Forbes’ new “Top 50” list: Blockchain and the world’s largest corporations


Who knew? Who knew that while investors were enduring the consequences of Crypto Winter, lo and behold, some of the largest corporations around the world were hard at work behind the scenes embracing blockchain technology and developing their own workable solutions, while crypto development companies continued to search for the “killer app” that would reshape the world, as we know it?

The researchers at Forbes obviously knew the extent of blockchain developments around the globe, well ahead of the public curve, due to hard work in the back office. They have now published the results of their private investigation of crypto activites in an article entitled, “Blockchain’s Billion Dollar Babies.” The revelation of the report is quite illuminating: “Some of the world’s largest corporations, including an array of prominent technology firms, have forayed into this space, quietly throwing human capital and money at this innovation to find something that sticks.”

What criteria did Forbes use to construct their new “Top 50” list:

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.

While previous news reports have covered developments from the likes of Facebook, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Samsung, and Fidelity Investments, Forbes notes that capital expenditures being devoted to blockchain technology development have been accelerating:

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.

These companies are not waiting for the outside world to give them solutions. They have already built competent blockchain development departments, possibly part of the reason that demand has remained strong for talent in this arena:

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.

While many of the corporate names would be familiar in an average household today, there are several companies that are embedded in the infrastructure of a particular industry and see blockchain as a way to reduce costs, make operations more efficient, and eliminate several middlemen in processes that span the globe. Here are just three examples of active projects to attack real-world problems:

  • The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation: “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.”
  • Golden State Foods: “This restaurant supplier is participating in IBM’s Food Trust, a consortium of companies aiming to track food along the entire supply chain. 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.”
  • Seagate Technology: “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.”

News stories like these can only be positive for the crypto industry, even though the use of cryptocurrencies are not front and center. Industry followers contend that projects that involve the consumer more directly with token-driven services are just around the corner, based on various initiatives within a number of major social media companies. For the time being, however, it appears that Crypto Winter is a thing of the past. According to Forbes journalist, Michael del Castillo:

Business applications using the technology underlying Bitcoin (blockchain) are in early spring.

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