While the application for blockchain is still not widely used among the DataQuest customer base, we’re always interested in understanding the status of the technology and working to anticipate where it might be leveraged in the future. Lots of our technology conferences include a session on blockchain, and this is essentially the latest installment.
Blockchain is a distinct series of nodes, not regulated by a central authority, that acts as an immutable and secure public ledger. Transactions are recorded in groups and each transaction has a unique fingerprint. Each “block” on the blockchain is similar to a page in a book, where the page numbers act as the index, stamping each page (or each transaction) sequentially.
Interesting blockchain applications
- Everledger: the role of Everledger is to track, using blockchain technology and forensics, the journey of an object. In their words, “we combine a rich forensic approach to identify and track asset provenance.” One compelling application of Everledger is to prevent the sale of blood diamonds by tracking the movement of the diamond throughout the supply chain. There are also applications for tracking wine and fine art assets. Insurance companies are a big fan of Everledger, but not all retailers are!
- Smart contracts: smart contracts are often mentioned as a blockchain application because contract terms are finalized and can be invoked based on dates or events occurring. Terms of the contract are immutable and traceable.
- Supply chain tracking: WalMart is the world’s largest distributor of food. When there are food contamination issues, WalMart can use the blockchain to trace contamination to the source. WalMart has announced that they will require all suppliers of leafy green vegetables to upload their data to the blockchain by September 2019.
- Recording accounting data in real time: blockchain technology can be used to record assets and liabilities in real time based on a company’s financial data. Financial data could also be processed to create just-in-time tax reporting or produce real-time financial results.
Do you see potential uses for blockchain in your business? We see potential applications to Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) transactions and the possibility of your customers paying in crypto currency, recorded on blockchain.
What other ways might it affect your business? We’d love to hear your thoughts.