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Capgemini and Ascribe Build Blockchain Project for Banking Loyalty Rewards

Capgemini has partnered with Ascribe to create a blockchain database solution built on BigchainDB. The consulting, technology and outsourcing services provider operates in more than 40 countries and employes around 180,000 people worldwide.

In a bid to continually improve its consulting services, it seems as though Capgemini has caught the blockchain bug. In November, the company published a report advising clients that financial service firms could “no longer afford to ignore blockchain tech.” Not long after that, in mid-April, Capgemini introduced a range of blockchain consulting services for finance and banking.

This announcement will mark the first venture for Capgemini into blockchain-based loyalty reward programs. It will enable banks to have the flexibility to offer consumers the ability to combine loyalty points from various programs that is cost-efficient and secure while providing consumers with the ability to use them in real time across multiple merchants.

Speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, Bruce Pon, CEO of BigchainDB, part of Ascribe, said that one of the main ways to achieve wider adoption and scale for BigchainDB was to partner with consulting firms such as Capgemini that understand the business challenges of their clients and the technology requirements to implement solutions.

“It became clear very early on that we needed a buffer between us and the enterprises lest we divert our entire technical team to answering the myriad of questions that enterprises have,” Pon said. “By partnering with Capgemini, BigchainDB can focus on building out the core technology, providing technical support and high level strategy while Capgemini focuses on the detailed requirements, specifications, implementation, testing and rollout to get real-world systems into production for their clients.”

Capgemini decided to partner with Ascribe’s new blockchain service BigchainDB, because of the scalability model. 

“BigchainDB was built from the realization that enterprises were solving a different class of problems than Bitcoin was architected for,” said Pon. “BigchainDB is much more aligned to non-cryptocurrency use cases such as messaging, transactions, metering and registry systems, things which Bitcoin wasn’t built to accommodate.”

Last June, Ascribe launched its digital intellectual property tracking service, setting out how to build the ownership layer of the internet. In February, the company then followed this up with the launch of its BigchainDB project, which is an alternative blockchain designed to handle a high number of transactions per second.

“‘Blockchainified’ databases are databases that are highly tamper-resistant and more fault tolerant than traditional databases because of the decentralized consensus,” said Pon. “This opens up an entirely new set of use cases, such as a global registry for intellectual property claims, loyalty and points schemes that aren’t tied to one organization, metering of usage and energy generation in a network grid.”

All of these use cases, then, require a solution that is primarily a database, but with blockchain characteristics.

While the program details have yet to be disclosed, Pon told Bitcoin Magazine that Capgemini has a set of use cases that clients have expressed an interest in, with a loyalty points scheme being one of them.

“This use case is attractive because it allows both parties to work on a problem, get to know how to engage with each other and marshals the team within Capgemini to build a solution that can be used by one of their clients,” he said.

Moving forward with BigchainDB, last week Ascribe released version 0.4 with enterprises and developers already able to roll out their own private BigchainDB in addition to building apps on the platform. In the future, Ascribe plans to announce a public instance of BigchainDB, which Pon believes will provide significant benefits that the internet doesn't offer today.

“Our original project will use the public BigchainDB to enable artists to declare their authorship, define licensing, and transfer rights for free, while preserving provenance of the work,” he said. “This opens up the possibility for content creators to manage and track usage of their works globally, so that they can be properly compensated.”

Rebecca Campbell

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