Can blockchain technology be explained in a few words? "An adequate explanation requires a little more words, I fear," replied Steffen Joswig, CEO of Camelot Innovative Technologies Lab. "A blockchain is an interconnected list in which each entry, called block, can consist of one or multiple data records Interconnection is made possible through cryptographic fingerprints, the so-called hash functions Each hash function is created from all data records in a block The hash function is preserved in the previous block and later, the blocks are therefore inextricably linked to one another, like a chain ".
Blockchain is a system of databases spread across many nodes of the same network, such as the Internet. It is protected from manipulation by strong encryption. The network in which data is interconnected and encrypted has even more advantages than simple security. For example, data transactions are possible without intermediaries and are counterfeit-proof!
Blockchain could radically change the way in which market participants conduct reciprocal transactions, thereby transforming entire industrial sectors.
Whether it is logistics, production or in the energy sector, many companies are already testing the limits of the blockchain. From the exchange of electricity between neighbors and transparent and traceable supply chains, the possibilities are many.
Security creates trust
Blockchain is a digital data record that saves a list of transactions (blocks). They are supported by a cryptographic figure, the author of GlobalSign Ved Prakash explains in a press release.
The marketing expert specializing in IT sales and distribution management states: "Each block contains a connection to the previous block, a timestamp, and data relating to the transactions it represents, and the blocks are immutable. modified in any way This creates trust between all the parts of a blockchain Because nobody can change a block after its creation, anyone involved can be sure that the data is still valid at a later time. "
"It's not easy to create them and it's extremely difficult to manipulate them, basically they guarantee that a block is not duplicated or modified."
Ved Prakash adds: "The concept of blockchain is nothing new and has existed since 1991. The blockchains as we know them today were created by the Bitcoin producer Satoshi Nakamoto and serve as an accounting book of the currency.The blockchains consist of Proof of Work – data that can verify the contents of a block Work tests are generated individually for each block according to its content It is not easy to create them and it is extremely difficult to manipulate them Basically they guarantee that a block is not duplicated or modified. "
The demand for blockchain is growing in many sectors. However, many organizations that are working to implement the technology lack the necessary resources and know-how. Here, SAP is trying to establish itself with Leonardo, but does not yet have the necessary experience or flow.
For example, IBM has worked several years to make the blockchain ready for commercial use and has gained experience in over one hundred customer projects. Based on these experiences, the IBM Blockchain Platform was introduced for companies in all sectors about a year ago.
The key to the Smart Factory
Over 80% of industry managers in Germany want to concentrate their Industry 4.0 investments on IT security to develop the Smart Factory of the future and master the digital transformation. At the same time, 71% of German managers, together with partners in their value chain, want to invest in cooperative platform technology until 2020.
"A secure Industry 4.0 network is the key to building digital transformation in manufacturing," said Martin Rainer, Manufacturing Industry Leader at DXC Technology. "Together with security experts, we have developed a decentralized Industry 4.0 platform on which interactions between humans, machines and companies are guaranteed through blockchain technology". In the course of the Industry 4.0 survey, DXC technology required a representative sample of 100 decision-makers specialized in digital transformation in Germany.
"A clear, transparent and regulated basis is necessary for blockchain transactions to become part of the normalized market and gain the trust of the masses".
During a presentation in Zurich this summer, Christian Katz, chairman of the board of directors of the Swiss Crypto Exchange (SCX), said: "Blockchain-based transactions, Smart Contracts and many other similar innovations will become more important in the next A clear, transparent and regulated basis is necessary for blockchain transactions to become part of the normalized market and to gain the trust of the masses.SCX considers itself as a catalyst and wants to contribute to a new and better value creation for all market participants through an SRO regulated platform for global transactions. "
Blockchain as a service
SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain is a Blockchain-as-a-Service offering with which customers can develop and expand business solutions with blockchain technology such as Hyperledger Fabric and MultiChain. About 65 companies are involved in the SAP initiative for blockchain technology innovations.
Customers can ask for help with the introduction of products for the production and logistics chain that are elevated by blockchain technology. It guarantees greater transparency and security and better collaboration in sectors such as transport, the food and pharmaceutical industry.
The participating companies come from different countries and from different sectors, including telecommunications, retail, logistics, agriculture and defense. This diversity is the testimony of the high acceptance of the blockchain.
"[…] until 2025, 10% of the global national product will be generated by blockchain technology ".
"Deutsche Telekom sees great potential for blockchain telecommunications technology," said Hartmut Mueller, SVP and Head of Business Solutions at Deutsche Telekom IT. "Our collaboration with SAP will accelerate digitization".
Blockchain is always present in almost all sectors. For example, SAP Advanced Track and Trace for Pharmaceuticals supports pharmaceutical companies to comply with the provisions to protect against counterfeiting drugs. The solution also simplifies collaboration with supply chain partners in connection with the SAP Information Collaboration Hub for Life Sciences.
Combined with these offers, blockchain technology has the potential to meet customer return verification requirements in accordance with US law.
Blockchain TradeLens solution
The SAP customer from IBM and Danish Maersk presented the blockchain solution TradeLens: an application developed jointly for global trade and the global shipping industry. The solution addresses a lot of manual and cost-inefficient processes that affect global freight transport and supply chains. The goal is to create greater transparency and efficiency.
The World Economic Forum estimates that, through the elimination of obstacles in international supply chains, global trade could grow by 15%. 94 organizations in these sectors have already decided to use TradeLens, including freight forwarders, ports, customs authorities, banks and logistics service providers.
Based on IBM Blockchain, TradeLens offers an information platform for shipping details, documents, customs declarations and IoT data. Users can access this information in real time and collaborate securely and efficiently. They are able to use IoT and sensor data, for example for temperature control or weighing containers.
The trade of the future
The author of GlobalSign Ved Prakash expects that, up to 2025, 10 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) will be generated by blockchain technology. Financial institutions around the world are experimenting with blockchain as a platform for the trade of the future.
For example, Mastercard has already introduced its own payment processing blockchain technology. Justin Pinkham, who leads the blockchain initiative of Mastercard, sees blockchain as a solution to ensure and oversee the transportation of pharmaceuticals, luxury goods and even diamonds.
Used for the first time with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, blockchain technology will not only radically change e-commerce, but also hundreds of other industries.
Edited by Peter Färbinger, editor-in-chief. With texts from IBM, SAP, GlobalSign, DXC Technology, EQS Group, Deutsche Telekom, Camelot ITLab and Maersk.