Big tech is getting in on blockchain in a big way. Microsoft has launched a cloud-based blockchain development kit powered by Azure.

“This kit extends the capabilities of our blockchain developer templates and Azure Blockchain Workbench, which incorporates Azure services for key management, off-chain identity and data, monitoring, and messaging APIs into a reference architecture that can be used to rapidly build blockchain-based applications,” Microsoft blockchain engineering lead Marc Mercuri said.

The initial release will focus on three key themes: connecting interfaces, integrating data and systems, and deploying smart contracts and blockchain networks.

Among other things, Microsoft says the development kit will provide SMS and voice interfaces for tracking and supply chain solutions, integration with Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and support for mobile clients like Android and iOS. Indeed, Microsoft calls the kit an “end-to-end” blockchain solution.

The Redmond giant pointed out that its new offering will be compatible with a number of different ledger technologies, including Ethereum and Bitcoin.

To get developers off the ground, Microsoft has also prepared a white paper on how to use the kit to deploy decentralized applications.

Big Tech hopping on the blockchain bandwagon

Microsoft is hardly the only tech giant that’s made a foray into blockchain. IBM, Google, and Amazon recently launched similar development kits for blockchain businesses.

Previously, Microsoft has showcased various blockchain pilots, including one that aimed to curb spam calls in India and another one designed to help developers get paid (launched in collaboration with accounting firm EY).

The Redmond company is also working on a blockchain-powered system to manage identities.

It’ll be interesting to see what developers will think of its new blockchain development kit – and what projects they can build with it.

*This post is credited to Thenextweb

The Thai branch of U.S. global IT company IBM will promote blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) in order to turn the country into a major sales hub in the surrounding region, English-language daily news outlet The Bangkok Post reports Wednesday, Nov. 14.

According to the article, IBM is going to promote blockchain in collaboration with the country’s central bank, Bank of Thailand. A recent survey by IDC-IBM shows that global spending on blockchain will reach $9.7 billion by 2021.

Moreover, IBM is also discussing the possibility of blockchain education in local schools and universities, aiming to provide enough member of the workforce for the industry in the nearest future.

IBM concurrently plans to use Watson AI, a computer system equipped with AI and capable of answering questions by using its database, to find insights for different areas in the country, such as retail, education, finance, business, and energy.

Thai officials have recently started applying blockchain in different areas. In early October,  the Thai Ministry of Commerce revealed it started conducting feasibility studies on the use of blockchain in copyright, agriculture, and trade finance. And later in November, the local Revenue Department announced its plans to track tax payments using blockchain and maсhine learning.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, IBM is also actively promoting blockchain technology, elaborating decentralized solutions for different areas in numerous patents. In late August, the number of patents filed by IBM comprised 89, which made the U.S. corporation one of the biggest players in the area, surpassed only by China’s Alibaba with its 90 applications.

IBM has filed several more blockchain-related patents since then, including patents for a blockchain-driven platform for scientific research and another for the decentralized storage of trusted locations for augmented reality (AR) games.

*This post is credited to Cointelegraph

A patent application published Thursday claims the process of conducting scientific research can benefit from the blockchain.

Led by a team at IBM’s Watson Research Center, the patent application presents a vision for dynamic collaboration – one where researchers can track their work across institutional borders. It’s another non-financial application of the distributed-ledger technology, which IBM has championed in recent months.

This latest patent can be thought of as an elaborate software changelog, but for science. Or, as the filing puts it, a system that provides “a tamper resistant log of scientific research.”

From the filing:

“The blockchain system can form a blockchain representing a research project, wherein the blockchain comprises a first block of research data and a second block of analysis data representing a log of an analysis performed on the research data. Summary blocks and correction blocks can also be added to the blockchain representing the post analysis of the research results.”

The application – titled “Blockchain for Open Scientific Research” – was first filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in December 2017. IBM researchers Jae-wook Ahn, Maria Chang, Patrick Watson and Ravindranath Kokku are listed at inventors.

According to the patent, “currently, there are limited platforms that allow for sharing information about scientific research and showing transparent data collection and analysis steps. Platforms that do exist, lack the requisite controls and mechanisms to allow for trustworthy data, as there are few options for ensuring that data will be resistant to modification.”

IBM isn’t the only group working on applying distributed ledger technology to the scientific realm. A Berlin-based think tank, Blockchain for Science, held its first international conference earlier this week.

The blockchain-flavored patent is one of many for Big Blue. According to data published in September, IBM was behind only Chinese internet giant Alibaba in the number of blockchain-related patent filings. The 89 figure quoted at the time has certainly gone up in the past two months.

*This post is credited to Coindesk

S&P 500 executives are dropping blockchain buzzwords less on earnings calls and during presentations to analysts and investors. Analysts are also asking about it less.

Why it matters: The hype was just that. The odds of a company turning blockchain “headlines into reality” are slim, as Forrester Research predicts.

The prospect of incorporating blockchain technology or cryptocurrency into businesses excited investors and drove up share prices temporarily — just look at Kodak, beverage company Long Blockchain, or Hooters franchisee Chanticleer Holdings — so it’s no wonder executives wanted shareholders to know that they too might get in on the new technologies.

  • At the peak earlier this year, “blockchain” was mentioned 173 times, according to an analysis of company transcripts by Axios. The number has since fallen as much as 80%.
  • Bitcoin was never as popular. Dropping that word or “cryptocurrency” was most common in the first quarter of this year — with a mere 68 mentions.

Bitcoin can’t exist without blockchain, but one is clearly less controversial than the other. If you buy the way IBM sells it, the benefits of blockchain in business include “reduced time,” “decreased costs” and “alleviated risk.”

  • Cryptocurrency, meanwhile, has loud critics plus a reputation for volatile trading.

Two corporate examples:

  1. IBM, which is responsible for over 70 mentions of “blockchain” in the first quarter of 2017, is throwing a lot of cash at the technology, with a 1,500 blockchain-specific staff. It even recruited Walmart.
  2. Then there’s technology consulting company DXC Technology. Executives there dropped “blockchain” five times during a May earnings call, without offering any concrete plans of investment. The company hasn’t mentioned it in the two earnings calls it has held since then, and did not respond to a request for comment.

Yes, but: That doesn’t mean in all cases companies’ that bought into the blockchain or bitcoin hype haven’t followed through on their announcements.

*This post is credited to Axios

Singapore’s largest shipping operator – Pacific International Lines (PIL) – has entered into a collaboration with IBM to use blockchain technology to digitize the most vital of shipping documents, the Bill of Lading.

There are countless projects open around the world at varying stages of application and development that involve improving supply chain management processes by way of blockchain technology. This latest trial is no less significant given that the Bill of Lading is a crucial document in the shipping world. It acts as a conclusive proof of the goods having been loaded, evidences the terms of the contract of carriage and serves as a document of title to the goods.

It has been a physical document for centuries and it’s one which banks rely upon to facilitate trade financing. There are inefficiencies with this system in that the document needs to be mailed to the various stakeholders, original documentation may be lost and there’s a potential for fraud. Handling costs are implicated and it’s not the most time efficient system.

This has led to IBM & PIL collaborating to utilize blockchain technology to produce an Electronic Bill of Lading or E-BL. Executive Director of PIL, Lisa Teo, shared her thoughts on the development;

“As an international shipping company, we believe we have a role to play in enhancing efficiencies within the international transport logistics ecosystem. Working with a complex logistic network comprising ports and terminals, agencies, government entities, banks and shippers, systematic supply chain management is increasingly important to lower costs through the chain by cutting unnecessary expense, movements and handling.”

Teo also explained that using blockchain tech – and specifically a decentralized network – facilitates transparency in the process, eliminating potential for disputes and fraud, whilst cutting out the paperwork at the same time. She clarifies that the supply chain slows when so many points of communication have to be acknowledged in a manual, paper-based system – and that an E-BL over blockchain reduces the friction.

In November, the extent of the initiative will be broadened to shadow a shipment in real time – end-to-end. The ultimate objective over time is to facilitate an integrated blockchain based system over the entire course of the supply chain.

The collaboration is being supported by Singapore Customs, Singapore Shipping Association, Bank of China (Singapore) and the Port Authority of Singapore. This E-BL initiative follows on from a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by IBM Singapore and PIL in August 2017.

There have been a number of collaborations to investigate, trial and deploy blockchain based solutions in the shipping industry in recent times. Rival international container shipping company, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) carried out a similar trial of blockchain technology last year. Earlier this year, shipping giant Maersk indicted they were going to form a joint venture with IBM with the objective of creating a blockchain based platform for the shipping industry and extended supply chain. The end to end electronic supply chain system will be deployed using Hyperledger Fabric.

It seems that all of the major shipping companies have been making efforts at deploying one blockchain-based solution or another. This led to shipping companies Hapag Lloyd and CMA CGM to call for one standard system – the point being that deploying multiple systems in international shipping would be unworkable in terms of regulatory governance. Furthermore, it would just add to the cost and complexity as someone would have to build systems to integrate them.

There’s no doubt that there is a lot of activity globally in terms of open blockchain-based projects looking to reduce friction and costs and provide transparency in various supply chain processes. This work is ongoing and whilst there have been some real world deployments, we have not yet arrived at a matured and consolidated application of the technology. However, the fundamentals for the application of the technology appear to be sound, and it’s only a matter of time before blockchain-based applications become an integral part of the supply chain process.

*This post is credited to The Bitcoin Mag

IBM has announced the commercial launch of its Food Trust blockchain network, with European supermarket giant Carrefour as its first major client.

After 18 months in testing, the Food Trust network is now available. So far, the ledger has been able to process 3 million transactions. Small to medium enterprises (SME) can buy a subscription to use the Food Trust, with prices ranging from $100 to $10,000 per month, depending on the size of the business.

IBM is working towards making food safe through a more transparent and efficient global food system. This is why the trust is focusing on reducing food waste, ensuring a more collaborative and transparent supply chain and optimizing the food supply. Participating retailers, food industry providers, service and technology providers can utilise IBM Food Trust APIs as well as hardware and software, and can also write transaction data directly on the blockchain network. With the Food Trust, companies in the food industry can run their businesses more effectively and provide safer food at lower costs.

Before switching to IBM, Carrefour had worked on its own blockchain for more than a year with its internal engineer teams. Now, Carrefour aims to spread IBM’s Food Trust blockchain solution to all its 1,200 stores in 33 countries by 2022.

Aside from Carrefour, other organizations joining the IBM Food Trust also include cooperative Topco Associates LLC, retailer-owned cooperative Wakefern, and suppliers like BeefChain, Dennick Fruit Source, Scoular, and Smithfield. Walmart, meanwhile, has been an early proponent of IBM’s blockchain technology and has announced that it will begin acquiring the use of the trust to capture digital, end-to-end traceability event information.

Senior vice president of IBM Global Industries, Clients, Platforms and Blockchain, Bridget van Kralingen, explains what the Food Trust system aims to achieve. She says, “The currency of trust today is transparency and achieving it in the area of food safety happens when responsibility is shared.” She stated that the Food Trust project has shown that the blockchain can improve transparency and enhance food traceability, adding, “Ultimately that provides business benefits for participants and a better and safer product for consumers.”

Besides the Food Trust, IBM has another project up its sleeves. IBM will be focusing on shipping and global trade in a collaborative effort with Maersk. The two are working together on a flagship platform dubbed TradeLens. For now, Maersk is the only carrier onboard TradeLens; however, plans are ongoing to scale the platform. Ramesh Gopinath, vice president of IBM’s blockchain solutions, explained, “IBM Food Trust is making this big announcement; similarly, TradeLens will also have a commercial availability announcement. And at that point, I can guarantee you it will be in the same shape we are in here.”

*This post is credited to CoinGeek

The tech giants are investing in BlockLAB, a UC San Diego center focused on the technical, legal and business questions around distributed ledger technology.

(TNS) — Tech giants are funding the launch of a research lab at UC San Diego to unravel the mysteries around blockchain, a new way of writing software that’s sweeping industries around the globe.

The new academic center is called BlockLAB, and it includes about 20 individuals who will be digging into the technical, legal and business questions surrounding the fast-moving new technology. The laboratory is financially backed by tech titans like IBM, Dell and Intel, among others.

Touted by some as a revolutionary concept, blockchain — in its simplest form — is a way to distribute data across lots of servers in a fixed, unhackable format (so far). The concept is alluring to many, as they say it’s a foundational way to exchange information without the help of third parties. For example, one day monetary transactions could be made through software without the help of banks, where one transaction is recorded across hundreds of computers and verified by dozens of servers — instead of just one bank.

This is already being modeled with cryptocurrency like bitcoin, but the implications of such an exchange is still not well understood. And currency is only the first application developers have found for blockchain. Startups and researchers around the globe are unveiling new ways to use the technology every day, from recording location data and transacting real estate purchases to establishing digital identity systems.

But the technology is still in its infancy. Much like the internet in the early 1990s, the blockchain is undergoing boom and bust cycles as companies, governments and individuals grapple with technology’s complexities. Etienne de Bruin, the founder of a tech leadership group called 7 CTOs, says blockchain is still one big experiment.

“The internet incubated for 10 or 15 years before we found something useful for it,” de Bruin said. “Now we live in the information society, so we’re all a part of the blockchain conversation.”

James Short, lead scientist and co-founder of the Center for Large Scale Data Systems at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, largely agrees with de Bruin’s view — which is why he’s launched BlockLAB, serving as the research group’s director.

“One of the oldest lessons we know of new technology is that the thing introduced is rarely the thing eventually adopted,” Short said. “The web is the obvious example of that. We’re in the early stages (of blockchain) with limited understanding of implications of this technology. We want to be part of that evolution so we understand and contribute as it moves forward.”

Short said the academic lab will be studying the big questions surrounding blockchain, including taking a hard look at how blockchain will impact data architecture, it’s potential to replace shared databases and other technical implications. The lab will also interrogate the legal foundations of contracts, and the technical issues that might arise from algorithmic contracts. BlockLAB will also analyze the potential business and economic impacts of the evolving blockchain marketplace.

These are all topics that are highly interesting to tech giants like the companies sponsoring this new lab.

“The industry has a lot of questions,” Short said. “There’s significant motivation for all companies to not be late on something that could have big promise. Companies that were late on the internet, for example, spent a lot of money to catch up.”

Short said BlockLAB will be holding a meeting Dec. 4 to discuss market formation in blockchain, among other topics. Although not open to the public, Short said interested parties can contact him about attending. Representatives from a handful of local blockchain startups attended their last meeting, Short said, including genomics blockchain company LunaDNA.

Like most cities around the world, San Diego has an emerging blockchain community. Local startups using the tech as foundations for their business include Edge, Altcoin, XYO Network, LunaDNA, Polyswarm.io and eSmart Tech, among others.

One of those startups, XYO Network, is hosting a blockchain conference in San Diego called Spatial Summit from Nov. 9-11. There, startups, developers, and industry folks will discuss hot topics within blockchain and see technology demos, the founders said.

And it’s likely more blockchain talk will start bubbling up in San Diego. Greg Horowitt, a local venture capitalist with T2 Venture Capital, said he’s part of a different effort at UC San Diego to launch an experimental program called the Blockchain Exploratory.

“The Exploratory is a platform to encourage and empower students, researchers and faculty at UCSD to design, test, implement and measure/monitor blockchain experiments on campus and in the community to advance the understanding/knowledge creation of, and social and economic impact related to this emergent and disruptive new paradigm,” Horowitt wrote in an email.

*This post is credited to GOVTECH

Patents are complex legal documents that are used in modern business for protecting important pieces of intellectual property. While they are applied in pretty much all branches of today’s industry, they are especially popular when it comes to emerging technologies.

As such, many were in a rush to patent as many aspects of the blockchain technology as possible. The result is today’s situation, where all the largest financial services companies in the world are struggling with blockchain patents. Naturally, some are more successful than others, but all of them are in a rush to change and control the new tech.

Blockchain Patenting Game

Blockchain technology is still considered to be in its infancy, but even so, it holds a lot of potential to completely change the way business is done in modern times. It can safely store data, and protect it from being altered and manipulated. As such, it can seriously impact every branch of today’s industries, and at the same time, it continues to constantly grow and evolve.

Whenever a new breakthrough is made, or a new use case is found, large companies return to the struggle of getting a patent for it. Back in 2017, different companies in the United States alone managed to file over 190 blockchain-related patents.

So far, these patents have been split into two different types, or categories — blockchain specific and cryptocurrency specific patents. Cryptocurrency specific patents are mostly owned by crypto startups and individuals, while blockchain specific patents are usually owned by companies like the Bank of America, IBM, and others. Most of such patents are coming from China, which has filed around 600 of them in 2017 alone.

7 Largest Patent-Holding Companies Right Now

1. Nasdaq

There are numerous companies that hold blockchain specific patents in the world, but Nasdaq is currently the only stock exchange among them. It has a market cap of $6.8 trillion, which makes it the second-biggest stock exchange in the world. It also makes it one of the most important adopters of this technology on this list.

The company filed a patent for an exchange system based on blockchain technology back in 2016. They also filed one for a blockchain-based data matching system recently. The company is using this technology in order to create a new cloud platform based on the blockchain, called Linq. The platform would combine Nasdaq’s exchange with the financial network of Citi Group in order to allow investors to trade securities.

All of this is being done under the supervision of Chain, another blockchain firm which is based on the cloud technology.

2. Qualcomm

Officially, Qualcomm describes itself as a mobile tech firm. However, many have an alternative description for them, which is “patent trolls”. These are firms that are filing patents only so that they can license them and demand a payment from other companies that wish to use them. Apple is one of the firms that seemingly fell into this trap, and is currently suing Qualcomm because they demand a percentage of Apple’s iPhone sales.

PateSnap claims that Qualcomm has more than 46,000 patents at the moment, with 100,000 being still in form of an application. Most of them are in the area of digital information transmission, which also includes blockchain technology.

3. Coinbase

Next, we have Coinbase, the leading crypto exchange, which is also based in the US. Apart from being the largest exchange, Coinbase is also a leader among the exchanges in regards to the number of filed patents. Many would describe the Exchange’s relationship with patents as ‘complicated’. This is due to the fact that they even decided to sign a Patent Pledge, which forbids them to use patents against firms with fewer than 25 employees.

Additionally, the exchange’s CEO, Brian Armstrong, explained their decision to patent blockchain. He claims that the Bitcoin community was created on the idea of openness, as well as that of decentralization. Because of this, patenting this technology is not exactly the right way to go. Still, the creation of a tech business cannot be done without obtaining patents, which is why the exchange does it anyway.

Coinbase simply wants to protect itself from patent trolls such as Qualcomm.

4. Fidelity

Fidelity is also actively working on patenting as much of the blockchain as possible. Thanks to their efforts and careful calculations, the company is currently managing around $6.9 trillion in customer assets. This makes Fidelity the fourth largest company when it comes to managed capital.

They also recently partnered up with Coinbase, meaning that their users will likely have the ability to combine their Fidelity investments with their crypto investments.

5. Mastercard

Next, there is Mastercard. This is one credit card company that takes blockchain development extremely seriously. They offer two different services at the moment, which are Smart Contract API and Blockchain Core API. Smart Contract API allows users to write their own smart contracts, while the other one allows businesses to use Mastercard’s network for processing blockchain-based transactions.

These transactions are often much faster thanks to Mastercard’s own, specially developed new technology.

The company filed a patent back in July of this year, and it concerns a new way to process cryptos via the same framework that is being used for fiat currencies. This would speed up transactions even more, while it would simultaneously reduce the risks since this technology has had decades to properly develop and grow to perfection.

6. IBM

Nearing the end of the list, we have IBM. IBM has a long history of investing in the blockchain, and they share the second place regarding the number of patents with previously discussed Mastercard. In fact, IBM has filed around 9,043 patents in 2017 alone. They also cover the new method of safely accepting payments from untrusted parties via the blockchain.

The company’s Blockchain Platform has more than 400 customers at the moment, and it relies on special tools used for creating a business-specific blockchain. Their most recently accepted patent proposes a new system that would make database managing easier and more efficient. Of course, it would be done via the blockchain.

7. Bank Of America

While this list has had some firms with an impressive number of patents, none of them has filed more patents in 2017 than the Bank of America itself. The company’s CTO, Catherine Bessant, recently stated that they have just under 50 patents in the blockchain technology.

This is all a part of their plan to acquire as much intellectual property as possible. They understand that owning the right technology will give them the competitive edge in the world of finances. As such, the blockchain is likely at the top of their wish list.

Despite this, the Bank remains firmly against Bitcoin, and they even banned its purchase earlier this year. This will likely remain so until they can create their own crypto wallet and find a way to charge their own fees for using digital currencies. Obviously, despite the BTC ban, they are still working hard on entering this space, and they even filed a patent on a new crypto transformation system about a year ago.

Which Company Has Filed The Most Patents?

As mentioned before, firms that are the most interested in filing blockchain specific patents are usually those from the financial services industry. According to data from Envision IP, around 124 blockchain patents in the US are filed by only 5 firms. The biggest ones among them are Fidelity, Bank of America, and Mastercard — all of which are financial services companies.

While it might seem strange that companies like Facebook and Google have not entered the rush with the same enthusiasm, there is a reason for that too. The reason is that this technology is currently in a state that best suits banks and credit card companies. In its current form, it is perfect for keeping records and sending payments, which is exactly what firms like these need.

*This post is credited to BitcoinExchangeGuide

Global Market Insights’ recent report claims that the blockchain market in the Asia Pacific region has seen a significant growth thanks to the increase in the number of investments in blockchain-based companies. The report also claims that the market will hit $16 billion in the next few years, likely by 2024.

Back in 2016, the number of investments in blockchain-based startups had seen over 135 deals. These deals have brought over $545 million to the market at the time. Then in 2017, the market grew by 50% after over 185 deals were made. This event brought over $1 billion in investments.

The increase in funds signals the continuous development of new technologies, with the focus of investors remaining on the blockchain. Because of this, blockchain technology has seen a significant increase in adoption, even when it comes to other industries.

Digital ledger technology has experienced a large increase in adoption levels. This does not only include startups, but also some of the largest companies in the world. Those include players like Ripple, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Digital Asset Holding, Chain, Abra, R3, SAP, Digiledg, Earthport, Coinbase, BTL Group, Blockstream, BitSE, Bloq, Blocko, Asta Solutions, Alphapoint, and Bacoor.

Largest Focus is on Healthcare

A recent report published by Zion Market Research claims that the healthcare market has seen the largest level of adoption when it comes to the blockchain technology. The value of this technology on a global scale was over $34 million back in 2017. Today, however, the revenue expected to be generated by the end of 2024 is closer to $1415.59 million according to reports.

The blockchain technology in healthcare is divided into three segments — application, region, and end user. The segment regarding the application includes clinical data exchange and interoperability, claims settlement and billing, as well as supply chain management. When it comes to the end user segment, the technology is once again segmented into pharmaceutical companies, healthcare payers, and healthcare providers.

Blockchain technology is making data management much more efficient, while at the same time, it improved security and interoperability.

Governments’ Involvement in Blockchain Technology

According to the Global Market Insights’ report, one of the biggest reasons for such a huge interest in the blockchain technology comes from the fact that the government of the region supports it as well. Through numerous policy changes and initiatives, countries like China and Singapore are trying to understand the new technology and benefit from its use.

Singapore’s Monetary Authority has even partnered with R3 back in 2016 to explore the blockchain technology and use it for conducting inter-bank payments. Additionally, the country is exploring another potential use case for this technology, which has a goal of linking its National Trade Platform to those of other countries.

At the same time, the government of China is trying to use the blockchain for tracking charity donations. In fact, they even plan to use it to make a complete overhaul of their charity tracking system.

*This post is credited to BTC News

The global blockchain technology market in transportation and logistics industry to grow at a CAGR of 82.86% during the period 2018-2022.

Blockchain technology is a cryptographically managed, distributed ledger system offered by vendors such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and Tata Consultancy Services.

The latest trend gaining momentum in the market is the advent of blockchain as a service (BaaS) which will lead to the growth of the market, according to Global Blockchain Technology Market in Transportation and Logistics Industry 2018-2022 by ResearchAndMarkets

BaaS enables vendors to set up blockchain connected nodes on behalf of the enterprise and manage the back-end.

According to the report, one of the major drivers for this market is the growing use of blockchain technology for trucking. The growth in the number of infrastructure projects, rise in demand from the logistics sector, and increase in demand for an efficient supply chain to transport goods are factors that are boosting the demand for trucks.

Further, the report states that one of the major factors hindering the growth of this market is the high cost of implementing and maintaining blockchain technology. The initial implementation of this technology is capital intensive as the software required is developed specifically for each firm and is thus expensive.

*This post is credited to MaritimeProfessional