An Australian blockchain experiment: monitoring global almond shipments


Following a successful test of 2016 on blockchain technology in an open interbank transaction, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has worked with five international and Australian companies to ship 17 tonnes of almonds from Melbourne, Australia, to Hamburg, in Germany, using a new distributed accounting platform built on the Ethereum blockchain.

The Experiment

Originally from Sunraysia, the expedition made its way into Western Europe in a pioneering experiment that combined a private blockchain, smart contracts and an Internet of Things geotracking (IoT) framework to facilitate movement end-to-end of almonds. Using the joint solution, the entire process was tracked and verified remotely from the point of origin to real-time delivery.

Taking part in the procedure together with the CBA Pacific National, Olam Richards Australia Pty Ltd, OOCL Limited, Patrick Terminals and LX Group. The main purpose of the experiment was to establish a reliable framework for the digitization of the three pillars of international trade, namely documentation, operations / logistics and finance. This was done using a custom blockchain that hosted all information about the container position, status of task completion, and shipping documents.

Using the information provided by four IoT devices inside the container, the transaction partners could track the position of the load in real time and view time load data, such as temperature and humidity. Access to information via the blockchain platform made it inaccessible to manipulation.

CBA Managing Director of Industrials and Logistics in Customer Coverage Chris Scougall said:

"Our blockchain-enabled global business platform experiment gave birth to the idea of ​​a modern global supply chain that is agile, efficient and transparent We believe that blockchain can help our partners reduce the administrative burden of their activities and enable them to offer better services to their customers. "

In 2016, CBA and Wells Fargo led the first open interbank account in the transaction world that combines the application of blockchain technology, smart contracts and IoT connectivity. The transaction, which took place in collaboration with Brighann Cotton, involved a cotton transport from Texas, USA, to Qingdao, China, using a private blockchain and smart contracts enabled with IoT geolocation technology.

Implementing this framework on a larger future scale means that international transactions can be performed with a high degree of transparency, with all parties constantly aware of the location, authentication and conditions of goods in transit.

In addition to the tracking of goods and added efficiency, the blockchain-enabled supply chain also allows transaction parties to upload and access key documents required by port authorities such as bill of lading and certificates of origin .

CBA's blockchain experimental platform was built on the Ethereum protocol because of its popularity and customizable functionality. When fully set, it will take the form of a private blockchain consisting of a closed network of trusted entities.

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