Blockchain Talk highlights blockchain discussions by publicly traded companies during earnings calls and conferences.
If you know anyone who doubts the future of blockchain technology, make them read this article. So many public companies talked about blockchain this week that I had to break my weekly update into three separate posts! First, IBM sounded so bullish and went into so much detail that I just had to post it as a stand alone post. Second, JPM’s Jamie Dimon made some rather awkward as well as insightful comments, and given the headlines he has been getting, it also deserved to be a stand alone post.
Besides these two high profile companies, companies big and small shared their blockchain views and initiatives. The vast majority are very positive! With so much money and focus pouring into this space from these well capitalized companies, how could anyone doubt blockchain’s exciting future?
The following is the editor’s summary of this week:
- Mastercard thinks that blockchain is a “technology that you really need to embrace”
- Visa thinks “blockchain has applicability, particularly in the B2B space”.
- Moody’s sees blockchain’s potential for smart contracts that “manage and monitor and govern processes”.
- Adobe describes blockchain as a foundational technology that could change workflow.
- Seagate Technology describes merits of blockchain, notes its strong storage usage.
- WEX comments on Ripple partnership that looks at blockchain applications to fleet management.
- Ellie Mae sees property titles as “a perfect fit for blockchain”.
- GMP Capital sees “significant trade in blockchain and cannabis offerings”.
- Bureau Veritas comments on their blockchain project, Origin, “a complete blockchain solution for food traceability”.
- PRGX Global believes blockchain “will be highly relevant to our business”.
March 2nd, Friday
Moody’s (NYSE: MCO), Analyst Day
Mark Almeida, President – Moody’s Analytics
And then finally, we’re also spending some time working on applications of blockchain to our business. I’ve always thought of blockchain as one of the classic situations of a solution in search of a problem, but there are a few areas where blockchain appears to be interesting to us principally from an operational standpoint. The smart contract kinds of applications of blockchain as well as the uses of blockchain to manage and monitor and govern processes.
That’s an area that is of some interest to our customers because they need to demonstrate to their regulators and to their supervisors that they observe certain processes in the handling of customer data. And there is some potential use of blockchain in that regard. It’s very early days, but we’re exploring a, a proof of concept project with a third party to see if this can be made relevant to, to us and Moody’s Analytics.
GMP Capital (TSE: GMP), Earnings Call
Harris Fricker, CEO
The market environment for small to mid-cap equities was more accommodative to do issuance this quarter. Specifically, we saw significant trade in blockchain and cannabis offerings. Much of this activity is occurring in the small to mid-cap sector and is being led by GMP…
… client activity in blockchain picked up considerably in the fourth quarter and into 2018… The proliferation of blockchain companies on Canadian exchanges this quarter has been a much welcome contributor to our growth… We have retained the capacity to move quickly and capitalized on the emerging opportunities in blockchain, cryptocurrency and cannabis…
PRGX Global (NASDAQ: PRGX), Earnings Call
Ronald Stewart, CEO
Blockchain is another exciting area of innovation that we believe will be highly relevant to our business, our clients, and to their suppliers. We are undertaking research and proof of concept projects in this area, and have every intention of leading our industry in this important domain.
WEX (NYSE: WEX), Investor Conference
Roberto Simon, CFO
[Responding to question regarding partnership with Ripple on blockchain] So, obviously blockchain on the news every day, and we have a corporate payments organization that is always looking at potential options. We have talked about blockchain and there’s a lot of cryptocurrencies now out there that are making a lot of noise. But from our side, what I can tell you is that as we look into the future and I say before we are looking into new products, new offerings that could not only expand to our assortment of offerings but also to expand with our customers especially on the Fleet side.
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), Investor Conference
Martina Hund-Mejean, Chief Financial Officer
[Blockchain is a] technology that you really need to embrace, right? And when you look at Money 20/20 and how it came out, I mean, we built our own private blockchain. It’s a permission-based blockchain with the flexibility and the scalability and proper settlement capability that we are rolling in there, that will allow us to get our hands around some parts of the $225 trillion, right? So, it’s – I think what you have to think about as a company is what are the things that could come down the road that you better jump on now and get the capability into the company and then really work it hard in order to make sure that continued growth comes in over many, many years to come.
March 1st, Thursday
Bureau Veritas SA (EPA: BVI), Earnings Call
Philippe Donche-Gay, Senior EVP
Of course, we maintain a prominent focus on digital innovation to leverage emerging technologies such as connected glasses and drones, blockchain for traceability, virtual reality for remote inspection services.
To accelerate our digital transformation, we are actively pursuing innovative alliances and we have recently concluded partnership with several global players. Today, we are announcing our partnership with Worldline, a division of the Atlas Group, the European leader in the payments and transactional [unclear] services market. Together, we are launching Origin, a complete blockchain solution for food traceability. Ultimately, Origin will enable in-store shoppers to see the full history of each product using QR codes. As a first step, it will enable food industry players to have a complete traceability on their supply chain. This solution will be presented on March 5 in Tokyo at the annual Global Food Safety Conference…
What BV provides here is, of course, all the integrity of the information entered into the blockchain and this is our role, notably, just setting up the design but also ensuring that information enter at each step of the process is very fine under one form or another by Bureau Veritas. In terms of financials, this will be transactional services and we basically share the revenue in a format that depends on each project. We will have the first live pilot first half of the year. Of course, a few elements will be fine-tuned with this one.
Visa (NYSE: V), Investor Conference
Alfred F. Kelly, Chief Executive Officer
And we’ve got mostly about 250 PhDs there, and they’re the ones who are looking at artificial intelligence and machine language and blockchain, and ultimately quantum computing and all kinds of other things that we’ll see what happens…
I do think that blockchain has applicability, particularly in the B2B space, based on its distributed ledger capability, and we are looking closely at that.
Seagate Technology (NASDAQ: STX), Investor Conference
David H. Morton, Jr., Chief Financial Officer
Ripple came to us over three years ago. We did it on the whole notion and narrative that, one, it’s a strong usage of storage. I think it’s every million transactions requires over a petabyte of storage. Two, it’s a great security set. Three, it will more than definitely assist us with our supply chain and also cash management.
And so, you start putting all these items together and the narrative in and around that starts making more and more sense. It’s been a good foray, thus far, and we’re just in really, really early innings with it and we’ll continue to explore and expand the operational effectiveness of the technology going forward here shortly.
February 28th, Wednesday
Ellie Mae Inc (NYSE:ELLI), Investor Conference
Jonathan H. Corr, Chief Executive Officer
So, we definitely have been looking at blockchain. There are some natural places that blockchain could potentially fit. I don’t think for the most part there is big wins on the origination side. There are people doing things to kind of encapsulate after validation, but we kind of already do those things on the platform.
The big benefits that could happen in the industry, whether it will happen or not is a separate question. Title is a perfect fit for blockchain, it’s a distributor ledger, right, you’re going back in title insurance. Whether that will happen or not, that’s a separate question, because there’s a disincentive that title insurers don’t want that to happen, title insurance would go away. Another place that could be very interesting fit is as the asset is sold and goes into a security or mortgage-backed security and the servicing moves around between different parties, or it’s in the electronic registry, like the one that’s now owned by ICE and the New York Stock Exchange, that’s actually a very nice fit for blockchain, because again, you do the validation through the process. But once you get that loan done, everything that was involved in it is no longer there. So if you can actually encapsulate that after it’s been validated, or put in the block, that actually could create efficiencies there. So that’s where we’re probably seeing the likely application in.
February 27th, Tuesday
Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ: ADBE), Investor Conference
Abhay Parasnis, Chief Technology Officer
Blockchain, I think, it’s a little bit like AR/VR. There’s a lot of noise, lot of hype right now in the market and I’m going to leave the Bitcoin part of it aside, you’ve specifically said blockchain. So, I’m going to focus on that only.
I do think there are some core technology underpinnings that blockchain represents that are very exciting. We have some interesting work already in our labs and research labs around can that become a foundation of identity and kind of how signature workflows evolve. We don’t view blockhain as a competitor or a replacement to Adobe Sign, we think of blockchain as a more foundational tech that can uniquely transform some of these workflows.