Blockchain for anyone?

A caveat! BITMO blockchain platform at COP26. Data Gumbo’s blockchain audited. BRI gives GuildOne ‘pioneer’ status. Industrial Internet Consortium on distributed ledgers. ANSI on blockchain for access control. ECCMA on the shortcomings of blockchain in track and trace.

A caveat! Readers should by now be aware of our skepticism with regard to blockchain. However, as there is activity in this space we are somewhat obliged to report on it. We have shared Neil McNaughton’s critiques of blockchain with all of the companies mentioned in this section. Only a couple responded as we report. None came back with any counter-arguments for his 2018 blockchain is bullshit editorial.

The ‘Blockchain for climate’ organization presented its BITMO Platform at the 2021 COP26 in Glasgow. BITMO enables the issuance and exchange of ‘blockchain internationally transferred mitigation outcomes’ a.k.a. ERC-1155 Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain. One token is equivalent to one tonne of CO2 equivalent and has ‘all pertinent carbon credit data embedded right into the NFT’. Donate (if you are nuts) to the BfC here.

The BfC’s response to the Oil IT Journal challenge? NONE.

Data Gumbo reports completion of a ‘SOC 1 Type 2 Data Security Standards Compliance Audit’ by independent auditor Grant Thornton. The audit focuses on Data Gumbo’s controls that are ‘likely to be relevant to an audit of a customer’s financial statements’. The controls tested Data Gumbo’s assertion of process compliance for its blockchain-backed smart contract network over a six-month period and covered GumboNet’s risk assessment process, monitoring activities, information and communications, and control activities.

Data Gumbo’s response to the Oil IT Journal challenge? NONE.

Grant Thornton’s response? ‘Grant Thornton will not be able to provide a rebuttal to your argument’.

GuildOne has been ‘accepted’ as a Blockchain Pioneer by the ‘prestigious’ Blockchain Research Institute. Pioneer status means that GuildOne’s ESG1 sustainability division will benefit from BRI’s ecosystem and database of 100+ blockchain research projects. A whitepaper due for release in Q2 2022 will explain how ESG1 is using public and private blockchain networks to build an ‘automated low-carbon economy, mapping the project’s verified carbon credit tokens from their genesis at an industrial carbon sequestration facility into two market pathways: private transactions as offsets, and as a publicly-traded green investment product’. GuildOne also recently signed a partnership agreement with data and analytics SaaS provider Validere to create ‘new digital assets for balancing energy needs with emission reductions’.

GuildOne’s response to the Oil IT Journal challenge? NONE.

BRI’s response to the Oil IT Journal challenge? NONE.

Validere’s response to the Oil IT Journal challenge? NONE.

The Industrial Internet Consortium has just published a white paper on the ‘Impact of distributed ledger technologies on provider networks’. DLTs are used for applications such as shipping-container tracking, vehicle identity and history, energy trading, and farm-to-store tracking. According to the IIC they are on the one hand ‘ideal’ as they ‘facilitate information sharing among trustworthy partners’. On the other hand, ‘the peer-to-peer distributed ledgers can overload a service provider network due to wasted and inefficient communication’.

IIC’s response to the Oil IT Journal challenge? NONE.

A new Draft publication from the US National Institute of Standards, ‘Blockchain for Access Control Systems’ by Vincent Hu. The 31 page document presents general information for blockchain access control system and implementation. The NIST report concludes with some rather serious unresolved issues, notably, vulnerability to hacking* or misuse, performance (the Ethereum blockchain can verify 14 transactions per second, Visa, 24,000) and scalability. Such gotchas are rather downplayed in the conclusions which have blockchain as offering decentralization, high confidence, and tamper-resistance all issues which are ‘challenges for network access control by traditional mechanisms’.

NIST’s response to the Oil IT Journal challenge? Hu replied, ‘Thanks for the query. My research focus on access control: NISTIR 8403 Draft discusses computer user authorization (access control) mechanism implemented by blockchains. I am not an expert on NFT nor does my research relate to the connection between blockchain tokens and physical objects. So, I am not a right person to comment on your articles. (which are well-written and I enjoyed reading them).’

Oil ITJ: In fact we are in agreement on this in so far as the control exercised by the blockchain is restricted to tokens on the network. Whether the blockchain may be any better (or as good as) ‘legacy solutions’ may be moot.

Oil IT Journal also exchanged with ECCMA Executive Director Peter Benson, sharing the FT Letter. Benson offered the following. ‘I have been watching blockchain for some years now and I am still not impressed. We quickly recognized the shortcomings of the use of blockchain in track and trace resulting in ISO 8000-117 quality blockchains, where the issuer of the identifier is known and the data referenced by the identifier on the immutable blockchain must also be immutable.

* A Study by Atlas VPN blockchain hackers stole over $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies in the third quarter of 2021 with the Ethereum ecosystem being the target of most hack events.

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