Many businesses see blockchain as “the next big thing”. Companies across all industries are experimenting with blockchain technologies to set off a new wave of innovation in operations.
Blockchain is an electronic ledger that can be distributed between people or groups. These parties have a lot of flexibility in what they do with the ledger, though it’s best known for directly transferring money (in the form of bitcoin) without a third party.
Blockchain can provide what is called a “chain of custody” for assets in their supply chain. Meaning, blockchain is able to record each transaction in a supply chain and identify all parties within a particular transaction. It can also automate and remove human error in long-lived transactions. Because of this, there is a vast range of applications for blockchain that were not previously possible using the internet alone.
For example, blockchain applications can enable a health care organization like the Canadian Blood Services to know which patient has received its blood product and how the patient reacted to it. This type of capability could revolutionize patient care.
A ledger records your holdings as digital assets. These digital assets can be tied to a currency, gold, diamonds, securities, even your house or your car – anything that has value and can be exchanged.
Carrying out transactions with these digital assets can be enhanced with the use of smart contracts, which are available from a range of sources (including Montreal-based Blockstream).
Smart contracts let corporations connect events and data and take automatic action. They manage automatic workflow execution and make operations more efficient.
Why Blockchain now?
Blockchain Technology is a game changer. When stakeholders trust the blockchain, new disruptive business models and market entrants arise. So how does the blockchain engender trust?
- What is ironclad is there is a permanent record of who accessed these ledgers and what they did, guaranteeing security of the transaction. Blockchain transactions create a tamper-proof log.
- Stakeholders all see a single source of truth in the shared, synchronized distributed ledger
Reduces anticipated problems in the supply chain.
- It removes counterparty risks, fraud from forgeries, issues of double financing and double encumbrances.
What are other blockchain advantages?
- Digital cryptocurrency issuance, acceptance, and rapid transfer
- Speed-up of long-lived transaction e.g. reduces settlement delay from days to seconds in bilateral transactions.
- Reduced fees in transacting in crypto-currency
- Reengineered processes and streamlined workflows.
Whereas E-commerce as we know it has failed to completely connect manufacturers and their distributors to consumers, blockchain can succeed.