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Book review of Don Tapscott’s collaborative ‘Supply Chain Revolution’

Book review of Don Tapscott’s collaborative ‘Supply Chain Revolution’

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A detailed explanation of how blockchain is being applied to transform a variety of supply chains

Author Don Tapscott’s latest book Supply Chain Revolution highlights opportunities for transformation that blockchain can bring to what the book calls a $50 trillion supply chain industry issue. 

Tapscott, who is also co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute, told Cointelegraph that Supply Chain Revolution is the second book in the series being produced by the BRI, noting that over 100 companies agreed to make their research publicly available to interested readers. While the first book in the series introduced blockchain technology as a whole, the second and third books go into specific industry use cases.

Blockchain can minimize pandemic disruptions

Supply Chain Revolution begins with a detailed forward in which Tapscott explains blockchain’s critical role for supply chain management and how this has been exemplified by the coronavirus pandemic. On the first page, he wrote, “The pandemic has also revealed chinks in our supply chains.”

Although the use cases in the book focus on topics not specifically related to the coronavirus pandemic, Tapscott explained that the book was published early to help readers understand how blockchain can minimize pandemic-related disruptions occurring in sectors like global trade and food traceability:

“The shortages the world is experiencing due to COVID19 shouldn’t be the case, as this stems from supply chain failures and fear driven by a lack of transparency.”

Tapscott goes on to describe the complexities of today’s supply chains, noting that multiple entities are coordinating and conducting transactions through “a Byzantine network of computer systems with disparate applications like email, phone and fax.”

Due to these outdated systems, supply chain processes are slow, expensive and inefficient. This is especially problematic during a pandemic for example, wherein a lack of transparency into supply chains can cause consumers to hoard items out of fear.

Blockchain: The internet of value

As Tapscott mentions, blockchain has fortunately become the “internet of value.” He wrote: “Individuals and organizations can manage and trade their assets digitally peer-to-peer. These assets can be digital like money, identity and private information; or they can be physical assets represented by digital tokens.”

In order to demonstrate this point, nine chapters written by different industry experts outline specific use cases on how blockchain can transform supply chains. The first chapter features research from Deloitte and details how blockchain can improve global trade operations. The authors note that although global trade has grown in complexity and magnitude, processes remain largely unchanged.

Blockchain can be used to modernize the global trade industry by providing a means to move goods and revenue digitally in a peer-to-peer manner. Moreover, while most global trade participants rely on manual, paper-based processes, blockchain can secure immutable, digital records with cryptography and codified business rules.

The second chapter explains how Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group is using blockchain to transform global operations by building digital relationships with its partners, suppliers, products, factories and customers.

Chapter 3 may be one of the most important chapters in terms of demonstrating blockchain’s potential for supply chain management, as it focuses primarily on trust and verification. The billion-dollar diamond industry is highlighted in this chapter, exhibiting how blockchain can provide consumers with knowledge into the provenance of luxury goods.

Chapters 4 and 5 focus on blockchain’s use in tracing food products back to their origins to prevent foodborne illnesses. Walmart’s partnership with IBM is mentioned as an example of how blockchain can increase accuracy and timeliness of data across a complex supply chain.

While chapters 6, 7 and 8 shed light on regulation, technologies that can be combined with blockchain, and how blockchain can be used in manufacturing, chapter 9 contains the most impressive use case of blockchain throughout the entire book, bringing together each point mentioned in the previous chapters to highlight China’s “One Belt Road” initiative. Adopted by the Chinese government in 2013, the initiative aims to minimize friction in cross-border trade and global supply chains.

The Belt and Road Blockchain Consortium is building out the digital infrastructure for this initiative and is applying blockchain to enable digital identities for entities, while automating capital flow through smart contracts.

Is blockchain’s potential apparent?

This book is a must-read for individuals wondering how blockchain can transform a variety of complex supply chains. From global trade to food safety to a powerful use case like China’s One Belt Road, blockchain’s potential for supply chain management is apparent and easily understood.

However, while each chapter focuses on different use cases, some of the information can become repetitive, such as how trust, transparency and governance are major benefits that blockchain brings to the supply chain industry. Some readers may choose to skim through those sections of the book since they would be making similar points to bring the argument across.

Related: Getting Into the Financial Services Revolution With Alex Tapscott

Moreover, the technology is continuously evolving, which can quickly outpace books focused on blockchain use cases. Although the research mentioned will be new to many readers, more contemporary use cases are emerging.

However, Supply Chain Revolution captures a major theme the blockchain space is seeing today and will continue to witness moving forward: the rise of state machines. According to Tapscott, enterprises are currently moving from supply chains to asset chains:

“A state machine allows enterprises to know not only the state of the supplier, but also about the state of the assets themselves. This goes beyond the chain of custody idea. State machines provide visibility into things like the trustworthiness of suppliers and the assets themselves.”

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Crypto

Amazon will pay you $10 in credit for your palm print biometrics

How much is your palm print worth? If you ask Amazon, it’s about $10 in promotional credit if you enroll your palm prints in its checkout-free stores and link it to your Amazon account. Last year, Amazon introduced its new biometric palm print scanners,..

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How much is your palm print worth? If you ask Amazon, it’s about $10 in promotional credit if you enroll your palm prints in its checkout-free stores and link it to your Amazon account.

Last year, Amazon introduced its new biometric palm print scanners, Amazon One, so customers can pay for goods in some stores by waving their palm prints over one of these scanners. By February, the company expanded its palm scanners to other Amazon grocery, book and 4-star stores across Seattle.

Amazon has since expanded its biometric scanning technology to its stores across the U.S., including New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Texas.

The retail and cloud giant says its palm scanning hardware “captures the minute characteristics of your palm — both surface-area details like lines and ridges as well as subcutaneous features such as vein patterns — to create your palm signature,” which is then stored in the cloud and used to confirm your identity when you’re in one of its stores.

Amazon’s latest promotion: $10 promotional credit in exchange for your palm print. (Image: Amazon)

What’s Amazon doing with this data exactly? Your palm print on its own might not do much — though Amazon says it uses an unspecified “subset” of anonymous palm data to improve the technology. But by linking it to your Amazon account, Amazon can use the data it collects, like shopping history, to target ads, offers and recommendations to you over time.

Amazon also says it stores palm data indefinitely, unless you choose to delete the data once there are no outstanding transactions left, or if you don’t use the feature for two years.

While the idea of contactlessly scanning your palm print to pay for goods during a pandemic might seem like a novel idea, it’s one to be met with caution and skepticism given Amazon’s past efforts in developing biometric technology. Amazon’s controversial facial recognition technology, which it historically sold to police and law enforcement, was the subject of lawsuits that allege the company violated state laws that bar the use of personal biometric data without permission.

“The dystopian future of science fiction is now. It’s horrifying that Amazon is asking people to sell their bodies, but it’s even worse that people are doing it for such a low price,” said Albert Fox Cahn, the executive director of the New York-based Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, in an email to TechCrunch.

“Biometric data is one of the only ways that companies and governments can track us permanently. You can change your name, you can change your Social Security number, but you can’t change your palm print. The more we normalize these tactics, the harder they will be to escape. If we don’t [draw a] line in the sand here, I am very fearful what our future will look like,” said Cahn.

When reached, an Amazon spokesperson declined to comment.

 

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Economics

The Death Of Commuting

The Death Of Commuting

By Nick Colas of DataTrek Research

The rising interest in remote work is largely an American phenomenon and an important trend to understand for its long-run impact on US productivity growth. The bottom line is that..

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The Death Of Commuting

By Nick Colas of DataTrek Research

The rising interest in remote work is largely an American phenomenon and an important trend to understand for its long-run impact on US productivity growth. The bottom line is that remote work is here to stay; workers hate commuting. The increasing popularity of remote work combined with new technology should lead to higher US productivity than the last 2 decades.

This is a story about commuting and the increasing popularity of work-from-home, and we will start with an anecdote:

Many of you know I grew up in New York City (Upper West Side Manhattan, to be precise) in the 1960s and 1970s. Since my parents both worked, I was on my own getting to and from school and any after-school activities. I learned at a very early age (8-9 years old) how to read people on the street, look for trouble and avoid it, and generally navigate what was then a not very safe city.

The families of many childhood friends moved to the suburbs during this period and, when we visited them, I always wondered why we couldn’t live that way. It seemed a lot nicer. Trees, outdoor activities, backyards … It was like another world.

When I asked my mom why we couldn’t live in a house too, her reply was always “Your father refuses to commute”. He worked in midtown Manhattan and wanted to be able to wake up at 8am but still be at his desk by 9am, even if he had to walk. Nothing would sway him from that point of view. In truth, my mother had her own reasons for staying put. She wanted her children to have a cosmopolitan upbringing. Long story short, we never moved.

Copious amounts of psychological research has since validated my father’s seeming stubbornness: commuting is an unalloyed negative for mental health. Because it is inherently unpredictable, it creates stress. The longer the commute time, the more stress there is. This affects both job performance and general life satisfaction. Commuting is also expensive. Assuming a typical American commute of 40 miles/day and $3/gallon gas prices, that works out to $1,500/year. Mass transit into a major US city like NY can cost several hundred dollars/month.

I think this is the most important and still underappreciated story about the work-from-home phenomenon and it applies to the United States much more than, say, Europe. Here’s why:

  • Daily commute times are actually about the same between the US and the EU – about 25-27 minutes each way.

  • But … Americans work an average of 1,767 hours/year according to the OECD. In France, for example, it is 1,402 hours/year and in Germany it is 1,332 hours/year.

  • That’s an average differential of 400 hours/year, or almost 2/hours a working day. Some of this difference is due to vacations, of course. Still, the net result is that Americans work many more aggregate hours AND must also budget time for their essentially 1-hour typical commute.

Millions of American workers have, over the last 16 months, seen what a non- or less-commuting life looks like and (no surprise) they really like it. It may not put them on par with their French and German counterparts but clawing back an hour of their work-related day closes the gap by half. The financial savings obviously help as well, as does the possibility of relocating to lower-cost parts of the country if entirely remote work is a possibility.

That’s why US Google search volumes for queries like “remote work” and “remote jobs” remain higher than pre-pandemic levels (the former) or still rising quickly (the latter):

I see echoes of this fact everywhere in the current US labor market data, but the most important systematic issue is what it will do to American labor force productivity over the next economic cycle. Economic growth is a function of just 2 factors: labor force population growth and how much the average worker can produce. We know the American population only grows at about 1 percent, so getting real GDP growth to run hotter than that requires workers to increase their output every year. That is productivity growth, and it is also the engine of wage growth.

This chart shows US labor force productivity back to 1990. The choppiness is due to recession effects (those spots to the right of the grey bars), but the trend is clear enough.

Peak US structural (i.e., non-cyclical) productivity was in 1999 – 2000 (3-4 pct, as noted). That’s what you’d expect to see given the widespread rollout of Internet 1.0 and personal computing.

Since then, normalized productivity has declined. In the early 2000s cycle it was 1-3 pct (2004 – 2007) and more like 0-2 pct in the last cycle (2011 – 2019).

The bottom line is that US labor force productivity has been in secular decline for 2 decades and how the shift to remote work affects it will be a determining factor in US economic growth over the next decade. One can just as easily paint a rosy or dire picture:

  • Positive: less commuting means less worker stress and a happier, more focused workforce at the margin.

  • Negative: less human contact and in-person supervision/training will lead to lower growth in output/worker.

The “DataTrek take” is that US labor productivity will rise from last decade’s lows because of two factors. First, labor shortages are forcing companies to invest heavily in productivity solutions. Good news for structural profit margins, but bad news for many workers who may be sitting out the current hot labor market environment. Second, venture capital is funding a raft of new companies that are creating the next wave of productivity-enhancing software.

I’ll close with another story, this one about the use of electricity at the start of the 20th century. Thomas Edison had started running commercial generators and selling electric power in the 1880s, but through the 1910s most factories still ran steam-powered machines. It took the post-World War I boom to see them convert to electricity. This allowed factory owners to lay out their shop floors to maximize output rather than needing to locate power-hungry devices closest to the steam engine. Efficiency increased dramatically (link below to a BBC article with more details).

We are in a similar position today. As with electricity in 1910 the technological infrastructure is in place for a productivity surge, but it is deeply underutilized. Persistent labor market shortages are the catalyst to change that. Yes, this will require worker retraining, but the 1920s US economic boom shows technological shifts need not lead to structurally high unemployment.

Sources: BBC Article on the adoption of electricity: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-40673694

Tyler Durden Mon, 08/02/2021 - 14:55

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Stocks

Best Penny Stocks to Buy Now? 3 to Watch In Early August

Are these penny stocks worth adding to your watchlist next month?
The post Best Penny Stocks to Buy Now? 3 to Watch In Early August appeared first on Penny Stocks to Buy, Picks, News and Information | PennyStocks.com.

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3 Penny Stocks For Your Early August Watchlist 

With a new month here, the time to find the best penny stocks to buy is now. But, it’s not as easy as making a watchlist and hoping for profits. Rather, investors need to understand where the stock market is headed, and which penny stocks may benefit. In 2021, it’s all about considering how short-term trends may result in heightened popularity or volume with certain penny stocks. 

And because there are so many events going on simultaneously, it can be a lot to keep track of. However, by paying attention to the news and understanding wholly how it could affect different industries or companies in specific, investors can work to stay one step ahead of the game. The best trader will always be the one with the most information on hand. And in 2021, information is more accessible than ever. 

[Read More]This Biotech Stock was Once a Penny Stock but is Now Making Big Moves on the Nasdaq!

With the Robinhood IPO occurring only a few days ago, we see that trading is open to all. Because the stock market is so democratized right now, billions in capital have flooded in over a short time frame. So, recognize that volatility is high, but the chance of turning a profit can be equally high if you know how to trade penny stocks. With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at three to watch in early August.

3 Hot Penny Stocks to Watch Right Now 

  1. New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. (NYSE: EDU
  2. Ebang International Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: EBON
  3. Globalstar Inc. (NYSE: GSAT

New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. (NYSE: EDU)

In the past few months, the trend of education penny stocks has increased greatly. And one of the more interesting companies in this field right now is New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. This company offers K-12 private educational test preparation services. As of May 31st, 2020 the company’s services and programs were offered in 104 schools, 1,361 learning centers, and 12 bookstores. This is a substantial reach for the company and one that could prove to be beneficial to it in the long run. 

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Only recently, the Chinese government placed a ban on for-profit tutoring. While this expectedly resulted in a price drop for EDU stock, shares did make a small comeback shortly after. Over the past year, EDU stock has lost over 85% of its value.

However, in the past few days, shares have climbed by over 15%. In addition, the company’s volume during that time has also increased substantially. Needless to say, the situation in China may still have more questions than answers so a more speculative sentiment has materialized in the market. Based on this information, it’s up to you to decide if EDU stock is worth watching or not.

Ebang International Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: EBON)

Ebang International Holdings Inc. is a blockchain penny stock that we’ve been covering for quite some time. The company creates a large range of blockchain-related products. And for that reason, its share price is usually highly correlated with that of certain cryptocurrencies.

In specific, Ebang manufactures Bitcoin mining machines for sale in the U.S., China, and Hong Kong. The company provides mining machine hosting services for remote usage as well. This has become a popular trend among Bitcoin miners, as remote hosting is much more efficient than running in-person operations.

With cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and DogeCoin exploding in value at certain points in 2021, the company has experienced a lot of positive momentum as well. 2021 has been a landmark year for crypto because of its large growth in popularity and massive attention in the news. And as stated before, it’s important to stay up to date with the price of crypto as EBON stock often moves with the crypto industry as a whole. In addition, the large microprocessor shortage witnessed over the past few months has been a major benefit to EBON. 

As a provider of Bitcoin mining machines, Ebang has seen the demand for its products rise substantially during that time. In the past five days, shares of EBON have risen by over 3.5%. While this may not seem like a major gain, it is substantial considering EBON’s trajectory throughout the last six months or so. With this information in mind, is EBON a contender for your penny stock watchlist?

Penny_Stocks_to_Watch_Ebang_International_Holdings_Inc_EBON_Stock

Globalstar Inc. (NYSE: GSAT)

Globalstar Inc. is a communications penny stock that has continued to make moves in the market over the last year or so. YTD, shares of GSAT stock are up by a staggering 305% or so. And while prices are down in the last month, we can look at the future prospects that Globalstar has to see where it could be headed. 

For some context, Globalstar is a company that provides mobile satellite services such as GPS tracking for emergency locations, anti-theft, asset tracking, and more. In addition to this, it offers IoT tracking devices for cargo, container, and rail cars. With the increasing globalization of the world, devices like these are important to keep the transport industry running. And, it also works as a complement to Globalstar’s other assets. 

[Read More] Best Multibagger Penny Stocks to Buy? 3 For Your Watchlist

On July 1st, Globalstar announced its partnership with FocusPoint International Inc. FocusPoint will provide crisis assistance services under the Global Overwatch & Rescue Plan to Globalstar customers.

“We are so pleased to extend this valuable service to Globalstar customers. Many of our users partake in extreme sports and engage in higher than average travel frequency making this offering a service that can help further improve our customers’ peace of mind. FocusPoint provides a comprehensive risk consulting service that is a great compliment to the connectivity we provide our customers.” 

The CEO of Globalstar, David Kagan

The safety market is one that is both large and growing. With the pandemic coming back for a fourth wave, many are forgoing vacations to large population areas, and instead choosing to stay outdoors. This means that there could be heightened demand for GSATs products if all goes according to plan. Keeping this recent announcement in mind, will GSAT stock be on your watchlist?

Penny_Stocks_to_Watch_Globalstar_Inc._(GSAT_Stock_Chart)

Which Penny Stocks Are You Investing In?

Finding the best penny stocks in 2021 can be challenging. But, by learning how to trade penny stocks, investors can stay ahead and feel confident in their strategies moving forward. With all of this in mind, which penny stocks are you investing in right now?

The post Best Penny Stocks to Buy Now? 3 to Watch In Early August appeared first on Penny Stocks to Buy, Picks, News and Information | PennyStocks.com.

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