Five Business Problems That Blockchain Will Solve in 2020 and Beyond

Supply chains are grappling with business problems that are not easily solvable without increasing transparency and efficiency. Using a distributed ledger is emerging as one of the best ways to solve these problems. Blockchain technology is an excellent fit that solves the following business problems:

1. Determining Authenticity of Finished Goods 

When goods traverse their supply chains to reach the end customer, most of these customers do not know the true origin of these manufactured goods—or the origin of the ingredients used. However, transparent supply chains using blockchain technology can provide consumers and other downstream supply chain participants with the quality assurance of products, higher standards of responsibility, and sustainability in sourcing and production. Consumers would better understand the environmental impact incurred to create the products they buy. We would better understand the origin of the ingredients of the food we eat, beverages we drink, and medicine we take–including details about the conditions under which plants were grown and how animals were treated.

2. Lack of Pricing Transparency

End customers often aren’t aware of the costs required to produce goods along traditional (and opaque) supply chains.They also aren’t aware of the working conditions in factories and warehouses. Multinational companies need greater accountability and transparency into human rights, factory working conditions, toxin exposure, and fair crop pricing for farmers. A combination of IoT, blockchain technology, and AI would be best suited to provide full transparency into what happens and what costs have been incurred along these supply chains before the product reaches the end consumer.

3. Inefficiencies in Documentation

Maintaining bureaucratic paper trails to manage modern and globally-connected supply chains is inefficient and costly. Manual data entry, paper-based data collection, and other inefficient document handling processes in companies along the supply chain take a toll on profitability. However, some companies are beginning to see the value in blockchain for optimizing their supply chains, reducing inefficiencies, and improving time-to-market delivery. These companies putting their hopes on blockchain to produce real results and substantial boosts in profitability.

4. Corruption

Many jurisdictions around the globe suffer from state corruption with consistently mismanaged public funds, red tape hanging up supply chain processes, and lack of integrity among intermediaries. In order to strengthen public integrity and to prevent corruption, real-time transparency into taxpayer funds and international loans are a necessity. By providing high levels of security, immutable recordkeeping, and guarantees of authenticity, blockchain-based applications can eliminate data falsification and document tampering. Blockchain can also help companies integrate fragmented data silos and eliminate single points of failure in management of data, legal contracts, and monetary transactions. It also negates the need for middle intermediaries, thereby reducing the opportunity for corruption to take root.

5. CO2 Emissions

Every transaction a person makes leaves a carbon footprint, whether it’s filling up our cars with gas, booking a flight, or even buying a new pair of shoes. However, there is no way of knowing our true impact on the planet. Because access to data is very limited, it has been nearly impossible to quantify and monitor our CO2 footprint with our consumerism activities. Reducing CO2 emissions requires assessing our impact and then using business solutions based on blockchain technology under a global governance scheme. Blockchain combined with AI and IoT is especially useful for cross-jurisdictional governance and for gaining better insights into our contribution to rising CO2 levels around the globe. Once we have fully quantified and transparent impact assessments, blockchain can also be used to set international treaties to modify consumer and business behaviors in order to reduce overall emissions.

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