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Blockchain Announcements

Announcing: Availability of Oracle Blockchain Platform Enterprise Edition 19.3 for On-premise Deployment

BLOCKCHAIN PLATFORM NEWS Blockchain team is excited to announce that our on-premise edition is now GA and available for customers and partners.  You can download it from eDelivery - just login to https://edelivery.oracle.com/osdc/faces/SoftwareDelivery and search for Oracle Blockchain Platform Enterprise Edition, then add it to the shopping cart and use checkout button to review the license and get to the Download screen.  And online documentation is available at https://docs.oracle.com/en/database/other-databases/blockchain-enterprise/19.3/books.html.  The OTN page with download link, documentation, datasheet and lots more is available at https://www.oracle.com/database/technologies/blockchain-platform-enterprise-edition.html. This OBP edition is ideal for customers who, because of various data sovereignty or data residence issues, can not deploy in Oracle Cloud.  It gives them an independently-installable version of Oracle Blockchain Platform built on Docker containers and delivered as a pre-built VM image for multiple virtualization options: Oracle VirtualBox (v5.x or 6.0 or later) Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager (v4.2.8.2-1.0.8.el7 or later) VMware vSphere ESXi v6.7 The Enterprise Edition is based on HL Fabric 1.4.1 (just like the current cloud version) and provides feature parity with the cloud version, with the same APIs for application portability and improved REST support (see documentation for some REST API v2 changes.)  It also supports hybrid and multi-cloud networks via interoperability with OBP Cloud PaaS in Oracle Cloud and Hyperledger Fabric on-premise or in 3rd party clouds.   Blockchain PM and Engineering Team

BLOCKCHAIN PLATFORM NEWS Blockchain team is excited to announce that our on-premise edition is now GA and available for customers and partners.  You can download it from eDelivery - just login to https:...

Blockchain Use Cases

Oracle and CargoSmart Team to Speed up the Technical Collaboration across Nine Market Leaders to Transform Global Shipping Industry

By Mark Rakhmilevich, Oracle and Lionel Louie, CargoSmart Supports not-for-profit joint venture accelerating digital transformation in the shipping industry Ocean shipping has been steadily growing in recent years. Ocean container carriers have been through major consolidation, vessel operators have been tightly controlling the amount of vessel capacity, and the global economy has been strong. Now, increased risk and added uncertainty from geopolitical factors like trade wars and conflict, and additional cost pressures, such as the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) low-sulfur fuel mandate that comes into effect Jan. 1, 2020, are impacting predictability of the far flung supply chains and shipping rates for customers and pressuring industry profits. Key to navigating these challenges for shippers, ocean carriers, terminal operators, and other parties involved with shipping ocean freight is better visibility and real-time access to information. To be able to better plan, gain efficiencies that can reduce the costs, and reduce the risk of disruptions, they need deeper insight into the shipment cycle and real-time access to a variety of information across the extended inland and maritime transport ecosystems.   That’s a challenge given the sheer number of participants in a single shipment.  The exchange of all the required documentation and logistics information is a constant source of significant friction – often leading to delays, disputes, and significant extra costs for shippers and carriers.  But things are changing. Oracle has collaborated with a pioneer in this space, CargoSmart, who recently announced a significant milestone in forming the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) blockchain consortium. Nine leading ocean carriers and terminal operators have signed a service agreement with CargoSmart to commit to provide resources to establish a not-for-profit joint-venture to accelerate the digital transformation of the shipping industry. The signatories include CMA CGM, COSCO SHIPPING Lines, COSCO Shipping Ports, Hapag Lloyd, OOCL, Hutchison Ports, PSA International, Port of Qingdao, and Shanghai International Port. Blockchain brings unified shipping information platform one step closer Achieving a single source of truth for trusted, real-time sharing of information amongst these parties and any others that join is no small task.  But it is one that is being made easier through the use of distributed ledger technology. To bring such a solution to life for the consortium, a collaboration between innovative global shipping and logistics solutions provider, CargoSmart, and enterprise cloud company, Oracle, was critical. “Together CargoSmart and Oracle have been working on this effort for almost a year.  From the outset, the foundation of this approach has been a decentralized, multi-party, fully managed enterprise-grade blockchain network that enables trust, while maintaining confidentiality of the commercial relationships as required by shipping industry regulations,” said Frank Xiong, Oracle’s Group VP for Blockchain Product Development. “Speeding up the deployment of the initial pilot applications based on the platform’s rapid development and integration capabilities, CargoSmart has moved through quick innovation cycles to respond to members’ priorities,” he added. As a not-for-profit entity (formation subject to regulatory, competition, and antitrust approvals), the GSBN emphasizes the importance of collaboration among supply chain stakeholders to transform the shipping industry. CargoSmart believes Oracle’s permissioned blockchain technology would be a perfect fit as a foundation to enable GSBN members to jointly create and deploy their blockchain applications to accelerate the digitization and standardization in shipping industry. To begin, the intention is to deploy applications on Oracle Blockchain Platform that over time enable more efficient documentation exchange, tracking of dangerous goods declarations, and full shipment status tracking to create a baseline of shared data across the industry and help the members improve planning, customer service, and more. Using these applications, members will be able to securely and confidentially share data between themselves and with their own shipping clients, freight forwarders, and other ecosystem participants under a strong data management and governance framework, once GSBN is formed.  Teamwork a key factor in achieving rapid deployment  "The close cooperation between our R&D group and Oracle’s blockchain team has already helped to accelerate the development of some pilot applications. By leveraging Oracle’s enriched technical support and advice, CargoSmart has been able to achieve high levels of operational capability, reduce R&D time, and significantly improve the productivity of its blockchain application developers,” said Romney Wong, Chief Technology Officer of CargoSmart. "Joint co-innovation workshops and shared insights have helped us to extend our technical capabilities and improve service flexibility to provide necessary enhancements to meet the needs of decentralized consortia members for open governance and business confidentiality, while demonstrating how blockchain technology can be adopted in a practical way. We are now jointly fine-tuning the infrastructure and application components to handle tens of millions of shipments annually. The signatories of the GSBN Services Agreements plan to complete the establishment of the GSBN in early 2020, subject to obtaining all requisite anti-trust, competition, and regulatory approvals. Meanwhile, CargoSmart will continue to run pilot applications to prove the viability of the GSBN and demonstrate the high potential value creation through the GSBN.  And Oracle continues to support CargoSmart with a capable Blockchain Platform for decentralized consortium governance, on-chain mechanisms for business confidentiality, and performance at scale required for tens of millions of shipments that underpin world trade. To stay abreast of the latest developments, follow updates on Oracle.com/blockchain, particularly in the News & Opinion section.

By Mark Rakhmilevich, Oracle and Lionel Louie, CargoSmart Supports not-for-profit joint venture accelerating digital transformation in the shipping industry Ocean shipping has been steadily growing in...

Oracle Blockchain

Why Businesses Need Blockchain: Myth vs. Reality

From supply chain to human resources, blockchain (distributed ledger technology) will  impact every industry it touches. However, myths around what the distributed ledger technology is and how it works threaten to prevent businesses from capitalizing on its far-reaching potential to impact positive change. When it comes to blockchain technology, there is a fear factor. Some of what frightens potential users is the technology's cryptocurreny origins. But blockchain has many uses beyond crypto. Let's take a look at some of the common misconceptions that persist around blockchain and separate the myths from the realities. MYTH 1 Blockchains Are Only Designed to Help Manage Money Yes, blockchains can (and are) being used to manage financial transactions, but they are also being used to accelerate the trading and settlement of transactions, to enhance cross-border payments and transfers, and to make the supply chain traceable from end-to-end.  A blockchain can increase transparency around any type of transaction—from goods moving through a supply chain to the verification of the education and degrees a student needs to earn a degree. Blockchain can also be used to verify the credentials of a job applicant, so future employers can ensure that the person they wish to hire actually has the skills they claim to have. MYTH 2 Blockchains Consume Insane Amounts of Energy, Driving Up Costs While it's true that mining via permissionless blockchains (used to mine cryptocurrencies) drives up costs, this is not true of the permissioned blockchains most typically used to perform business transactions. Permissioned blockchains don't typically involve cryptocurrency mining. The governing body of trusted participants creates the rules to validate information across the network on the chain. Permissioned blockchains have actually been proven to be cost-effective. MYTH 3: Bitcoin is Blockchain and Blockchain is Bitcoin Beyond serving as the underlying technology used by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain has many other potential uses across all enterprise activities, including insurance, healthcare, supply chain,and identity verification. So now that we've dispelled many of the misconceptions about blockchain, let's talk about the realities. Blockchain can help revolutionize current business processes in the following ways: Track & Trace: Enable distributed, autonomous marketplaces by allowing asset owners to track and trace things of value—such as outstanding invoices—in a secure, transparent, and private "chain" of transactions without need for reconciliation. This capability adds speed and flexibility to cash and asset management. Speed: Accelerate business transactions through automated smart contracts, instant payments, and Internet of Things (IoT)-activated shipments. Without conflicting data and paper-based processes, errors and missing information are reduced and business transactions can happen in seconds instead of days or months. Security: Manage and secure decentralized private records with encryption of each individual data record or element using a blockchain member’s key. This is not to say that blockchain makes all data 100% secure, but a cybercriminal would need to have access to each key of each member to access all of the blockchain data. Provenance:  Verify the authenticity of products,ingredients and raw materials to guarantee product quality and safety by making activities, like the recall of defective products like auto parts or spoiled lettuce, much faster and more effective. Goods can also be authenticated to prevent fakes. With all these benefits, it's clear that blockchain is a technology you might want to explore.  Here are a few resources to help you determine if blockchain might be right for your business. Get the complimentary infographic "Blockchain for Business:Separating the Myth from the Realities." To learn more about Blockchain Technology visit the Oracle Blockchain website.

From supply chain to human resources, blockchain (distributed ledger technology) will  impact every industry it touches. However, myths around what the distributed ledger technology is and how it...

Blockchain Use Cases

Simplifying Intellectual Property with Blockchain Technology

Lawyers, legal professionals and inventors have long struggled with the difficulties of processing patent applications and keeping up with the amount of patent filings via the patent database system. As a young lawyer, I spent many long hours doing patent and trademark searches.  If only the intellectual property records were on the digital ledger of blockchain I might have been able to save a considerable amount of time and research effort! The Problem of Siloed Data and Intellectual Property In common-law and many countries, the Patent and Trademark systems favor the first to file. This is a problem when the databases inventors file their applications on is backlogged and out of sync. It is estimated that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (UPTO) is currently backlogged by hundreds of thousands of patent applications with only a few thousand examiners reviewing them. Patents and Trademark applications can be filed in the USPTO systems, but not be immediately discoverable by others. Inventors and intellectual property holders may legitimately believe they are the first to file, but in actual fact there may be other applications filed before theirs which they simply can’t find in the government databases because they don’t show up yet in search. This is one of the reasons why many law firms tell clients that it will take them 2 to 3 weeks to do a thorough patent or trademark search.  They know if may take time for intellectual property filings to be discoverable in the traditional database systems. According to the Erikson Law Group, “ The average time it takes to obtain a patent from the patent office at this time is about 32 months or a little under 3 years.”[1] Intellectual Property: Creating a Digital Ledger for Patents with Blockchain  According to the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), it takes roughly two years just for the Office Action, resulting from an investigation of the patent application, on an utility patent to be completed. After that, the inventor must then respond to the action which takes about another year. Even though the status of “patent pending” carries some legal weight, and gives notice to other applicants that there is a filing on record, it is still frustrating for entrepreneurs to have to wait so long. While they wait, they are deprived of the full legal protections that registrations provide against infringers, fakers and opportunists. Blockchain holds the promise of automating the process of patent discovery and approval. With difficulties, inherent in the patent system stored on traditional database, some inventors have become involved in lawsuits and legal conflicts over patents upon the completion of the development of technologies and solutions. Using a blockchain networks, first movers are taking their intellectual property records, patents and trademarks to blockchain. Inventors and attorneys  with access to these digital ledgers have praised the efficiency of patent  and trademark searches using the blockchain digital ledger technology. For intellectual property lawyers, paralegals and researchers,  blockchain technology holds the promise of being able to share records easily and in real-time. Blockchain's immutable digital ledge can be used as a secure way to protect the intellectual property of authors, inventors and organizations Perhaps even more importantly, laywers and laymen can use data logged onto the ledger to both defend and support intellectual property infringement claims.  Putting the data of intellectual property filings, on the blockchain also expedites communications between attorneys and clients, patent and trademark examiners and inventors. Another use case is using blockchain technology to automate the licensing of patents through smart contracts, ensuring that all parties meet the agreed upon terms.  The license would execute when the terms are meet and consensus is reached. Speed to file: the benefits of blockchain technology Ultimately, a patent system based on blockchain technology could significantly to reduce the wait time for patent registrations. This would allow inventor, who are often sole proprietors or small businesses, to better protect their intellectual property. A blockchain systems of patent filings and registrations also can facilitate better development or licensing of ideas that are publicly available.  Currently, there is no universal patent or intellectual property registry that cuts across countries or jurisdictions. Blockchain could make a universal intellectual property system available to entrepreneurs, lawyers, legal professionals and inventors. If there was one, this could quite simply revolutionize the traditional trademark and patent system.  As blockchain technology evolves and becomes more mature, this technology could change the practice of intellectual property law by simplifying access to data and enabling greater collaboration.  The Chamber of Digital Commerce has formed a Blockchain Intellectual Property Council to both promote and contribute to blockchain innovations in this space. Intellectual property and blockchain technology could be a great combination to accelerate applications and registrations of unique ideas.    [1] Erikson Law Group, “How Long Does it Take to Get a Patent” 2017

Lawyers, legal professionals and inventors have long struggled with the difficulties of processing patent applications and keeping up with the amount of patent filings via the patent database system....