Blockchain technology, on which the bitcoin is based, has widespread applications. Blockchains solutions empower more industries than just the financial world. Hailed as the second generation of digital revolution next to the advent of Internet, the new platform has reshaped the entire business world optimizing operations with a high level of efficiency.
In simple terms, blockchain is just a distributed record of information – bitcoin is where you have financial transaction record, in medical field it is record of confidential patient information, and legal contract records and the list goes on.
Why block chain is significant
The information recorded in blockchain gain significance as they are
- Nearly impossible to tamper
- Are indestructible/immutable
- Are not controlled or owned by any single authority, individual or server
What does blockchain signify for the supply chain industry?
The core characteristics of blockchain mentioned above are the main reason for the deployment of the technology in supply chain. One of the biggest hurdles faced by the supply chain industry is lack of transparency, which blockchain eliminates completely.
Companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Walmart and others are deploying blockchain technology in their supply chains to ensure better transparency. IBM is aiming to reduce contamination in food supply chains globally with blockchain technology, while Microsoft has a launched CoCo framework for management support to startups building their own blockchain systems.
Walmart, Nestle, McCormick, Kroger, Golden State Foods, Dole and Unilever are some of the companies that are collaborating with IBM in its global initiative. They aim to increase transparency in food industry by tracking worldwide food transactions and using the information to identify and separate contaminated food sources.
Alibaba has used blockchain to help solve food security problems and more efficient healthcare procurement. Syncfab is a supply chain management solutions provider that has recently released its blockchain token to ensure optimized supply chains in various industries.
Decentralized nature of blockchain is its biggest advantage. A database can be shared directly without the need for a centralized administrator. Instead of the centralized application process that is conventionally used, block chain transactions use validity proof and authorization to enable the necessary restrictions. With the technology playing a consensus process to ensure synchronization of nodes all transactions are easily processed and verified independently.
With decentralized data it is not possible for the information to get corrupted. In the conventional centralized systems the database is stored by a third party such as government or bank. Anyone who has access to the system can easily manipulate the data. To prevent this, the people in control of the database spend money on securing the process which takes up too much of effort and time. But blockchains leverage a wider base of computer systems and the cryptography codes once written and fully debugged is very inexpensive.
And blockchain comes with easy and efficient auditability and security, which makes it ideal for use in supply chain industry and other industries where data handling is crucial. The fact that blockchain promises integrity of supply chain even when faced with idleness and dishonesty makes it perfect for organizational issues that are faced by businesses now.