The 2017 cryptocurrency hype cycle came with the ICO business model and the emergence of forks of existing cryptocurrencies. Albeit being a year of a downtrend, 2018 was the year of stablecoins. In spite of these innovations and developments, the world still awaits widely adopted real-world use cases of blockchain technology. 2019 appears to be the year for blockchain adoption by corporate giants worldwide. Perhaps the application of blockchain technology by corporations with millions of existing customers may be the catalyst for mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. A number of Asian corporations have made giant strides in the areas of supply management, retail, and transportation.
East Japan Railway to Accept Crypto for Tickets
A month ago, ANN News of Japan reported that commuters may soon be able to pay for JR East train tickets using crypto. According to the news agency, Japan’s largest railway company is working together with IIJ, a cloud, and internet service provider to facilitate crypto payments for train tickets. Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and Ripple payments will be supported by the railway company’s Suica cards. The Suica cards already facilitate the purchase of transportation tickets as well as other goods and services.
The Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA) approved DeCurret cryptocurrency exchange will be collaborating with IIJ on the project.
The move comes as no surprise as Japan has been friendly towards cryptocurrencies over the years. However, the impact of allowing a “crypto-savvy” citizenry to make crypto payments for an everyday service like transportation cannot be underestimated.
Rakuten And Techrock Use Blockchain for Product Authentication
On 17th April, Rakuten, a Japanese retail platform announced a partnership with Techrock, a Chinese retail channel. The partnership allows Rakuten to supply verifiable authentic Japanese products to China.
Techrock offers its blockchain-based anti-counterfeit technology as well as a dedicated “Rakuten Zone” in its safe product channel. Rakuten will be allowed to sell its in-demand products in the dedicated zone. The blockchain-based anti-counterfeit technology, in particular, will be useful in authenticating Rakuten’s quality Japanese products.
According to Ye Jianyou, Vice Senior Manager of Rakuten:
“Techrock’s anti-counterfeit technology allows Chinese consumers to verify they have received a genuine Rakuten product, giving a unique value advantage for cross-border commerce. Together with Techrock, we can further develop blockchain traceability and work towards cross-ecosystem integration of our platforms’ loyalty points. “
The Rakuten-Techrock partnership applies blockchain technology in solving the real-world problem of product counterfeiting.
Two Singaporean Firms Work on Game of Thrones Adidas Sneakers
The VeChain foundation and SBTG, a Singaporean shoe designer, teamed up to work on the new limited edition Game of Thrones Adidas shoes. The new sneakers are part of the Home Box Office (HBO) promotional campaign for its popular TV series.
Here, VeChain delivered yet another IoT-related service by providing the Near Feild Communication (NFC) chips fitted into the Adidas sneakers designed by SBTG. The technology allows buyers to scan the NFC chips and view videos about the shoes on their mobile devices.
The Vechain blockchain project has been focused on the intersection of blockchain technology and Internet of Things (IoT). The project is actively involved with the application of both technologies to create products and services that can be used in areas such as the authentication and tracking of products.
Blockchain and IoT for Transparent Supply Chain Management
Vechain seeks to tackle some supply chain management problems in collaboration with DNV GL, and Haier. DNV GL is a quality assurance and risk management company whiles Haier is a Chinese multinational consumer electronics and home appliance company. The partnership took effect on April 1st with the goal of enhancing transparency in supply chain management.
The three firms plan to use DNV GL’s “My Story” application for product authentication and tracking. The traceability application will be used alongside the VeChain blockchain to prevent fraud by authenticating goods. VeChain will also track the carbon footprint of all Haier products.
The year 2019 could go down as the year of blockchain adoption by multinational corporations. So far, Asian corporations are indicating their active involvement.