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Blockchain: more than one technology

Rebecca Hofmann, US Blockchain Strategy & Innovation, Equinor

Rebecca Hofmann, US Blockchain Strategy & Innovation, Equinor

Blockchain is more than just technology, it is also a collaboration tool for your industry. Blockchain is a digital tool that shows the potential and possibilities for companies to address an area of ​​inefficiency that they have not been able to deal with in a good way before now. Companies have complete control over internal processes, but the reality is that no company does business by itself and there are many external interactions in the business world that are extremely cumbersome, manual and inefficient, thus wasting time and money on our businesses.

Almost two years ago, I attended a conference at Rice University on blockchain technology. I listened to startup blockchains and speakers on how blockchain technology was used for the banking and healthcare sectors. I could not therefore ask myself "what is this technology?" And "why should I worry about it". As I began to focus less on how technology worked and more on its attributes, a whole new understanding began to develop.

From this, what we are seeing are numerous possible cases of use, so where does it start? In Equinor, we have taken a strategic approach to look for valid solutions that could exploit the power of the blockchain. In 2017, Equinor produced several demonstrations of concepts and what we have discovered is that this technology is more valuable when an industry is in agreement on a digital way of working. To do this in the right way and mitigate the risks, that "digital truth" should be established together with all the interested parties or it could break the risk of creating an autonomous product that lacks the mark on creating a true way of working without interruptions for external processes.

Blockchain technology has the potential to have multiple parts that interact seamlessly, with a central source of truth, in which business activities can be self-performed and recorded in real time, transparently without central error points, making it so safer

In the fourth quarter of 2016 Equinor set up a 6-SVP blockchain steering committee from innovation, a center of digital excellence, marketing and trading, finance, corporate and new energy solutions. Subsequently, a small working group was set up to execute the blockchain strategy. Which led in 2017 Equinor to be part of two industrial consortia; Energy Web Foundation and VAKT – both centered around blockchain trading solutions. In February 2018, I launched the US Blockchain forum for operators where industry leaders come together to learn, drive and exploit blockchain technology to promote the digitization movement.

Equinorrs' goal is a solid digital foundation and innovation to support its sharp security strategy, high value and low carbon content. To do this, we are adopting integrated thinking, digital tools, lean, efficient and compliant ways to work with secure cloud solutions. This brings Equinor to platforms that combine digital and physical elements like we do business. Current legacy processes are often digital; however, data is disconnected and not in real time causing many problems to companies. We see future networks through blockchain by creating a more secure, reliable and real-time data location.

Can you imagine a way of working that establishes a source of truth for all the parties involved? While we interact in a normal activity, the activity is recorded in real time on the blockchain that can not be tampered with, we have transparency in the activity and we receive a copy of that truth when it happens. Nothing more: your database said one thing and another mine; this could significantly reduce the disputes. Depending on the business or business needs, the blockchain could also carry out self-fulfilling activities or terms, perhaps for a joint operational agreement or a supply chain contract, helping to simplify external processes for the benefit of all parties involved. This could potentially eliminate manual reconciliations and as ownership changes hand across the value chain, we may have visibility into this as it happens. Blockchain solutions could lead to better decisions in real time, all without a central point of failure. This is why people and companies are so fascinated by blockchain technology.

Now, this seems to be about transformation, but there are some reasons why this technology is not in the mainstream:

Education: there are still many people who are so intriguing and proprietary of their true abilities

Management of organizational change: a new mentality is needed that embraces the emerging technology within our organizations

Digital standards: an agreed digital language must be established to work within a blockchain by the participating parties

The way we will overcome these challenges and achieve an integrated and integrated way of working in the future will be through group collaboration. While our companies continue to look for creative ways to create added value, such as integrating the whole value chain, itnges and implementing an integrated and integrated way of working in the future will be through group collaboration. It happens. Blockcanswer to help achieve this?

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