Impact of 5G, Samsung Payments & Abandoning Blockchain for Paper

Off the Blocks | Vol 105, March 10, 2020

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Visualized: Where 5G Will Change The World

(This post first appeared on Visual Capitalist, March 9, 2020)

We’re on the cusp of a 5G revolution.

Visualized: Where 5G Will Change The World

High resolution version of this infographic

Whereas 4G brought us the network speeds necessary for online apps and mobile-streaming, 5G represents a monumental leap forward. Beyond the improvements to our existing ecosystem of devices—more speed and better stability—researchers believe that 5G can serve as the underpinning for fully-connected industries and cities.

Change doesn’t happen overnight, and for us to experience 5G’s true potential, we’ll need to be patient. In light of this, today’s infographic from Raconteur visualizes the forecasted impact of 5G to help us identify the countries and industries that will most effectively leverage its power.

5G-Empowered Industries

5G networks are expected to generate $13.2 trillion in global sales activity by 2035. To make this easier to digest, here are the five industries which stand to benefit the most.

Let’s focus on manufacturing, an industry that is expected to see a massive $4.6 trillion in 5G-enabled sales.

Efficiency is the name of the game here, and researchers predict that this technology will allow for the world’s first “smart factories”. Such factories would leverage the faster speed and reliability of 5G networks to eliminate cabled connections, improve automated processes, and most importantly, gather more data.

Combined with machine learning algorithms, this data can help companies predict when expensive equipment is about to fail, reducing the likelihood of expensive downtime.

– AT&T Business Editorial

Robots won’t be the only ones to benefit, however. While today’s factories may be lined with machines, humans are still required to be onsite for troubleshooting when issues arise. Some processes may also be too intricate to be effectively automated, thus requiring a human’s touch.

With the lower latencies (shorter delay) boasted by 5G networks, virtual and augmented reality devices can become reliable enough for use in high precision work. This exciting development has the potential to greatly increase a human worker’s productivity, as well as allow them to work in closer harmony with robots.

In fact, such technologies are already being used on factory floors.

Leading The Way

Developing 5G networks and implementing them into the many industries of the global economy is a massive undertaking, and just seven countries are expected to account for 79% of all 5G-related investment.

By 2035, here’s how these countries are expected to rank.

Incidentally, these seven nations are also some of the world’s most innovative economies.

Let’s take a closer look at the two biggest players in 5G development.

United States

It’s not a surprise to see the U.S. on top in terms of 5G investment, though it seems the country is in a peculiar position. China is right on their heels in terms of investment, and is even forecasted to surpass them in 5G-enabled output and employment.

Chinese tech giant Huawei is likely a factor behind these numbers. The company—which America has no direct rival to—is currently the world’s largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment.

Developments such as these have formed the general consensus that China is winning the “5G race”, but putting America down for a second place finish may be a mistake. With renowned tech hubs like Silicon Valley, the U.S. still leads the rest of the world in terms of patent activity and high-tech company density.

There will be a tendency to cast these developments as another sign that the United States is losing the race … [but] U.S. companies can dominate the applications and services that run over 5G.

– Adam Segal, Director, Council on Foreign Relations

Part of what makes 5G so special is its potential to be used across a wider variety of applications including autonomous vehicles and manufacturing. Perhaps it’s here where American tech firms can use their innovative capacity and software expertise to carve out an advantage.


Being the world’s largest manufacturer means China is well-positioned to leverage the power of 5G networks. With nearly 11 million 5G-enabled jobs and over $1.3 trillion in output by 2035, China’s estimates are magnitudes larger than the other countries on this list.

A reason why China is such a cost-efficient place to make things is its well-established network of suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors. All three of these sectors are likely to implement 5G networks for improved speed and efficiency.

China is no slouch when it comes to innovation, either. In terms of patent activity, it ranks second in the world. Shenzhen, once a small fishing village, has become China’s answer to Silicon Valley, and is home to domestic telecom giants like Huawei and ZTE Corporation.

Yet, China faces serious obstacles as it seeks to supply the rest of the world with 5G equipment. Huawei is the subject of U.S. sanctions over allegations of its dealings with Iran. Further skepticism arises from the company’s dubious ownership structure, reliance on state subsidies, and claims of espionage.

Huawei’s quest for dominance in the global telecommunications industry has involved tactics and practices that are antithetical to fair, healthy competition.

– Foreign Policy (magazine)

Regardless of the damage these controversies may cause, China shows no signs of slowing down. The country already holds bragging rights for the world’s largest 5G consumer network, and even claims to have begun research on 6G, an eventual successor to 5G.

The Waiting Game

It’s important to remember that the vast majority of 5G benefits are still years away.

Thus, this next generation of mobile networks can be thought of as an enabling technology—new innovations and complementary technologies will be needed to realize its full potential.

While today’s infographic paints an intuitive visualization of the 5G roadmap, only time will tell which industries and countries actually see the most benefits.

Click here for the original post on Visual Capitalist

Now some significant news from the world this week:

  1. Payments | Samsung to Target EU Payments Sector With Blockchain-Based Solution for Banks: Samsung's enterprise technology arm is building a blockchain-based settlements solution for merchants and banks. Samsung SDS had signed a memorandum of understanding with Israeli fintech solutions provider Credorax to develop the solution, aimed to create efficiencies by automatically logging payments data on bank records and ledgers. Hong Won-Pyo, Samsung SDS president and chief executive, said to local media the agreement with Credorax, which has already provided solutions to companies across the European Union and broader economic area, will enable the Korean tech company to gain a foothold in the region's payments sector. [… Read More on Coindesk]

  2. Health | Coronavirus Poses Unique Challenges to Blockchain Projects in China: The use of distributed ledger technology itself is proving to have new use cases, specifically in helping the international healthcare community track and fight this disease. On February 9, 2020, for example, Chinese mutual aid platform Xiang Hu Bao allowed users to claim compensation for being infected with the disease through a blockchain-based platform designed to prevent fraud and process data. the blockchain company Acoer has created a protocol for tracking coronavirus based on the Hedera hashgraph, using the technology to not only track the movements and status of current patients, but also to easily visualize and update this information in real time. [… Read More on NASDAQ]

  3. Finance | Algorand Blockchain Chosen as Underlying Tech for Marshall Islands’ Digital Currency: The Marshallese sovereign (SOV), which could become the first state-backed digital currency to enter circulation, will be built using the Algorand protocol. The brainchild of Silvio Micali, MIT professor and Turing Award recipient, Algorand is designed as a scalable proof-of-stake network free of potential governance issues, like forks. Having raised more than $60 million in a public token sale last summer, the protocol is already being used by an Icelandic e-money startup to bring fiat currencies onto the blockchain. [… Read More on Coindesk]

  4. India | SC Crypto Ruling Welcome, But Industry Wary of Indian Government: The Supreme Court quashing the Reserve Bank of India’s order that banned financial services firms from trading in cryptocurrency has been well received by the industry, but most still remain wary of taking the next step. The general thinking in the industry seems to be that the SC’s ruling is only the first step, and it can’t yet trust a government that has been publicly against allowing crypto exchanges and startups function effectively in India. Regulations will clarifyhow much freedom cryptocurrency businesses and exchanges will have to operate in India. That’s important for big global exchanges to make their entry into the market and for Indian startups to do well. [… Read More on LiveMint]

  5. Telecom | Verizon Boosts Security With Blockchain, Adds MDR: Verizon Business added security services including managed detection and response as well as two new identity and access management services that use blockchain, which are firsts for Verizon security products. The two blockchain-based services are Verizon Identity (VID) and Verizon Machine State Integrity. With VID, identity data is encrypted and replicated across multiple online servers on the blockchain. This means there’s no centralized database for an attacker to target or single point of failure. The blockchain acts as an index of identifiers and an audit trail for the exchange of verifiable claims. Verizon says VID also helps eliminate the need for user IDs and passwords, so in addition to improving security this service also makes security easier for users. The service provider’s latest Data Breach Investigation Report found that 29% of breaches investigated involved stolen credentials, and this new service directly addresses that threat. [… Read More on SDX Central]

The Final Word | West Virginia Abandons Blockchain Voting in Favor of Paper

West Virginia Abandons Blockchain Voting in Favor of Paper
Image Source: CoinTelegraph

West Virginia decided against using blockchain-based platform Voatz for residents with disabilities and citizens residing abroad to cast their votes in the state’s upcoming primary election. Instead, citizens will vote using a platform offered by Democracy Live. The platform allows voters to either fill out a ballot or print and post it. Democracy Live and Voatz share entrepreneur Bradley Tusk as an investor. Democracy Live is already in use for disabled voters in the state of Washington, and select counties in California and Ohio.

West Virginia’s decision to ditch Voatz comes following a recent security audit conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that was published on Feb. 13. The report found that

Voatz has vulnerabilities that allow different kinds of adversaries to alter, stop, or expose a user's vote.

While West Virginia had used Voatz during its 2018 midterm elections, no malicious actors were found to have exploited its vulnerabilities. MIT's findings were shared with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency prior to publication. They were then forwarded to state and local electoral officials who had planned to pilot or use Voatz during the 2020 election cycle. [… Read More on CoinTelegraph]

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