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  • Mike J. Walker

Episode 26: The Convergence of Emerging Tech Enabling Digital Ecosystems - Part 1

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

In this episode I'm talking with Ryan Rugg from R3. She is responsible for the strategic direction of R3’s key verticals, Ryan is helping industry leaders capture the full benefits of digital ecosystems blockchain their businesses. Here in episode 26, “The Convergence of Emerging Tech  Enabling Digital Ecosystems - Part 1” we will be talking about the shift to digital ecosystems, what they are, why they are different now, and the business models and technologies that are shaping them.

You may of remembered us talking about this convergence effect on both the Blockchain in 2020 Trends episode of BlockTalk, but also you’ve heard this a theme in “Episode 20: Digitizing Pharmaceutical Supply Chains with Blockchain”automating the pharma supply chain. You will want to stick around for this one to dig a bit deeper on this one!

As always, all the show notes and links will be provided on

You can also listen on your favorite podcasting service:

In this Episode

00:04:39 What's the difference between digital and analog ecosystems?

00:12:25 Digital Ecosystems are here today

00:13:19 Ryan's view on Digital Ecosystems

00:14:31 Rise of digital privacy

00:16:19 Can you be a digital ecosystem without blockchain?

00:23:52 Spike in digital transformation as a result of COVID-19

00:26:31 The harsh reality about open ecosystems

00:28:14 What are the key components of a digital ecosystem

00:29:49 The business questions outweigh the technical ones

00:33:20 Decomposing digital ecosystems

00:38:25 Corda is much more than the "gossip net"

About R3 Corda

The Corda platform consists of an open source software project, Corda, and a set of standards, network parameters and associated governance processes, which together define the global Corda Network. Collectively, they enable any organisation or individual on this open network to transact directly with any other. Uniquely, this architecture is designed to model and automate real-world transactions in a legally enforceable manner, and do so across an open network on which multiple applications can execute and seamlessly interoperate. It does so whilst placing identity, transac- tion finality, privacy and open governance at its core.

The end state vision is one where real-world entities manage legally-enforceable contracts, and transfer value without technological constraints or loss of privacy. In contrast to ‘unpermissioned’ blockchain platforms, the Corda platform is intended to manage real-world transactions between identifiable parties, with privacy and legal certainty. In contrast to other ‘permissioned’ blockchain platforms, the Corda Platform is intended to allow multiple groups of participants (and associated applications) to co-exist and interoperate across the same open network. The network’s governance model is explicitly designed to reflect the common interests of the diverse user-base of the platform.

For more information check out this detailed whitepaper.

Ryan's Industry Group Leads a Number of Projects

Below are just a few in the insurance space:

Digital Ecosystem Framework

A blockchain-enabled digital ecosystem is a value-exchange network that harnesses digital technologies and data decentralization techniques. These ecosystems leverage the unique capabilities of blockchain, such as data self-sovereignty, tamper-resistant data, peer-to-peer data collaboration and distributed governance.

If this is interesting and you want to get more details, you're in luck. I've talked about this approach on previous V-Next episodes.

Read more here:

About Blockchain-Enabled Ecosystems

Digital ecosystems embrace the complexity of endless connections to be self-organizing, dynamic, and adaptive that leverage advanced technologies to maximize or create new value exchange networks.

The most visible successful digital ecosystems to date are Uber, AirBnB, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, and others.

I find that successful digital ecosystems facilitate value-exchanges by either reducing costs through streamlining processes and/or by leveraging technology innovation. These technologies enable to scale in ways that traditional businesses cannot.

With over 90 blockchain-enabled ecosystems in various forms of development, we find that each industry is using blockchain in slightly different ways. Ryan, you’ve been working on some highly influential ones such as: RiskStream, B3i, MarcoPolo, and Contour.

My Research on Over 90 Global Blockchain Ecosystems

Blockchain Ecosystems can vary in size, type, by industry, location, and business focus.

Each Ecosystem will have different characteristic so be sure to identify the Ecosystem(s) that will provide the most business value.

Below is a sampling list of those blockchain-enabled digital ecosystems:

Accounting (1)

  • Accounting Blockchain Coalition

Financial (14)

Region Specific Financial (30+)

Healthcare (4)

Construction (2)

Energy and Utilities (4)

Supply Chain (5)

Real Estate (3)

Legal (1)

Telecommunications (1)

IoT and Vehicles, Digital Identity (7)

Where's All This Digital Ecosystem Activity Going?

Companies are shifting their focus from researching to starting up pilots, small initiatives, along with making big bets on Digital Ecosystems.

The industry view is critical. Gartner believes that blockchain has the potential to transform business models across all industries — but these opportunities demand that enterprises adopt complete blockchain ecosystems. Without tokenization and decentralization, most industries will not see real business value.

The three key industries that Gartner is focusing on includes:

  1. Banking and investment services industries continue to experience significant levels of interest from innovators seeking to improve decades old operations and processes, however only 7.6% of respondents to the CIO Survey suggested that blockchain is a game-changing technology.  That said, nearly 18% of banking and investment services CIOs said they have adopted or will adopt some form of blockchain technology within the next 12 months and nearly another 15% within two years.

  2. Blockchain in gaming.In the fast-growing esport industry, blockchain natives are launching solutions that allow users to create their own tokens to support the design of competition as well as to enable trading of virtual goods.

  3. Retail, Blockchain is being considered for “track and trace” services, counterfeit prevention, inventory management and auditing, any of which could be used to improve product quality or food safety

In Gartner's latest 2019 Hype Cycle for Blockchain Business report they clearly see the same momentum I see as well. See below for their predictions

“Even though they are still uncertain of the impact blockchain will have on their businesses, 60% of CIOs in the Gartner 2019 CIO Agenda Survey said that they expected some level of adoption of blockchain technologies in the next three years” said David Furlonger, distinguished research vice-president at Gartner. “However, the existing digital infrastructure of organizations and the lack of clear blockchain governance are limiting CIOs from getting full value with blockchain.”

About Ryan Rugg

Ryan is the Global Head of the Industry business unit at the enterprise software firm, R3, she sits at the forefront of blockchain innovation across multiple industries. She is responsible for the strategic direction of R3’s key verticals, Ryan is helping industry leaders capture the full benefits of blockchain for their businesses. Testament to her efforts, R3’s blockchain platform Corda has fast become one of the most dominant blockchain platforms with many of the largest and most prominent global businesses building their applications on Corda.

Ryan launched the Centre of Excellence for distributed ledger technology (DLT) in cooperation with ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development). The Centre of Excellence provides a dedicated environment for R3’s and ACORD’s members to research, design and deploy DLT applications that improve the efficiency of many insurance business segments – commercial and specialty insurance, life insurance, personal lines and health insurance, along with niche areas like marine and trade credit.

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