How the blockchain reinvents the global supply chain

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After the advent of 2008, the technology behind the world’s most notorious cryptocurrency bitcoin was held in marginal regions, attracting most of the attention from startups and financial services. However, it has recently received a lot of attention as companies have come to realize that in addition to tracking payments, it can be used in many other ways.

In short, a blockchain is a distributed ledger that groups transactions into blocks. Each block is linked to the previous block, using complex math, all the way back to the first transaction. Entries are permanent, transparent, and searchable, which allows community members to view transaction history in its entirety. Each update constitutes a new “block” that is added to the end of the “chain” – a structure that makes it difficult for anyone to modify the record at a later stage. Ledgers allow information to be recorded and shared between a large number of unrelated companies, and all members must jointly verify any updates – this is in everyone’s interest.

1. To date, the financial application of this technology has cost a lot of attention and funding. However, the equally promising test case is the global supply chain relationship, whose complexity and diversity of interests constitute the challenges that the technology seeks to solve. A simple application of the blockchain paradigm in the supply chain can be to register the transfer of goods on the ledger because the transaction can identify the parties involved, as well as the price, date, location, quality, and status of the product and any other and managing supply chains. Related information. The cryptographic and immutable nature of the transaction makes it almost impossible to break the ledger. Now, many startups and companies are deploying blockchains to reinvent their global supply chains and run their businesses more efficiently

For Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, the challenge is not to track the familiar rectangular containers that sail the world on cargo ships. Instead, it is wrapping paperwork associated with each container. A single container can require stamps and approvals for up to 30 parties, including customs, tax officials and health authorities, distributed in 200 or more interactions. Although the container can be loaded onto the ship within a few minutes, one container can stay in the port for several days because one piece of paper is lost and the internal goods are degraded. The cost of moving and tracking all of this paperwork is usually equal to the cost of physically moving containers around the world. The system is also full of fraud, as valuable bills of lading may be tampered with or copied, allowing criminals to steal goods or distribute counterfeit products, resulting in billions of dollars of maritime fraud every year.

2. Last summer, Maersk sought cooperation from customs authorities, freight forwarders, and producers of filled containers. It began working with these partners on the first test of the route between Rotterdam and Newark. After signing the document, the customs authorities can immediately upload a digitally signed copy so that all others – including the Maersi body and other government authorities – can see it intact. If there is a dispute in the future, everyone can return to the record and be sure that no one has changed it during this time. The cryptography involved also makes virtual signatures difficult to forge.

The second test tracked all paperwork related to flower containers from the port of Mombasa in Kenya to Rotterdam, the Netherlands. As the two trials went well, Maersk followed the pineapple from Colombia and the orange from California. Like most merchants, Wal-Mart strives to identify and remove food that needs to be recalled. When a customer becomes ill, it may take several weeks to determine the product, shipment, and supplier. To solve this problem, it announced last year that it will begin to use blockchains to record and record the source of the product – key data from a single receipt, including the supplier, details of the food planting method and location, and the person being inspected. The database extends information from the tray to a single package.

3. This allows it to immediately find the source of contaminated products compared to days in minutes, as well as capture other important attributes to make informed decisions about food flow. Wal-Mart has completed two pilot programs – transferring pork from Chinese farms to Chinese stores, from Latin America to the US – and now has the confidence to integrate the finished versions in a few years.

BHP Billiton relies on suppliers at almost every stage of the mining process, contracting with geologists and shipping companies to collect samples and analyze them to drive business decisions involving multiple continents across continents. These vendors typically use email and spreadsheets to track and analyze rock and fluid samples. Lost files can cause huge and expensive problems because the sample helps the company decide where to drill a new well. The BHP solution that began this year is the use of blockchain penny stocks to record the movement of wellbore rock and fluid samples and to better protect real-time data generated during delivery. Decentralized file storage, multi-party data collection and immutability, and instant accessibility will enhance its supply chain.

BHP Billiton now requires its suppliers to use applications to collect real-time data – using dashboards and options, it can be simplified according to their work. Technicians collecting samples can attach data such as time to collection, laboratory researchers can add reports, and all visitors can see all the data immediately. No missing samples or crazy news. While some elements of the process are the same, the new system is expected to increase internal efficiency while allowing BHP Billiton to work more effectively with partners. Currently, in most initial deployments, the blockchain runs in parallel with the company’s current system – usually an older database or spreadsheet, such as Microsoft’s Excel. The hardest part is creating a new business model. Deploying blockchains across the enterprise means that companies often have to scrap away existing business processes and start from scratch. Efforts are not for the timid people.

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