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Achieving global transparency and security with blockchain

Blockchain eliminates the need for centralized control by using a digital ledger that provides a secure and public record of making, recording and verifying financial and non-financial transactions. While the technology is best know for enabling cryptocurrencies, more organizations are now exploring the technology to give transaction transparency and improve efficiencies…

The trading network

When trading, multiple businesses need to share information with each other – one study reveals that a single refrigerated shipment passed through more than 30 different organizations, requiring 200+ separate communications. Blockchain’s public ledger means transactions are transparent, increasing the trust between parties. Documents can also be digitally shared, which reduces paperwork and increases efficiency. 

The dinner table

How our food gets to the table is of increasing interest to consumers around the world and producers are using blockchain to track its journey. In the US, San Diego-based canned seafood producer Bumble Bee Foods lets users scan a QR code attached to the packaging, allowing customers to find out where their seafood originated, the size of the catch, the fishing community that caught it and whether it has fair-trade fishing certification. 

Elsewhere, IBM Food Trust uses blockchain technology to create a more transparent global food supply chain, and has been adopted across the food and drinks sector, from coffee growers to lettuce farmers.

The doctor’s surgery

Major health and pharmaceutical companies in the US are looking at ways blockchain can help with storing and sharing patient information. The current system requires healthcare providers to sync their data every 90 days, which means information elsewhere could be out of date and impact the patient’s treatment. Using blockchain would allow these companies to have access to the most up-to-date files, ensuring patients get relevant treatment. This would also saving organizations money, as chasing and maintaining provider data costs an estimated US$2.1 billion a year in the US. Meanwhile, biopharmecutical company Pfizer is participating in a pilot that uses blockchain to track who touches a drug at what time, making it more difficult for a counterfeit product to enter the drug supply chain.

The environment

The World Economic Forum has highlighted 65 emerging use cases of blockchain helping the environment. These mostly revolve around improving processes and efficiencies, in particular by optimizing supply-and-demand management, which helps to meet customers’ needs and avoid wasting resources. This also helps created a more circular economy, where we can easily keep track of the way raw materials are procured, traded and consumed.

The art collector

Where catalogue systems are used to prove the authenticity of artists’ work, blockchain is providing a more accurate solution. According to the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2019, provenance tracking and ownership registry are the most relevant use-cases for blockchain in the art market. Blockchain-based digital certificates, such as Veristart, are becoming more popular, as they can track and verify the ownership journey of a piece of art.

More areas of society are are set to follow suit in their adoption of blockchain technology, with CBD Insights predicting 55 blockchain use cases of the future, from voting systems and ride sharing to gun tracking and gambling.

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