Blockchain Resources

You can tell the Blockchain space is maturing, when you find that there are so many research papers, books, reports, and slide decks published by big consultancy companies, financial institutes, research firms and of course, geeks.

Here is a list of the resources that I think you may find useful.

History and Whitepapers

  1. Brief History of Bitcoin
  2. Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System
  3. Ethereum: A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform
  4. Libra: White Paper
  5. 33 Cryptocurrencies described in four words or less

Books (via Kindle)

  1. Blockchain: Down The Rabbit Hole: (Discover The Power Of The Blockchain)
  2. Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain
  3. Blockchain: Transforming Your Business and Our World
  4. Blockchain for Dummies (IBM Limited Edition)
  5. Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust

Research Reports

  1. Capturing the Value of Blockchain (BCG)
  2. Blockchain and the General Data Protection Regulation (European Parliamentary Research Service)
  3. Inclusive Deployment of Blockchain for Supply Chains: Part 3 – Public or Private Blockchains (World Economic Forum)
  4. Building Value with Blockchain Technology: How to Evaluate Blockchain’s Benefits (World Economic Forum)
  5. Building Block(chain)s for a Better Planet (World Economic Forum)
  6. Realizing Blockchain’s Potential (KPMG)
  7. Business Blockchains (Deloitte)
  8. 2019 Global Blockchain Survey (Deloitte)
  9. Blockchain, a catalyst for new approaches in insurance – Part 1 (PwC)
  10. Blockchain, a catalyst for new approaches in insurance – Part 2 (PwC)
  11. Security Token Offering : What, where and how (PwC)
  12. Establishing Blockchain Policy (PwC)
  13. Guidance on Cryptoassets (FCA)
  14. What’s next in Blockchain 2019 (CBInsight)
  15. Where’s Blockchain headed next (CBInsight)
  16. Blockchain and the GDPR (EU Blockchain)
  17. Blockchain Technology Overview (NIST)
  18. Blockchain – Opportunities for Private Enterprises in Emerging Markets (IFC)
  19. Can JPM Coin Disrupt the Existing Stablecoin Market? (Binance)
  20. China Central Bank Digital Currency (Binance)
  21. Accessing Blockchain’s Business Value (Accenture)
  22. Blockchain in Action (EY)
  23. Life of a Coin (EY)
  24. Rise of Digital Money (IMF)
  25. Comparative analysis of the regulation of crypto-assets within EU and EEA countries (Blockchain Advisory)
  26. Bitcoin 2019 Investor Study (Grayscale and Q8 Research)
  27. Blockchain Now and Tomorrow (European Commission)
  28. Blockchain for Digital Government (European Commission)
  29. Libra : Understanding Facebook’s CryptoCurrency (Consensys)
  30. Global Enterprise Blockchain Benchmarking Study (University of Cambridge)
  31. Blockchain Innovation Landscape Brief (IRENA)
  32. Legal context and implications for financial crime, money laundering and tax evasion (European Parliament)
  33. Blockchain Potentials and Limitations for Selected Climate Policy Instruments
  34. Crypto-Assets and Blockchain Technology (FireEye, Circle)
  35. China Blockchain Report (Forkast Insight)

Blockchain Use Cases

  1. Blockchain Building Blocks: Creating a world of opportunity for insurance from an evolving area of technology (The Institutes – Risk and Insurance Knowledge Group)
  2. Making Blockchain Real – LVMH and the future of authentic luxury (Certilogo)
  3. Blockchain meets Energy (FSR Energy)
  4. Real World Applications of Blockchain Technology (Zage)
  5. Blockchain for Development (GSMA)
  6. Blockchain Revolution in Education and Lifelong Learning (Blockchain Research Institute)
  7. Tokenized Securities & Commercial Real Estate (MIT Digital Currency Initiative)
  8. Industry Report : Blockchain in Real Estate (Fibree)
  9. Blockchain for Agriculture (FAO)
  10. Blockchain and Digital Identity (EU Blockchain)
  11. Blockchain in Travel (Amadeus)
  12. DLT in the Supply Chain (UCL CBT)
  13. Blockchain for Good (Accenture)
  14. Opportunities for Blockchain in Loyalty (Collinson)
  15. Decentralized Identity (Microsoft)
  16. Gateway for Sustainability Linked Bonds (HSBC)
  17. Tokenization of Accounts Receivable on Blockchain
  18. Blockchain in Commercial Real Estate (Deloitte)
  19. Blockchain for Social Impact (Stanford Business)
  20. Digital Voting using Blockchain (Tokend)
  21. Blockchain Explained (Blockchain Australia)
  22. Blockchain meets the Stock Market (EDC)

From Notepad to Wix …

… and Blogger, Plog / Lifetype, PostNuke, DocuWiki, WordPress in between.

It’s been 24 years since I hosted my own website (you can find the history here), and one lesson I learnt is there are always better tools out there to develop your own website. Even though professionally I use other enterprise software to build websites and applications, I reckon you can always learn more by using other tools or platforms to build your own website.

While I use WordPress to build / host my personal website (yes, you’re reading this – michaelyung.com), I moved my photo website, 80days.com, from WordPress to Wix. I don’t exactly know why I made the move as WordPress served me pretty well to host my photos. However, the idea of trying something new pushed me to evaluate other options and eventually I settled with Wix.

The first thing I learnt from Wix was the tool is beautifully implemented, and the next was there were too many options, settings that it would take anyone a long time to complete a site. You will also need to understand a whole different set of vocabulary, before you know what you’re doing. You can control the locations of the elements on the page, pixel by pixel … and therefore you will likely spend many long hours to make your website looks perfect, pixel by pixel.

In summary, Wix is great for design focus websites, but shall you do it to move websites to the Wix ? Not likely, if the WordPress site is already serving you well.

Another Year, Another Book List …

It’s about time to have a wrap up of yet another slow-reading year. However, the Kindle Oasis is great !!

First, the top four that I really enjoyed a lot …

  1. Bad Blood
  2. The Code Book
  3. Measure What Matters
  4. The Three-Body Problem

Then a list of good read as well …

  1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
  2. The Startup Way
  3. The Messy Middle
  4. Who Can You Trust
  5. Holacracy
  6. Capitalism without Capital
  7. When Coffee and Kale Compete
  8. Founder’s Pocket Guide
  9. Venture Deals
  10. Factfulness
  11. Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy
  12. Principles : Life and Work

And lastly, those just not my type …

  1. The Secret
  2. Art of the Initial Coin Offering
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Beyond Blocks Seoul Summit 2018

Beyond Blocks Seoul Summit is a very energetic Blockchain event. Here is a wrap of my live tweets couple of weeks ago.

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South Korea is known for 3 things, Kimchi, K-Pop and Crypto-currency.

Follow the footsteps of – Integrate with eCommerce platform, Offer discount to grow adoption, Add credit, landing layer on top, Transform to FinTech.

Tink Labs from Hong Kong introduced their new platform – Passport, by spending 90% of the time talked about Handy … but one thing is true – travellers have no problem in “currency conversion”.

Michael Novogratz of Galaxy Digital Capital Management : Crypto industry is moving / growing fast in Asian countries, because … Asians love gaming / gambling, matter-of-factly.

Use Hybrid blockchains with layered architecture, sharding and rPoS to scale the system.

How can we tell an ICO is a success ? The product, the users / community, the team, the ecosystem … but not the cool whitepaper and price of the token.

Blockchain or not, Payment system or not, any new system needs to deliver good UX and features that the users don’t need to trade off any utility.

“Are you ready to disrupt the others, with Blockchain ?”, Jason Han, CEO, Ground X (Kakao)

Finally, a talk about Enterprise-level Blockchain platform, by Jason Han, which is exactly what we are doing for the past 12 months. Great stuff

Another down-to-earth talk, by Jon Choi, about Blockchain ecosystem – Blockchain is not all about Exchange, Protocol and ICO; but a lot of non-tech things to do as well.

A jump from theory to technical focus talk, JH Kim of ICON explains how they solve the BFT problem.

It’s not only about delivering a technical sound solution, but also how to compete with end users’ laziness.

Media, layman, “outsiders” always link hacks / insecurity to Blockchain and they don’t care about technical details.

#Beyondblocks #bbseoul2018

FAQ of a Business Blockchain Project

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Since the launch of our first Blockchain project in May 2018 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuUEBv12iBo), there are many people asked me the same set of questions again and again. So, I reckon maybe it’s good to sum it up all here.

First of all, “Why Blockchain ?”

My usual answer is, you know, “Why not Blockchain ?”. It’s not about whether Blockchain is the best technology on earth (as it’s not) or Blockchain can solve all sorts of business problems or not (as it can’t), but more about why not try a new technology to address an existing business pain point ?

What’s stopping you ? Is it because you have fear of failure ?

Solving a problem is hard enough, it gets much harder if you’ve decided beforehand that it can’t be done. Quite simply, there are many use cases, can be done by Blockchain technology.

“Why not the existing technology ?”

Reasons being …. Smart Contract, real time settlement / reconciliation and gamification.

These are either hard to develop in existing technology or take a long time to retool the current systems.

“What are the technical challenges ?”

It’s a very good question, as it is exactly one of the reasons you need to pick a project to try. Granted, many startups claimed they use Blockchain (or AI, Big Data, Chatbot, IOT etc.) to build their solutions, as it is the biggest buzzword for the moment. However, to an established corporation, there are other considerations before selecting a technical solution:

  1. How can we operationalise the new technical solution ?
  2. Do we know what kind of talent we need to develop the new technical solution ?
  3. What kind of infrastructure we need to deliver good performance ?
  4. What are the best practices to design, develop, test and implement the new solution ?
  5. How much is the development and operating cost ?

We cannot really solve a problem by keep talking. Just do it. Learn and improve the solution along the way.

“Why this use case ?”

Developing a good product is hard, but developing a good MVP is even harder. There are many different processes, use cases in every business. We picked one that is relatively easy to implement and yet provide good value to our stakeholders.

“Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.” – Jonathan Kozol

We are not alone though, check this out from American Express … https://www.coindesk.com/american-express-upgrades-rewards-program-hyperledger-blockchain/

“How Big is the Team ?”

Check this out, it’s more or less the same. YMMV.

https://blockchaintrainingalliance.com/blogs/news/10-faces-of-blockchain

“Any lessons learnt ?”

Do not innovate for the sake of innovation. First you need to know what you want to solve.

Ignore the naysayers and develop your own solution. You can learn from your own success, you can learn more from your own failures, but you can learn nothing from your own procrastination.

Blame it on Cloud Security

It is really an easy one, I suppose … so many business and IT decision makers told me that as the reason of not implementing / migrating their systems to the cloud.

However, truth is that data and systems residing in public or private clouds are as secure as you make them. Typically, cloud-based systems can be more secure than existing internal systems if you do the upfront work required.

For example, I am pretty sure the physical security, patch management and many other security measures are better implemented by Cloud Services Providers than your own IT department.

Check out the Security Guidance from Cloud Security Alliance and COBIT from ISACA for more details and the techniques, and I am sure you can implement a secure cloud system.

Cloud experts, any thoughts ?

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Blame it on the ever-changing requirements

Whenever there is a delay in software project delivery, the usual reaction is blaming it on the unclear and ever-changing business requirements.

Edward Berard, author of the Object Oriented Software Engineering, once said “Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy, if both are frozen.” and clearly it proved that point … or did it ?

We all know in the real world, business changes fast and therefore so are the software requirements. So it’s really no point to insist in freezing requirements before starting the software development, instead we shall consider :

1) How can we cope with changing requirements in our development lifecycle ? (Read : Scrum Development)

2) How can we make our applications more flexible and easier to change without affecting other parts of the system ? (Read : API and Micro-services)

3) How can we migrate / rollback production systems easily ? (Read : DevOps)

4) How can we lower the cost of infrastructure and failure ? (Read : Cloud infrastructure)

So, don’t blame it on the requirement changes, as change is constant. Let’s do a better job in developing the business software.

Development professionals, any thoughts ?

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