China’s search giant has numerous blockchain ventures, including a canine version of Cryptokitties, which enables millions of Chinese to adopt and trade cute digital puppies, each distinct, that “live” on the blockchain. Another service offers student loans, but funds are disbursed only after the technology is used to verify grades. Baidu uses a popular open-source blockchain originally developed by IBM.
Underlying Technology: Hyperledger fabric De Beers
The end of blood diamonds? De Beers’ new software, Tracr, follows diamonds, which have undergone 3D scans, as the gems are mined, cut, polished and sold. Already more than 30 participants, including Signet Jewelers—owner of Kay, Zales and Jared—have signed on. Tens of thousands of stones are being registered per month.
Blockchain: Ethereum Foxconn Technology Group
The iPhone maker’s trade-finance venture, Chained Finance, pays more than 20 electronics suppliers using digital coins minted on the ethereum blockchain. The result: Financing costs have plummeted from annual percentage rates as high as 24 percent to 10 percent, and the time needed to get funding has been cut from seven days to same-day. Foxconn uses ethereum’s blockchain, famous for innovating so-called smart contracts, which automate financial transactions.
Blockchain: Ethereum Square
In the third quarter of 2019, Square generated $148 million in revenue from fees charged to users who paid with bitcoin. Just revealed: A service that lets people instantly send and receive crypto payments.
Blockchain: Bitcoin United Nations
The 75-year-old organisation connecting 193 countries has numerous blockchain initiatives. To combat warlords who steal aid using pilfered ID cards, the UN recently disbursed funds to 100,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, using blockchain-verified iris scans instead of ID cards.
Blockchain: Ethereum, bitcoinThe full 50 are at forbes.com/blockchain50
(This story appears in the 13 March, 2020 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)