Afternoon Coffee: Maersk-IBM Blockchain Solution Declared ‘Unusable,’ Tesla Airlifts New Equipment to Boost Model 3 Production

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Evangelists for blockchain have positioned the technology as a way to reduce manual effort and accelerate transaction processing, particularly in the ocean shipping industry, where long paper trails and poor visibility are persistent problems. The push to address these issues with blockchain, however, has led to a new problem: There are now so many new blockchain initiatives that companies don’t know how to choose which one to adopt, Supply Chain Dive reports.

The dilemma appears to defeat the point of creating a blockchain network in the first place, as the idea is to get the entire industry on a universal standard. One option, of course, is to create another solution layer on top of these various networks, unifying them through integration. But that also means more money and more time before blockchain can become truly useful to today’s businesses.

Tesla’s Gambit 

In an unusual move for an auto manufacturer, Tesla has flown in six planes worth of robots and new equipment from Europe to California to speed up production for its Model 3 sedan, Reuters reports. The shipments will be used to create a new battery assembly line that the company says will significantly increase the productivity of its Nevada-based Gigafactory.

E.U. Tariff Tussle  

The European Union’s last-ditch effort to avoid President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs begins Wednesday, as E.U. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom meets with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to discuss possible exemptions ahead of the Friday deadline, the Wall Street Journal reports. In addition to the tariff discussion, Malmstrom will also meet with U.S. and Japanese trade officials to assess ways to address unfair trade practices, particularly those related to China.

Consumer Confidence 

And finally, an economic update: U.S. consumer confidence rose to a three-month high in May, Bloomberg reports, as tax cut-boosted paychecks and a strong job market supported gains in consumer spending. The confidence index rose to 128 from a downwardly revised 125.6 in April.

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