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With rapid urbanization over the last few decades, there is a significant need to redefine India’s mobility system. In this article, I am going to share my perspective on the challenges around the implementation of multi-modal transport in India and assess whether blockchain as an enabler is a right fit in the ecosystem.

Why do we need multimodal transport?

Major Indian cities are now consistently ranked amongst the world’s most congested cities. Average speed for vehicles in Bengaluru is reported as 17 km/h. The off-peak speed for 13 arterial roads in Delhi has been recorded at 27 km/h, 50–60% lower than design speed. (Ref[1])

These high levels of congestion have a huge cost in the form of reduced productivity, fuel waste, and accidents. As an example, recent estimates from the Bengaluru Development Authority, released as part of Master Plan 2031, suggests that 1.18 crore citizens’ waste 60 crore person-hours annually and almost 2.8 lakh liters of fuel are wasted per hour in the Bengaluru city because of congestion.

Personal vehicles per 1000 population have increased from 53 in 2001 to 167 in 2015 (Ref[2]). Rapid urbanization, affordability, poor public transport with little/no first and last mile connectivity are some of the major reasons for the rapid adoption of personal mobility in India. There is an urgent need for us to move from a more personal transport with low asset utilization to shared mobility to address urban transport challenges.

Multimodal transport refers to interlinking of multiple modes of transport (Buses, Metro, Feeder services, Bikes, Taxis etc) to create a more seamless end to end transport from source to destination with low cost and better convenience.

Kochi multimodal transport system

Fig-1: Multi-modal transportation system. Courtesy: Kochi Metro[3]

To better understand multimodal transport check out this, youtube video https://youtu.be/EyglCTmoGpI

Multi-modal transportation — Objectives, Stakeholders and challenges

Objectives

Main objectives of Multimodal transportation

  • Shared mobility with low asset utilization
  • Seamless journey with unified payments addressing first and last mile connectivity
  • Cost-effective

Stakeholders

India with its dense population in cities fares poorly in terms of adoption to public transport due to poor infrastructure, lack of coordination across stakeholders, fragmented data and systems. Indian urban transport system is quite complex with multiple stakeholders operating at different levels, different data, and different policies.

stakeholders of multimodal transport system

Fig-2: Stakeholders in the multimodal transport system

Apart from Government operated public buses, Metro Rail, Mono Rail and Feeder services connecting most of the metro stations, there is a significant rise of ride-hailing, ride-sharing, and self-rental companies across most of the Indian cities.

It is imperative to bring all these stakeholders on to a common platform to create a seamless multimodal transport ecosystem.

Initiatives so far & Challenges

Initiatives

Some of the initiatives launched by the government that could aid multimodal transportation in India are

1) Odd-Even scheme — was implemented in Delhi during 2017, where cars with license plates ending in odd and even numbers were allowed to ply on alternate days. The initiative had significant success in reducing pollution and traffic congestion45 in the national capital.

2) Real-time traffic monitoring and traffic signal synchronization using CCTV cameras in Mumbai

3) Intelligent traffic systems have been implemented in cities such as Ahmedabad. An ITMS (Intelligent Traffic Management System) is to be rolled out in Delhi by 2019. (Ref [5])

4) One-nation-one-card for public transport soon: NITI AAYOG. India will soon launch one travel card similar to London’s Oyster-card that can be used for different modes of transport.

These are some great initiatives from the Government to develop and encourage sustainable public modes of transport and would encourage seamless payments across multiple providers in. However, A holistic approach is required to truly achieve seamless multimodal transport.

Challenges

For citizens to truly adapt to multimodal transport, there are lot of areas that require attention

  • Intelligent Transport systems addressing first and last mile connectivity
  • Transparency and Accountability across all the stakeholders
  • Transport Safety
  • Cost effective on-demand services with maximum asset utilization

Over last few years installation of data-driven traffic management and vehicle tracking systems, Integration of IoT sensors and devices, more connectivity with the road, rail and other public transport modes are being experimented in some of the cities. Last mile connectivity is slowly picking up with the recent surge of self-rented bike/cycle or on-demand feeder/bus shuttle services.

However, a single operator cannot serve the needs of the densely populated India cities. A more orchestrated and coordinated approach involving all the relevant stakeholder with stage-wise responsibilities is critical to mass adoption.

We might see an emergence of a new set of multimodal operators as new stakeholders in the system or transformation of existing stakeholders to multimodal operators. In either case, multimodal transport is a network play, where multiple stakeholders should join together with different Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) and transact with each other to create a seamless experience.

Can Blockchain fit into the Multimodal ecosystem and address these challenges

Case without blockchain — Centralized Approach

A centralized approach might result in the emergence of single/multiple Multimodal Service Operators (MSP) distributed across cities and will control or govern the entire network.

Advantages with centralized approach are

  • Easy to maintain and scale
  • Decision power remains on a single entity and hence see a lot of quicker improvements

The following challenges remain unanswered with centralized approach

  • How to bring all the different stakeholders on to one platform and still maintain privacy and transparency
  • How to create accountability across various stages of journey in the ecosystem
  • How to aggregate data and systems spread across different silos, reduce efficiencies and create a seamless multimodal transport with better accuracy and low cost
  • How to create a more healthy, transparent and competitive ecosystem, protecting all stakeholders interest with a multi-level governance.

Decentralized approach

Blockchain by virtue of its properties can enable a more decentralized autonomous organization(DAO) managed/voted by all relevant stakeholders. This allows decision power to be distributed across all stakeholder thus creating a more healthy and competitive system.[For more details on blockchain, DAO Smart contracts and Distributed ledgers please refer to [5],[6],[7],[8]]

Blockchain alone cannot be a solution to all the problems of the multimodal transport. However, Blockchain can solve some of the challenges and can set a strong foundation for successful implementation of multimodal transport in India.

Building blocks of blockchain

Fig-3: Building blocks of blockchain addressing challenges of the multimodal transport system

 Above building blocks of blockchain can help in addressing the above challenges of the multimodal transport system.

Digital identities of all the stakeholders and assets (Vehicles, partnerships, SLA’s) can be brought on to decentralized ledger to create more authentic and tamper-proof records and avoid fraudulent actors. Existing India stack (http://indiastack.org) for eKYC (Stakeholders verification), UPI and Digilocker (Transport records, driving licenses etc.) can be leveraged for verification.

Multimodal transport involves a contract between the traveler and Multimodal service operator(MSP) for the entire trip. This contract includes SLA’s, insurance terms and penalties in case of delay, cancellations, breakdowns charges. These MSP’s will have different contracts with actual transport service providers (TSP). Bringing the entire trip data on to blockchain helps to avoid conflicts across all the stakeholders. Smart contracts can be utilized to seamlessly transfer accountability across all relevant stakeholders for the entire trip. One nation one card planned by NITI AAYOG encourages seamless payments from the citizens. However, payment settlements across all stakeholder still remain a challenge. Enabling all the trips on blockchain promotes instant payment settlements and increase operational efficiency in the entire system,

Multiple regulatory authorities are involved in creation and administration of transport networks in India. It is a huge operational challenge for all the regulatory authorities to monitor activities of all the stakeholders of the system. Adding vehicle registrations, maintenance, driving behavior, traffic violations, trip records on to blockchain allow all these regulatory authorities to monitor and take actions wherever necessary including infrastructure improvements, monitoring violations etc.

Transport researchers, Technology providers, Subject matter experts will get more authentic data records, allowing them to provide accurate analysis and recommendations to relevant stakeholders.

Blockchain based Multimodal transportation framwork

Fig-4 :Blockchain framework for the multimodal transport system

With heterogeneous data formats and multiple stakeholders, a single blockchain might not fulfill all the requirements. A more robust framework with a cluster of blockchain networks each serving specific requirements with interoperability across different chains as shown in Fig-3 should be considered. This framework should be controlled by a consortium with the government as a major stakeholder. “Blockchain oracles” acts as the gateway between the decentralized network and external systems.

Way Forward

Blockchain as an enabler can help to bring all the relevant stakeholders together, create accountability and transparency across the value chain and can set a strong foundation for the successful implementation of the integrated multimodal transport system in India. With recent initiatives on Mobility and Blockchain (Indiachain) — there is a need for a comprehensive blockchain framework policy that would regulate and encourage shared mobility system addressing above challenges. Current technology limitations on existing blockchain platforms should be solved to move further and plan for successful rollouts.

References

1. http://movesummit.in/files/BCG.pdf

2. https://community.data.gov.in/registered-motor-vehicles-per-1000-population-from-2001-to-2015/

3. https://twitter.com/metrorailkochi/status/835370867643174912

4. https://www.nbmcw.com/tech-articles/project-management-arbitration/18631-multi-modal-transportation-system.html

5. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/10-years-on-plan-to-use-ai-to-manage-city-traffic-takes-off/articleshow/63495347.cms

6. https://medium.com/s/story/how-does-the-blockchain-work-98c8cd01d2ae

7. https://medium.com/universablockchain/decentralized-autonomous-organization-what-is-a-dao-company-eb99e472f23e

8. https://blockchainhub.net/smart-contracts/

9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_ledger

Dale Montrone

Microgrids in the USA

Posted by Dale Montrone Aug 28, 2018

A Microgrid is a localized group of electricity sources and loads that normally operates connected to and synchronous with the traditional wide area synchronous grid (macrogrid), but can also disconnect to "island mode" and function autonomously as physical or economic conditions dictate.[1]

 

A Microgrid can effectively integrate various sources of distributed generation, especially Renewable Energy Sources (RES) , and can supply emergency power, changing between island and connected modes.

 

 

 

The US Microgrid market is growing faster than expected, fueled by a rise in new ownership configurations, says a report released today by GTM Research.[2]  GTM now forecasts that US Microgrid capacity will reach 4.3 GW by 2020, up from the research firm’s estimate last quarter of 3.71 GW. The US currently has about 160 microgrids with 1,649 MW of capacity.

 

Should the growth figure hold, the market will expand 116 percent over four years, according to the third quarter report, “U.S. Microgrids 2016: Market Drivers, Analysis and Forecast.”  GTM sees US Microgrid market opportunity doubling from $836 million in 2016 to $1.66 billion in 2020.  The figure above illustrates the growth projections for US Microgrid market.

 

DomaniSystems has been evaluating this market for some time as the Microgrid segment represents a very profitable use case for Blockchain technology.   We recently presented our concepts of Blockchain based Smart Contract for both energy trading and Microgrid control at the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days 2018 in Switzerland. [3]

 

Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days 2018 Switzerland

Blockchain Powered Smart Grid Evolution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For our earlier Blogs and more details about DomaniSystems, visit our Website at: # https://www.domanisystems.com

 

We encourage open discussion on Smart Contracts, Blockchain, Security and IoT for mutual benefit and enhancement of knowledge and understanding.  You can start your discussion or questions here.  You can also contact us directly; all the information is on our Website.

 

References:

[1]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microgrid

[2]  https://microgridknowledge.com/us-microgrid-market-gtm/

[3]  https://www.energyinnovationdays.com/

The whole world has now turned around its head towards ‘Blockchain’ but is that secure as you think?

 

With enormous benefits, Blockchain is now ruling the world. It takes control on almost all fields, starting from banks to government. Blockchain attracts every modern marketer and businessman now-a-days. But there are still a few marketers and people who are involved in immense financial exchange and not yet impressed by ‘blockchain’. The reason behind it is the fear of insecurity. They probably don’t aware of or they don’t get the point of block chain and how secure it is.

 

It is not remarkable, when it comes to financial and financial exchange, people tend to put extra care on it. So, let’s come to the point. Is blockchain secured enough? Or how secure is blockchain really? Proceed below! This blog is entirely about the blockchain and the ways to improve blockchain security.

 

How Secure is Blockchain Really?

Secure is Blockchain ReallyObviously, as you all know, blockchain uses extremely difficult math to perform, so it is not at all possible to hack and take over control. But things can be contradicted sometimes! When it lays on messy, some fancy math and software supports skilled cheaters in the real world which creates blockchain security issues.

 

What commonly makes blockchain secure? A unique cryptographic fingerprint to each block and a consensus protocol makes data and transaction extremely protective. So, unless someone has combined nodes of computer, you can’t imagine hack and track things in blockchain. This is what we say blockchain is tamperproof.

 

Ways to Improve the Security of Blockchain

 

When considering to Blockchain security solutions, we all would end up with finding zero. But, what is the need to go for blockchain security and is it possible to have blockchain security risks.

 

Well, everything in this world has an unavoidable opposite effect! So, blockchain is not all exceptional. So, how intelligently you can improve the security of blockchain? Go through the following.

 

Plan How to Recover If Things Go Wrong

 

Block chain depends on some major layers such as networks, client software, yours and others. All of the layers have equal compromises, human errors and security events. Hence, it would be clever to make everything planned and being ready if anything goes wrong.

 

No matter whether it involves in software or smartcards, the continuous protection to keep everything safe is important. In addition, if it is a transaction of physical goods such as money and freight, a well planned process of translating blockchain into physical process is essential.

 

Do Futuristic Plans

 

Always be cautious on ‘what seems secure today may not be the same tomorrow’ Plan for Critical Security Events in order to avoid blockchain security issues. Anyhow, blockchain is known for secure and safe. Blockchain uses established technologies to build common cryptographic properties, so it is not at all possible to hack the data and control it.

 

The hashing algorithms used for blockchain adds safety to the data, however, it ay not be in future. For instance, a few years ago, a program was released using hashing algorithm, gradually announced as weakened.

 

Strictly Adhere to Principle

 

Any entity that has 50% of computational power and control in it, can bale to rewrite the transactions. The truth behind this is to provide verification and validation process. So, in order to maintain it in control blockchain in any field needs to have strict contracts and controls. The major thing is blockchain affects not only one entity but also it affects all blockchain participants.

 

Though the technology behind blockchain sounds safe and secured enough, there is always some blockchain security risks and vulnerabilities that we must give our attention to. So, both in public and private the participants need to have and follow a strong vulnerability management program.

 

Reviews and comments are welcome!

 

At one of our recent NASSCOM conferences, a lead speaker had remarked on a jocular note: “There are more Blockchain experts than users.” As we weigh the veracity of this statement (even though it was meant to be a joke) there’s no turning away from the fact that it’s a very complex piece of technology. 

 

Things complex need to be evangelized and in a definitive way by which we can hack away the inevitable flurry of “fake news” that attaches in its wake, often as a result of ignorance. We have to make the right noise instead.

 

The implication of the RBI pronunciation which banned Cryptocurrency trading must be seen in its entirety, and separated from the larger discussion on Blockchain Technology which many believe to be an idea even more revolutionary than the internet. If anything, it’ll mark its second coming. 

 

That, Blockchain is a very powerful technology is well established but we have to ensure that time is not lost in the incessant din. The myths need to be busted as does quick adoption and identification of trained professionals in this area. Else, we are likely to have an exodus of such people with niche and sought-after skills. 

 

An overwhelming response which saw more than 3000-odd applications pouring in and equally, the extensive support from our partners for the NIPP Blockchain Innovation Challenge”, we knew that we had hit something big!  

 

The 1st Enterprise Blockchain focused pan-India NASSCOM hackathon (June – July, which concluded over a 36-hour final hackathon in Bangalore on July 28th & 29th) was a challenge thrown at Blockchain developers. 30th July being the day of crowning glory - demo, prize distribution and gala evening, was also about recognizing the NIPP Innovation Day. It was most encouraging to see 6 large corporates including Fidelity Investments, ICICI Bank, Amdocs, SAP Labs, Wipro and IBM (also the Technology Partner) joining us as strategic partners of the initiative and sharing 20 use-cases across 10 tracks such as BFSI, Retail-tech, Health-tech, Auto-tech, Telecom, Supply chain etc.

 

Inasmuch, the programme had a two-fold aim: To find solutions based on Blockchain Technology catering to different industries, and in process, identify emerging Blockchain Start-ups in India. In addition, the initiative also paved the way towards building a comprehensive Blockchain forum for enterprises, start-ups, developers, experts, and enthusiasts to come together for ideation and collaboration. Strong future linkages have been established. 

 

The applicants were a diverse lot: start-ups, student teams and the enterprise developer community. The extensive process finally met the twin objectives of creating a solution repository of blockchain problems and talent identification. 

 

Winners took away?

  • Cash prizes upto INR 5.75 Lakhs
  • Pilots/ PoC opportunities with participating corporate partners
  • Fast track entry to incubation under NASSCOM 10K
  • Opportunity for mentorship by industry experts
  • Chance to pitch in front of high profile corporates/investors

 

Partners?

  • Strategic Partners: ICICI bank, Fidelity Investments, Wipro, Amdocs, LTI and SAP Labs
  • Technology Partner: IBM
  • Ecosystem Partners: Divum, Blockchained India, Appiness, Codeops, Innmind, Headstart, TieBangalore, Hasgeek and Inkher

 

The Process

  • Registrations/Submissions Stage 1: Applications opened on 21st May. Originality, feasibility and impact on the industry, main criteria for assessment.
  • IBM Workshops (23rd May to 2nd June): Day-long workshops each, across 6 cities, with IBM as our Strategic Partner. Primarily about bringing forth the true potential of the technology. Participants were most excited, being given 6 months access to IBM cloud, including the starter pack for Blockchain service, and they simply lapped it up.
  • Pre-hackathon meet-ups/Submission Stage 2 (6th & 7th July) were organised in the top 3 cities (based on number of submissions) where shortlisted teams met mentors for one-on-one guidance sessions (Bangalore. Hyderabad and Gurgaon).
  • Announcement of Shortlist (22nd July): Top 50 teams that qualified for the final hackathon.
  • Final hackathon (28th & 29th July): A 36-hour hackathon, at our Bangalore Warehouse, where teams competed as part of the final leg of the NIPP Blockchain Challenge.
  • Demo day (30th July) & prize distribution for the winning teams coincided with the NIPP Innovation Day where all 30 NIPP Partners met to felicitate the winners.

 

Winners Details

Fintech Track: Sponsored by Fidelity Investments

  1. Winner: Ayuda (Student Team from SRM University Chennai). They have also won an opportunity to intern with LTI's Blockchain CoE in Mumbai. They are aiming to disrupt P2P micro lending with a dynamically-priced, fair, and transparent blockchain-based system for financial inclusion.

2.    1st runner-up: Nuo Having created a unique protocol for creating collateral backed financial products, Nuo helps customers put products on the Blockchain.

  1. 2nd runner-up: Microchain(team of working professionals). They are building an Aadhar connected blockchain protocol through which anyone can avail low-interest loans from micro-finance companies.

 

Banking Track: Sponsored by ICICI Bank

  1. Winner: Infimonk (startup team). Blockchain application aimed at bringing efficiency into collateral based funding for farmers and maintain repayment capability.

2.    1st runner-up: SimplyFI (startup team). Simplifying Global trade solutions by enabling a trust network between trade & supply chain to get finances in time and compliance.

 

3.    2nd runner-up: Cubereum (startup team). Enterprise-grade blockchain solutions to simplify blockchain adoption in financial institutions.

 

LTI Most Innovative Solution: Sofocle Technologies (startup team)

·         Identify & Eliminate Counterfeit Products - information of the product gets recorded on the Blockchain and tokenized.


Overall Track (Sponsored by 10,000 Start-ups)

  • Winner - Bəsis (team of working professionals)

Bəsis created the platform for a Socially Incentivized Smart city that instills trust to engineer Socially responsible behaviour.

  • 1st Runner-up - Print2block (startup team). The truthful Infrastructure for issuing True Digital Documents on private or Public Blockchain

 

 Know more about NASSCOM's initiatives and programs, follow NASSCOM impact stories

Anomaly detection is used widely to perform various tasks such as fraud detection in the financial industry, network breach for cyber-security, and enemy surveillance for the military [1]. Data scientists apply various models to find anomalies, using a range of techniques from statistics to machine learning.  However, the explosion of time series data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) has made this task more challenging than ever.

Example Anomaly Detection

 

The example above shows a data stream which represents machine temperatures recorded over time.  Anomalies are marked by a red circle within the pink shaded anomaly windows [2]. Applying this data to a Machine Learning algorithm will result in automated detection of the anomalies.

It is important to establish some boundaries on the definition of an anomaly [3]. Anomalies can be broadly categorized as:

 

Point anomalies: A single instance of data is anomalous if it's too far off from the rest. Business use case: Detecting credit card fraud based on "amount spent."

 

Contextual anomalies: The abnormality is context specific. This type of anomaly is common in time-series data. Business use case: Spending $100 on food every day during the holiday season is normal but may be odd otherwise.

 

Collective anomalies: A set of data instances collectively helps in detecting anomalies. Business use case: Someone is trying to copy data form a remote machine to a local host unexpectedly, an anomaly that would be flagged as a potential cyber-attack.

 

Anomaly detection is similar to, but not entirely the same as noise removal.  Noise removal is the process of immunizing analysis from the occurrence of unwanted observations; in other words, removing noise from an otherwise meaningful signal.

 

The simplest approach to identifying irregularities in data is to flag the data points that deviate from common statistical properties of a distribution, including mean, median, mode, and quantiles. Let's say the definition of an anomalous data point is one that deviates by a certain standard deviation from the mean. Traversing mean over time-series data isn't exactly trivial, as it's not static. You would need a rolling window to compute the average across the data points. Technically, this is called a rolling average or a moving average, and it's intended to smooth short-term fluctuations and highlight long-term ones. Mathematically, an n-period simple moving average can also be defined as a "low pass filter."

 

The low pass filter allows you to identify anomalies in simple use cases, but there are certain situations where this technique won't work.  Here are a few:   

 

1)  The data contains noise which might be similar to abnormal behavior, because the boundary between normal and abnormal behavior is often not precise.

 

2)  The definition of abnormal or normal may frequently change, as malicious adversaries constantly adapt themselves. Therefore, the threshold based on moving average may not always apply.

 

3)  The pattern is based on seasonality. This involves more sophisticated methods, such as decomposing the data into multiple trends to identify the change in seasonality.

 

For the cases 1-3 above, we will need to apply a more sophisticated approach based on Machine Learning.

Machine Learning based approaches will be the subject of a subsequent Blog.

 

For our earlier Blogs and more details about DomaniSystems, visit our Website at https://www.domanisystems.com

 

We encourage open discussion on Smart Contracts, Blockchain, Security and IoT for mutual benefit and enhancement of knowledge and understanding.  You can start your discussion or questions here.  You can also contact us directly; all the information is on our Website.

 

References:

[1]  Detecting Anomalies in IoT with Time Series Analysis, July 26, 2016, Zenrichsocial

[2]  https://numenta.com/resources/papers/unsupervised-real-time-anomaly-detection-for-streaming-data/

[3] Introduction to Anomaly Detection, Pranit Choudhary, 02.14.17

 

Hyperledger Sawtooth is a modular platform for building, deploying, and running distributed ledgers. Distributed ledgers provide a digital record (such as asset ownership) that is maintained without a central authority or implementation.

CHALLENGES WITH TRADITIONAL DIGITAL ASSETS
  • Fragmented ecosystem – digital asset issuers have custom processes for managing, distributing and tracking assets.
  • Lacking secondary market controls – it can be difficult to verify if assets are genuine or counterfeit
  • Inconsistent record keeping practices differ between sellers
  • Centralized/proprietary solutions can cause bias and conflicts of interest.
BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN SOLUTION

ADVANTAGES OF BLOCKCHAIN TRANSACTION TRACKING
  • Consistent data recorded across different sellers.
  • Immutable transaction record enables security and trust between parties.
  • Smart contracts allow asset creators to set terms for how secondary transactions occur.

The Hyperledger Sawtooth platform enables users to design custom solutions for their digital assets. With Sawtooth, firms can customize transaction families for the unique characteristics of specific assets so that they can create asset identifiers, accept offers, and track ownership.

ASSET SETTLEMENT – Enabling secure and efficient bond settlement with Hyperledger Sawtooth blockchain technology.

CHALLENGES WITH TRADITIONAL BOND RECORD KEEPING
  • Record keeping practices differ between institutions, reconciling ledgers is often difficult, expensive and time-consuming.
  • Historical bond ownership data can be fractured and incomplete.
  • Centralized data management solutions have monopolized their offerings.
  • Data can be altered retroactively leading to financial fraud.
  • Centralized systems risk single failure points.
ADVANTAGES OF BLOCKCHAIN BOND OWNERSHIP
  • Creates data consistency across different institutions.
  • Ensures comprehensive, ordered accurate, immutable historical ownership data.
  • Secures sensitive information through unique hardware configuration.
  • Distributed records combat monopolies and yields transparency and trust.

The Hyperledger Sawtooth platform enables to design custom solutions for a variety of financial use cases. With Sawtooth, developers can customize transaction families for the unique characteristics of specific financial investments such as bonds or derivatives. Transaction family logic enables participants to add users and firms, issue assets and quotes, and trade and settle instruments on a shared ledger between financial services companies.

 

 

 

The article was originally published in db9systems' site

As more and more IoT devices are deployed in mission critical applications, securing IoT networks presents a number of unique challenges [1]. According to Eclipse IoT Working Group’s 2017 IoT developer survey [2], security is the top concern for IoT developers.

 

The IoT security challenges include:

  • Authorize and authenticate devices
  • Manage device updates
  • Secure communication
  • Ensure data privacy and integrity
  • Secure web, mobile, and cloud applications
  • Ensure high availability
  • Detect vulnerabilities and incidents
  • Predict and preempt security issues

 

DomaniSystems’ approach to IoT security relies on the use of a combination of Machine Learning, BlockChain Technology and Containerization.

 

The figure below illustrates how Internet of Things (IoT) nodes can be managed by a server or a set of servers. 

Figure 1. Example of an IoT Network

Referring to Figure above, part of the security management software resides in the Aggregator and another part resides in the Application Server(s), with both parts written in an executable programming language like C. The purpose of these software blocks in the aggregator and the server would be, for example, to ensure that the interaction between the aggregator and the server is secure and meets established performance requirements. The private network referred to in the Figure could be based on a number of technologies like Carrier Ethernet or a private Blockchain networks.

 

To develop and enable applications such as mission-critical and secure IoT networks, one needs a platform that can be used to develop the software residing in the network’s sensors, actuators, aggregators, and servers. Additionally, simulation capability is needed to ensure that a network consisting of a large number of aggregators and servers ultimately operates with the performance and security needed for its intended application.

DomaniSystems’ DCP platform’s design objective is to address these requirements.

 

For more details about DomaniSystems, visit our Website at https://www.domanisystems.com

We encourage open discussion on Smart Contracts, Blockchain, Security and IoT for mutual benefit and enhancement of knowledge and understanding. You can start your discussion or questions here. You can also contact us directly; all the information is on our Website.

                                                                
References:

[1] https://developer.ibm.com/dwblog/2017/iot-security-challenges/

[2] https://ianskerrett.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/iot-developer-trends-2017-edition/



 

Maintaining secure access to sensitive information is a challenge that keeps more than a few members of the medical information technology industry up at night.

The data kept, if breached, has the potential to destroy patients’ lives while ruining the reputation of the breached company.

The problem is finding and implementing a security system that enables doctors, patients, and properly authorized third-party organisations like insurance companies access to the data without creating openings for potential security risks.

Why are Passwords Not Enough?

Passwords are simple combinations of letters, symbols, and numbers that can be cracked by modern computers in relatively short time spans. Thanks to botnets, it is even possible to leverage millions of computers in an effort to find one password that will enable data thieves to access to materials that, by both law and ethics, should never see the light of day.

Leverage Blockchain To Secure Data.

The Blockchain technology is the form of open cryptography that leverages public and private keys to secure information alongside a publicly available registry that is managed in an automated and decentralized manner. Once encrypted, you need both the passcode and the private key to unlock the information making it possible for all the encrypted data to be taken and still be utterly useless to the thief.

There have been many practical applications of this technology of the last ten years, from digital currency to smart contract management. For the medical industry, it is best considered a form of security decentralized data storage that gives both medical institutions and patients the ability to access their records anywhere in a secure and equitable manner.

We can overcome password limitation by leveraging a combination of specialized SSL/TLS certificates and blockchain public keys to authenticate the user before any information is transmitted. Thus, if the hacker isn’t using the right files on the right computer, it is impossible for him to get to the point where it is even possible to crack the password.

Easily Grant and Revoke Access

A challenge with securing data in traditional settings is the fact that once it is copied onto a third-party medium it is beyond the reach of any IT department. Even if the file has password protection enabled, all it takes is a cracker to break it. By making access conditional to authentication from an updated blockchain, it is possible to remotely grant and remove access to all files in a way that guarantees information security.

Blockchain Solutions makes it possible to enable and remove access to specific token-backed files, in addition to changing ownership of those files on the fly. For employers, this means it is possible to guarantee that a former staff member loses access to all data upon termination of employment without having to violate his or her privacy during the corporate separation process. All it takes is one command and all relevant material can be transferred to someone else.

Securing Personal Data 

A combination of biometric security on your device and the blockchain principles of private keys controlled solely by the user opens up the opportunity to ditch usernames and passwords forever. And with the most popular password still being 123456, that’s got to be a good thing.

As well as that, add the potential to store identity information on the blockchain where only the user owns and controls it. Blockchain has always been recognized as a great asset storage system, thanks to its zero knowledge storage, encryption, privacy, security and trust, all combined with the immutable ledger that’s decentralized.

Many companies have already enabled identity on the blockchain. However, identity alone, unconnected to the everyday services we all use, is limited.

Things get really interesting when you link identity on the blockchain with existing payment methods and services.

Privacy

Right now, we all hand over control of our personal information so promiscuously, the only real surprise is that the associated privacy problems aren’t even bigger than they are.

Blockchain offers the enticing vision of a world where you can transact without having to hand over every part of your transaction details or remember the name of your mother’s favourite childhood pet. The blockchain’s potential for zero-knowledge proofs also offers a cryptographic way to do things like prove your age without showing your age, or demonstrate your status as a good actor with a record of successful transactions — without revealing the content of those transactions.

Technology like this could well be used to acquire loans, make high-value payments — and maybe remove the need for a risk assessment on every single transaction. It could even spell the end of credit monitoring as we know it — good news, given that recent events have shown how wary we should be about security at some of those companies.

Lastly, once each of us has our information securely stored on a blockchain, we have the opportunity to choose if and when we share it — in return for actual value. This could be the beginning of a true “internet of value.”

 

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Patient satisfaction is not a clearly defined concept, although it is identified as an important quality outcome indicator to measure success of the services delivery system

 

There is no clear consensus between the literatures on how to define the concept of patient satisfaction in healthcare.

 

In Donabedian's quality measurement model

 

A patient satisfaction is defined as patient-reported outcome measure while the structures and processes of care can be measured by patient-reported experiences

 

For everything in life we need some kind of metrics, some tools to measure the clinical outcome and the patient satisfaction. So to make up for it may I suggest we incorporate Tech enabled, Blockchain optimized patient feedback mechanism.

 

So what is the solution, how do we propose to go about it, well unlike Press Ganey & HCAHPS (the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems), Press Ganey has stated that a minimum of 30 survey responses is necessary to draw meaningful conclusions from the data it receives and that it will not stand behind statistical analysis when less than 30 responses are received. 

 

If we all incorporate a blockchain Ecosystem & go truly real time in the patient feedback mechanism it would greatly enhance the whole patient experience and maybe help to manage solve some of the issues in real time. Wouldn’t it be just great if we incorporate Blockchain in the patient feedback loop, we wouldn’t have to wait for 30 odd surveys to be analyzed we could just go ahead and fix the situation right away if it warrants an action.

 

Another major issue is NO show and Missed Appointments

 

One study estimates, in US alone missed appointments cost US healthcare providers up to $150 billion a year.There have been instances that a Clinic loses money because of No Showand missed appointments.Patients not showing up can be costly to the health-care system. Offices lose out on revenue, and delaying care can lead to more expensive treatments later on.

"We very much believe it's going to take a collaborative effort, and we think that this kind of technology integration is going to be a critical path for being successful in terms of breaking down those barriers for access to transportation for the patient community."  David Baga, CBO, Lyft

Allscripts, Lyft and few other companies have joined hands to address this problem. The companies said they hope working together will reduce the number of people who miss medical appointments because of transportation issues.

But interesting it was found in another study giving poor people free use of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft for doctor appointments doesn’t make them any less likely to become no-shows than patients who have to find their own way there, a U.S. study suggests.

 

So what are we missing here, I believe incentivising ( tokens ) is the key and Blockchain could play a major role. Blockchain in itself is not a panacea for all things healthcare but it certainly holds the key to transform the current healthcare service delivery mechanism and make it more transparent and efficient.

A lot of small or large businesses have realized that the Blockchain is the technology of next age. In next decades, the Blockchain Application Development is going to emerge as a revolutionary technological advancement. As a result, you can easily observe that the opportunists are looking for various Bitcoin application solutions and applications. Not only the private companies but government bodies are also looking for potential benefits of the Blockchain technology. Moreover, experts are engaged in finding new ways to utilize Blockchain in different industry verticals. Briefly,  Infograins conclude that the Blockchain technology is going to widen its scope steadily. However, there are some questions that can be raised but experts say that all the questions will have their answers soon.

 

We cannot predict the future but due to existing conditions, we can hope for some Blockchain Technology trends in the next years. Let us look at five trends that are expected to lead a number of industry sectors in the next years.

 

1. Artificial Intelligence:
Artificial Intelligence is the modern concept in which the machines are designed to think just like humans and the results are quite interesting. The concept of thinking machines is based on an algorithm to perform the activities like humans and even they want machines may develop their intelligence without any further development.


As it is obvious, if they want to make the thinking machines, the machines need the access to big data and the involvement of Blockchain has made the exchange of big data quite economical.

 

2. Smart Contracts:
A smart contract is a coded program that is stored and runs on a Blockchain. Smart contracts are just like normal contracts that are executed without the need of any third party. According to the Smart contract developers, they provide unmatched security to all of the parties that belong to the Blockchain network. Nowadays, smart contracts are used to perform a number of functions that are based on the fulfillment of some pre-defined conditions to have full control on the digital assets. There are some risk factors in the field but The Blockchain and Smart Contract developers are needed in every sector and it shows that the scope of Smart Contracts is increasing quickly.

 

3. Cybersecurity:
At present, Cyber attacks are usual and there is a huge need of a secure system to minimize the cases of cybercrime. Therefore, Cryptocurrencies along with the Blockchain technology is going to replace all the traditional ways of cybersecurity. Blockchain technology is considered as an epitome of security and going to be an integral part of cybersecurity systems in future.

 

4. Etherium:
Etherium is quite similar to the Bitcoin and it seems like a smart contract platform while it is used as a robust blockchain platform. It was introduced with the Smart contract in mind and was designed with a powerful programming language called solidity. The Smart contract developers are looking for more opportunities by writing powerful Solidity code for building error-free Smart contracts.

 

5. Private Blockchain Networks:
Not only public network but private networks also need the same level security with the help of Blockchain Technology. Therefore, the developer should consider the private institutions as well while they think of utilizing the public blockchain market.


The Blockchain technology is making its way towards being a most sought after advancement and as a leading Blockchain Development Company, Infograins is looking for more opportunities in different sectors where the technology can change the traditional ways of transactions of digital assets.

A group of major automakers from around the world, including General Motors, BMWFordBosch, ZF, and Groupe Renault has teamed up with leading blockchain experts to form a major initiative, designed to provide businesses and consumers with more control and security for data relating to automobile use.

The new alliance, with partners including Accenture, IBM and Context Labs, was announced. Named MOBI (Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative), it will seek to provide users with control over driving data, ride-sharing transactions, stored vehicle identity, and other usage information.

“Blockchain and related trust enhancing technologies are poised to redefine the automotive industry and how consumers purchase, insure and use vehicles,” stated former Chief Financial Officer and Director of Mobility Services at Toyota Research Institute, Chris Ballinger. “By bringing together automakers, suppliers, startups, and government agencies, we can accelerate adoption for the benefit of businesses, consumers and communities.”

MOBI is currently working with over 70 percent of global vehicle producing companies by market share, according to the announcement. The alliance is developing an open source ecosystem designed to accommodate automakers, public transit authorities, commuters, and transportation firms, along with blockchain and startup companies that want to contribute to making transportation safer, more transparent, and more efficient through technology. Initial goals for the project will be related to autonomous machine and vehicle payment, car sharing and ride-hailing, supply chain tracking and efficiency, vehicle identity history and tracking, and usage-based pricing and payments for vehicles, insurance, congestion, and infrastructure.

Initial goals for the project will be related to autonomous machine and vehicle payment, car sharing and ride-hailing, supply chain tracking and efficiency, vehicle identity history and tracking, as well as usage-based pricing and payments for vehicles, insurance, congestion and infrastructure.

 

Vice President & Partner, IBM Automotive Industry Leader Sachin Lulla stated, “A set of blockchain standards for the mobility industry will allow auto, infrastructure and service providers to efficiently communicate and transact with each other. Bringing the industry together and building interoperable blockchain networks is key to helping the automotive industry unleash the potential of blockchain. IBM is contributing our expertise in building blockchain consortia to the group to help accelerate development and ultimately benefit consumers.”

Blockchain News

This is the second in a Blog series titled:  Blockchain Powered Smart Grid Evolution. In our previous blog we discussed electrical power distribution in economic terms and that both power and energy is a commodity to be bought, sold, and traded. [1]

 

While the present trading scheme is reliable, we pointed out that it has two serious weaknesses:  a) long settlement times that can take 7-10 days to finalize the payment related to the transaction between partners and b) bank fees associated with settlement can be quite high.

 

We explored a future looking system in the previous blog for energy trading that will be powered by Smart Contracts over the Blockchain as shown in Figure 1 above.   We looked at reducing the settlement time and trading fees through Smart Contracts over a private Blockchain network, owned and operated by the ISO, to interconnect the ISO server node with the partner nodes.   In addition, we explored the possibility of an ISO creating its own cryptocurrency for settlement of the trading, thus reducing the settlement fee and removing large centralized banking institutions as intermediaries.

 

Energy Smart Meters, Switches and Microgrids

 

In this blog, we go beyond energy trading and expand into ideas for smart meters, smart switches and Smart Microgrids powered over the Blockchain for the distribution of energy.  In today’s power grids the energy is distributed through a complex transmission system consisting of a large number of switches and meters some of which have to be manually operated when energy is shared between two utilities.   Once the Trading Agreement is completed, there is a long planning process needed to determine the exact timing of switches being manually turned on and off.  This process is complex and error prone and thus could lead to devasting consequences in the power grid if not performed according to the detailed plan of execution.

 

Now consider a next generation method of controlling the distribution of energy using Blockchain and Smart meters/switches as shown in Figure 2 below.   

 

 

The ISO Server Node and Partner Nodes are all connected to the ISO Private Blockchain Network as was described previously.   All the data exchange for energy trading proceeds through this Blockchain Network and all Trading Settlement Information is Inserted by the ISO Node on the Blockchain.  Thus, the trading is decentralized and is done through the Smart Contract deployed on the Blockchain.  As the trading is completed, the Smart Contract will also contain all the detailed information to determine how energy is shared between the Partners and the precise timing.  Energy Sharing is then controlled through Smart Meters and Smart Switches triggered by the Smart Contract.  The ISO Node is the Super-Node of the private blockchain and it consists of a high-availability cluster of nodes.

 

The architecture shown in Figure 2 can further be extended to Microgrids. A microgrid is a localized group of electricity sources and sinks (loads) that typically operates connected to and synchronous with the traditional centralized grid (Main Grid), but can disconnect and maintain operation autonomously as physical and/or economic conditions dictate.[2]   The Microgrid is a novel distribution network architecture within the Smartgrids concept, capable of exploiting the full benefits from the integration of large numbers of small scale distributed energy resources.

 

A future looking Blockchain Powered Smart Microgrid, as shown in Figure 3, can be managed and controlled by a Smart Contract.   Storage devices and Transient Stability Control devices are all operated through the Smart Contracts.  In addition to the control of storage and stability devices, the Microgrid is generally connected to the Main Grid via Smart “Point of Common Coupling” devices. 

 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning based control algorithms in concert with the Smart Contract over Blockchain ensure overall power system stability and reliability.  These control algorithms are integrated within the Smart Contract.

 

 

In summary, Blockchain use cases are proliferating in the energy domain.  The evolution will be gradual, but the organizations need to get started immediately.  The trend is towards decentralized control of Energy Trading and Grid Operation.  Eventually the Microgrid Architecture discussed in this blog can be extended to the Main Grid. Of course there are many regulatory issues that might have to be resolved depending on the regulatory climate in a country. 

 

Ultimately, Smart Contracts running on a Private Blockchain Network will control overall operation of the smart grid as well as the main grids and private cryptocurrencies will be the mechanism for energy trading and settlement.

 

For more details about DomaniSystems, visit our Website at https://www.domanisystems.com

 

We encourage open discussion on Smart Contracts, Blockchain, Security and IoT for mutual benefit and enhancement of knowledge and understanding.  You can start your discussion or questions here.  You can also contact us directly; all the information is on our Website.

 

References:

[1]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_market

[2]  https://building-microgrid.lbl.gov/about-microgridshttps://building-microgrid.lbl.gov/about-microgrids

 

blockchain blockchain sig energy energy management smart metering smart contracts

It seemed there are quite a few players who are getting into the business of Healthcare Information Exchange ( HIE ), prima facie it looks great but what is worrying is are we going the way what happened in USA couple of years back.  What HIE does is that it better enables physicians to track and manage patient health records while reducing medical errors and increasing patient safety. Providers have also found that HIE eliminates a lot of the documentation and data entry that was once a part of the office workflow, enhancing health care efficiency.

 

AllScripts and GE had to undo/redo things to sustain themselves. We should also remember that the India’s healthcare IT is still stuck in medieval age, 80% of the healthcare data is stored and retrieved manually. We don’t have a proper healthcare regulatory framework in India, NeHA( National E health Authority, India) is not set up yet. It is still in the stage of being formulated.  India has recently become IHTSDO member but the providers are not equipped to integrate it into their systems. So the issue is what comes first the bullock or the cart. First we need to Implement EHR otherwise we risk so many providers falling off the radar. The amount of data being generated at all the tier 2/tier 3 cities that are being hoarded without being shared with a central repository is something we need to look at and we need to bring them on board.

 

There are so many healthcare entities who are working in silos, there is hardly any exchange of information between them and any central repository. The central framework needs to be first implemented so that the players don’t end up re doing lot of work.

 

There’s a World market today pushing towards integration. Sharing data is going to be key. That’s one of the big challenges they face. But to integrate we need to have healthcare data that is standardized, to be shared and stored with a central repository.

 

The worry is if we have too many players getting into the space of HIE we also need some mechanism in place, some proper checks and balances, above all we need stronger healthcare data privacy laws like HIPAA, this also begets a million dollar question who is the custodian of the patient data.  It is the patient or the provider or the Government, these are some of the pertinent questions that needs to be answered. There are few who are not comfortable with the storage of healthcare data with the private players. I believe Government should be the ultimate custodian of the healthcare data.

 

concluding part follows :-

In a digital age where cars drive themselves and CEOs  hold meetings across continents in virtual reality conference rooms, engagement of the disenfranchised is a less attractive endeavor than the sleek apps, making it an outlier in the realm of tech solutions. 

In our endeavour to promote digital india it should be our collective effort to bring healthcare to the disenfranchised and to the people who slip out of the cracks.

Most of us just don't bother to take care of the elephant in the room, its time all the stakeholders joined hands and come up with a solution. For me personally Equity is of paramount importance in healthcare.The lack of focus on vulnerable populations in patient safety discounts the significance of the many lives lost, all precious to those who love them. we have yet to place strategic emphasis on the need to protect all. A man’s life lost to medical error then disguised as a heart attack, either intentionally or because of unconscious prejudice about the depth of his pocket, is more than a patient safety event. For the millions of people who have been exposed to discrimination based on their spending capacity and limited access to resources and denial of equality in humanity, such an event adds insult to tragic injury.We must connect in ridding our health system of all forms of inequality and ensuring that all people are protected from harm equally.

As hospitals and care systems work to improve quality of care and prepare for coming changes in the health care field, the ability to fully understand their patient populations and communities is critical. Collecting and using ethnicity, language, spending capacity data will help hospitals and care systems understand their patient populations and address health care disparities. While many hospitals are successfully collecting REAL data, fewer are effectively stratifying the data to shed light on health care disparities,

We need to  systematically collect race, ethnicity and language REAL preference data on all patients. We need to use REAL data to look for variations in clinical outcomes, resource utilization, length of stay and frequency of readmissions within our hospital. We need to compare patient satisfaction ratings among diverse groups and act on the information. Above all we need to actively use REAL data for strategic and outreach planning for the underprivileged.


Ehealth or no ehealth, if its not able to solve the issues of equity & empathy than its no value prop only noise, maybe it would help become a excellent facilitator in healthcare delivery but it sadly would not be able to solve the core issue of equity and empathy.

The concluding part follows:

How Blockchain could solve the problem of Universal healthcare.

BASIC DETAILS

 

Product Name: M1xchange 

Name of Organization:  Mynd Solutions Pvt Ltd 

At the helm: Sundeep Mohindru 

Year of Incorporation (for startups): 2002 

Website:  www.m1xchange.com

 

PROJECT DETAILS

 

 1. Tell us how blockchain is implemented in your product/solution

TReDS is a concept from RBI, under which Bill Discounting Exchanges have been setup by three entities namely Mynd Solutions Pvt Ltd, Axis Bank Ltd and NSE-SIDBI JV. Under this programme, large corporates and their suppliers upload their invoices on the platform, which the counterparty verifies or accepts. Post that, the financiers place their bids for financing the respective invoice for the credit period. The interest bearer party accepts the most suitable bid.

 

With three exchanges operating in India and many banks financing through these exchanges and outside the exchanges, there is always a chance that an invoice gets uploaded on more than one exchange, which is not a problem. However, it had to be ensured that duplicate financing does not happen on the same invoice.

 

To solve this issue, the three exchanges came together and have setup a permissioned ledger, using Monetago’s blockchain solution. Every exchange has its own node on the blockchain network. Any invoice that is being uploaded on the platform gets registered on the respective node. If an exchange tries to register an invoice, which is already registered on any of the other nodes, the platform through the agreed protocol informs about the duplicity and the status of financing on the platform.

 

If the invoice is financed on another platform, the registration of the invoice by the next exchange is stopped right there. However, if the invoice is only registered and not yet financed, the exchange can take a decision, whether or not they want to register that invoice.

 

At the time of bid acceptance by the interest bearer, the exchange again validates from the blockchain node, if the invoice is already factored in any other exchange. If it is, then the bid acceptance is stopped and the invoice gets discarded from the platform.

 

Many banks will also join this common utility of blockchain to check the duplicity and discussions are on for onboarding banks also on this network.

 

2. How did application of blockchain improve the above product/solution? Please outline the benefits with a comparison of the way it was done before blockchain.

 

The possibility of having duplicate invoices is greatly reduced with this. With the implementation of this solution on the exchange, the financiers can bid more confidently on the platform, without the fear of invoice getting double financed by another financier.

 

3. What sort of challenges in implementation/adoption are you expecting?

The solution has undergone testing for a long period between participants and has now been implemented. We do not foresee any major issues.

 

4. Give details of the cost of your solution and scope of scalability

The platform is a permissioned ledger and is right now for use between the 3 exchanges. Going forward, this will be extended  to banks and other NBFC factors, who are involved in Factoring/Bill Discounting.

 

To read other use cases, follow blockchain solution spotlight