product, called a distributed contracting network, was just announced
for Microsoft’s Xbox. Paul Brody, blockchain global innovation leader
at EY, which helped create the product, said it was “a
blockchain-based tool for enabling companies to execute digital
contracts with each other — and very specifically, the primary focus
is on digital media content, rights and royalties around everything
from video games to media and entertainment — music, movies, etc.”
which features games by publishers around the world, has traditionally
tracked and calculated the royalties its content creators were owed
manually and with spreadsheets, said Rohit Amberker, director of
royalties and content operations at Microsoft. The process typically
took 30 to 60 days. The new system is transparent, cutting down costs
by a projected two-thirds, Mr. Brody said.
of the first to use it will be Ubisoft, a game publisher, though once
it is in use across Microsoft’s gaming ecosystem, it will encompass
thousands of content partners, Mr. Amberker said. Eventually, the goal
is for the blockchain to also handle payments and for it to be useful
to anyone dealing with intellectual property or digital asset rights,
including authors, songwriters and developers, he said.
financial services industry is further along than other. Insurwave, a
marine insurance program created by seven companies, started at the
end of May for more than 1,000 ships. Shaun Crawford, the global head
of insurance for EY, which is building the program with GuardTime,
said insurance for ships has traditionally been a paper-intensive
uses historical data and standard estimates to quantify insurance
coverage divorced from the reality of any one ship’s particular risk.
That can vary based on a vessel’s age, service history, the routes it
travels (whether it passes through conflict zones where ships are more
likely to be hijacked) and other factors. With Insurwave, insurers
can, for instance, increase a premium on a ship set to sail through a
dangerous zone, which might in turn prompt it to choose another
course. Everything is signed through the blockchain.
blockchain is in place across the shipping company A. P.
Moller-Maersk’s vessels. The insurance companies Willis Towers Watson,
XL Catlin and MS Amlin are also on the platform.
a very sleepy old industry — insurance — and we’re shaking it up a
bit,” Mr. Crawford said. In building the product after working on
proofs of concept, he said: “We realized we’re not digitizing existing
processes, but transforming the way we do business. We had to
re-architect our proposition two or three times to really get the
blockchain thing working, so there’s a big difference between a proof
of concept and the reality of blockchain.”