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The Blockchain 50 – The Full List

Cryptocurrencies may be in the depths of winter, but it’s early spring for new business applications using the technology underlying bitcoin. Take the case of financial record keeping behemoth Depository Trust & Clearing Corp, otherwise known as “DTCC.” It’s responsible for keeping the books on 90 million transactions a day, representing most of the world’s…

The Blockchain 50 – The Full List
Why Blockchain?

Rather than be disrupted by ICO-funded upstarts, global corporations are embracing the technology underlying cryptocurrencies like bitcoin because they want to speed up business processes, increase transparency and potentially save billions of dollars.

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According to International Data Corp, total corporate and government spending on blockchain should hit $2.9 billion in 2019, an increase of 89% over the previous year, and reach $12.4 billion by 2022. When PwC surveyed 600 execs last year, 84% said their companies are involved with blockchain.

Introducing Forbes Blockchain 50

With assistance from industry consultants and other experts, Forbes‘ team of reporters and editors identified more than 100 big companies actively exploring blockchain through industry consortiums and other proprietary projects. Our new list features 50—with minimum revenues or valuations of $1 billion, and U.S. operations— that are currently leading the way in adapting decentralized ledgers to their operating needs.

From eliminating paperwork, to monitoring hamburger patties and speeding up insurance payments, the anti-establishment software is being welcomed in the executive suite.

Co-opting Blockchain For The Boardroom

Ironically, the version of a blockchain future these companies are building is, for the most part, far different from what the founders and early adopters of blockchain had envisioned. While many crypto­currency idealists fantasize about a global, public network of individuals connected directly and democratically, without middle­men, these companies—many of which are middlemen themselves like DTCC—are building private networks they will use to profit from centralized management.

The list below is in alphabetical order and identifies the distributed-ledger platform each company is using.

Allianz SE

Germany

The insurance giant has been testing blockchain for a variety of products. For example, a joint venture that sells flight-delay insurance has used a smart contract that initiates a claim as soon as a flight is delayed by a set period of time. The customer gets a notification on his smartphone, enters his bank account details and payment is made. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Corda

Key leader: Robert Crozier, head of Allianz’s Global Blockchain Centre of Competence

Amazon

Seattle

Amazon Web Services offers blockchain tools to help companies that want to use distributed ledger technology but don’t want to develop it themselves. It’s a clever way to maintain its dominance in cloud computing, Amazon’s most profitable business line, with a 2018 operating profit of $7.3 billion. Cloud clients using its tools include Change Healthcare, which helps manage payments among hospitals, insurers and patients; Guardian Life Insurance; HR software provider Workday; and securities clearinghouse DTCC. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum (later in 2019)

Key leader: Rahul Pathak, general manager of Amazon Managed Blockchain at AWS

Anheuser-Busch InBev

Leuven, Belgium

The brewing giant is involved in a pilot program in the San Francisco Bay Area where consumers upload their driver’s license information to a blockchain and can then buy beer at a vending machine simply by scanning their phone. In Africa, the world’s fastest-growing beer market, AB InBev has a partnership with BanQu that uses blockchain to provide pricing info and payments to farmers lacking bank accounts. That could make it possible for the company to work faster, and with more farmers, to ramp up its African operations. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Ethereum, Corda

Key leader: Tassilo Festetics, VP of global solutions

Ant Financial, Hangzhou

China

Fintech power Ant Financial has developed a proprietary blockchain that is used, among other things, to keep tabs on the products sold on a marketplace run by Alibaba, a part owner of Ant. For example, customers can trace a diamond’s sourcing back to a trading center in Antwerp and see grading, cutting and polishing records. Separately, in June 2018, Ant’s payment app, Alipay (with a billion-plus users worldwide), launched a blockchain-based service offering money transfers directly between people in Hong Kong and the Philippines that can be completed in just seconds. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Ant Blockchain

Key leader: Geoff Jiang, VP of Ant Financial

BBVA

Bilbao, Spain

Last November, Spain’s second-largest bank announced its first blockchain-based syndicated loan, a $170 million deal for Red Eléctrica Corporación, Spain’s electrical grid operator. With nearly $5 trillion in loans being syndicated worldwide each year, the transparency, security and efficiency of blockchain could make a big difference. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, public Ethereum

Key leader: Carlos Kuchkovsky, CTO, new digital business

Bitfury

Amsterdam

While $500 million (revenues) Bitfury is still best known for selling hardware for bitcoin mining, it is now also building blockchain services for enterprise customers. In 2017, it launched the Exonum blockchain, designed specifically to make it easier for enterprises to use the bitcoin blockchain. One early customer, the Republic of Georgia, is using Exonum to record and transfer land ownership. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Exonum, Bitcoin

Key leadership: Valery Vavilov, CEO and cofounder

BNP Paribas

Paris

When Rio Tinto sells iron ore to Cargill, the food giant doesn’t pay right away; instead it presents a bank’s letter of credit. BNP Paribas is trying to move letters of credit from paper to a secure distributed ledger. In November 2018 Paribas worked with HSBC Singapore to complete the first fully digitized letter-of-credit transaction. Commodities finance dates back to 4,000 B.C. Sumer, and old-line banks like France’s BNP Paribas dominate. Maintaining a digital edge in this business is a matter of survival. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Corda, Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum

Key leader: Jacques Levet, head of transaction banking for Europe, Middle East and Africa

BP PLC

London

Like BNP Paribas, BP is investing in blockchain technology to improve the efficiency of commodities trade finance. It’s a founding member of Vakt, a blockchain platform that aims to digitize parts of energy trading that remain slow, such as contracts and invoicing. So far, BP has invested more than $20 million in blockchain projects. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Ethereum, Cardano, Quorum

Key leader: Julian Gray, technology director, Digital Innovation Organization

Broadridge

New York City

This little-known ADP spinoff controls 80% of the U.S. proxy-voting and shareholder-communications business. Broadridge has a team working to move its core proxy-voting services to a distributed ledger, allowing stockholders to cast their own votes on corporate resolutions and directors in real time—without going through the custodial banks that hold the shares. Broadridge is an investor, alongside banks such as BNP and Citi, in Digital Asset Holdings, which played a key role in the development of private blockchain ledgers. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, DAML, Quorum

Key leader: Michael Tae, head of strategy

Bumble Bee Foods

San Diego

Thanks to help from developers at SAP, Bumble Bee is using a blockchain to provide complete transparency to its tuna supply chain all the way from the pole-and-line-catch fishermen sailing the South Pacific to grocery stores in the United States. Given current concerns about food safety and sustainability, instilling confidence in its albacore product is paramount. Moreover, the entire tuna industry has been targeted by environmental activists for killing dolphins. The company that can demonstrate provenance of its catch could demand a premium price. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Multichain

Key leader: Tony Costa, CIO

Cargill

Wayzata, Minnesota

The agricultural giant that popularized high-fructose corn syrup began testing Intel’s Hyperledger Sawtooth before Thanksgiving 2017 to track turkeys through its supply chain as they made their way from farm to supermarket. Cargill has committed a team of engineers to work with Intel and enterprise blockchain startup Bitwise to help build Hyperledger Grid, which will track food back to its source—a crucial step in this day of food-contamination scares. By getting in on the ground floor with this Grid, Cargill could be in a position to sell its expertise to other suppliers. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Sawtooth, Hyperledger Grid

Key leader: Keith Narr, VP, Cargill Digital Labs

Ciox Health

Alpharetta, Ga

As the biggest manager of medical records in the U.S. (its software is used to securely transfer records between healthcare providers), Ciox figures the blockchain could cut paperwork redundancies, reduce medical mistakes and provide it a new source of subscription income. It has established a team to evaluate which blockchain platform to build on. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Ethereum

Key leader: Florian Quarre, chief digital officer

Citigroup

New York City

The bank has invested in a half-dozen startups (Digital Asset Holdings, Axoni, SETL, Cobalt DL, R3 and Symbiont) developing blockchains and distributed ledgers for applications such as securities settlement, credit derivative swaps and insurance payments. Last year, Citi partnered with Barclays and software infrastructure provider CLS to launch LedgerConnect, an app store where companies can shop for blockchain tools. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Ethereum

Key leader: Puneet Singhvi, managing director

Coinbase

San Francisco

With more than 20 million users and a valuation of $8 billion, Coinbase is the dominant U.S. cryptocurrency exchange. It offers custody, wallet services and both retail and institutional trading platforms. The blue chip among crypto-first financial firms is poised to become even more dominant when institutional usage of blockchain grows. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Lumen

Key leader: Brian Armstrong, CEO; his Coinbase holdings make him a billionaire

Comcast

Philadelphia

Comcast owns MState, a venture capital firm that has invested in at least seven enterprise blockchain startups, including Blockdaemon, which builds software to help enterprises build applications that use Bitcoin and Ethereum and comply with current regulations (for example, from the SEC or protecting healthcare privacy). Last December, Comcast partnered with competitors Viacom and Spectrum Reach to launch Blockgraph, which aims to allow advertisers to precisely target ads to viewers, without disclosing viewers’ personal information to those advertisers. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Quorum

Key leader: Gil Beyda, managing director, Comcast Ventures

CVS Health

Woonsocket, RI

New CVS subsidiary Aetna is a member of IBM’s Health Utility Network, a group (including Cigna and Anthem) working to create a distributed ledger of information available to patients, providers and insurers. As its first project, the network plans to publish tamperproof, unforgeable medical credentials so patients can check out their doctors. Other projects being considered would combine data from different insurers to make it easier to share information between doctors and insurers and prevent prescriptions that conflict, with the aim of improving care while cutting costs. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: IBM Blockchain, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Key leader: Claus Torp Jensen, CTO of both CVS and Aetna

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation

Jersey City

A warehouse of sorts that provides custody, clearing and settlement for $1.85 quadrillion in transactions per year, DTCC is planning to move its $10 trillion-a-year credits derivatives tracking operation to a customized blockchain. If the new system, scheduled to launch by the end of the year, is successful, it could eliminate massive record redundancies and prove that centralized middlemen have a place in a decentralized ledger world. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Axcore

Key leader: Rob Palatnick, chief technology architect

Facebook

Menlo Park, CA

In January 2018, CEO Mark Zuckerberg disclosed in his annual statement that the social media giant was studying cryptocurrency’s potential. In May of that year he moved former PayPal president and Coinbase board member David Marcus from his position as vice president of messaging to head up a secretive team exploring blockchain and its applications. This past February, Zuckerberg told Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittrain he was interested in letting users log in to websites with blockchain-based identities instead of Facebook Connect—a change that could have big implications for the way Facebook monetizes its users’ info. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Unknown

Key leader: David Marcus, blockchain lead

Fidelity

Boston

The 73-year-old fund giant began mining bitcoin in 2015 as a way to learn about digital assets. This year, it launched a custody service for institutional investors who want to store bitcoin securely. It’s also building a trading platform that allows a large block of crypto to be purchased by executing orders across multiple exchanges. About 100 Fidelity employees are now devoted to digital assets. Having originally missed the ETF explosion, Fidelity will be at the forefront if crypto-assets go mainstream. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum

Key leader: Tom Jessop, president, Fidelity Digital Assets

Foxconn

Taipei, Taiwan 

The giant Chinese manufacturer has pilot projects under way that use blockchain to streamline supply chain transactions and provide working capital to suppliers. Separately, it is developing a blockchain-enabled smartphone that would make it easier for consumers to spend digital coins. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Ethereum

Key leader: Jack Lee, founding managing partner of venture arm HCM Capital

Golden State Foods

Irvine, CA 

This restaurant supplier is participating in IBM’s Food Trust, a consortium of companies aiming to track food along the entire supply chain. In one early application, Golden State is giving all the companies involved in its burger business—from meat processors to shippers to restaurants—access to streaming data about the temperature at which the beef is kept. In addition to improving food safety, such projects could reduce both paperwork and food spoilage, which is estimated to cost $7 billion annually in North America alone, before it reaches the consumer. Full profile

Blockchain platform: IBM Blockchain

Key Executives: Bob Wolpert, chief strategy and innovation officer

Google

Mountain View, CA 

The search giant has made numerous investments in blockchain, including Veem, a payments startup that lets enterprises instantly send and receive payments in different currencies, using bitcoin as an intermediary holding. Meanwhile, it has created a suite of tools that make it easier to search (and analyze) cryptocurrency transactions—in other words, to Google public blockchains. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Zcash, Dogecoin, Dash

Key leader: Allen Day, science advocate

HPE

San Jose, CA

The $31 billion (revenue) enterprise tech spin-off from Hewlett-Packard hopes to make a splash with its blockchain services. It already counts more than a dozen customers, including car-part manufacturer Continental, which will use HPE’s tech to track a vehicle’s location and a driver’s license and insurance. That could be useful as more Americans move from owning a car to renting one by the hour or month. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Corda, Ethereum, Quorum, Sia, Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: Raphael Davison, worldwide director of blockchain 

HTC

Taoyuan, Taiwan 

The company recently released Exodus 1, 

a new smartphone that provides crypto-owners a safer way (built in to the phone’s hardware) to store and recover lost bitcoin, litecoin and ethereum, as well as the ability to easily trade cryptocurrencies. The phone also has a special Web browser designed for sites built on the blockchain. With its dismal smartphone market share, HTC’s new phone may be a Hail Mary pass. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum

Key leader: Phil Chen, decentralized chief officer

IBM

Armonk, NY

Blockchain’s early advocate is working to commercialize the technology through its enterprise-grade version of Hyperledger Fabric, called IBM Blockchain. Other IBM launches include World Wire, a foreign exchange platform seeking to replace interbank messaging platform Swift, and TradeLens, a shipping supply chain service codeveloped with shipping giant Maersk. IBM has already filed for more than 100 blockchain patents. With its proprietary blockchain connecting companies in at least 85 networks, IBM is a clear enterprise winner. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: IBM Blockchain, Stellar, Hyperledger Burrow, Sovrin

Key leader: Bridget van Kralingen, SVP, global industry platforms and blockchain

ING

Amsterdam

The Dutch banking giant has launched eight pilots since the creation of its dedicated blockchain team in 2016. In January 2018, ING and Credit Suisse executed the first legally enforceable euro securities swap using R3’s blockchain. The bank has also invested in several blockchain ventures, including Komgo, which plans to use the Ethereum blockchain to streamline a wide range of transactions. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Corda, Quorum, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy

Key leader: Mariana Gomez de la Villa, program director of distributed ledger technology

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Watch: Blockchain 101

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Intel

Santa Clara, CA

Like IBM, Intel is one of the bigger corporate forces pushing blockchain into the enterprise market. Its open-source Hyperledger Sawtooth platform lets companies build their own blockchains. Users include Cargill, T-Mobile and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Still, IBM is way ahead. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Corda, Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Key leader: Michael Reed, director, blockchain program 

JPMorgan Chase

New York City

The nation’s largest bank is one of the creators of Quorum, a restricted version of the Ethereum blockchain built especially for enterprises looking to move tasks performed by back-office middlemen to the distributed ledger. It recently announced JPM Coin, an early-stage project to enable real-time institution-to-institution payments. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Quorum

Key leader: Christine Moy, blockchain lead 

Maersk

Copenhagen

Transactions for shipping goods from one port to another still rely on reams of paperwork, as they did centuries ago. Last year, IBM and Maersk, one of the world’s largest shippers, announced plans to create TradeLens, a global blockchain for shippers. So far, 100 organizations, including ports, freight forwarders, sea and land carriers, and customs agencies, have signed up to use the platform. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: IBM Blockchain, Corda 

Key leader: Michael J. White, head of TradeLens

Mastercard

Purchase, NY 

The credit card behemoth has applied for 80 blockchain-related patents. Sixteen have been granted, including one for linking cryptocurrencies to traditional bank accounts and another for increasing the privacy of blockchains. Mastercard rarely comments on its blockchain ambitions, but it recently announced it’s working with Amazon and Accenture to build more transparent supply chains where, for example, someone buying a pair of jeans could see where they were made and tip the creator through Mastercard’s payment rails. More significantly, if Mastercard can tie its massive, high-speed payments network to blockchain-based payments, it can open a new revenue stream and solve a problem that plagues most blockchain technology: processing times are still slow. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Its own platform, built from scratch. 

Key leader: Ken Moore, EVP and head of Mastercard Labs

MetLife

New York City

Through MetLife’s incubator, LumenLab, the insurer has developed a mobile app called Vitana, that is using ethereum’s smart contracts to automatically pay claims in certain circumstances.  Full profile

Blockchain platform: InsureChain built on Ethereum

Key leader: Zia Zaman, CIO of MetLife Asia

Microsoft

Redmond, WA 

Last year, Microsoft’s cloud unit Azure launched Azure Blockchain Workbench, a tool for developing blockchain apps. Many templates are available for free, but if an organization builds or runs an app or network on Azure, Microsoft charges for the underlying cloud services. Blockchain Workbench customers include Insurwave, Webjet, Xbox, Bühler, Interswitch, 3M and Nasdaq. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Ethereum, Parity, Quorum, Corda, Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft Azure

Nasdaq

New York City

Distributed ledgers could theoretically eliminate the need for centralized exchanges, but Nasdaq has hedged its bets by immersing itself in the new industry. For example, it has sold its market-surveillance software to seven crypto exchanges and a blockchain eVoting product to the South African central securities depository. Nasdaq has also brought together eight Swedish companies to develop a blockchain to replace the current paper-driven trading process in the Swedish mutual fund market. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Symbiont, Corda, Hyperledger Fabric 

Key leader: Johan Toll, head of digital assets, market technology

Nestle

Vevey, Switzerland 

Over the last two years the $92 billion (sales) consumer goods giant has been testing blockchain technology in more than ten projects. Its most promising is with IBM Food Trust, where it is using blockchain to track the provenance of food ingredients in a handful of products, including Gerber baby food. That service is expected to be available in Europe later this year. Food-borne illnesses cost the U.S. $55 billion a year and can cripple a brand. Blockchain food tracking could reduce that cost and be a selling point for brands that participate. Full profile

Blockchain platform: IBM Blockchain

Key leader: Benjamin Dubois, manager of digital transformation

Northern Trust

Chicago 

The big asset servicer ($10.1 trillion) is using Hyperledger Fabric to handle the administration of private equity fund events, including initial sales and liquidations of fund investments. Northern Trust is also helping hedge funds track their crypto investments and is working with the Australian Securities Exchange on a blockchain-based equities clearing, settlement and custody platform. Last year, it helped the World Bank execute a $79 million bond issue via the Ethereum blockchain. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum

Key leader: Justin Chapman, head of market advocacy and research

Oracle

Redwood Shores, CA 

The database and cloud company is offering “business-ready” blockchain software in an effort to keep customers of its non-blockchain products from defecting to upstarts and rivals like Google and Microsoft. One of Oracle’s customers, China Distance Education Holdings, is sharing student educational records and professional certifications across institutions to help employers and recruiters verify that credentials aren’t fraudulent. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Oracle Blockchain Platform 

Key leader: Frank Xiong, group vice president, Blockchain Development Platform

Overstock

Midvale, UT

The online discount store became the first major retailer to accept bitcoin in 2014. Founder and CEO Patrick Byrne, a libertarian with a Ph.D. in philosophy, is so convinced that blockchain will change the world that he is trying to get out of the retail business altogether and is already remaking Overstock into something of a crypto-obsessed company. Most notably, he has used $200 million in Overstock’s cash to fund Medici Ventures, a subsidiary which has invested in 19 blockchain companies. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum, RVN, Florin

Key leader: Patrick Byrne, founder and CEO of Overstock

PNC

Pittsburgh

The bank is using Ripple’s XRP blockchain-based software to process international payments. It is also the only bank involved with IBM’s Health Utility Network, which is attempting to speed insurance company payments to health providers. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, DAML, Corda, Ripple

Key leader: J. Christopher Ward, EVP and head of Treasury product management

Ripple

San Francisco 

This startup aims to disrupt Swift, the messaging system the worlds’ banks use to transfer an estimated $6 trillion a day, with RippleNet, with aims to be cheaper, faster and more transparent. While it already has 200 customers for its service, Ripple funds operations (including 300 employees) by selling about $100 million a quarter of its own cryptocurrency, XRP. (XRP’s total market cap now stands at $13 billion, down from its $146.5 billion all-time high in 2018.) RippleNet customers include big names such as Santander, American Express and PNC. Full profile

Blockchain platform: XRP Ledger

Key leader: Brad Garlinghouse, CEO

Samsung

Seoul 

Samsung SDS is using its Nexledger blockchain platform to overhaul how its battery-manufacturing subsidiary manages contracts and the execution of those contracts. For Korean consumers it has developed a smartphone app that uses the blockchain to verify the identity of the phone’s owner to 15 of the nation’s banks. That eliminates the inconvenience of Korea’s 20-year-old identity verification system, which can require a tedious signup process for each bank. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Nexledger, Ethereum

Key leader: Jeanie Hong, SVP and head of Blockchain Center

Santander

Madrid

The Spanish banking giant made headlines last year when it allowed its investors to vote at its annual meeting via the blockchain. A year ago, Santander launched mobile app One Pay FX, a foreign exchange service using RippleNet, that enables individuals to transfer money to other individuals in a foreign country in less than a day. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: RippleNet, Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: María de la Concepción de Monteverde, director of the Blockchain Center of Excellence 

SAP SE

Walldorf, Germany 

SAP has developed its own cloud-based blockchain toolkit, Leonardo, to keep clients from moving to Oracle or IBM as they transition to distributed ledger technology. It’s also selling project development as a service—most notably, it built Bumble Bee Foods’ new blockchain, designed to trace the origin of tuna from fisherman to processor to consumer. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Hyperledger Fabric, MultiChain, Quorum 

Key leader: Raimund Gross, chief innovation strategist, Blockchain

Seagate Technology

Cupertino, CA

Data-storage company Seagate Technology is working with IBM on a proof-of-concept blockchain aimed at tracking products through their distribution and life—in large part to ensure that fake hard drives aren’t returned to Seagate’s warehouses, where they could be resold by accident. Counterfeiting of electronics is a $100 billion problem, and Seagate hard drives are a frequent target for fraud. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: Manuel Offenberg, managing technologist and data security research lead

Siemens

Munich

In Park Slope, Brooklyn, some residents with Siemens solar panels had more energy than they could use on sunny days. The Brooklyn Microgrid project, run off a private blockchain, allows those with excess power to sell energy to their neighbors. The German giant has a lot of skin in this game, with $28 billion a year in revenues from things like energy turbines and applications managing smart grids. Grid technology has been decentralizing and democratizing power generation; blockchain can accelerate that process. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Corda

Key leader: Bernd Rosauer, head of research, Technology Field IT Platforms

Signature Bank

New York City

Signature was the first FDIC-insured bank to develop a blockchain-based digital payments platform. SignetTM allows the bank’s commercial clients to send free, secure payments to other commercial clients of the bank at any time of day with no transaction limits, in as little as five seconds. It uses a token, the signet, backed by U.S. dollars. American PowerNet, a Signature Bank client, recently chose SignetTM to make real-time payments to renewable energy providers. Full profile

Blockchain platform: A private, Ethereum-based blockchain

Key leader: Frank Santora, senior vice president and director of digital asset solutions

State Farm

Bloomington, IL

The insurer has devoted 11 members of its Research, Experiment & Deploy (RED) Labs in Bloomington to developing a blockchain that could speed up the now painfully slow process by which insurers pay claims to policyholders and then seek partial reimbursement from other insurers involved with the claim. State Farm is working on an application that could speed up this claims dance. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, Quorum

Key leader: Mike Fields, innovation executive at State Farm RED Labs 

UBS

Zurich

The Swiss bank’s most ambitious project so far is Utility Settlement Coin (USC), which would allow central banks to use digital cash instead of their own currencies to move money to each other. It’s a bold play—if central bankers start using crypto for big transfers with each other, it could make them more willing to move their own national currencies onto a blockchain. UBS’ partners in USC include BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank and Santander. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum, Quorum, Corda

Key leader: Sam Chadwick, head of blockchain

Visa

San Francisco 

The credit card network has filed for 50 blockchain patents, ranging from a real-time payments settlement system to technology related to crypto trading. This year, Visa is launching B2B Connect, which uses blockchain to help banks around the world process cross-border, business-to-business payments. With $18 trillion in such B2B payments being made a year, gaining even a small chunk of this business would be a nice addition to Visa’s consumer-payment dominance. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Hyperledger Fabric . 

Key leader: Kevin Phalen, global head of business solutions

VMware

Palo Alto, CA

The cloud-infrastructure company will soon release a suite of blockchain software products called VMware Blockchain, developed in partnership with Deloitte and Dell. The first product will be one that allows data to be transferred securely. Next up is a service that verifies transactions on the blockchain. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Project Concord, a new blockchain, which supports multiple frameworks such as Ethereum

Key leader: Mike DiPetrillo, senior director, Blockchain

Walmart

Bentonville, AR

The world’s largest retailer (by sales) has filed for about 50 blockchain patents (for everything from tracking shipments to operating drones) and wants to use the blockchain to quickly pinpoint the culprit in future food-safety scares. In 2016 it partnered with Big Blue to create IBM Food Trust, now being tested by more than 50 companies. Today Walmart can track 25 products, including strawberries, yogurt and chicken, from five suppliers (and counting). In September 2018, it said it would begin requiring all of its lettuce and spinach suppliers to log their shipments on the blockchain. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: Karl Bedwell, senior director, Global Business Services & Technology 

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EDITED BY MATT SCHIFRIN AND JANET NOVACK. REPORTED BY MICHAEL DEL CASTILLO, JEFF KAUFLIN, SARAH HANSEN, KRISTIN STOLLER, ALEX KNAPP, JONATHAN PONCIANO, AMY FELDMAN, KARSTEN STRAUSS, LAUREN DEBTER, RACHEL WOLFSON, DARRYN POLLACK. ANIMATION BY MIKE RUSSO.

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Cryptocurrencies may be in the depths of winter, but it’s early spring for new business applications using the technology underlying bitcoin. Take the case of financial record keeping behemoth Depository Trust & Clearing Corp, otherwise known as “DTCC.” It’s responsible for keeping the books on 90 million transactions a day, representing most of the world’s $48 trillion in securities —from stocks and bonds to mutual funds and derivatives.

Decades ago it was all done on paper and now, though electronic, it continues to be burdened by a myriad of duplicate procedures and reconciliations among thousands of its members. In a few months DTCC will quietly begin the largest live implementation of blockchain, the distributed database technology made popular by the bitcoin cryptocurrency. Records for about 50,000 accounts in DTCC’s Trade Information Warehouse, where information on $10 trillion worth of credit derivatives is stored, will move to a customized digital ledger called AxCore. Soon all will have access to a single real-time account of trades, eliminating layers of databases.

Walmart is using blockchain technology to track shipments from its suppliers and reduce the risks of food spoilage and contamination. It has already filed 50 blockchain-related patents. Hard drive maker Seagate is using the tech to catch and prevent counterfeiters and Metlife can now pay claims instantly to its expectant mothers who test positive for gestational diabetes.

Why Blockchain?

Rather than be disrupted by ICO-funded upstarts, global corporations are embracing the technology underlying cryptocurrencies like bitcoin because they want to speed up business processes, increase transparency and potentially save billions of dollars.

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Main Feature: Blockchain Goes To Work

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MORE ON BLOCKCHAIN:

Digital Defectors: Why 3 Execs Left Cushy Corporate Jobs For Crypto

This Bud’s For Blockchain: AB InBev Is Banking On African Farmers

Controlling The Ledger: Eager To Avoid Obsolescence, The World’s Largest Financial Firms Are Embracing Blockchain

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According to International Data Corp, total corporate and government spending on blockchain should hit $2.9 billion in 2019, an increase of 89% over the previous year, and reach $12.4 billion by 2022. When PwC surveyed 600 execs last year, 84% said their companies are involved with blockchain.

Introducing Forbes Blockchain 50

With assistance from industry consultants and other experts, Forbes‘ team of reporters and editors identified more than 100 big companies actively exploring blockchain through industry consortiums and other proprietary projects. Our new list features 50—with minimum revenues or valuations of $1 billion, and U.S. operations— that are currently leading the way in adapting decentralized ledgers to their operating needs.

From eliminating paperwork, to monitoring hamburger patties and speeding up insurance payments, the anti-establishment software is being welcomed in the executive suite.

Co-opting Blockchain For The Boardroom

Ironically, the version of a blockchain future these companies are building is, for the most part, far different from what the founders and early adopters of blockchain had envisioned. While many crypto­currency idealists fantasize about a global, public network of individuals connected directly and democratically, without middle­men, these companies—many of which are middlemen themselves like DTCC—are building private networks they will use to profit from centralized management.

The list below is in alphabetical order and identifies the distributed-ledger platform each company is using.

Allianz SE

Germany

The insurance giant has been testing blockchain for a variety of products. For example, a joint venture that sells flight-delay insurance has used a smart contract that initiates a claim as soon as a flight is delayed by a set period of time. The customer gets a notification on his smartphone, enters his bank account details and payment is made. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Corda

Key leader: Robert Crozier, head of Allianz’s Global Blockchain Centre of Competence

Amazon

Seattle

Amazon Web Services offers blockchain tools to help companies that want to use distributed ledger technology but don’t want to develop it themselves. It’s a clever way to maintain its dominance in cloud computing, Amazon’s most profitable business line, with a 2018 operating profit of $7.3 billion. Cloud clients using its tools include Change Healthcare, which helps manage payments among hospitals, insurers and patients; Guardian Life Insurance; HR software provider Workday; and securities clearinghouse DTCC. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum (later in 2019)

Key leader: Rahul Pathak, general manager of Amazon Managed Blockchain at AWS

Anheuser-Busch InBev

Leuven, Belgium

The brewing giant is involved in a pilot program in the San Francisco Bay Area where consumers upload their driver’s license information to a blockchain and can then buy beer at a vending machine simply by scanning their phone. In Africa, the world’s fastest-growing beer market, AB InBev has a partnership with BanQu that uses blockchain to provide pricing info and payments to farmers lacking bank accounts. That could make it possible for the company to work faster, and with more farmers, to ramp up its African operations. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Ethereum, Corda

Key leader: Tassilo Festetics, VP of global solutions

Ant Financial, Hangzhou

China

Fintech power Ant Financial has developed a proprietary blockchain that is used, among other things, to keep tabs on the products sold on a marketplace run by Alibaba, a part owner of Ant. For example, customers can trace a diamond’s sourcing back to a trading center in Antwerp and see grading, cutting and polishing records. Separately, in June 2018, Ant’s payment app, Alipay (with a billion-plus users worldwide), launched a blockchain-based service offering money transfers directly between people in Hong Kong and the Philippines that can be completed in just seconds. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Ant Blockchain

Key leader: Geoff Jiang, VP of Ant Financial

BBVA

Bilbao, Spain

Last November, Spain’s second-largest bank announced its first blockchain-based syndicated loan, a $170 million deal for Red Eléctrica Corporación, Spain’s electrical grid operator. With nearly $5 trillion in loans being syndicated worldwide each year, the transparency, security and efficiency of blockchain could make a big difference. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, public Ethereum

Key leader: Carlos Kuchkovsky, CTO, new digital business

Bitfury

Amsterdam

While $500 million (revenues) Bitfury is still best known for selling hardware for bitcoin mining, it is now also building blockchain services for enterprise customers. In 2017, it launched the Exonum blockchain, designed specifically to make it easier for enterprises to use the bitcoin blockchain. One early customer, the Republic of Georgia, is using Exonum to record and transfer land ownership. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Exonum, Bitcoin

Key leadership: Valery Vavilov, CEO and cofounder

BNP Paribas

Paris

When Rio Tinto sells iron ore to Cargill, the food giant doesn’t pay right away; instead it presents a bank’s letter of credit. BNP Paribas is trying to move letters of credit from paper to a secure distributed ledger. In November 2018 Paribas worked with HSBC Singapore to complete the first fully digitized letter-of-credit transaction. Commodities finance dates back to 4,000 B.C. Sumer, and old-line banks like France’s BNP Paribas dominate. Maintaining a digital edge in this business is a matter of survival. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Corda, Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum

Key leader: Jacques Levet, head of transaction banking for Europe, Middle East and Africa

BP PLC

London

Like BNP Paribas, BP is investing in blockchain technology to improve the efficiency of commodities trade finance. It’s a founding member of Vakt, a blockchain platform that aims to digitize parts of energy trading that remain slow, such as contracts and invoicing. So far, BP has invested more than $20 million in blockchain projects. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Ethereum, Cardano, Quorum

Key leader: Julian Gray, technology director, Digital Innovation Organization

Broadridge

New York City

This little-known ADP spinoff controls 80% of the U.S. proxy-voting and shareholder-communications business. Broadridge has a team working to move its core proxy-voting services to a distributed ledger, allowing stockholders to cast their own votes on corporate resolutions and directors in real time—without going through the custodial banks that hold the shares. Broadridge is an investor, alongside banks such as BNP and Citi, in Digital Asset Holdings, which played a key role in the development of private blockchain ledgers. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, DAML, Quorum

Key leader: Michael Tae, head of strategy

Bumble Bee Foods

San Diego

Thanks to help from developers at SAP, Bumble Bee is using a blockchain to provide complete transparency to its tuna supply chain all the way from the pole-and-line-catch fishermen sailing the South Pacific to grocery stores in the United States. Given current concerns about food safety and sustainability, instilling confidence in its albacore product is paramount. Moreover, the entire tuna industry has been targeted by environmental activists for killing dolphins. The company that can demonstrate provenance of its catch could demand a premium price. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Multichain

Key leader: Tony Costa, CIO

Cargill

Wayzata, Minnesota

The agricultural giant that popularized high-fructose corn syrup began testing Intel’s Hyperledger Sawtooth before Thanksgiving 2017 to track turkeys through its supply chain as they made their way from farm to supermarket. Cargill has committed a team of engineers to work with Intel and enterprise blockchain startup Bitwise to help build Hyperledger Grid, which will track food back to its source—a crucial step in this day of food-contamination scares. By getting in on the ground floor with this Grid, Cargill could be in a position to sell its expertise to other suppliers. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Sawtooth, Hyperledger Grid

Key leader: Keith Narr, VP, Cargill Digital Labs

Ciox Health

Alpharetta, Ga

As the biggest manager of medical records in the U.S. (its software is used to securely transfer records between healthcare providers), Ciox figures the blockchain could cut paperwork redundancies, reduce medical mistakes and provide it a new source of subscription income. It has established a team to evaluate which blockchain platform to build on. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Ethereum

Key leader: Florian Quarre, chief digital officer

Citigroup

New York City

The bank has invested in a half-dozen startups (Digital Asset Holdings, Axoni, SETL, Cobalt DL, R3 and Symbiont) developing blockchains and distributed ledgers for applications such as securities settlement, credit derivative swaps and insurance payments. Last year, Citi partnered with Barclays and software infrastructure provider CLS to launch LedgerConnect, an app store where companies can shop for blockchain tools. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Ethereum

Key leader: Puneet Singhvi, managing director

Coinbase

San Francisco

With more than 20 million users and a valuation of $8 billion, Coinbase is the dominant U.S. cryptocurrency exchange. It offers custody, wallet services and both retail and institutional trading platforms. The blue chip among crypto-first financial firms is poised to become even more dominant when institutional usage of blockchain grows. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Lumen

Key leader: Brian Armstrong, CEO; his Coinbase holdings make him a billionaire

Comcast

Philadelphia

Comcast owns MState, a venture capital firm that has invested in at least seven enterprise blockchain startups, including Blockdaemon, which builds software to help enterprises build applications that use Bitcoin and Ethereum and comply with current regulations (for example, from the SEC or protecting healthcare privacy). Last December, Comcast partnered with competitors Viacom and Spectrum Reach to launch Blockgraph, which aims to allow advertisers to precisely target ads to viewers, without disclosing viewers’ personal information to those advertisers. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Quorum

Key leader: Gil Beyda, managing director, Comcast Ventures

CVS Health

Woonsocket, RI

New CVS subsidiary Aetna is a member of IBM’s Health Utility Network, a group (including Cigna and Anthem) working to create a distributed ledger of information available to patients, providers and insurers. As its first project, the network plans to publish tamperproof, unforgeable medical credentials so patients can check out their doctors. Other projects being considered would combine data from different insurers to make it easier to share information between doctors and insurers and prevent prescriptions that conflict, with the aim of improving care while cutting costs. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: IBM Blockchain, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Key leader: Claus Torp Jensen, CTO of both CVS and Aetna

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation

Jersey City

A warehouse of sorts that provides custody, clearing and settlement for $1.85 quadrillion in transactions per year, DTCC is planning to move its $10 trillion-a-year credits derivatives tracking operation to a customized blockchain. If the new system, scheduled to launch by the end of the year, is successful, it could eliminate massive record redundancies and prove that centralized middlemen have a place in a decentralized ledger world. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Axcore

Key leader: Rob Palatnick, chief technology architect

Facebook

Menlo Park, CA

In January 2018, CEO Mark Zuckerberg disclosed in his annual statement that the social media giant was studying cryptocurrency’s potential. In May of that year he moved former PayPal president and Coinbase board member David Marcus from his position as vice president of messaging to head up a secretive team exploring blockchain and its applications. This past February, Zuckerberg told Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittrain he was interested in letting users log in to websites with blockchain-based identities instead of Facebook Connect—a change that could have big implications for the way Facebook monetizes its users’ info. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Unknown

Key leader: David Marcus, blockchain lead

Fidelity

Boston

The 73-year-old fund giant began mining bitcoin in 2015 as a way to learn about digital assets. This year, it launched a custody service for institutional investors who want to store bitcoin securely. It’s also building a trading platform that allows a large block of crypto to be purchased by executing orders across multiple exchanges. About 100 Fidelity employees are now devoted to digital assets. Having originally missed the ETF explosion, Fidelity will be at the forefront if crypto-assets go mainstream. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum

Key leader: Tom Jessop, president, Fidelity Digital Assets

Foxconn

Taipei, Taiwan 

The giant Chinese manufacturer has pilot projects under way that use blockchain to streamline supply chain transactions and provide working capital to suppliers. Separately, it is developing a blockchain-enabled smartphone that would make it easier for consumers to spend digital coins. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Ethereum

Key leader: Jack Lee, founding managing partner of venture arm HCM Capital

Golden State Foods

Irvine, CA 

This restaurant supplier is participating in IBM’s Food Trust, a consortium of companies aiming to track food along the entire supply chain. In one early application, Golden State is giving all the companies involved in its burger business—from meat processors to shippers to restaurants—access to streaming data about the temperature at which the beef is kept. In addition to improving food safety, such projects could reduce both paperwork and food spoilage, which is estimated to cost $7 billion annually in North America alone, before it reaches the consumer. Full profile

Blockchain platform: IBM Blockchain

Key Executives: Bob Wolpert, chief strategy and innovation officer

Google

Mountain View, CA 

The search giant has made numerous investments in blockchain, including Veem, a payments startup that lets enterprises instantly send and receive payments in different currencies, using bitcoin as an intermediary holding. Meanwhile, it has created a suite of tools that make it easier to search (and analyze) cryptocurrency transactions—in other words, to Google public blockchains. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Zcash, Dogecoin, Dash

Key leader: Allen Day, science advocate

HPE

San Jose, CA

The $31 billion (revenue) enterprise tech spin-off from Hewlett-Packard hopes to make a splash with its blockchain services. It already counts more than a dozen customers, including car-part manufacturer Continental, which will use HPE’s tech to track a vehicle’s location and a driver’s license and insurance. That could be useful as more Americans move from owning a car to renting one by the hour or month. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Corda, Ethereum, Quorum, Sia, Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: Raphael Davison, worldwide director of blockchain 

HTC

Taoyuan, Taiwan 

The company recently released Exodus 1, 

a new smartphone that provides crypto-owners a safer way (built in to the phone’s hardware) to store and recover lost bitcoin, litecoin and ethereum, as well as the ability to easily trade cryptocurrencies. The phone also has a special Web browser designed for sites built on the blockchain. With its dismal smartphone market share, HTC’s new phone may be a Hail Mary pass. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum

Key leader: Phil Chen, decentralized chief officer

IBM

Armonk, NY

Blockchain’s early advocate is working to commercialize the technology through its enterprise-grade version of Hyperledger Fabric, called IBM Blockchain. Other IBM launches include World Wire, a foreign exchange platform seeking to replace interbank messaging platform Swift, and TradeLens, a shipping supply chain service codeveloped with shipping giant Maersk. IBM has already filed for more than 100 blockchain patents. With its proprietary blockchain connecting companies in at least 85 networks, IBM is a clear enterprise winner. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: IBM Blockchain, Stellar, Hyperledger Burrow, Sovrin

Key leader: Bridget van Kralingen, SVP, global industry platforms and blockchain

ING

Amsterdam

The Dutch banking giant has launched eight pilots since the creation of its dedicated blockchain team in 2016. In January 2018, ING and Credit Suisse executed the first legally enforceable euro securities swap using R3’s blockchain. The bank has also invested in several blockchain ventures, including Komgo, which plans to use the Ethereum blockchain to streamline a wide range of transactions. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Corda, Quorum, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy

Key leader: Mariana Gomez de la Villa, program director of distributed ledger technology

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Intel

Santa Clara, CA

Like IBM, Intel is one of the bigger corporate forces pushing blockchain into the enterprise market. Its open-source Hyperledger Sawtooth platform lets companies build their own blockchains. Users include Cargill, T-Mobile and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Still, IBM is way ahead. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Corda, Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Key leader: Michael Reed, director, blockchain program 

JPMorgan Chase

New York City

The nation’s largest bank is one of the creators of Quorum, a restricted version of the Ethereum blockchain built especially for enterprises looking to move tasks performed by back-office middlemen to the distributed ledger. It recently announced JPM Coin, an early-stage project to enable real-time institution-to-institution payments. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Quorum

Key leader: Christine Moy, blockchain lead 

Maersk

Copenhagen

Transactions for shipping goods from one port to another still rely on reams of paperwork, as they did centuries ago. Last year, IBM and Maersk, one of the world’s largest shippers, announced plans to create TradeLens, a global blockchain for shippers. So far, 100 organizations, including ports, freight forwarders, sea and land carriers, and customs agencies, have signed up to use the platform. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: IBM Blockchain, Corda 

Key leader: Michael J. White, head of TradeLens

Mastercard

Purchase, NY 

The credit card behemoth has applied for 80 blockchain-related patents. Sixteen have been granted, including one for linking cryptocurrencies to traditional bank accounts and another for increasing the privacy of blockchains. Mastercard rarely comments on its blockchain ambitions, but it recently announced it’s working with Amazon and Accenture to build more transparent supply chains where, for example, someone buying a pair of jeans could see where they were made and tip the creator through Mastercard’s payment rails. More significantly, if Mastercard can tie its massive, high-speed payments network to blockchain-based payments, it can open a new revenue stream and solve a problem that plagues most blockchain technology: processing times are still slow. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Its own platform, built from scratch. 

Key leader: Ken Moore, EVP and head of Mastercard Labs

MetLife

New York City

Through MetLife’s incubator, LumenLab, the insurer has developed a mobile app called Vitana, that is using ethereum’s smart contracts to automatically pay claims in certain circumstances.  Full profile

Blockchain platform: InsureChain built on Ethereum

Key leader: Zia Zaman, CIO of MetLife Asia

Microsoft

Redmond, WA 

Last year, Microsoft’s cloud unit Azure launched Azure Blockchain Workbench, a tool for developing blockchain apps. Many templates are available for free, but if an organization builds or runs an app or network on Azure, Microsoft charges for the underlying cloud services. Blockchain Workbench customers include Insurwave, Webjet, Xbox, Bühler, Interswitch, 3M and Nasdaq. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Ethereum, Parity, Quorum, Corda, Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft Azure

Nasdaq

New York City

Distributed ledgers could theoretically eliminate the need for centralized exchanges, but Nasdaq has hedged its bets by immersing itself in the new industry. For example, it has sold its market-surveillance software to seven crypto exchanges and a blockchain eVoting product to the South African central securities depository. Nasdaq has also brought together eight Swedish companies to develop a blockchain to replace the current paper-driven trading process in the Swedish mutual fund market. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Symbiont, Corda, Hyperledger Fabric 

Key leader: Johan Toll, head of digital assets, market technology

Nestle

Vevey, Switzerland 

Over the last two years the $92 billion (sales) consumer goods giant has been testing blockchain technology in more than ten projects. Its most promising is with IBM Food Trust, where it is using blockchain to track the provenance of food ingredients in a handful of products, including Gerber baby food. That service is expected to be available in Europe later this year. Food-borne illnesses cost the U.S. $55 billion a year and can cripple a brand. Blockchain food tracking could reduce that cost and be a selling point for brands that participate. Full profile

Blockchain platform: IBM Blockchain

Key leader: Benjamin Dubois, manager of digital transformation

Northern Trust

Chicago 

The big asset servicer ($10.1 trillion) is using Hyperledger Fabric to handle the administration of private equity fund events, including initial sales and liquidations of fund investments. Northern Trust is also helping hedge funds track their crypto investments and is working with the Australian Securities Exchange on a blockchain-based equities clearing, settlement and custody platform. Last year, it helped the World Bank execute a $79 million bond issue via the Ethereum blockchain. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum

Key leader: Justin Chapman, head of market advocacy and research

Oracle

Redwood Shores, CA 

The database and cloud company is offering “business-ready” blockchain software in an effort to keep customers of its non-blockchain products from defecting to upstarts and rivals like Google and Microsoft. One of Oracle’s customers, China Distance Education Holdings, is sharing student educational records and professional certifications across institutions to help employers and recruiters verify that credentials aren’t fraudulent. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Oracle Blockchain Platform 

Key leader: Frank Xiong, group vice president, Blockchain Development Platform

Overstock

Midvale, UT

The online discount store became the first major retailer to accept bitcoin in 2014. Founder and CEO Patrick Byrne, a libertarian with a Ph.D. in philosophy, is so convinced that blockchain will change the world that he is trying to get out of the retail business altogether and is already remaking Overstock into something of a crypto-obsessed company. Most notably, he has used $200 million in Overstock’s cash to fund Medici Ventures, a subsidiary which has invested in 19 blockchain companies. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum, RVN, Florin

Key leader: Patrick Byrne, founder and CEO of Overstock

PNC

Pittsburgh

The bank is using Ripple’s XRP blockchain-based software to process international payments. It is also the only bank involved with IBM’s Health Utility Network, which is attempting to speed insurance company payments to health providers. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, DAML, Corda, Ripple

Key leader: J. Christopher Ward, EVP and head of Treasury product management

Ripple

San Francisco 

This startup aims to disrupt Swift, the messaging system the worlds’ banks use to transfer an estimated $6 trillion a day, with RippleNet, with aims to be cheaper, faster and more transparent. While it already has 200 customers for its service, Ripple funds operations (including 300 employees) by selling about $100 million a quarter of its own cryptocurrency, XRP. (XRP’s total market cap now stands at $13 billion, down from its $146.5 billion all-time high in 2018.) RippleNet customers include big names such as Santander, American Express and PNC. Full profile

Blockchain platform: XRP Ledger

Key leader: Brad Garlinghouse, CEO

Samsung

Seoul 

Samsung SDS is using its Nexledger blockchain platform to overhaul how its battery-manufacturing subsidiary manages contracts and the execution of those contracts. For Korean consumers it has developed a smartphone app that uses the blockchain to verify the identity of the phone’s owner to 15 of the nation’s banks. That eliminates the inconvenience of Korea’s 20-year-old identity verification system, which can require a tedious signup process for each bank. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Nexledger, Ethereum

Key leader: Jeanie Hong, SVP and head of Blockchain Center

Santander

Madrid

The Spanish banking giant made headlines last year when it allowed its investors to vote at its annual meeting via the blockchain. A year ago, Santander launched mobile app One Pay FX, a foreign exchange service using RippleNet, that enables individuals to transfer money to other individuals in a foreign country in less than a day. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: RippleNet, Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: María de la Concepción de Monteverde, director of the Blockchain Center of Excellence 

SAP SE

Walldorf, Germany 

SAP has developed its own cloud-based blockchain toolkit, Leonardo, to keep clients from moving to Oracle or IBM as they transition to distributed ledger technology. It’s also selling project development as a service—most notably, it built Bumble Bee Foods’ new blockchain, designed to trace the origin of tuna from fisherman to processor to consumer. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Hyperledger Fabric, MultiChain, Quorum 

Key leader: Raimund Gross, chief innovation strategist, Blockchain

Seagate Technology

Cupertino, CA

Data-storage company Seagate Technology is working with IBM on a proof-of-concept blockchain aimed at tracking products through their distribution and life—in large part to ensure that fake hard drives aren’t returned to Seagate’s warehouses, where they could be resold by accident. Counterfeiting of electronics is a $100 billion problem, and Seagate hard drives are a frequent target for fraud. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: Manuel Offenberg, managing technologist and data security research lead

Siemens

Munich

In Park Slope, Brooklyn, some residents with Siemens solar panels had more energy than they could use on sunny days. The Brooklyn Microgrid project, run off a private blockchain, allows those with excess power to sell energy to their neighbors. The German giant has a lot of skin in this game, with $28 billion a year in revenues from things like energy turbines and applications managing smart grids. Grid technology has been decentralizing and democratizing power generation; blockchain can accelerate that process. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Corda

Key leader: Bernd Rosauer, head of research, Technology Field IT Platforms

Signature Bank

New York City

Signature was the first FDIC-insured bank to develop a blockchain-based digital payments platform. SignetTM allows the bank’s commercial clients to send free, secure payments to other commercial clients of the bank at any time of day with no transaction limits, in as little as five seconds. It uses a token, the signet, backed by U.S. dollars. American PowerNet, a Signature Bank client, recently chose SignetTM to make real-time payments to renewable energy providers. Full profile

Blockchain platform: A private, Ethereum-based blockchain

Key leader: Frank Santora, senior vice president and director of digital asset solutions

State Farm

Bloomington, IL

The insurer has devoted 11 members of its Research, Experiment & Deploy (RED) Labs in Bloomington to developing a blockchain that could speed up the now painfully slow process by which insurers pay claims to policyholders and then seek partial reimbursement from other insurers involved with the claim. State Farm is working on an application that could speed up this claims dance. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, Quorum

Key leader: Mike Fields, innovation executive at State Farm RED Labs 

UBS

Zurich

The Swiss bank’s most ambitious project so far is Utility Settlement Coin (USC), which would allow central banks to use digital cash instead of their own currencies to move money to each other. It’s a bold play—if central bankers start using crypto for big transfers with each other, it could make them more willing to move their own national currencies onto a blockchain. UBS’ partners in USC include BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank and Santander. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum, Quorum, Corda

Key leader: Sam Chadwick, head of blockchain

Visa

San Francisco 

The credit card network has filed for 50 blockchain patents, ranging from a real-time payments settlement system to technology related to crypto trading. This year, Visa is launching B2B Connect, which uses blockchain to help banks around the world process cross-border, business-to-business payments. With $18 trillion in such B2B payments being made a year, gaining even a small chunk of this business would be a nice addition to Visa’s consumer-payment dominance. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Hyperledger Fabric . 

Key leader: Kevin Phalen, global head of business solutions

VMware

Palo Alto, CA

The cloud-infrastructure company will soon release a suite of blockchain software products called VMware Blockchain, developed in partnership with Deloitte and Dell. The first product will be one that allows data to be transferred securely. Next up is a service that verifies transactions on the blockchain. Full profile

Blockchain platforms: Project Concord, a new blockchain, which supports multiple frameworks such as Ethereum

Key leader: Mike DiPetrillo, senior director, Blockchain

Walmart

Bentonville, AR

The world’s largest retailer (by sales) has filed for about 50 blockchain patents (for everything from tracking shipments to operating drones) and wants to use the blockchain to quickly pinpoint the culprit in future food-safety scares. In 2016 it partnered with Big Blue to create IBM Food Trust, now being tested by more than 50 companies. Today Walmart can track 25 products, including strawberries, yogurt and chicken, from five suppliers (and counting). In September 2018, it said it would begin requiring all of its lettuce and spinach suppliers to log their shipments on the blockchain. Full profile

Blockchain platform: Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: Karl Bedwell, senior director, Global Business Services & Technology 

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EDITED BY MATT SCHIFRIN AND JANET NOVACK. REPORTED BY MICHAEL DEL CASTILLO, JEFF KAUFLIN, SARAH HANSEN, KRISTIN STOLLER, ALEX KNAPP, JONATHAN PONCIANO, AMY FELDMAN, KARSTEN STRAUSS, LAUREN DEBTER, RACHEL WOLFSON, DARRYN POLLACK. ANIMATION BY MIKE RUSSO.

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Mining News

Cybercriminals Sneak in Crypto Mining Malware via Confluence Software Exploit

Cybercriminals are now reportedly exploiting known vulnerability CVE-2019-3396 in the software Confluence, a workspace productivity tool made by Atlassian, according to a report by security intelligence firm Trend Micro Inc. on May 7.The exploit that has been developed allows cybercriminals to stealthily install and run a monero (XMR) miner on a vulnerable computer, as well…

Cybercriminals Sneak in Crypto Mining Malware via Confluence Software Exploit

Cybercriminals are now reportedly exploiting known vulnerability CVE-2019-3396 in the software Confluence, a workspace productivity tool made by Atlassian, according to a report by security intelligence firm Trend Micro Inc. on May 7.

The exploit that has been developed allows cybercriminals to stealthily install and run a monero (XMR) miner on a vulnerable computer, as well as covering up the mining activity by using a rootkit to hide the malware’s network activity and toll on the host’s central processing unit (CPU).

According to an Atlassian security advisory, the vulnerability in question only applies to some older versions of Confluence. The vulnerability can be avoided by downloading patched versions of Confluence Server and Data Center.

In February, as previously reported by Cointelegraph, Trend Micro covered another instance of XMR miner malware attacks. This attack targeted Microsoft Windows users with the Windows exploit tool mimikatz and remote control program Radmin. The vulnerability targeted was Windows SMB Server Vulnerability MS17-010, which has since been patched in 2017.

Crypto mining attacks are purportedly on the rise, according to a statement by AT&T Cybersecurity in March. Per the report, online shopping giant Amazon has also been the victim of a monero miner attack. In this case, the attack was executed on a Kubernetes server operating inside Amazon Web Services.

Related Articles:

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  • Malware Shellbot is Now Capable of Shutting Down Other Miners
  • Research: Crypto Mining Hardware Market to See 10% Compound Annual Growth by 2023
  • Hackers Used Microsoft Email Accounts to Steal Users’ Cryptocurrency, Report

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Mining News

New Crypto-Mining Malware Targeting Asian Firms With NSA Tools

published the news in a blog post Wednesday, saying that over 80 percent of victims are located in China, with nations such as South Korea, Japan and Vietnam also seeing activity.” data-reactid=”23″ type=”text”>Cybersecurity software provider Symantec published the news in a blog post Wednesday, saying that over 80 percent of victims are located in China, with nations…

New Crypto-Mining Malware Targeting Asian Firms With NSA Tools
published the news in a blog post Wednesday, saying that over 80 percent of victims are located in China, with nations such as South Korea, Japan and Vietnam also seeing activity.” data-reactid=”23″ type=”text”>Cybersecurity software provider Symantec published the news in a blog post Wednesday, saying that over 80 percent of victims are located in China, with nations such as South Korea, Japan and Vietnam also seeing activity.

Dubbed “Beapy,” the malicious code is a file-based crypto miner, not a browser-based one, the firm said. It works by sending a malicious Excel file to victims as an email attachment, downloading the DoublePulsar backdoor onto the victim’s system if the file is opened.

US Prosecutors Charge 2 Foreign Nationals Over Bitcoin Investment Scam

DoublePulsar (notably developed by the U.S. National Security Agency before it was stolen then released to the public in 2017) was also used in the WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017, according to the post.

Once DoublePulsar is installed on to a victim’s machine, the miner is downloaded. At the same time, it uses another leaked NSA tool, EternalBlue, to propagate across the infected network via unpatched computers where it can steal credentials to further access patched machines.

Cryptojacking malware can have a major impact on enterprises, Symantec said, including slowing down device performance, reducing employee productivity and increasing costs.

Although cryptojacking activity has decreased by about 52 percent over the last year, it is still an area of interest among hackers which largely target businesses.

New York State Sees First Conviction for Crypto Money Laundering

Symantec said:

“Looking at the overall figures for cryptojacking, we can see that there were just under 3 million cryptojacking attempts in March 2019. While a big drop from the peak of February 2018, when there were 8 million cryptojacking attempts, it is still a significant figure.”

The firm said it first noticed Beapy in January of this year, but activity has increased since early March.

estimated that cybercriminals have mined around 5 percent of the total monero in circulation.” data-reactid=”35″ type=”text”>Monero’s privacy features make it by far the most popular cryptocurrency among hackers deploying mining malware. A recent academic study estimated that cybercriminals have mined around 5 percent of the total monero in circulation.

discovered a form of malware that takes administrative control to first uninstall cloud security products and then injects code to mine monero. The same team also discovered another variant that steals browser cookies and other information on Apple Mac computers to directly steal cryptocurrencies.” data-reactid=”36″ type=”text”>Earlier this year, researchers at cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks discovered a form of malware that takes administrative control to first uninstall cloud security products and then injects code to mine monero. The same team also discovered another variant that steals browser cookies and other information on Apple Mac computers to directly steal cryptocurrencies.

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