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Santander Uses Ripple To Launch First Blockchain Payments App

Banco Santander, or The Bank of Santander (as most know it) is the first Spanish bank that announced the launch of its blockchain payments app for retail customers in even four countries: Spain, UK, Brazil and Poland. The app uses xCurrent which is Ripple’s blockchain technology – to facilitate payments and help customers make most of their digitally connected devices.

The banking giant has even laid a claim as “the first bank to roll a blockchain-based international payment service of this kind to customers in multiple countries at the same time”. The name of the app is One Pay FX and according to users, it is already big as it is present in even four countries.

Santander Bank also prepares to release One Pay FX in even more countries in the coming months. As the executive chairman Ana Botin said in a statement:

“From today, customers in the UK can use One Pay to transfer money across Europe and to the US. In Spain, customers can transfer to UK and US, while customers in Brazil and Poland can transfer to the UK,”

She also added:

“Notably, customers will be offered different payment options depending on their recipients’ destination. Santander users in Spain will be able to send pounds to the UK whereas customers in Brazil and Poland can send sterling pounds the UK.”

In case you didn’t know, Santander is using Ripple’s xCurrent which is an enterprise blockchain solution developed by the San Francisco-based FinTech giant in order to power end-to-end tracking of payments and instant settlements around the world. The platform, however, doesn’t use Ripple’s native cryptocurrency (XRP) to power the blockchain.

At this time, One Pay FX is popular because of the claims that it enables international payments with “3 clicks and 40 seconds” which is a claim that is yet to be verified with a real-world transfer.

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IBM’s Blockchain Finance Trading Platform Reports First Live Pilot

The recent partnership of IBM with international banks to develop a blockchain trade finance platform called Bavaria successfully processed the first live transactions. The news comes from a press release that was published today (April 19th) on Finextra.

In this project, IBM partnered with the Bank of Montreal (BMO), CaixaBank, Commerzbank, Erste Group and the United Bank of Switzerland (UBS). What started as an initiative last fall is now a reality – and a live trade finance platform which is based on smart contracts that close trade agreements.

According to the announcement, the first transactions included sending cars from Germany to Spain and furniture production textiles around Europe. Nike Giesber of Commerzbank stated that the “joint successful live transaction demonstrates the potential of such a platform”

As Giesber said:

“Trade data and smart payment, which is automatically triggered by the transport data, form an important basis for risk management and financing instruments and add value to every supply chain.”

He also added that Batavia is currently looking forward to partnering with many other fintech and financial institutions. The platform’s focus is to build out a product-ready solution that will be used by more and more banks.

Meanwhile, India’s ICICI Bank made a similar move earlier this week. After designing a platform for domestic and international trade finance transactions, the bank has put more than 250 corporate customers on the Blockchain platform, live-piloting it without a single issue.

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3 Big Ways Blockchain Helps In Preventing Fraud

Let’s face it – blockchain is one of the most emerging technologies in the 21st century. It was originally developed to prevent fraud in the digital currency exchanges – but was later on discovered as a ‘mind-blowing’ technology that serves endless protective and even disruptive use cases in many industries.

However, if we focus on blockchain in its full light, we will see that it is designed to prevent and combat fraud in the best way possible – cutting the “middle man” altogether. Below are the three best ways in which blockchain does the following.

Smart Contracts As The New Technology Putting Escrow To Shade

The first way in which blockchain helps combating fraud is the smart contract technology. The use of smart contracts lets sellers of anything combat fraud with blockchain technology. Wondering how?

It’s simple – smart contracts allow both the buyer and the seller to create “if/then” scenarios in the contracts in which one step of the process won’t be fulfilled until the one before it has been verified as complete. Goodbye Escrow, right?

A Smarter & Tighter Supply Chain

The second way in which blockchain prevents fraud is the supply chain. In a global economy that is massive nowadays, blockchain narrows things down – and ensures that every label and every statement behind the label stays correct.

Goodbye, Identity Fraud

According to research, identity fraud cost consumers more than $16 billion last year alone – not to mention the headaches and sleepless nights for many. Blockchain makes a lot of things better in this view – introducing the more personalized and more secure digital IDs in a new generation.

The development would be a true game-changer on many levels – combating fraud with a ledger that is constantly reconciled – and one that can only be updated when verified by both parties of users.

All in all, blockchain is a new and emerging technology that can be used in every industry and in many different scenarios. The long and short of it is that it can serve as an objective that is trustworthy, a third-party mediator in any interaction, deal or partnership that you can imagine.

In the end, blockchain is designed to ensure trust and transparency – even among those who don’t trust each other.

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Samsung Electronics Turns To Blockchain For Optimising Its Supply Chain Network

The electronics manufacturing giant Samsung has finally considered a blockchain platform that will manage and keep track of the shipments in its global supply chain network. This comes as a significant endorsement of blockchain technology from one of the largest technology providers around the world.

Is this happens, the blockchain ledger platform will be broadly implemented in order to track the global shipments. The blockchain chief at Samsung SDS (the IT subsidiary of Samsung), Song Kwang-woo, recently spoke to Bloomberg, revealing that their blockchain system could reduce the shipping costs by 20%.

Kwang-woo also pointed to the fact that SDS must adapt to the blockchain platform – and will do that in the following years. He said that currently, SDS is working on developing the blockchain platform for Samsung Electronics after which it will be placed among the top global manufacturers. That way, the platform will explore the applicability of blockchain at as massive scale.

So far, SDS has proven their experience in implementing the blockchain technology. Their biggest success (December 2017) was implementing it in the logistics and shipping industries – concluding a 7-month pilot project that would record and track shipping logistics of imports and exports in the massive shipping industry in Korea.

Samsung’s SDS’ Song also noted:

It will have an enormous impact on the supply chains of manufacturing industries. Blockchain is a core platform to fuel our digital transformation.

According to the report, SDS will rely on blockchain to handle 480,000 tons of air cargo and millions of shipping units in 2018. The shipments will include everything from chipsets to Samsung devices – some of which including the Galaxy S9 and the upcoming Note 9.

In the end, this is another proof that blockchain is designed to reduce the time and ramp up the efficiency of product launches and their shipments to the end user.

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Blockchain In Healthcare: Can It Make Our Lives Longer?

There is a lot of talk about blockchain in healthcare and how it may help. Also known as the distributed ledger technology, blockchain is a hot topic in many industries including healthcare. But how can it actually help this sector and eliminate the problems present in it?

Essentially, blockchain in healthcare is something that will improve the security, privacy, and comprehensiveness of tracking patient health records or sending and receiving them.

Right now, a patient’s medical history is a puzzle with many pieces dispersed around multiple providers and organizations. For example, one piece of your medical history is held by your primary doctor, others are held by different specialists and another might be held in wearables or medical devices that track your health.

The real question (and possibility) here is – can all of this data be combined into one system?

The answer is yes. Blockchain can help us assemble all of the pieces in real-time and view the big picture of patient’s health. It can give us the confidence of knowing every bit of information about our health, condition and up-to-date information. If it is successfully implemented, blockchain will update billions of patient records and can definitely help with curing diseases and preventing deadly ones from coming.

Aside from this, blockchain can solve many cybersecurity challenges that are present in healthcare nowadays. For example, it can prevent stealing patient data by phishing scams – all thanks to gathering the data in one place.

Currently, the only challenge that remains to be solved for possible adoption of blockchain in healthcare are the integrity-based attacks. In these attacks, malicious insiders can modify and delete data in a way that is not trackable and one that cannot be sanctioned. However, once this is properly addressed and solved, we can all enjoy the benefits of blockchain in healthcare.

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