Top 2020 Blockchain events flashback

2020 has almost ended. This year has been tough for many. And many of us got used to expecting the unexpected. The Covid-19 pandemic set the new trends and intensified the trends that were already underway.

Let’s make a few flashbacks and take a look at what happened in the blockchain field this year.

  1. In January, Alibaba continued to grow, and its affiliate company Ant Group (formerly Ant Financial) announced launching the enterprise blockchain platform – AntChain (formerly Ant Blockchain Open Alliance):

As a member of the Alibaba digital economy, AntChain is working hand in hand with Alibaba Group to make it easy to do business anywhere across the world. We are committed to helping global consumers, small and micro enterprises transform into a secure, green, and sustainable society. Bringing greater value and equal opportunities to the world.

Later, in April 2020, they opened this platform for small and medium businesses, following enterprise move.

And in September, Alibaba became the leading blockchain patents publisher.

2. The World Economic Forum (WEF) announced the launch of the neutral and public traceability platform capable of visualizing blockchain-based supply chain data from multiple organizations and sources. 

Dorothy Tembo, the executive director at the International Trade Centre, said on January 2020

Now more than ever, ensuring a sustainable future hinges on our ability to create reliable traceability and transparency across global supply chains. With many organizations committing to supporting such a future, this effort shows that a collaborative platform for digital traceability is technically possible and has the potential to transform how we think about transparency in supply chains.

3. Automotive giants rapidly adopted and continued leveraging blockchain technology:

  • February: Mercedes-Benz collaborated with Circulor, a London-based startup, to build a blockchain to provide transparency for CO2 emissions as part of its ‘Ambition2039’ initiative which is part of the company’s proposed path to sustainable mobility.
  • March: Toyota and Securitize started to build a new personal ID and vehicle ID platform. The personal ID platform may be employed by corporate entities to manage points, employee benefits, and digital certificate issuance, whereas the vehicle ID platform can be used to manage vehicle registration, maintenance records, ownership records, and more.
  • April: BMW Group continued to use blockchain technology for tracing and tracking components and raw materials multi-stage international supply chains.
  • April: General Motors applied for the ‘Decentralized Distributed Map Using Blockchain’ patent, solving an issue related to the dynamic feedback of mapping around a car.
  • July: Daimler started working with Singapore-based Ocean Protocol on a pilot project for ‘decentralized data orchestration’ focused around Ocean Protocol’s ‘compute-to-data’ solution which aims to enable companies to share, buy, and sell data while maintaining privacy.
  • July: Volvo announced an investment in Circulor, a blockchain technology provider, focusing on providing greater traceability for cobalt in Volvo’s supply chain.

4. Sports organizations didn’t leave behind either:

  • January: Juventus and Fiorentina (the two leading Italian football clubs) announced the launch of blockchain projects focused on fan engagement and shirt certification.
  • January: The Sacramento Kings (professional basketball club) partnered with ConsenSys to develop a new auction platform allowing users to bid live on in-game sports gear through the latter’s supply chain product Treum.
  • January: Lancashire County Cricket Club activated blockchain-based secure mobile tickets for all types of domestic and international matches at the Emirates Old Trafford stadium.
  • February: UEFA introduced a blockchain-based ticketing system for the Euro 2020 championship.

5. January: Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) announced the launch of its own Crypto Valley ecosystem (the world’s largest ecosystem for cryptographic, blockchain, and distributed ledger technologies) in a partnership with CV VC and CV Labs.

6. February: The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) with the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Dubai Healthcare City launched the advanced digital blockchain-powered platform for data storage aimed at pharmaceutical companies, health practitioners, government, and private facilities.

7. The Healthcare sector continued to employ blockchain for varied purposes:

  • April: Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider, has joined IBM’s Rapid Supplier Connect blockchain network to assist with provisions for the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • May: Swiss blockchain company TIXnGO launched a secure health certificate mobile delivery offering. Their Health n Go solution aims to enable secure ticket distribution. 

Health n Go ‘is designed to safely deliver digital health certificates from a trusted authority’, with a unique, encrypted, traceable identity attached to each certificate issued by the platform, the company said.

8. A few tech corporations run varied blockchain initiatives in 2020:

  • February: Kaspersky Lab introduced a voting machine based on Polys, a blockchain-based online voting system.
  • March: Ernst & Young (EY), ConsenSys, and Microsoft partnered to form a protocol that aims to make Ethereum blockchain technology enterprise-friendly.
  • October: IBM and R3 have announced a collaboration to build the enterprise blockchain platform for IBM.

9. Financial organizations kept the pace of blockchain innovation in 2020:

  • February: The National Stock Exchange of Australia announced its partnership with fintech firm iSignthis to build a blockchain-based settlement and clearing system called ClearPay. With this system, all digital asset trading and settlements may be offered in real-time. It also allows fractional trading, eg. the possibility to buy a fraction of an Apple stock.
  • August: ConsenSys acquired Quorum, the JP Morgan-developed Ethereum variant, in what promises to be a major development in the enterprise blockchain space.

The creation of Quorum was a first for JP Morgan, both in terms of developing its own blockchain protocol and open-sourcing software for the developer community. We’re incredibly proud of the usage of Quorum over the past few years and are excited to have ConsenSys as a partner to take the vision forward. Umar Farooq, global head of blockchain at JP Morgan.

  • September: Visa joins Hyperledger as SAP, Swisscom, and Tencent gain service provider certification.
  • October: PayPal launched a new service enabling its customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency direct from their PayPal account: the company cited the Covid-19 pandemic as driving migration towards digital payments, as well as the increased interest in digital currencies from central banks and consumers, as behind the move. Cryptocurrencies on the initial list include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
  • December: Ethereum blockchain rolled out a long-delayed upgrade to its underlying network known as Ethereum 2.0, which they say will make it faster and more secure. Ethereum previously worked on the “Proof-of-work” model, and Ethereum 2.0 operates on “Proof-of-stake”:

Instead of miners, the network will rely on “stakers” who already hold some ether to process new transactions.

10. Finally, Bitcoin price hit an all-time record: as of December 27, it’s almost $27K!

Wrapping up this article and wishing you happy holidays and a good and healthy 2021!