Shanghai-based Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) company, BitSE, is opening possibilities for every industry with the official launch of VeChain, a cloud product management platform built on a blockchain, at a recent event in Shanghai.
Due to a shared interest in expanding the use of blockchain technologies, BitSE is collaborating with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to boost blockchain adoption in the Asian Pacific markets, with the goal to help their clients design and implement innovative blockchain solutions.
VeChain focuses on four areas: anti-counterfeiting, supply chain management, asset management and client experiences. By putting unique IDs on the blockchain and embedding each product with an NFC (Near Field Communication) chip, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag or QR (Quick Response) code, all of which can verify whether an item is genuine or not, VeChain provides an opportunity for different enterprises to easily create, manage, maintain and update shared data.
BitSE COO Sunny Lu told Bitcoin Magazine that the VeChain launch is a symbolic moment, not just for BitSE but for the whole industry.
“We found the right path to apply blockchain technology,” Lu said. “The best way to know if a technology is impacting the world is by seeing if that technology can be monetized, and even before the launch we had signed some contracts with clients.”
BitSE is hoping to achieve three objectives with the launch of VeChain.
First, by putting unique IDs on the blockchain, they want to apply blockchain technology to creating a transparent supply chain. VeChain can solve issues related to counterfeit products, through tracking and tracing merchandise, communication and cooperation among different parties in the supply chain, and supervision by government agencies, to name a few.
Only last month at Shanghai’s Fashion Week, BitSE’s VeChain project teamed up with independent fashion label Babyghost to put fashion on the blockchain.
By doing so, they gave the fashion crowd a unique experience, linking the fashion world with the digital world, and giving customers the ability to discover product information about the clothing they buy.
“This collaboration brought new meaning to Fashion Tech,” Lu said. “We believe it fits perfectly into what the fashion industry needs — giving extraordinary and unique experiences to others.”
The second objective BitSE wants to achieve through VeChain is to make a connection between the different IT systems that operate on the supply chain. Lu said that current IT systems are kept separate from one another, creating a lack of trust regarding the information among the various parties.
“With VeChain, we can make a connected information system that will help automate much of the supply chain,” he said. “We want to enable the commercial world to do something they weren’t able to do before and wouldn’t be able to do without this platform.”
Thirdly, they are attempting to increase the efficiency of the supply chain. At present, a lot of processes still run on paper, requiring a high amount of trust in the system. BitSE plans to integrate the flow of funds, information and goods, and to decentralize the trust aspect of trade.
Teaming Up with PwC
Speaking at the recent Shanghai Conference, Elton Huang, Senior Partner for PwC’s Shanghai office and the central markets leader, said that when choosing to work with a startup company, PwC looks to see what that company is working for: money, fame or a special mission.
“The mission of PwC is to solve important problems and build up social credit,” he said. “PwC focuses on companies whose motivation is to solve important problems.”
According to Huang, there are three big blockchain-related opportunities for the partnership with BitSE: the opportunity for 400 million middle class consumers in the country to participate in anticounterfeiting, thus producing a boom in the economy; finding solutions to improve service efficiency; and the need for true industrial automation, including an industrial Internet of Things (IoT).
Lu said that BitSE decided to partner with PwC because, while BitSE has expertise in blockchain technology and applications, PwC has vast business resources and industry knowhow. As such, Lu believes it will be a very effective partnership.
Along with monitoring over 200 technologies globally — such as augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain — PwC is eager to cooperate with BitSE and VeChain, which resulted in the signing of a strategic joint business relationship agreement on May 31 this year.
“Before our partnership, we couldn’t imagine what a disruptive force PwC could be with new technology,” Lu adds. “We provided them with our blockchain knowledge, they provided us with their business experience, [and we have] engaged customers together and made significant progress delivering projects.”
PwC employs more than 200,000 people around the world, including nearly 10,000 people in China, and generates over $30 billion in yearly revenue. As it celebrates its 110th anniversary this year, there is the perception that PwC is too big to be innovative.
Huang acknowledged change can be hard for a company as big as PwC. We live in an uncertain world with the elite controlling many of resources, he said. And yet, if you take the example of the financial industry, if the center is removed, we share one ledger.
“In other words,” he added, “all the information held by banks is not bank centric, but distributed and shared. You will find that the uncertainty of the world changes, [and that while] information between people is asymmetrical, with blockchain technology that will change.”