Blockchain technology was a by-product of Bitcoin’s development. The digital currency faced the challenge of finding a secure data storage and encryption technology. Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto solved this problem with the decentralized blockchain. That does not only save the payments and transactions on a central data carrier but many computers distributed across the Internet. The blockchain keeps the transaction data in blocks to secure the so-called nodes. This chain is a copy of many different computers. That shared and trusted record of transactions can be viewed by anyone. It is forgery-proof and therefore the ideal place for values, property rights and authorizations. That makes the blockchain the perfect tool for logistics.
After all, this industry makes precisely those demands on technology that the blockchain can solve. Supply chains are very similar to the problems faced by cryptocurrencies and the financial sector. Because numerous participants also share information along a supply chain. This data should be visible and yet forgery-proof. There are many possible uses of the blockchain for logisticians. In this way, the industry can solve numerous challenges. With the help of a blockchain, it is elementary to get a grip on the origin control of goods and product piracy.
One Step Towards Complete Automation
Experts have long been talking about the goal of Industry 4.0. This Internet of Things should allow numerous processes to run automatically. However, this also requires autonomous contracts. The blockchain has already solved that. The so-called smart contracts run automatically and initiate processes independently. At the same time, customers are becoming increasingly aware of the problem of the sustainability of products. They want to know more about where the products come from and how the company created them. That is where the blockchain can help. Because with it, companies can make all processes completely transparent. In this way, you can see the material, information and financial flows and display them in a single technical instrument.
If a customer buys a product from a faraway country, then the supplier ships these goods. But during that process, everyone involved needs to stay informed. That is precisely where the strength of the blockchain comes into its own. It works like a decentralized accounting system. There have long been practical examples of how it works. For example, the Maersk shipping company is working with IBM on a blockchain project. The aim is to automate global trade by ship partially. That should save time and money. In the meantime, 94 international trading companies have already joined this project. You can trace data in real-time. That includes all permits, the shipping documents and even the container data. Documentation on paper is no longer necessary. Everything is quickly available and verifiable. After all, the administration causes around twenty per cent of the costs of world trade. That already shows what great savings potential is waiting for the industry here.