The boom in cryptocurrency over the past 2 years has caused an explosion of interest in blockchain technology which has captured the attention of the entities in a wide range of sectors.
While the initial stigma of grabbing money that has stained the market fades, these entities have realized that the underlying technology is primarily about automation and removal of intermediaries – 2 ideas that can be applied to any type of vertical.
Among the many industry revolutions that the blockchain is ready to facilitate, the supply chain and general logistics industry stands as one with one that could have maximum impact.
This is because the sector is fraught with obsolete systems and is deeply based on paper. It has been said that innovations often come from the most trivial of origins and the use of blockchain in the supply chain fits this pattern.
The supply chain, the lifeblood of the world economy, is responsible for rapid globalization this has happened in recent years.
As standardized containers have replaced boxes and bags, import and export capacity has increased significantly, increasing national economies and allowing a more reliable, cohesive and efficient way for countries to form partnerships around the world.
Blockchain is the next step in this process: doing what shipping containers have done in the industry, and then some. The supply chain is currently disparate, with different stakeholders following different standards, as well as being plagued by several other problems.
Blockchain, creating a unique and unchangeable platform with smart contracts, can wipe out these problems and radically improve an industry on which almost every other industry is based.
Bring Blockchain to the supply chain
Supply chains – note, in the plural – sans blockchain takes the form of separate processing streams, and jumping from one source to another is one that involves a lot of effort and delay.
Even with the current advantages of the Internet and RFID, the industry remains largely based on paper. The documents must be physically signed by the corresponding official before they can be processed forward and must be manually recorded in a computer for updates on the place and conditions.
Often, these data may be inaccessible, or at least annoying to access and update, to intermediaries along the supply chain. Loss of a single card among hundreds can mean the delay of goods for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Speaking al Cheap timetables, The shipping company Maersk emphasizes that office work is such an immense obstacle:
The bureaucratic practices and vital processes for global trade are also one of the greatest burdens. The research on the paper discovered that Maersk has discovered the entity of the burden that documents and processes inflict on trade and the consequences.
With a blockchain ledger that facilitates the automatic logging of shipments with unforgettable electronic signatures, these problems can be eliminated in one go.
The first step is always the biggest, and there are blockchain projects that are exploring the complexities of the supply chain industry with finesse, fully aware of the long iterative process of redevelopment of a sector that is both broad and deep.
Here, let's take a closer look at some of the major blockchain projects that are trying to transform commerce and transport.
The main Blockchain projects revolutionize trade and transport
The OriginTrail The project is addressing the problem of a higher level of interoperability between supply chains. It is a data exchange protocol for different supply chains that allows them to share data and communicate with each other.
The existence of different supply chains means that the data is highly fragmented and makes efficient cooperation between different ecosystems problematic.
The OriginTrail Decentralized Network (ODN) It is designed for multi-organizational environments, which allows multiple entities to communicate with each other through a single supply chain protocol.
The OriginTrail team considers food shipments only one of the many applications of blockchain technology and has already successfully performed several efforts in this regard.
By linking sensors with QR codes to shipments of food products, consumers can learn key information such as the source of the product, the place where it has passed through its shipping path and the likelihood that the consumables have failed.
OriginTrail also led to pilot with the Chinese Yimishiji organic food market which showcases the visibility of the product along the entire supply chain.
The pilot demonstrates the greater transparency made possible by a decentralized ledger, and partners along the Yimishiji supply chain can securely communicate data with one another.
Likewise, they have also established search solutions for Celeia, Natureta, is Perutnina – producers of milk, vegetables and poultry, respectively.
For each of these manufacturers, OriginTrail has provided companies and customers with evidence of how the product is authentic, from the initial choice of raw materials to semi-finished products along the production line and their final status.
Although the food vertical has seen several developments, OriginTrail has also identified several use cases in other vertical sectors and believes that the protocol is also applicable to other supply chains. They integrated their solution with IoT platforms like Evrythng, to support the traceability of consumer product brands, and TagItSmart for the verification of the authenticity of premium wines exported to the Chinese market.
The possibilities of the supply chain go beyond the mere consumables, since almost all aspects of modern life are in some way touched by global supply chains.
An interesting use case in the attractions of OriginTrail is laboratory data and reports. This speaks to OriginTrail's goal of addressing top-level issues in the industry. Much of the supply of food and ingredients must go through quality control laboratories.
This is an important step in verifying authenticity, as laboratories take responsibility for ensuring products such as honey, which are prone to counterfeiting.
As CEO of OriginTrail, Tomaz Levak states:
The OriginTrail protocol takes care of the data footprint while the laboratories specialize in forensic level tests that are relevant to real food. A great way to show how complementary technologies can work together to verify the authenticity, the origin and the safety of products.
OriginTrail has also created the TRACE Alliance, a non-profit collection of companies, public sector entities, technology companies and others, with the goal of creating solutions for the supply chain industry through the OriginTrail platform. This is in line with the stated belief of OriginTrail that it is not a society, but an ecosystem.
Existing members include Deloitte, Gijima, Trust Provenance and many others.
Without a doubt, OriginTrail's strength is its protocol focused on interoperability, which improves existing GS1 standards.
The common data standards guarantee data integrity and quality. Modularity and extensibility are also integrated into the framework, which means that stakeholders can modify and add new uses based on specific industry needs or applications.
Another noteworthy point about the project is that other similar projects in space do not address the problem of transport and trade as a broad scope as does OriginTrail.
It is worth reading OriginTrail white paper get a deeper understanding of technical solutions for their goal of creating a platform for all supply chains.
If they can get the right technical architecture, OriginTrail could very well connect thousands of companies in dozens of countries that operate through different supply chains and, if they succeed in making these existing businesses integrate the blockchain, the chances that these will become globalization presence is very real.
Waltonchain, a project with the fervent support of its community, addresses the niche of commerce and transport with a specific focus using chips and RFID hardware to help track a wide range of products such as clothing and electronic components.
In fact, Waltonchain chose the clothing industry as the first test for his platform, as part of the 1.0 phase of their release. The apparel industry already uses RFID tags, which provide the team with an enormous amount of data to work with.
Beyond that, the Waltonchain team members have extensive experience in the apparel industry. The project has already collaborated industrial partners in Chinaand the development will act as a testing ground for the combination of Waltonchain's distributed and RFID registers, allowing them to refine it before moving on to other sectors.
The use of RFID is significant.
With the way The Internet of Things industry is growingand the application it has in establishing a machine-to-machine communication, Waltonchain has decided to tackle the supply chain problem as an IoT problem.
RFIDs, which have failed to satisfy the hype built in recent years, could actually take off while it and other tags are integrated with blockchain to create a network of shipments and stakeholders – up to the customer – that bring the & # 39; human interaction at a minimum and provide relevant personnel with important data through the use of sensors.
Waltonchain defines this as the "Internet value of things", " that the team describes in them White paper such as:
[promoting] the connections between machine and machine, man and machine and realize the complete management of the circulation of the life cycle of data in the world of information.
Waltonchain also has a tight focus on the development of smart citiesand won a prize for an intelligent waste management program.
This leads the project beyond the impression that it is just a project focused on retail. Waltonchain's proprietary systems use smart watches, low-power devices and sensors to create a more efficient sanitation system that makes waste management more efficient.
The Waltonchain Smart City implementation team wins the outstanding product award at the Global IoT Summit 2017 along with names like Huawei and China Telecom for their Smart Waste Management platform. Congratulations, Citylink Techonology! pic.twitter.com/wSJmPDCEjO
– Waltonchain (@Waltonchain) December 13, 2017
Waltonchain is also working closely with the Chinese government, which has recently opened up to cryptocurrencies.
This is an encouraging development for the project, reinforcing the investor's interest in the project. The Waltonchain could very well take over this niche nationwide, before it expanded globally from there.
VeChain, like Waltonchain, is found in Asia and is popular in cryptographic circles.
His focus is on the luxury goods industry and has already established some connections in tobacco, liquor and agriculture. All these sectors are big generators of revenue in China, offering VeChain the opportunity to consolidate its market share in the second fastest growing world economy.
The VeChain platform, which is said to be able to process up to 10,000 transactions per second, offers VeChain a platform advantage in this niche, which must also offer comparable performance to function as a reliable global shipping platform.
The success of the VeChain mainnet lends some credibility to the transactional processing capabilities of the platform.
VeChain also produces internally developed RFID chips, and are considering several sensor upgrades that could strengthen its application in logistics, including a thermometer.
Such characteristics would be particularly useful for goods such as wines and other consumer goods, which are subject to environmental damage. This could provide the customer and retailers with information on the quality of the final product.
VeChain also has landed more partnerships, including those with the Chinese government, China Unicom, the giants of the supply chain Kuehne + Nagel, DNV GL and PwC. These are all the most important names within their respective sectors and offers VeChain an impressive network of players to rely on from experience.
Similar to Waltonchain, VeChain's long-term potential lies in its ability to integrate partners and refine its platform.
Once again, since they are essentially providing the same type of service, the need for a unified platform that allows multiple platforms to cooperate and not compete is imperative. VeChain, with its close ties to the Chinese government and the attention to luxury goods, can collaborate with Waltonchain, which can focus on other sectors.
Since decentralization systems are slowly being refined and designed with interoperability in mind, the existence of multiple products becomes an advantage, not damage.
CargoCoin, clearly describing its intent as "blockchaining logistics", is one of the newest entrants in space, with its ICO ends on 31 December 2018.
CargoCoin also has more general agenda for the supply chain industry, in particular with the intention of replacing its paper processing systems with smart contracts and guarantee payments to ensure efficiency and safety in the shipment of goods.
The CargoCoin logistics blockchain plan extends to all layers of transportation and commerce, including land transport, air transport, pipeline transportation and shared lines between the city and the outside.
The team will spend Q3 and Q4 of 2018 developing a global shipping platform and a mobile application; Smart contracts are expected in the first quarter of 2019, with the launch of the platform expected in the following quarter.
The platform will undergo a gradual launch, starting with the shipping platform that will link shippers, shippers, importers and exporters.
This will be followed by the internal platform that brings the road and railway entities in the picture.
The next phase will be the all-purpose loading phase, which is essentially the construction of a marketplace in which the different stakeholders can select the partners they want to work with and build long-term shipping relationships, while at the same time showing their products directly to the customers.
CargoCoin will not charge you for the use of your platform. They hope that this, combined with their various services, will attract as many users as possible to the platform. This idea adds a lot to the potential of CargoCoin.
It is well known that cryptocurrency payments are much faster than their fiat counterparts – and there is a large amount of cash flowing between entities in the supply chain.
The CargoCoin platform places emphasis on the use of smart contracts for most processes in the supply chain flow, including a letter of credit and a bill of lading. The use of a digitized version of these documents improves the traditional methods of paper in almost every way.
Furthermore, using smart contracts and creating a market that can help build trust between partners, the CargoCoin platform can eliminate much of the indecision and difficulty in finding appropriate logistics partners for companies.
For example, it creates a mechanism by which an entity can measure the efficiency of the use of a single shipping partner, all with minimal human interaction.
The supply chain industry will slowly adopt Blockchain solutions
There is no doubt that blockchain will be implemented in the supply chain sector. The real question is when and how these different solutions will work together.
In truth, as in the case of most of the projects operating in the same sector, the differences in the advantages between the platforms are minimal. With that said, trade and transportation are a massive industry, and it is clear that each project has chosen to focus on specific areas within it.
Since several projects have different applications, it is likely that eventually we will see some fast-growing blockchain projects that can carve out a niche of operations for themselves.
We are likely to see the evolution of the supply chain in the same way we see blockchain evolving more generally. Over time, there has been a general acceptance of digital currencies and decentralized systems in the financial sector, with businesses and regulatory bodies slowly warming up towards an innovation with implications that they have no precedents.
We anticipate that the same will happen in the supply chain sector. It will be a question of when, not if.