KodakCoin, and Six Ways That Blockchain Could Really Be Leveraged
The newest cry in the cryptocurrency clamour? That of heritage-photography-giant-cum-new-kid-on-the-payments-block, Kodak. Unbelievably, they have managed to out-blockchain the long-island-iced-tea company in their audacity, and (more than) double their share price to boot.
I believe this particular announcement is what is known as a ‘pivot,’ but perhaps might be more of a 360-twist given that a ‘Kodak moment’ started out as a moment worth adding to the family album, became synonymous with missing the boat on technology revolutions, and most recently has been ‘coined’ in the payments sphere in relation to banks at risk in the blockchain revolution.
Even though the Kodak press-release is suspiciously light on details, this is perhaps not as bonkers a move as it first appears. Distributed ledger technology was designed to track assets, and valuable images and digital rights management seems a natural fit. Bearing this in mind, these are my top recommendations for anyone wanting to jump on the blockchain bandwagon and create their own crypto proposition.
Photographs have transitioned from physical output to digital representations, without ever losing their tangible presence – or associated value. In fact, in a digital age with improved capture and editing technology, better global distribution platforms, higher resolution viewing mechanisms, and the ability to educate oneself on the arts, this should all add up to increasing value for the artists who produce the content. The issue continues to be finding a way to combine blockchain with effective implementation of copyright law, to ensure that artists are remunerated for all reproductions of their output.
2. Personal Identity
In the age of open banking, the individual is going to become far more conscious of the digital ‘spread’ of their personal identity. As my colleague Barry Kislingbury pointed out, modern fraudsters are not interested in your hard cash – they are interested in how they can wield your identity to gain access to a much larger credit pool, which they can turn into far more of the cold stuff. As individuals, we are also wary about a Minority Report state, where our personal identity is managed by the authorities. What’s needed is an innovative solution where consumers can maintain control over their identity, status and entitlements so that only those with genuine approval can make appropriate enquiries. If done properly, society benefits - not just Big Brother and Big Business.
3. Designer Goods
Louis Vuitton employs a team specifically to manage the protection of the company’s intellectual property and rights. Why? Because counterfeit swag is essentially stealing the intellectual property of the designer in the same way as reproducing imagery without purchasing it. However, the likelihood is that the person who purchases their fake Fendi on a market stall was never going to buy a real one anyway. The value of designer goods lies in the high-end customer knowing for certain that they have the real thing. This is where distributed ledger technology comes in. Sneaker heads will spend $60,000 on a pair of self-lacing Back to the Future Nike high tops if they can guarantee that they are the real thing, and that they are rare. A distributed ledger could do both of these things; ensuring that the identity of the purchased bag appears on the bag-blockchain, and only once.
4. Fine Wine
The value of fine wine has now withstood two U.S. recessions, and even outperformed a benchmark shares index for 13 years, making it a market that justifies the investment. It’s another asset class whose value derives from a combination of authenticity and rarity. On top of this, without ledger, the verification of its authenticity might necessitate uncorking the bottle – which would immediately destroy its value. Verification via distributed ledger is both practical and prudent. Again, does the unique bottle appear on the ledger? And if so, where is it according to connoisseurs’ consensus?
5. Event Ticketing
We’ve all seen our dream concert sell out before we could ‘add to basket,’ or secure tickets for our friends (only for them to bail post-purchase). In both scenarios, we want a safe, secure and legal way to purchase a ticket, or offload our extras. But how to know if the ticket is real? Or from the event organizer’s point of view, how can they know that people are purchasing tickets for themselves and not to tout on the black market? A properly traceable transaction associated with the tickets would make regulating touts much easier, and ensure real fans get to the shows. This may have been a problem in the era of physical, paper tickets, but mobile apps now make this a practical scenario. If only more promoters were willing to play straight rather than prolonging murky market practices.
6. Food standards, safety and traceability
The European horse meat scandal hit headlines hard, and was clear evidence of a previously hidden issue; food fraud. According to the 'Distributed Ledger Technologies for Public and Private Good: leadership, collaboration and innovation' [PDF] report published in the UK House of Lords in November 2017, the UK is already at the forefront of countering food fraud in collaboration with the U.S., European Union and China. But as the food supply chain is highly fragmented, there are challenges in creating practical databases for accountability and traceability. However, given that the traders convicted over the pony patties increased their profits by 30-40 percent by supplementing cheap beef with even cheaper equine cuts, it’s easy to see why fraudsters would be tempted. It’s not just about fraud – Westminster City Council in London took local restaurants to court over the correct hygiene and safety standards needed to serve a rare beef burger. The restaurant eventually won because it could prove its supplier and processes were fit for a Queen (or the Queen actually), but it raises interesting points around proving more than just the provenance of ingredients in the food production and consumption chain.
The fact remains that successful real-world applications for blockchain are still a rarity. Beyond Bitcoin, few examples like Ripple’s SWIFT challenger have yet to materialize. But perhaps payments businesses should be taking a leaf out of Kodak’s shutter and endeavor to realize more use cases – that’s if they want to avoid their own ‘moment.’
Related Blog Posts
German Gamers Present Conversion Challenges for Game Publishers
Gamescom, one of the largest gaming shows in the world, is set to kick off in Germany in just a few days’ time – the perfect time to delve into some of the current trends in gaming that are revealed in our latest benchmark survey with Newzoo – and a chance to look at what sets German gamers apart.
Positive Profiling Makes Everyone a Winner in Gaming
Online gaming is one of the fastest-growing segments within the broader entertainment industry. With 2 billion active gamers worldwide and 200 million people playing games on social networking sites at least once a day, it is no surprise that the market is now worth well over USD $100 billion per year.
Top Tips to Battle Payments Fraud in Gaming—From a Millennial Gamer
The gaming industry, from a consumer point of view, has evolved dramatically over the last 5-10 years. The buying process has rapidly changed from a one-time, final payment – often at a physical store for a physical product – to a series of never ending bundles, boosters, skins, downloadable content and in-game currency sales!
Turning Impetus into Action: Real-Time Payments in ASEAN
Financial institutions across ASEAN member states are increasing investment in payments, with 64% planning to increase investment over the next 18-24 months, compared to 56% in the broader Asia region and 53% globally. With investment in ASEAN outpacing the global average, the “2018 ASEAN Payments Insight Survey” shines a light on the key drivers for increased payments investment and the expected benefits.
Instant and Digital: The Next Frontier of Bill Payment
We’d all like an inexpensive, simple and consolidated way to pay our bills, and we’re seeing a growing list of upstarts entering the market to meet this need. Customer interaction during the billing process is a critical touchpoint to maintain relationships and potentially enhance the customer experience, but third-party solutions that offer enhanced ease of use could get in the way. Companies need to respond with an engaging bill pay offering, which includes real-time payments.
Working Up An Appetite for APIs in Australia
This week ACI hosted the latest installment of our #paymentsforbreakfast forums in Australia, with the early birds catching the open banking worm in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Given the similarities between the Australian and UK open banking movements, we enticed ACI’s UK-based Lu Zurawski (Solutions Practice Lead - Retail Banking) to Australia to share his learnings from being heavily involved in the UK Open Banking working group.
ACI Watford runs first Coding for Girls Camp in Europe
The ACI Watford Office recently teamed up with local West Herts College to run its first Coding for Girls Camp in the UK. The free, one-day event was designed to introduce girls from year (grade) 7-9 to the world of technology, offering a crash course in computer programming; including HTML, CSS and Java. I spoke to Melissa McKendry, VP of retail banking implementation services and Watford Site Leader at ACI, to find out more.
Online Retailers Are Fighting Account Takeover Fraud Fires
Online merchants and retailers are facing an ever-growing threat from account takeover fraud, which is accelerating within the card-not-present space. Account takeover occurs when user credentials for a retailer’s website are compromised, leading to exploitation of a consumer and potentially offering a large return on investment for the fraudster. Per research from ACI Worldwide and Javelin Strategy, this type of sophisticated attack accounted for a staggering USD $5 Billion in fraud losses in 2017 alone. The card-not-present environment, due to anonymity, allows a fraudster to hide themselves in the act.
Modernizing Cross-Border Transfers with SWIFT gpi
The customer experience for domestic payments – retail and corporate – has recently undergone a complete transformation. There’s still plenty more that could be achieved, but the advent of real-time payments in combination with open APIs has seen the launch of Request for Payment services and direct eCommerce instant payments in the UK and Europe. And it’s not just the PSD2 push in Europe that’s driving change – in the U.S., Zelle is moving beyond standalone P2P payments to become an integrated part of the retail banking app experience, as well as being included in new kinds of corporate disbursements.
Payments in Gaming: The Female Gamer Powers-Up
The global games market is booming, with revenues set to reach USD $137.9 billion by 2021. But along with the growth, gaming is also transforming and diversifying; in genre, gaming devices, platforms, economics and demographics. Notably, female gamers are ‘powering up’ – representing 40% of paying gamers across all platforms – and there are implications for how gaming companies deliver their products and the role of payments in the overall customer experience.