the token sales. They also get fees when the token starts trading on their exchange.

Disadvantages of IEO

AMBIGUOUS REGULATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS

Many countries still ban or restrict fundraising activity in the cryptocurrency industry while some countries impose stringent regulations on crypto activities. Therefore, it is still uncertain whether IEO will be fully accepted and recognised as the legal way of fundraising in the crypto industry.

ALL INVESTORS SUBJECTED TO STRINGENT AML/KYC

While a stringent KYC/AML check for the project can increase investor confidence, some individuals may be reluctant to expose their identities, so going through a stringent AML/KYC procedure may deter these people from investing in the IEO project.

LIMITED NUMBER OF TOKENS

There have been many complaints from investors that not everyone manages to purchase tokens during IEOs as the number of tokens available for sale is usually limited.

BOTTING CONCERNS

Using bots for trading and investing is ubiquitous nowadays. In the crypto space, there are concerns about bots that can be programmed to participate in IEOs and beat out human investors. In such a scenario, all parties lose out.

How to Conduct an IEO?

Although an IEO is a promising method for fundraising, especially for startups that don’t have the resources and expertise to do an IPO, it is by no means an easy feat. The project owner needs to plan and make the necessary preparations before embarking on the IEO initiative. The following are suggested steps that a project has to follow before going IEO.

DESIGN THE BUSINESS MODEL

Before embarking on an IEO campaign, the founding members of the project must have a clear vision of what their business wants to achieve. They also have to design a business model and draw up plans to attain the vision.

ASSEMBLE A FORMIDABLE TEAM

In this internet era where information is readily available, potential investors and Exchanges will know instantly the background of the project team members. If the project team comprises mostly inexperienced people, it will seriously affect the confidence of the investors and the Exchanges. Therefore, the project owner needs to assemble a formidable team that comprises experts in business, legal, technology, marketing, and other related disciplines. As most IEO projects are blockchain-based, it is a must to hire blockchain experts.

PREPARING THE WHITEPAPER AND OTHER DOCUMENTS

The whitepaper is a document that comprises a thorough description of the project, distribution of tokens, business model, tokenomics and more. It also includes information about the project team which usually comprises the board members, the marketing team, the technical team, the legal team, and the advisers.

Writing the whitepaper is a very important step in the IEO campaign. It is an important document that showcases the project. Whether the investors will be impressed and looking forward to investing in the project depends on how well the paper is written.

Besides the whitepaper, the project team should also prepare a one-pager, website, pitch decks, social media pages and more. These are the components that contain the primary source of knowledge about the project for potential investors and Exchanges to evaluate the IEO project.

DEVELOP THE TOKEN

The token is an integral part of the IEO project. Without a native token, what can you sell to the investors? Therefore, it is crucial to design the token from day 1, and start developing it as soon as possible.

Most tokens for IEO projects are ERC20 tokens. The ERC20 standard is chosen because it can be easily designed and deployed to the Ethereum main net. However, if you want a customized token and your team has the expertise and programming skill, you can develop a different protocol from the Ethereum main net, or even develop your own blockchain system.

To mint the ERC20 token, the blockchain developers need to write a robust smart contract and have it tested and also audited by a trusted third party contract auditor to ensure the contract is secure and free of bugs. The audited token can then be deployed to the Ethereum main net or a private network.

MARKETING

The project team needs to carry out an aggressive marketing campaign for its IEO initiative in order to broadcast the news to as many investors as possible. The marketing campaign can be conducted through websites, blogs, as well as social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat and more. They can also organise events and conferences to promote their token but they need to check whether these activities can be conducted in certain countries. For example, you cannot do so in Malaysia and China.

ENGAGE A CRYPTO EXCHANGE

The project team also needs to sign an agreement with a crypto Exchange to start their IEO campaign. They need to conduct due diligence in searching for a trusted Exchange before deciding to engage one. A good guide is to look for Exchanges that rank within the top 50 on Coinmarketcap. Besides, they need to analyze reviews of the Exchanges on various crypto platforms. IEO fees may also be another concern, as a top rank Exchange may charge an extremely high fee. Therefore, there is always a trade-off between the fee and the reputation of the Exchange.

Final Note

IEO has replaced ICO as the new trend in fundraising in the crypto industry. Investors who are still thinking of the good old days of ICO should start changing their mindset and focus on investing in IEO projects instead. On the other hand, startups or enterprises who wish to raise funds in the crypto industry must realize that ICO is already dead and IEO is the way to go. Lastly, more exchanges should create IEO launchpads to assist projects that wish to raise funds through IEO, as this is an untapped niche with immense potential. 

References

Building Blockchain for Business

Blockchain is the underlying technology for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. However, cryptocurrency is far from the only application of blockchain for businesses. One of the most popular business applications of blockchain is fundraising, especially for startups. Apart from conventional ways of funding, blockchain enables alternative methods of fundraising such as ICO or STO.

In the past few years, many companies have raised an incredible amount of money via ICO. Some of the biggest and most successful ICO projects include NEO, Ethereum, Spectrecoin, and Lisk. More info about ICO can be found on the Investopedia website.

That said, I am not going to discuss ICO in this article. Instead, we shall explore blockchain applications in businesses. Though we can use blockchain for all kinds of business applications, whether or not blockchain is suitable for a particular business depends on the nature of the business, the business model, the requirements, and many other factors.

Before implementing blockchain, the C-level management team of a business organization should conduct a feasibility study to determine whether it is necessary and plausible to adopt blockchain technology. You should ask the following questions:

  • Can blockchain add value to the current business?
  • Can blockchain increase the organization’s competitiveness?
  • Do you need to deal with many trustless parties?
  • Do you need a decentralized and distributed database system?
  • Can blockchain improve workflow efficiency?
  • Can blockchain increase revenue and profit?
  • Do you have enough financial resources to implement blockchain?
  • Can blockchain technology integrate with existing systems?
  • Do you have enough talents to manage the blockchain system?

Once you’ve decided that implementing blockchain would benefit your company, you need to carry out the following steps:

  1. Identify a suitable use case.
  2. Assemble your team.
  3. Design the blockchain architecture.

Identify a suitable use case

To embark on a blockchain project, you need to identify the most suitable use case for your business. The best way is to examine use cases in an industry that is similar to your business. Generally, there are three areas in which blockchains can perform very well.

Data Authentication & Verification

This includes immutable storage, digital signatures, and encryption. Data in almost any format can be stored in the blockchain. Blockchains can create public-private key pairs and also be used for generating and verifying digital signatures. Therefore, it can be used for data authentication & verification.

One of the best usages is counterfeiting prevention. For example, Luxtag, a Malaysia-based blockchain company, has patented an anti-counterfeit technology. This technology enables businesses and their customers to protect the authenticity and ownership of their valuable assets by providing digitized certificates using blockchain technology. They have rolled out their first product, known as e-Scroll, for a consortium of Malaysian public universities to verify and validate certificates using a blockchain-powered web application.

Another area related to authentication and verification is data provenance. One of the most successful companies in this area is Everledger. This company has built the Diamond Time-Lapse Protocol, a traceability initiative built on a blockchain-based platform for the diamond and jewelry industry. The system is to ensure that there is transparency along the entire diamond’s lifetime journey, instilling consumer confidence and driving industry growth.

Another application is supply chain management. The most notable is the initiative by Walmart using blockchain technology to ensure food safety. Walmart has been working with IBM on a food safety blockchain solution requiring all suppliers of leafy green vegetables for Sam’s and Walmart to upload their data to the blockchain by September 2019. By placing a supply chain on the blockchain, it makes the process more traceable, transparent and fully digital.

Watch the following video about food safety:

Other business applications could be medical records management, insurance, KYC management for banks, and more.

Digital Asset Management

Any asset that can be digitized is considered a digital asset. Digital assets include ebooks, digital art, images, video, music, journals, newspapers, audio books, online training courses, recipes, and more. With the invention of blockchain technology, digital assets also include crypto assets. Crypto assets can be cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other altcoins, or the tokenized version of a real-world asset such as gold, silver, oil, land titles, property, paintings, etc.

Currently, most digital assets are traded over the Internet via the centralized e-commerce marketplace. However, digital assets can be traded more efficiently over the decentralized peer-to-peer blockchain platforms.

Some real world use cases for digital assets management in blockchain include:

  • AlphaPoint. Provides enterprise-grade software that enables institutions to convert assets to securities tokens and trade those assets on an exchange.
  • Polymath. Enables trillions of dollars of securities to migrate to the blockchain.
  • Harbor. Offers a digital securities platform for compliant fundraising, investor management, and liquidity.
  • Powerledger. Provides a platform for peer-to-peer energy trading.

Smart Contracts

A smart contract is a programmable contract that enables auto execution of a contract the moment it fulfills certain terms and conditions. It is akin to a vending machine – you get your product by inserting some coins or banknotes.

According to Investopedia, smart contracts are:

“self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. The code and the agreements contained therein exist across a distributed, decentralized blockchain network. Smart contracts permit trusted transactions and agreements to be carried out among disparate, anonymous parties without the need for a central authority, legal system, or external enforcement mechanism. They render transactions traceable, transparent, and irreversible.”

Almost any blockchain business application involves the use of a smart contract. A famous use case is Cryptokitties. A smart contract is executed when a user acquires a unique virtual kitty from the Cryptokitties collectible marketplace via a bidding process. The highest bidder gets to own the digital asset. Other dapp transactions also make use of smart contracts.

Blockchain-powered supply chain management makes use of smart contracts to handle transactions between manufacturer, suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers.

In the insurance industry, the client who wishes to buy insurance can provide personal information including sensitive data like medical records via a smart contract to the insurance company. In the health care industry, a patient can get faster and more accurate diagnoses and treatment via a smart contract that allows them to share medical records.

Assemble your Team

After conceptualizing a business use case that is suitable for your business, you need to assemble your team to kick-start the blockchain project. Getting the right people in your team is crucial to success. Your team should comprise people with business skills and also people with technical skills. People with business skills should be able to see the overall picture of your business model and know how to execute it. They must also have good interpersonal skills, strategic thinking, good networks, and financial knowledge. The people with business skills should be assigned the posts of CEO, CFO, marketing manager, business development manager, and so on.

People with good IT skill in general and blockchain in particular are equally important. The CTO must have many years of experience in the IT and software industry and have a good grasp of blockchain. He or she must be assisted by a technical lead who has good practical experience in setting up the blockchain platform, know how to program the smart contract, sound knowledge of programming languages including Solidity, JavaScript, Goland, C++, Java, Python, and so on.

In addition, if you plan to raise funds via ICO, you need to employ a compliance officer, preferably a lawyer who understands the guidelines provided by the security commission and the central bank.

Designing the Blockchain Architecture

You need to decide whether to build the blockchain network from scratch, or use a third party blockchain solution like Azure blockchain, Oracle, or AWS blockchain. The former is time-consuming, whereas the latter could be up in as little as 30 minutes.

Each of the the aforementioned enterprise blockchains offer their own functionalities and features as well as cost advantages. Both AWS and Azure offers solutions for Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, and Quorum, while Oracle only caters for Hyperledger Fabric. We can compare their features in the following table:

Courtesy of 101 Blockchains


The cost of setting up Azure Blockchain Workbench is roughly $400-$500 depending on your region and usage. The main costs are three VMs and one app service. Two VMs are for the default blockchain network, and one VM is for the microservices on Workbench. For AWS Blockchain pricing, refer to: https://aws.amazon.com/managed-blockchain/pricing/

References

HR Blockchain Use Cases

Blockchain is not just about cryptocurrencies but it can be applied in businesses. In this article, we shall explore its application in human resource management. HR Blockchain use cases have started to emerge and have the potential to disrupt traditional HR systems. Among them are ChronoBank.io, PEACOUNTS,and bitWAGE 

Let’s examine each one of them.

ChronoBank.io

This is an HR blockchain platform designed to improve the recruitment process as well as payroll. It claimed that it will disrupt the HR industry similar to how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry.

ChronoBank ecosystem comprises a hiring platform(LaborX), a decentralized exchange(TimeX), a multi-signature wallet(Chronowallet) and a cryptocurrency that is pegged to labor hours(Labor Hour token).

LaborX is their flagship global hiring platform that connects candidates to the companies. It features an industry first immutable reputation system and a crypto payment system based on smart contract. The reputation system allows faster screening of candidates therefore save time and cost in hiring the right candidates. In addition, the crypto payment system enables candidates to get paid on time.

Furthermore, it plans to use a stable coin as the crypto payment to eliminate volatility common in most cryptocurrencies. This coin is known as Labour-Hour tokens. These tokens are linked to average hourly wages in the host country and are backed by a real labor force from big recruitment and labor-hire companies. Labor is considered a tradeable resource so ChronoBank will tokenise this resource into the LH-Tokens.

PeaCounts

PeaCounts is a blockchain-based payroll system. PeaCounts claimed that their payroll system will revolutionize the way employees are paid by using blockchain to remove the trust-based elements of the payroll process. It ensures the employees will get paid as soon as the work is completed. On the other hand, the employer will pay just for the work completed.

It features a smart contract that can track an employee location and time spent on certain tasks. It also holds the PEA Tokens and release them to the employee upon completion of the tasks. This system ensures that the employee gets paid efficiently and fairly.

The PeaCount payroll system is a private blockchain created as a fork off the Bitcoin. It also implements the zk-Snarks protocol and a multi-access wallet to ensure security in payroll transactions.

bitWage

bitWage is a payroll and HR services platform designed for the digital age. Basically it is a global outsourcing platform that serves the freelancers who wish to seek jobs worldwide and employers who wish to hire remote workers .

The bitWage payroll system allows employers to pay their remote employees rapidly with low transactions. The employees have the option to receive their wages and salaries in any of twenty four fiat currencies, four cryptocurrencies , and four precious metals.

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