Tech

Paul How

FedEx joins open-source blockchain project

Global shipping company FedEx has joined Hyperledger, an open-source blockchain venture that now has more than 270 members, according to a press release.

FedEx is taking part in the collaborative project “to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies,” which already includes members such as American Express, Deutsche Bank, IBM, Intel and JPMorgan.

FedEx Services Senior Vice President for IT Kevin Humphries said, “We believe that blockchain has big implications in supply chain, transportation and logistics,” adding that the company will “continue to explore the applications and help set the standards for wide-scale blockchain adoption in our industry and others.”

Aside from FedEx, Fortune 100 technology company HoneyWell International Inc. also joined Hyperledger. HoneyWell Aerospace Chief Digital and Information Officer Sathish Muthukrishnan said, “Honeywell Aerospace, whose solutions are found on virtually every commercial, defense and space aircraft in service today, is pleased to join Hyperledger,” and that the company will be “leveraging the blockchain technology to solve critical customer needs.”

Last May, FedEx, through its CEO Fred Smith, said the company was turning to blockchain to improve supply chains, wherein the use of permanent ledgers for every step of a shipment will help avoid problems associated with shipping such as misplaced packages. FedEx is also a member of the Blockchain Research Institute, and FedEx partner, the FedEx Institute, is working with the Good Shepherd Pharmacy to make cancer medication more available.

Other big names beginning to apply blockchain technology to their businesses are Samsung, which has been manufacturing cryptocurrency mining hardware and was recently tapped for production of next-generation ASIC chips; and Walmart, which has started requiring its suppliers to integrate blockchain in their operations by September 2019.

Among Hyperledger’s collaborative projects are Sawtooth, “which targets large distributed validator populations with minimal resource consumption”; Iroha, “with its own unique consensus and ordering service algorithms, rich role-based permission model and multi-signature support”; Burrow, “a permissionable smart contract machine”; and Quilt, which implements ILP, a payments protocol, “designed to transfer value across distributed ledgers and non-distributed ledgers.”

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