Top 10 Tech Giants are Diving into Blockchain
Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba, Tencent, Samsung, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Accenture, Huawei, and Orange are all heavily invested in blockchain technology
It is of no doubt now that blockchain as a technology is being taken seriously. Governments around the world are forming regulations and standards, enterprises are setting up dedicated R&D arms and real-world application is taking off in almost every industry. This article will look at the top tech giants by market value who have invested heavily into this leading technology and will help define the future.
- Apple Inc. $1,153 Billion
- Microsoft Corp. $1,105 Billion
- Alphabet Inc. $902 Billion
- Amazon.com Inc. $887 Billion
- Facebook Inc. $543 Billion
- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. $486 Billion
- Tencent Holdings $403 Billion
- Samsung Electronics $382 Billion
- TMSC Ltd. $264 Billion
- Intel Corp. $252 Billion
Other notable Tech companies
- Apple Inc.
Apple has been fairly quiet on the blockchain front with some mentions about the risks of cryptocurrencies, mixed in with the occasional statement on blockchain’s innovation and potential.
In February 2019, Apple submitted a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that contained rare details about their interest in blockchain tech. In June, the company also filed a new patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a new system certifying timestamps using blockchain technology. It seems they are quietly working on the technology while outwardly appearing restrained.
The iphone iOS 13 release also featured what Apple calls a “cryptographic” developer tool, indicating a careful first step into dApps, while avoiding trigger words such as ‘cryptocurrency’ and ‘blockchain’.
2. Microsoft Corp.
Microsoft has been much more forthcoming with their views on blockchain and have developed the Azure Blockchain Service. This platform enables users to grow and operate blockchain networks at their own scale on Azure. Launched earlier this year, there is no doubt about microsoft’s deep dive into the technology.
The latest announcement to come from the giant discussed plans to turn the 1980s Gamebook Series into a blockchain card game using Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). According to gamebook firm Fabled Lands CEO, it ‘just made more sense’ to launch the game on blockchain rather than through traditional methods
3. Alphabet Inc.
In mid 2018, Google’s parent company, Alphabet partnered with Digital Asset to extend “blockchain platform and developer tools” to its google cloud platform. It was the last of the major cloud platforms to embrace blockchain technology, but will integrate both Hyperledger and Ethereum. Google Cloud also supports other blockchain platforms such as aelf with a marketplace listing made public late 2019.
Some of Google Cloud’s clients include Dominos Pizza, SoundCloud, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, HSBC and Ebay. The company has been developing their own blockchain-based distributed ledger as part of their Cloud Services as announced in 2018.
Other Cloud Computing platforms to embrace blockchain include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, Alibaba Cloud and Huawei Cloud.
4. Amazon.com Inc.
Similar to Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, Amazon Managed Marketplace is a fully managed service for the creation and management of scalable blockchain networks. In Aug 2019, Amazon was hiring a software engineer to integrate part of its advertising business onto blockchain.
A recent announcement also saw Amazon responding to an EoI from Tea Board for using blockchain to determine traceability of tea. The EoI also saw responses from 27 other companies including Infosys and Yes Bank.
Amazon has listed multiple blockchains on its marketplace including Ethereum, and recently listed aelf as their first blockchain platform to support cross-chain communication.
5. Facebook Inc.
It is no surprise that Facebook is on this list with a value of over half a trillion USD. The last few months have seen them take the headlines across the world with their controversial Libra Blockchain Project. They appeared to hold double standards when they announced this project while they held a ban on any cryptocurrency related ads on the social platform. There have been concerns raised globally about their involvement in a cryptocurrency project on the back of their continual privacy issues and misdemeanors.
The Libra Association saw partnerships from PayU, Farfetch, Lyft, Spotify, Uber, Iliad SA, Vodafone, Coinbase, Anchorage, Visa, Paypal and other large enterprises. Following the criticism, Visa and Paypal were some of the companies who have withdrawn their support for the project.
6. Alibaba Group
Alibaba is the largest retail group in the world and has seen multiple use-cases for blockchain. They join the other cloud giants in providing a blockchain platform for enterprises to run their services on. Earlier in 2019, reports circulated about the integration of blockchain technology in Alibaba’s intellectual property system after which it will expand onto digital copyright protection, including visual content. It has also been revealed that the tech giant has applied for almost 300 blockchain patents.
A few months after this news came to light, Alibaba also announced it’s Charities on the Chain platform, aiming to provide transparency for charities, donors and beneficiaries; as well as keeping track of all donations.
Alibaba’s financial arm, Ant Financial has also been testing and implementing the technology since 2016 in a blockchain consortium.
7. Tencent Holdings
Tencent has been working on blockchain application on a few fronts including with the Tax Bureau Shenzhen. The collaboration will focus on fake tax claims with blockchain invoices, as announced mid 2018.
The company has recently also received license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission to open a blockchain-based virtual bank, originally called Infinium but later renamed to Fusion Bank.
Tencent has also been working in the gaming industry with a new blockchain based game launched in early 2019. Let’s Hunt Monsters takes components from both PokemonGo and CryptoKitties to bring users a game which allows them to hunt monsters in an augmented reality on the streets. PokemonGo was the most popular mobile game with an estimated revenue of $2.5 Billion USD, but with its ban in China, this blockchain based game is the most downloaded free game in China’s iOS App Store.
8. Samsung Electronics
Samsung was one of the first major tech companies to incorporate blockchain and cryptocurrencies into their new phone products with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S10 arriving with the Samsung Blockchain Wallet App and support for multiple dApps. The Blockchain Keystore has been a central element to this adoption and now offers 17 crypto related apps, up from the original 4 apps supported. Not only does the Keystore make it easier for users to access these dApps, but it also aids developers in their work in creating quality and secure dApps available to everyday users.
In early 2018, news came out that Samsung was also joining the cryptocurrency mining industry with hardware development of their own, rivalling large mining manufacturer Bitmain. The announcement specified that Samsung will be developing their own ASIC chips used solely for mining cryptocurrencies.
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TMSC) has been involved in the blockchain industry for years with the development of mining chips used in a large portion of the crypto mining hardware globally. Most notably, they are the sole supplier of chips for Bitmain equipment.
TMSC and Samsung are the two main producers of mining chips with very little competition from anyone else. Nvidia and some other Graphics Card manufacturers attempted to enter the industry in 2018 with dedicated graphics cards designed specifically for mining performance, but this has seen little impact overall. In early 2018, the TMSC announced that the crypto mining boom had driven sales to record highs.
10. Intel Corp
Intel is one of the most well known tech companies around the world. They have been involved in almost all areas of technology in the recent past and blockchain is no different. They have partnered with SAP in their BaaS specifically looking at the Global Track and Trace blockchain PoC. They are also performing benchmarking studies to analyze blockchain metrics such as transactions per seconds.
Intel have also partnered with Oracle to provide the hardware side of their Blockchain Cloud Service. Early in 2019, Intel announced their own blockchain package aimed at commercial use and based on the Hyperledger ecosystem. This ecosystem also utilizes Intel’s hardware such as the Xeon processors and Ethernet Network Adapters.
This package rivals services offered by other giants such as IBM and Microsoft.
Other leading tech companies which have dived headlong into blockchain technology include Huawei, Oracle, IBM, Accenture, and Orange. Huawei has developed their own blockchain service as well as partnered with aelf to promote blockchain platforms to all their existing cloud clients. Oracle, IBM and Accenture have all developed their own blockchain solution to aid in enterprise blockchain adoption. Orange has a branch looking specifically at blockchain use-cases in collaboration with aelf.
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