Transport and Logistics ME
www.transportandlogisticsme.com
What is Blockchain? Explained in Answers to 5 Simple Questions
Smart Technology

What is Blockchain? Explained in Answers to 5 Simple Questions

By sharing data, supply chain planners can acquire a transparent view of the supply chain at large, and thus better plan the movement of cargo in and out of nodes.

TLME News Service

What is ‘blockchain’?

Blockchain is a digital public ledger of crypto-currency transactions, it is known as a ‘distributed ledger technology’.

This means it establishes a shared, immutable record of all the transactions that take place within a network and then enables permissioned parties access to the trusted transaction data in real time.

By applying the technology to digitize global trade processes, a new form of command and consent can be introduced into the flow of information, empowering multiple trading partners to collaborate and establishing a single shared view of a transaction without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality.

Why is it causing such a stir?

Pretty much every voice in disparate parts of the supply chain has called for greater collaboration as the way forward.

By sharing data, supply chain planners can acquire a transparent view of the supply chain at large, and thus better plan the movement of cargo in and out of nodes.

The problem making that happen has been that no modern company worth their salt will just give away their precious data.

In the contemporary world, data is everything, and by showing it to the world, you give your competition a complete view of all of your operations and make yourself extremely vulnerable.

After being stuck in this mire for a few years, blockchain finally seems like a technology that can assuage peoples’ fears, as it promises a safe, non-partisan method of committing data to an objective chain.

Is anyone actually committing to it?

Yes. Blockchain was touted as a major solution for a while, however no company wanted to jump on it first as players across the supply chain remained tentative.

That was until Maersk – the world’s largest shipper – shook everything up and announced it had created a joint venture with IBM to develop the technology and begin using it in its operations with its liner and APMT terminals.

Since IBM and Maersk began their collaboration, multiple parties have now piloted the platform including DuPont, Dow Chemical, Tetra Pak, Port Houston, Rotterdam Port Community System Portbase, the Customs Administration of the Netherlands, and the US Customs and Border Protection.

When will it be a reality?

This really depends on who your guru is. Elon Musk has been largely quiet about it, Bill Gates nonplussed, yet most experts believe it could become mainstream by the end of 2018.

However, reports have suggested even the Government of Dubai is planning to utilize blockchain to power its operations, securing savings of around US$1 billion and mountains of man-hours.

Is blockchain and Bitcoin the same thing?

No. Bitcoin is a crypto-currency that is a decentralized. Blockchain was originally created as an accounting programme for Bitcoin, however it’s now taking on a life of its own.