Verizon Recruiting for Blockchain-Related Positions

Telecom giant Verizon appears to be actively looking to hire new recruits to build a blockchain team, according to the company’s latest job search. The company posted five job openings for blockchain developers amongst other 35 open positions which require blockchain knowledge.

Based on the job descriptions, Verizon is interested in creating a distributed network, with various use cases. It is also alluded that Verizon is planning to build a customer-facing product geared towards privacy, security, and payments.

An advert regarding the position:

 “This role will be responsible for developing and delivering of initial prototypes and product proof-of-concepts which includes use case development, technical requirements, customer co-development testing and commercialization handoff. The focus of the individual will be on blockchain and other identity/security initiatives (e.g. confidential computing, secure payments) in the emerging technology space.”

Currently, there are over three dozen blockchain-related positions open at Verizon. Out of these positions, there appears to be results for technology, marketing and strategy positions.

The earliest job posting, listed on June 13th, is still open and is designated for the role of lead software engineer. Applicants with “knowledge of Blockchain technologies such as Hyperledger” will be preferred.

Most importantly, the company posted 5 openings for a blockchain developers on July 1st. According to the listing, successful applicants would be required to “research, design, develop and test blockchain technologies.” Other responsibilities include brainstorming applications, working with clients and getting involved in the world of blockchain.

Amongst other requirements, candidates who want to apply must have a Bachelor’s degree or four-plus years of experience working in the industry. Consequently, a degree in computer science or engineering is a great advantage, and understanding software development on top of Python would be seen as a plus. Likewise, knowledge of cryptography, P2P networks, and data structures are preferred.

Meanwhile, Verizon is not the only one in the telecom space venturing into the blockchain industry. Earlier this year, AT&T announced that it was accepting bitcoins for its cable bill payments via BitPay. However, there are yet to be internal blockchain-focused roles officially posted.

AWS Introduces Amazon Managed Blockchain Service

Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Amazon’s cloud computing platform subsidiary – has announced the launch of Amazon Managed Blockchain (AMB) service to be available for wider audiences.

Announced on April 30th, the e-commerce giant has revealed that the service will be now available for general production use. Prior to this, the service was available only in preview, which meant that interested parties could sign up for approval to use the service.

Amazon Managed Blockchain was initially revealed last November along with the Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB). QLDB is a ledger database designed to provide transparent, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable log of transactions, which is overseen by a central authority.

Whereas AMB is a service which allows customers to create blockchain networks in minutes as well as manage them more easily and economically using open-source frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum, therefore eliminating the need to “provision hardware, install software, create and manage certificates for access control, and configure network settings.” According to AWS’ chief evangelist, Jeff Barr, customers can scale out peer node capacity to support thousands to millions of transactions.

Rahul Pathak, General Manager, Amazon Managed Blockchain at AWS said:

“Amazon Managed Blockchain takes care of provisioning nodes, setting up the network, managing certificates and security, and scaling the network.[…] Customers can now get a functioning blockchain network set up quickly and easily, so they can focus on application development instead of keeping a blockchain network up and running.”

However, support for the Ethereum network is still under works and is expected to be made available later this year. Notably, the service is currently available only in Northern Virginia, USA. More regions are expected to be opened up in the coming year.

Currently, major companies are already using theirs services including AT&T, Nestle, Accenture and others.

Nestle Oceania’s digital technology manager – Armin Nehzat, has disclosed in a recent statement that, with the help of AMB, the company was able to set up its Hyperledger Fabric network easily as well as invite its partners to collaborate in its supply chain transparency efforts. He further notes that the service aids the company in tracking their products on the blockchain from the farm all the way through to consumption.

According to AWS, Accenture, non-profit foundation MOBI (Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative) and enterprise asset management company TrackX are also making use of the service.

At the moment, securities and derivatives trading platform Singapore Exchange (SGX) is in the works og a partnership with AWS to move its existing work on Hyperledger Fabric to Amazon Managed Blockchain, according to its head of blockchain technology, Andrew Koay.

Following this recent announcement, Amazon Web Services joins other big enterprise players like Azure from Microsoft and IBM in the blockchain as a service game player.

Ethereum Enterprise Alliance Enters Partnership With Hyperledger

Announced on Monday, in a new incredible venture to drive the assimilation of blockchain technology within the enterprise sector, two of the largest blockchain companies, Hyperledger and Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), have formally partnered up.

Hyperledger is known for the umbrella project for open source distributed ledger technology frameworks such as Fabric and Sawtooth, and EEA is a standards body promoting the adoption of Ethereum by businesses, have respectively decided to join hands, with the goal of driving mass adoption of blockchain technology amongst companies and encouraging greater communication across the two communities.

For Hyperledger there may be now the promise of dealing with tokens and smart contracts on the Ethereum public chain.

“Great open standards depend upon great open source code, so this is a natural alliance for both organizations,” Hyperledger executive director Brian Behlendorf said in a statement.

Looking back, Hyperledger was founded as an umbrella company in 2015 for open source blockchain development, involving a number of protocols outlined specifically for enterprises.

However throughout the years, Hyperledger gradually showed interest and support for developing Ethereum within company. Explaining how the blockchain consortium had already been moving in an Ethereum-friendly direction; earlier this year Sawtooth (a codebase contributed to Hyperledger by Intel) added support for the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM) as a transaction processor. This resulted in being able to bring smart contracts developed for the public Ethereum blockchain over to Sawtooth-based networks.

Meanwhile, launched in early 2017, the EEA, which began as a 30-member group, rose to over 150 members by mid-2017. By the end of the year, the EEA became the world’s largest blockchain consortium. In the joint statement, the EEA said it advocates for the development of enterprise blockchain standards with a particular ‘focus on those aligned with the broader Ethereum ecosystem.’

Considering the collaboration in a “time of great opportunity” EEA executive director Ron Resnick added in his statement that:

“In addition, Hyperledger developers who join the EEA can participate in EEA Certification to ensure solution compliance for projects related to the Enterprise Ethereum Client Specification.”

Clearly, the new arrangement will help facilitate greater cross-pollination amongst the leadership and communities of the respective organizations. Essentially, Hyperledger developers who join EEA can participate in EEA certification programs, and EEA members working on specifications and standards can work on Hyperledger to help implement those standards.