Trace the origin of your yogurt

Blockchain: transforming trust among organizations and revolutionizing supply chains

  • This article was originally published as part of the 2018 edition of Bled Strategic Times, the official gazzette of the Bled Strategic Forum (BSF) international conference. You can access the full version of this and other BSF publications by visiting our official website.

Where does using the blockchain makes sense?

If you take a moment to look at your surroundings this moment, as you are reading this, there is a very high probability that most of the objects surrounding you went through some form of regional, national or global supply chain to get to you. In the most general terms, what constitutes a supply chain is a network of entities that are in some way interacting with a product or service on its way to the market and during its time on the market. Supply chains today are increasingly growing in complexity, which creates challenges when it comes to managing this multitude of often fluid relations effectively.

Protocols and standards: How can the companies get ready?

It all starts and ends with the data. Introducing a novel technology in the business processes always comes with a risk of compatibility and interoperability, either with legacy technology or with business processes. Adoption of the technology is easily facilitated by compatibility with already used standards. In supply chain industry, GS1 has been recognized as an authority on the “global language of business” it is the not-for-profit organization that led the implementation of the EAN barcodes which transformed global retail when they were introduced in the 1970s.

The road ahead

Blockchain technology is here to stay. For the benefits of the blockchain to take effect across industries and add value to the general business environment, there is a need for a proactive approach coming from policymakers, as well. Blockchain redefines the notion of trust and it can redefine the role of agencies and institutions which now act as intermediaries of trust, from arbitrary ones relying on individuals, to ones setting the rules of the global trade game based on data with integrity. Blockchain-based innovations, such as smart contracts, could also require rethinking of legislation.

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