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Flurry of German, South Korean, UAE Major Firms Pivot to Blockchain

Flurry of German, South Korean, UAE Major Firms Pivot to Blockchain 101
Etihad Airways. Source: iStock/jcheris

A number of major international companies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia have announced they will be embarking on blockchain technology-powered business operations.

In Germany, the country’s second-largest bank, Commerzbank, says it has developed a “blockchain-based payment solution for machine-to-machine (M2M) payments.”

The bank says, per a press release, that it has conducted a successful pilot whereby a Daimler truck’s onboard system completed a “fully automated payment process” with an electric charging point.

The bank claims that it “issued euros on a blockchain and provided Daimler with ‘cash on ledger’ (i.e. the money on the blockchain) to process the payment.”

Commerzbank says the pilot proves that charging and payment can be “performed fully automatically and without any human interaction,” and the bank says it will also look at possible real estate and chemicals industry applications.

Forbes reports that financial services group Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty is developing a blockchain technology solution that will allow it to conduct global insurance payments.

The media outlet quotes an Allianz spokesperson as stating,

“[The company] is further exploring blockchain technology to simplify and accelerate cross-border insurance payments for its corporate customers. A project team is in the advanced stages of development for a token-based electronic payment system to allow for frictionless, transparent and instantaneous money transfers for a range of different types [of] payments.”

The company says it has already built and tested its platform, and will now move to pilot with “trial money transfers with a limited scope and for a short period of time.”
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Elsewhere, Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, has announced that it has struck a deal with open-source travel platform Winding Tree.

Reuters reports that together, the companies plan to look into ways of using blockchain technology to distribute products and services without the need for third-party distribution partners like Sabre and Amadeus.

The deal could see Etihad and its new partner provide data on flights and rooms for travel agents or corporate travel booking specialists.

Winding Tree has previously agreed blockchain partnership deals with airline Air Canada, Air France-KLM and Lufthansa, and its Chief Operating Officer told Reuters, “We have been doing experiments and new solutions on the platform.”

In South Korea, e-commerce and home shopping platform GS also appears to be set to launch blockchain operations.

Seoul Kyungjae reports that the company has issued job postings seeking “blockchain talent.” The postings specify that candidates should “have experience of planning and launching new blockchain businesses or participating in the development of a blockchain platform.”

The company is the country’s biggest home shopping platform and commands over 20% of the national market share.

And also in South Korea, gaming developer WeMade – the developer of hit MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) releases like the Legends of Mir series – says it wants to launch a blockchain-powered gaming platform.

Per Fn News, the company could reboot Legends of Mir 2 – a success in both South Korea and China – as a “blockchain-powered game.”

The company is also planning to launch a “global gaming platform based on blockchain technology.”

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