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Blockchain demystified

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Blockchain and smart contract basics, myths and realities, ICOs, blockchain validation, use cases

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Blockchain demystified

  1. 1. April 28, 2018 Blockchain demystified Overview session 1
  2. 2. Photo goes here PwC Agenda 2 • A blue-sky vision and why you should care • Blockchain basics, myths and realities • Blockchain validation • The ICO phenomenon • Prominent use cases • Conclusion & Q&A
  3. 3. PwC Blockchain’s blue-sky vision
  4. 4. PwC Principles behind building real blockchain networks 4 • Decentralization • Heterarchy (versus hierarchy) • Transparency (via a distributed or shared ledger) • Tribes (manifested by startups) • Network effect • Coherence • Trust framework • Standards • Incentives Anti-centralization Networked consensus Phil Windley, “Coherence and Decentralized Systems,” April 24, 2018, http://www.windley.com/archives/2018/04/coherence_and_decentralized_systems.shtml
  5. 5. PwC Origins of the permissionless Bitcoin blockchain: The pseudononymous 2009 “Nakamoto” paper 5
  6. 6. 6 Smart Contracts are software-driven, automated rule- based agreements that require limited human interaction. The program checks if a pre-defined condition has been fulfilled and subsequently executes the embedded logic. Their outcomes only take affect if there is network consensus for their effect. Enabling this concept with Blockchain greatly reduces the dependency on third-party validation and automates certain functions; therefore leading to process efficiencies and cost savings. Users define the terms and trigger events of their contract(s) and specify parameters between counterparties Value Transfer & Final Settlement Execution of Contract Triggering Events Contract Definition Events trigger contract execution according to pre-defined terms. Devices are inter- connected through the blockchain for users to verify the information Upon consensus, the contract terms are executed and blockchain integrations with third-party APIs are utilized for inter- connected services Accounts are settled and the information is broadcasted throughout the network 2013: Smart Contracts = Business logic and rules for blockchains Autonomous in nature Self governing and self executing. Smart contracts will react automatically to external triggers Trust built in Smart contracts can only change data state if there is network consensus for that change Replication and backup Every node on the network has a replicated and in sync copy of the contract. Contracts cannot be deleted Execution speed Because smart contracts allow manual processes to be pragmatically defined processing times are significantly reduced Cost savings Smart contracts perform the function(s) of the middleman, therefore there is no need for them saving time and cost Error elimination Manual tasks can be taken care of by smart contracts eliminating human error What are the key benefits? 1 2 3 4 5 6 What are they and how do they work?
  7. 7. PwC A blue-sky vision for blockchains and smart contracts 7
  8. 8. PwC From simple smart contracts to border-crossing autonomy 8
  9. 9. PwC Blockchain basics, myths and realities
  10. 10. Myth #1: “Blockchain is just some Bitcoin thing.”
  11. 11. With the help of a blockchain, participants in the network can confirm transactions without the need for a trusted third party intermediary. Reality: Blockchains can be currency independent 11 Is the “someone in the network” requesting the transaction trustworthy? That’s a question blockchains by themselves do not address. How a blockchain works
  12. 12. What’s in a “node” on a blockchain?
  13. 13. PwC What does a permissioned blockchain do? A food supply chain example
  14. 14. Myth #2 Proof of work is the only viable way to achieve consensus on a blockchain.
  15. 15. PwC Reality: Proof of work is being augmented, if not replaced, by more energy conserving consensus approaches Proof of stake Vested and participating Proof of work Compute-intensive coin mining
  16. 16. Blockchain availability concerns: How do stewards keep their networks up and running? From Monax, “Agreements Network” white paper, 2018
  17. 17. PwC Key takeaways: Blockchain-related concepts and impacts 17
  18. 18. Myth #3: “To be able to trust data, you have to put it on a blockchain.”
  19. 19. 19 Blockchains are hardly the only immutable data stores, and you may not need a decentralized data store at all. Source: PwC Where blockchains fit in—but for distributed transactions PwC, 2015
  20. 20. 20 Other immutable data stores log events for full history, auditability and recordkeeping too--and are faster and cheaper
  21. 21. Myth #4: “Blockchain will be the next internet.”
  22. 22. Multiple parties share data multiple participants need views of common information Multiple parties update data multiple participants take actions that need to be recorded and change the data Requirement for verification participants need to trust that the actions that are recorded are valid Intermediaries add complexity removal of intermediaries can reduce cost and complexity Time sensitive interactions reducing delay has business benefits Transactions interact transactions created by different participants depend on each other Reality: Blockchains are only a fit when these circumstances apply 22
  23. 23. PwC Blockchain security considerations
  24. 24. Maturity and related inhibitors Blockchain Maturity • Young Technology: May not operate at scale without compromising on security, speed or cost • Cost: Hard to convince low budget customers Adoption • Proper Incentives: Potential participants will need to be sold on the value of the platform • Consensus Needed: Participants must come to group agreement on platform and standards acceptable to all Interoperability/ Integration • Interoperability: Ability to integrate with participant existing client systems and processes • Architectural Role: How will blockchain eliminate, replace, or work with current technological platforms
  25. 25. Myth #5: “If you want to protect your data, put it on a blockchain.”
  26. 26. PwC Reality: Protecting data requires more than blockchains, including off-chain options Microsoft, 2018 Microsoft’s blockchain-as-a-service stack Azure cloud computing stack Microsoft, 2017
  27. 27. PwC Blockchain validation at the system level
  28. 28. PwC Validating a blockchain 28 Reasons enterprises want validated blockchains:
  29. 29. PwC Blockchain risk categories covered in the framework 29
  30. 30. PwC Traditional versus blockchain-based validation 30
  31. 31. PwC How the risk framework is used in an implementation 31 © 2017 - 2018 PwC. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the US member firm or one of its subsidiaries or affiliates, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details. The risk framework is used to identify the risk factors against six different risk categories and 100+ risk areas. The information gained by employing the framework is used to configure the Blockchain Validation Solution Software.
  32. 32. The ICO phenomenon
  33. 33. 33PwC’s Digital Services Understanding the ICO Initial coin offerings are making headlines. What they are, how they work, and what you need to know about these blockchain innovations. What if you could raise millions of dollars in capital for a startup without giving away any equity? One option could be via ICOs, where tokens are offered to willing purchasers. It's a complex and rapidly evolving market. Here is a sense of how ICOs work and the initial regulatory response. Initial coin offerings: Bubble or breakthrough? Learn more about this fundraising phenomenom.
  34. 34. 34PwC’s Digital Services At a glance An initial coin offering (ICO) is a form of fundraising that harnesses the power of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based trading. Similar to a crowdfunding campaign, an ICO allocates tokens instead of shares to early investors in a business. These tokens typically do not represent actual ownership in the company, but they often provide access to an ecosystem and can be traded on an aftermarket. It's not just hype: ICOs raised over US$5 billion in 2017 in nearly 800 deals, according to CB Insights. Blockchain equity funding by comparison was a mere US$1 billion in 215 deals for the same period.1 Source: https://www.cbinsights.com/research/blockchain-vc-ico-funding ICO versus blockchain equity funding to Q417
  35. 35. 35PwC’s Digital Services Benefits • ICOs represent a new option for raising capital. • The funds involved are typically much greater than the funds in basic crowdfunding campaigns. • ICO issuers can be creative with their business models. • Strong interest in cryptocurrencies has triggered attention in ICOs by both buyers and sellers.
  36. 36. 36PwC’s Digital Services Challenges Source: https://www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/statement-clayton-2017-12-11?utm_source • A token received in an ICO does not grant equity rights. • ICOs are often unregulated; investors and issuers need to beware. • Hackers have already breached ICOs and stolen funds. • When it comes to the taxation and legal status of ICOs many gray areas still exist. • The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) notes that tokens or coins "that are offered or sold may be securities." As securities, they must be registered before sale and are subject to US federal securities laws.2 • Some startups offer "utility" tokens (provide access to an ecosystem) instead of security tokens (provide economic exposure). • ICO deals are more and more frequent, and one major challenge is discovering and learning enough about them for due diligence purposes. • The ultimate ecosystem or promised product may not come to fruition.
  37. 37. 37PwC’s Digital Services How an ICO works An ICO is a limited period in which a company offers a predefined number of tokens to investors. After weighing the risks and upsides, Company X decides that an ICO is the most viable way to raise funds. Company X fine tunes how the tokens can be used in the ecosystem. Company X formally launches an ICO campaign, explaining the goals of the project, the team's experience. and the problem they are solving. As with an IPO, an initial price is set (either in traditional currency or, more often, in cryptocurrency). A pre-sale period often takes place. Third-party services have emerged that can aid with KYC/AML, token development, ICO marketing, and more. LIKE SHARE 1 3 2 4
  38. 38. 38PwC’s Digital Services How an ICO works (continued) An ICO is a limited period in which a company offers a predefined number of tokens to investors. On the date of the ICO, the company issues tokens to the participants. Like an IPO or a crowdfunding campaign. ICOs are open for a limited time. Many have soft or hard caps on the amount that can be raised. Following the ICO, the team will continue building the promised product using the funds received. ICO DATE BUY 5 7 6
  39. 39. 39PwC’s Digital Services Initial regulatory response Regulators have expressed divided responses to ICOs, ranging from total bans to support for the activity as long as it's regulated. As a result, ICO activity has been migrating to countries such as Japan, which has taken steps toward legalization. China imposed an outright ban on "token fundraising" in September 2017,3 declaring that the activity constitutes "an illegal issuance of securities“ associated with financial crimes such as fraud and pyramid schemes. Source: https://www.coindesk.com/chinas-ico-ban-a-full-translation-of-regulator-remarks/ https://www.coindesk.com/south-korean-regulator-issues-ico-ban/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/breaking-russia-rejects-cryptocurrency-as-authorities-block-access-to-exchanges https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-cenbank-bitcoin/russia-turns-cold-on-crypto-currencies-idUSKBN1CFORF https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/japan-accepts-bitcoin-as-legal-payment-method-whats-next/ https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/china-ico-ban-sees-startups-japan-bound-token-listings/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/challenging-china-taiwan-supports-mainstream-adoption-of-icos-and-bitcoin Similarly, South Korea banned token offerings at the end of September 2017,4 asserting that these offerings, "regardless of technical terminology,“ violate the country's capital market law. Additionally, the country's Financial Services Commission plans broader reviews of cryptocurrency company practices through the end of the calendar year. Russia's central bank revealed its intention beginning in October 2017 to block5 all cryptocurrency exchange websites operating in the country entirely. President Putin pointed out that cryptocurrencies can serve as a vehicle for money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorism, according to Reuters.6 The governments of Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, and others, in similar fashion to the US, have asserted that at least some coin offerings will be subject to securities laws. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) also echoed this sentiment. Taking a different tack entirely, Japan recognized7 bitcoin as legal tender in May 2017 and has since authorized 11 cryptocurrency exchanges. Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck said in October that it was reviewing ICO proposals it received from hundreds of Chinese startups after China imposed its ban.
  40. 40. PwC Use cases
  41. 41. Our clients exploring blockchain solutions Supply Chain Finance Design ● Designed a solution that leveraged a cloud-based predictive analytics and shared workflow to improve cash flow and data integrity across the Order to Cash process Strategy Assessment ● Performed a strategy assessment to identify potential use cases. Evaluated potential partners and provided implementation considerations Product Design and Strategy Assessment ● Assessed technology architecture and design features of cross border payments program leveraging blockchain. Proposed third party vendors, partnerships and go-to market strategy Transaction Settlement PoC ● Designed and developed a proof of concept for a central bank, to explore the use of resilient distributed ledger technology for settling transactions Supply Chain Pilot ● Built a pilot that would allow a pharmaceutical company to attest to provenance / chain of custody of prescription drugs in order to prevent fraud Trade Finance Pilot ● Collaborated with large software company and bank to build a standby letter of credit proof of concept, taking a multiday, 15+ step process to 5 steps with near real-time data availability Large Corporate Treasurer and Bank Large Industrial Company Investment Bank Large Asian Pharmaceutical Company Large European Bank Global Payments Processor Example use cases we’ve helped clients with 41
  42. 42. Issue: Bank recordkeeping and reconciliation friction 4 2
  43. 43. Solution: Reduce transaction friction
  44. 44. Automotive supply chain challenges
  45. 45. Automotive supply chain solutions
  46. 46. Automotive supply chain tracking and tracing
  47. 47. PwC Trend in identity toward controlling your own IDs
  48. 48. Unwarranted and fraudulent bot traffic forces advertisers to overpay and makes customer data more difficult to track Ghost Sites lead to advertisements getting placed on non-existent or incorrect sides. The opposite can also occur for many publishers Lack of trust in the supply chain limits the data that is shared, reducing the ability to make informed business decisions Blockchain solutions have the ability to address the major pain felt across the industry Through the use of an ad network registry, a blockchain network could prevent fraudulent players from entering into the advertising ecosystem By tagging digital assets as well as creating an ad network registry, blockchain can track exactly where an advertisement is placed and determine if that location is legitimate By pairing distributed ledger technology with cryptographic security, blockchain can enable enhanced data sharing without the risk of fraud Current Industry Concerns Potential Blockchain Solutions Ad tech supply chain problems 15
  49. 49. PwC Ad tech solutions 49
  50. 50. PwC Conclusion: Opportunities and challenges • Targeted, smaller footprint commercialization in financial services • Substantial transaction friction reduction promise • Strong demand for product safety, supply chain transparency and efficiencies • Organizational and industry boundary crossing and new levels of collaboration • Autonomous capability symbiotic with AI’s capabilities • The reality of the adoption S curve • The lagging legal and regulatory environment • The complexity of the business ecosystem • The installed base of business technologies, processes, and procedures • Competing but less advanced offerings • Uncertainty surrounding best practices Opportunities Challenges
  51. 51. Questions or comments? http://usblogs.pwc.com/emerging-technology/ © 2018 PwC. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the US member firm or one of its subsidiaries or affiliates, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details. This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors. Alan Morrison Sr. Research Fellow Tel: +1 (408) 817-5723 alan.s.morrison@pwc.com

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