Blockchain news

Dassault Systèmes on the challenges of blockchain for AI in manufacturing. Data Gumbo figures real-time OPEX. World Economic Forum’s Kryha blockchain traces carbon emissions. Woz’ new blockchain wheeze: ‘Efforce’ energy-saving with WOZX crypto. Ziyen Energy trades coinage for stripper well production.

Our 2018 ‘blockchain is BS’ editorial does not appear to have been universally taken on-board. The technology is still touted as a ‘solution’ for many problems that may or may not exist. What follows is a short compendium of what has come under our radar of late. But remember two things; 1) tying a digital ‘token’ to anything in the real world requires something outside the blockchain and 2) vendors’ ‘blockchain-based’ services are under no obligation to use blockchain in the way it was originally deployed, as in the peer-to-peer exchange mechanism that underlies bitcoin*.

A curious blog posting on the Dassault Systèmes North American website ‘uncovers the challenges of using blockchain for AI in manufacturing’. Citing the competition between industry and ‘the giants of IT’ for AI talent, the authors, in a mind-bending leap of faith, suggest that ‘blockchain technology is a way to help industry gain AI expertise’. A further leap is required to see the relationship with Dassault Systèmes’ offer of ‘more AI technology for its clients’ thanks to the acquisition of Proxem, a specialist in ‘AI-powered semantic processing software and services’. Proxem ‘harvests information, and then a blockchain-driven tool can verify its origin and use’ [allowing for] ‘innovative approaches to collaboration between departments and among development partners’. Dassault expects its blockchain-based software to roll-out in 2021. More on these improbable developments from Dassault.

Data Gumbo now promises real-time operational expenses (OPEX) visibility for energy operators and service providers across Europe. DG’s blockchain technology allows operating data from the field to be verified against commercial contracts, triggering automated payments and delivering real-time visibility into contract spend.

Blockchain booster the World Economic Forum proposes the use of blockchain to trace carbon emissions across extractive industries and has released a proof of concept application. WEF’s Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative is a collaboration with seven global companies that launched in 2019. Today, COT, the Carbon Tracing Platform provides end-to-end traceability of CO2 emissions using distributed ledger technology. The COT PoC was developed by Dutch blockchain ‘champion’ Kryha and advisor Susan Joseph.

You may be wondering what Steve Wozniak has been up to since he stepped down from an active role with Apple Computer. Quite a lot apparently, including his latest ‘billion dollar’ venture to democratize and finance energy efficiency investments worldwide. Woz’ Efforce startup has launched WOZX, a cryptocurrency that launched in December with a share price of $1.2. It popped to a 3.14 high in a couple of days before stabilizing at around the issue price. Efforce’s business model involves striking a contract with a service company that proposes an energy-saving action. The contracts are then tendered to Efforce shareholders whose WOSX coinage finances the projects. At least that is how we understand the rather convoluted structure.

Another cryptocurrency deal financier is ‘Scottish-American’ Ziyen Energy which recently announced its latest oil and gas property acquisition in exchange for ZiyenCoin, its very own blockchain-based token. In return for its coinage, ZE acquired an unspecified amount of non-operated working interests in 42 oil and gas wells in Panola and Cooke Counties, Texas. In another tough one for our simple minds, the newly acquired interests ‘will provide the company with US dollar distributions from the ownership of oil production purchased in ZiyenCoins’. For more on Ziyen’s groundbreaking financial innovation read the article co-authored by Ziyen CEO Alastair Caithness in the Frontiers of Engineering Management Financial Journal. Why are we thinking of those (Scottish?) colonialists handing out colored beads to the natives?

* For a similar skeptic’s take on the blockchain phenomenon, read ‘Why blockchain is a belief system’ by the FT’s Izabella Kaminska.

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