HTC and Hon Hai make ‘Forbes’ top 50 blockchain list

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - Page 11

HTC Corp (宏達電) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海) have been included in Forbes magazine’s list of the 50 companies in the world that are most actively exploring and making use of blockchain technology to make their businesses more efficient and to better serve customers.

Blockchain technology, originally devised for transactions of the digital currency bitcoin, is seen as the backbone of a new type of Internet in which information held on a blockchain exists as a shared database.

Also on the list were global financial services firms such as Germany’s Allianz SE, France-based BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co of the US, and China’s Ant Financial Services Group (螞蟻金服).

Technology giants Google, Facebook Inc, Microsoft Corp and Samsung Electronics Co are also named.

HTC earlier this year released its first blockchain-focused smartphone — the HTC Exodus 1.

The company has developed its own cryptocurrency wallet called Zion so that the Exodus 1 can function as a cryptocurrency wallet.

The magazine said that the Exodus 1 “provides crypto-owners a safer way [built in the smartphone’s hardware] to store and recover lost bitcoin, litecoin and ethereum, as well as the ability to easily trade cryptocurrencies.”

“The phone also has a special Web browser designed for sites built on the blockchain. With its dismal smartphone market share, HTC’s new phone may be a Hail Mary pass,” the magazine said.

Hon Hai “has pilot projects under way that use blockchain to streamline supply chain transactions and provide working capital to suppliers,” the magazine said. “Separately, it is developing a blockchain-enabled smartphone that would make it easier for consumers to spend digital coins.”

According to global market information advisory firm International Data Corp, enterprises and governments worldwide are expected to spend US$2.9 billion on blockchain development this year, up 89 percent from last year.

It said the spending is expected to hit US$12.4 billion by 2022.

A survey conducted last year by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP showed that 84 percent of the business executives said that their companies were involved in blockchain development.

“Global corporations are embracing the technology underlying cryptocurrencies like bitcoin because they want to speed up business processes, increase transparency and potentially save billions of dollars,” Forbes said.