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Thailand Post Will Begin Using Blockchain Tech This Year

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It is interesting that Thailand Post and Thailand stock exchange operator is experimenting with Blockchain technology. There are already 600 companies registered with Stock Exchange of Thailand expressing interest in the blockchain marketplace.

The main question is “how”? How do you implement a decentralise ledger? How do you maintain security or privacy or authenticity when the ledger of tracking information is decentralised with multiple copies in various server? I did a little research online and found many articles that are not thorough in the application of blockchain in postal or logistic industry, nevertheless, it may be helpful to jolt the brainstorming train.

Source: https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/14167/blockchain-and-package-tracking-a-win-win-situation

Commentary writtern by: Maverick Chung

Australia Post teams up with businesses and government to strengthen digital ID services

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Wouldn’t it be nice not to remember passwords anymore and just access any services with your face, fingerprint or iris scan? Digital ID is the way of the future as more services are consolidating their login system or ID verification process. All identification documents are verified and processed at a central area usually by a government entity. I am intrigued on finding out more on Digital ID. From various sources, below are my findings.

Pros

  • It is seamless. One password to access all products and services.
  • You have control over the amount of detail to release to a vendor.
  • It is transparent. You are able to trace who is checking on your profile.
  • According to Australia Post research, “It save cost and time on existing identity verification process by AUD $11 billion per year.”

Cons

  • May not have privacy as vendors can access to your profile, if you accidentally allow it.
  • Big data can be collected from individual online behaviour to profile that individual. Example, Google tracks your web search results and YouTube views so that they can cross sell products or recommend YouTube videos to you.
  • Centralised storage of Digital ID makes a honeypot target for hackers. “If a hacker has access to this central database, everyone is compromised” said Benjamin Goh, Master in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/one-digital-id-to-rule-them-all
Source: https://auspost.newsroom.com.au/Content/Home/02-Home/Article/Australia-Post-teams-up-with-businesses-and-government-to-strengthen-digital-ID-services/-2/-2/6166
Source: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/google-history-search-tracking-data-how-to-delete

Commentary by Maverick Chung

SingPost revenue up 6.2%, but profit down 13.6%

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The 1st quarter FY17/18 result on SingPost is of an interest to me.

Below are the summary of the result comparing 1st quarter 17/18 to 1st quarter 16/17:

Revenue increase by 6.2% due to Postal and Logistic segments. Under Postal segment, International mail revenue growth at SGD $12.8 mill increase offset by Domestic mail revenue. Under Logistics segment, revenue growth at SGD $9.6 mill driven by higher contribution from SP Parcels, Couriers Please and Famous Holdings. However, eCommerce segment revenue decline by SGD $0.6 mill due to TradeGlobal issue as previously reported in the news. Net revenue increase by SGD $20.7 mill.

Operating Cost increase by 11.1% due to labour cost, volume-related cost, depreciation and finance expenses. Largest contributing cost is Volume-related cost, an increase of SGD $24.1 mill, due to increase in international mail terminal dues and conveyance costs. Other notable costs increase are labour at SGD$ 4.4 mill due to higher contract and temporary staff cost, and depreciation at SGD $3.8 mill due to higher Regional eCommerce Logistics Hub and shortening of TradeGlobal’s intangible assets amortisation period, and finance expense at SGD $2 mill due to unfavourable non-trade related foreign translation differences. Net operating cost increase by SGD $33 mill.

Base on reported figures, total profit decrease by 13.6%.

Looking forward, SingPost Centre is expected to open in October 2017 and will start to rake in rental income. Also, SingPost has strong cash position of SGD $364.4 mill and is poise for new business opportunities.

Source: https://www.singpost.com/sites/default/files/SP%20PslidesQ1FY1718_1.pdf

Commentary by Maverick Chung

Blockchain technology: Anonymous deliveries

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If you had a Bitcoin 5 years ago, your investment would be worth 290 times what you paid for it. The Bitcoin phenomenon has caught the internet by storm. While many are speculating in Bitcoin, what fascinate me is the building block behind Bitcoin, “BlockChain Technology”. Blockchain in short is a decentralised “ledger like” checking system in the internet by everyone or anyone. In the past, ledgers are only checked and verify by central authority like banks, with blockchain this “ledger” verified and confirm by multiple user or sources. Now, turn this “payment ledger” into a ledger of tracking events and you will have a new usage. The opportunities could be exciting for the postal and logistic industry, embracing this new concept / usage. With one possibility being, a decentralised checking system for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), every customer will have up to date and accurate tracking information, reduce cost on tariffs, and a second opportunity, setting up of postal bitcoin kiosk. It’s a very interesting concept and worth understanding.

Commentary by Maverick Chung

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