What is Hdac? The World Cup blockchain advert, decoded | Tech News
If you’ve been watching ITV’s World Cup 2018 coverage in recent days, you may have spotted a technology-focused advert lurking in between the plugs for cheap pizza and beer.
The advert from South Korean company Hdac shows off the potential capabilities of blockchain technology, the hot topic dominating news headlines for the past few months.
But how much of the advert actually makes sense? We take a look at Hdac’s advert, and the company behind it.
At first glance, Hdac’s advert, shown on both ITV and Eurosport in both English and French versions, appears to be yet another flashy corporate video.
Highlighting the possibilities that blockchain can bring, it shows a family home where many of the appliances are able to talk to each other and operate using the magic of blockchain.
A child chooses her next outfit in a virtual wardrobe, a house is secured when its occupants leave, and a family carries out a video call with their relatives – all apparently through blockchain technology.
But are any of these examples applicable today?
As for the clothes shopping, the advert shows a number of different payments being made presumably through blockchain-powered systems. There are transactions for clothes and food shopping, as well as utility bills being settled in real time as water and power is being used.
Home security is another potential use case for blockchain, but one that is certainly still a work in progress. Back in February, Comcast revealed it would be offering a blockchain-powered security service for smart home customers. This created a unique digital identity for each customer which can then be combined with a permission-based ledger known as a trunk, which is linked to smart devices in their homes, allowing the user to set permissions for each.
Video calling may not be a widely-expected use case for blockchain, but several companies are in fact working on bringing the two platforms together to create a more secure offering – which could for example protect details of a sensitive business deal.
It may be that Hdac is simply looking to board the blockchain hype train and highlight the potential that the technology will be able to bring to users – and in fairness, some of it is closer than we think.
However the company’s slogan of “Now and Tomorrow” may damage the perception of blockchain, which is already being seen as a cure-all for many issues plaguing the technology industry today.
TechRadar Pro has contacted Hdac for more information on the advert examples, as well as the company’s operations as a whole, but so far has had no reply.
So the important question remains – just who are Hdac?
Headquartered in the Swiss city of Zug, Hdac actually stands for Hyundai Digital Asset Company. As the name suggests, it is part of the Hyundai chaebol group, one of the three big conglomerates based in South Korea (the other two being Samsung and LG).
The business was set up by Chung Dae-sun, nephew of Hyundai CEO Chung Mong-koo, to help popularise M2M transactions, whilst also enhancing the security of digital payment processes. Now headed by Hee-Chang Yang, the company says it identifies as, “an IoT contract platform based on blockchain, that not only exchanges but also restricts the usage of connected devices.”
This suggests the company is looking to use the distributed ledger technology (DLT) seen in many other blockchain platforms to ensure that transactions across different devices are able to be completed safely and smoothly.
On its website, Hdac says, “we are creating a more innovative future,” adding that, “the technological philosophy underpinning Hdac is to dramatically improve M2M transaction environments daily: all transactions should be seamless and easy.”
The initial omens were good for Hdac, which completed a successful initial coin offering (ICO) of its DAC tokens late last year, raising $258 million. However last month, the company’s mining pool was reportedly hacked, forcing it to temporarily halt withdrawals. Hdac escaped censure, saying that it had no liability because its mining pool was decentralised.
Since this incident, the company’s Twitter account has been fairly inactive in recent days, which seems unusual for a business looking to boost itself with such a high-profile advertising campaign.
The last two tweets, both on May 18th, were a link to the company’s homepage, which followed a rather odd tweet stating, “Thank you for your continued support in Hdac. Unfortunately, we are not currently tweeting. Please check out the latest Hdac news on our official site to stay in the loop! Thank you for your continued support in Hdac.”
So for now at least, it seems that Hdac will continue to baffle viewers in the UK and Europe with its adverts – but if it can come through on its promises, the blockchain market may be in for a major boost.