Summarize the following two short articles

1. Read the following two articles 2. Summarize each article, and every summary needs include at least 150 words.
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The fourth industrial revolution: blockchain and smart contracts
Opinion
The blockchain is fast becoming a symbol of the fourth industrial revolution. After steam,
electricity and computing, this is the term coined by Davos founder Klaus Schwab for the
deep digital transformation that Schwab says is now upon us Richard Kemp,
principal,Kemp IT Law
The blockchain is fast becoming a symbol of the fourth industrial revolution. After steam,
electricity and computing, this is the term coined by Davos founder Klaus Schwab for the
deep digital transformation that Schwab says is now upon us. It is heralded as the next big
disruptor, it’s got geeks and banks in a tizzy, but as yet there’s little mainstream evidence
of major impact.
So what is the blockchain? The analogy is the finance director’s (FD) sales ledger. It’s a
comprehensive, always up-to-date accounting record of who holds what or who transferred
what to whom. The ‘what’ in the blockchain is pretty much anything that can be recorded
– physical assets like diamonds (blockchain is used by Everledger to certify origination of
900,000 diamonds) and land (where blockchain will be a factor in the upcoming sale of
the Land Registry) as well as intangibles like electronic cash (the rationale of Bitcoin,
the blockchain’s orginator), transactions in securities, derivatives and other financial
instruments and government interaction with citizens.
The clever bit is that it all works through cryptography – authenticating parties’ identities
and creating immutable hashes (digests) of each ledger record, the current page of records
(block) and the binding that links (chains) each block to the earlier ones. The really clever
bit is that instead of the FD keeping one instance as ‘single version of the truth’,
the blockchain ledger is distributed: a complete, current copy is held on the computers of
each of the network participants (miners) who help keep it up to date. This is deliberate
and serves to insulate the integrity of the ledger against cyberattack as any hacker would
have to control more than half the network’s computing capacity to change any record in
the block.
Hurdles to clear
But blockchain is in its infancy, and significant hurdles to commercial adoption remain.
First, there’s a lot for regulators to get to grips with. Second, blockchain is fragmented.
There are many different ecosystems, of which the best known are the bank-led R3, the
exchange-led Post-Trade Distributed Ledger Working Group and China’s Zhong GuanCun
Block Chain Industry Alliance. These will need to agree common standards to all work
together. Progress is being made here and in April the ISO (International Organisation for
Standardisation) received formal requests to set up a new field of technical activity (the
precursor to ISO standard setting) on blockchain and electronic distributed ledger
technologies.
“Blockchain will enable all supply-side listings for a given service to be recorded on the
ledger for users to filter and buy according to their selected criteria”
The third hurdle is scalability. The blockchain is, deliberately, enormously power hungry.
A 2014 report from the National University of Ireland Maynooth showed that the total
energy consumption of Bitcoin mining was comparable with Ireland’s total electricity
usage. So more efficient power usage will be key to bigger blockchains.
Centralised platforms beware
Remove these blockers and the blockchain evangelists start to get a bit wilder eyed,
speaking of the disintermediators disintermediated, Uber outmanubered, Airbnb
airbnbrushed out and TaskRabitt outrun by the blockchain bunny. What they mean is that,
just as these centralised internet platforms aggregated supply and demand to disrupt taxi
companies, hotels and recruitment firms, so the blockchain will enable all supply-side
listings and reviews for a given service to be recorded on the ledger for users to filter,
display and buy according to their selected criteria. All this will be made possible
by blockchain’s built-in technological integrity that enables transactions to be made not
only securely but also ‘trustlessly’, without any need for any intermediation at all.
Going a step further, the blockchain paves the way for ‘smart contracts’, where the
computer
can
make,
verify
and
enforce
an
agreement.
Next
generation blockchain Ethereum, described by the Economist as ‘the most ambitious
crypto-ledger project’, is looking to introduce functionality that is designed to verify a
party’s contractual performance. And going further still, on 28 May, funding was reported
to be closed having raised $150m in Ether, Ethereum’s electronic currency, for The DAO
(short for Decentralised Autonomous Organisation), a new type of crowdsourced/venture
capital-type fund existing entirely in software on the Ethereum blockchain and which will
make all its decisions and commitments wholly through smart contracts.
The future here today or science fiction? Welcome to the revolution.
Copyright: Centaur Media Plc. and licensors
~~~~~~~~
A summary and/or evaluation: (150-200words)
Blockchain Moving Beyond Finance; Still in Early Stages
A
new
report
from
Moody’s
Investors
Service
identifies
25
use
cases
for blockchain technology, showing it useful for more than finance.
Blockchain technology has been gaining a good deal of momentum in the technology
world this year, with major vendors like Microsoft and IBM jumping on
the blockchain bandwagon over its potential to revolutionize the way transactions are
processed and managed.
Moody’s Investors Service on July 21 released a report on the potential of blockchain, as
the technology, originally created as a platform for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, is now used
in applications across a host of transaction-related areas. The Moody’s report identifies 25
use cases for the technology.
The Moody’s report defines blockchain as a “chain of blocks of encrypted information.”
Moreover, each block can be thought of as a record of some transaction between two or
more parties, the report said. A blockchain is a continuously growing list of data records
that are organized into a series of blocks, each containing a batch of records or transactions.
Blockchain is a distributed database based on the Bitcoin protocol that maintains a
continuously growing list of data records hardened against tampering and revision, even
by its operators. The initial and most widely known application of blockchain technology
is the public ledger of transactions for Bitcoin.
The Moody’s report said a blockchain can be developed in a public, private or consortium
context. For each use case an appropriate type should be selected.
According to the report, a public or permissionless blockchain is a fully decentralized
platform that moves data storage and verification away from a single point of control, is
open to everyone in the network and lets anonymous members, without trust established
among each other, participate in the ledger.
A consortium or hybrid blockchain is a partially decentralized platform controlled by a
group of pre-selected members that know each other, the report said. Validation is handled
by trusted members and it is easier and cheaper compared with permissionless solutions.
This model would be beneficial to a consortium of companies in a similar industry among
whom trust is already ensured, said the report.
And a private or permissioned blockchain is where one centralized organization has write
and validation permission to the ledger and authorizes read access. Under this framework,
the central organization is empowered to change rules or revert transactions, as needed.
As such, this would work well for company internal databases, the report said.
In addition, a key concept that blockchain users can apply is “smart contracts,” the report
said. These smart contracts exist among several parties and they automatically verify and
enforce contractual clauses when predetermined conditions are triggered.
Although blockchain was created seven years ago, it is only now coming to the forefront
and many companies are still in the early stages with the technology, deploying pilot
projects and testing the efficacy of the ledger technology. The tire kicking phase will likely
continue for some time.
“In the next year we expect more blockchain-related research and development, including
proofs of concept, which will improve the understanding of potential benefits, approaches
to overcoming known hurdles as well as identifying others, with increasing focus on
developing large-scale applications,” Nick Caes, an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service
and author of the report, told eWEEK.
As blockchain originated as the public ledger of transactions for Bitcoin, initial uses of the
technology have been focused on banking and financial services applications.
However, “We started to see increased developments in blockchain applications in the
government sector, for example for notary services and land registries, and non-financial
corporates such as supply chain management, energy and healthcare,” Caes said.
Indeed, the Moody’s report notes that the State of Delaware has developed
a blockchain with smart contracts to register companies, track their share price and
manage communication with shareholders. Also, the U.S. Department of Defense is
developing a blockchain based secure messaging service that separates the creation of a
message from its transfer and reception. Other government-related uses include the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security, which is developing blockchains for the security of
digital identity for Internet of things (IoT) devices, identity management, privacy
protection and security analytics. The U.S Postal Service is assessing blockchain for
supply chain management, identity services and device management.
Overall, the Moody’s report identified more than 120 ongoing blockchain projectsspanning investments and partnerships with start-ups, internal projects, and industry
collaborations. And there are likely many others yet to reach the public domain, the report
said.
In addition to the use cases cited above, Moody’s identified a series of other use cases
including healthcare for managing records, media for digital rights, big data, cyber-security,
data storage, IoT and voting, among other uses.
The Moody’s report notes that Microsoft and IBM have developed open-source platforms
that enable developers to create and test their blockchain applications.
“This unique open-source approach will allow Microsoft and IBM to get many innovations
developed on their platforms,” the report said. “Several financial institutions and corporates
are leveraging these platforms to build their own blockchain solutions.
Additionally,
both
Microsoft
and
IBM
are
also
actively
participating
in blockchain industry consortia, such as Microsoft in R3 and IBM in the Hyperledger
Project.”
Last month, Microsoft launched a new project to enable companies and governments to
build blockchain applications on the Azure sandbox. IBM created an entirely new
business unit to focus on blockchain. Also last month, IBM joined the Chamber of Digital
Commerce, a Washington, D.C.-based digital asset and blockchain trade association, as
an executive committee member.
“It is critical from a national competitiveness point of view for U.S. companies and
government agencies to lead the world in understanding the potential of blockchain and
putting it to use,” said Jerry Cuomo, vice president of Blockchain Technologies at IBM,
in a statement.
Blockchain is clearly experiencing a rise in popularity as its potential is big. However,
“Although market participants are mapping a large and growing landscape
for blockchainapplications,
the
tangible
territory
for
fully
implemented blockchain solutions beyond Bitcoin is limited and is likely to remain so for
up to a decade or longer,” the Moody’s report said.
“Only when blockchain applications solve real-world problems-providing user-friendly
applications with a high level of stability and governance-will substantial ground be gained,
paving the way for further investment and progress,” added the report.
As blockchain originated as the public ledger of transactions for Bitcoin, initial uses of the
technology have been focused on banking and financial services applications.
However, “We started to see increased developments in blockchain applications in the
government sector, for example for notary services and land registries, and non-financial
corporates such as supply chain management, energy and healthcare,” Caes said.
Indeed, the Moody’s report notes that the State of Delaware has developed
a blockchain with smart contracts to register companies, track their share price and
manage communication with shareholders. Also, the U.S. Department of Defense is
developing a blockchain based secure messaging service that separates the creation of a
message from its transfer and reception. Other government-related uses include the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security, which is developing blockchains for the security of
digital identity for Internet of things (IoT) devices, identity management, privacy
protection and security analytics. The U.S Postal Service is assessing blockchain for
supply chain management, identity services and device management.
Overall, the Moody’s report identified more than 120 ongoing blockchain projectsspanning investments and partnerships with start-ups, internal projects, and industry
collaborations. And there are likely many others yet to reach the public domain, the report
said.
In addition to the use cases cited above, Moody’s identified a series of other use cases
including healthcare for managing records, media for digital rights, big data, cyber-security,
data storage, IoT and voting, among other uses.
The Moody’s report notes that Microsoft and IBM have developed open-source platforms
that enable developers to create and test their blockchain applications.
“This unique open-source approach will allow Microsoft and IBM to get many innovations
developed on their platforms,” the report said. “Several financial institutions and corporates
are leveraging these platforms to build their own blockchain solutions. Additionally, both
Microsoft and IBM are also actively participating in blockchain industry consortia, such
as Microsoft in R3 and IBM in the Hyperledger Project.”
Last month, Microsoft launched a new project to enable companies and governments to
build blockchain applications on the Azure sandbox. IBM created an entirely new
business unit to focus on blockchain. Also last month, IBM joined the Chamber of Digital
Commerce, a Washington, D.C.-based digital asset and blockchain trade association, as
an executive committee member.
“It is critical from a national competitiveness point of view for U.S. companies and
government agencies to lead the world in understanding the potential of blockchain and
putting it to use,” said Jerry Cuomo, vice president of Blockchain Technologies at IBM,
in a statement.
Blockchain is clearly experiencing a rise in popularity as its potential is big. However,
“Although market participants are mapping a large and growing landscape
for blockchainapplications,
the
tangible
territory
for
fully
implemented blockchain solutions beyond Bitcoin is limited and is likely to remain so for
up to a decade or longer,” the Moody’s report said.
“Only when blockchain applications solve real-world problems-providing user-friendly
applications with a high level of stability and governance-will substantial ground be gained,
paving the way for further investment and progress,” added the report.
~~~~~~~~
By Darryl K. Taft
A summary and/or evaluation: (150-200words)

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