Blockchain is already being successfully exapted for practical use. Now 69% of banks are investigating the technology, with a view to implementing it in order to improve the transparency and security of their services. With blockchain technology, transactions are meticulously recorded and validated, costly intermediaries become unnecessary, and its decentralized system is safe from hacking. The research company Gartner predicts that increased use of blockchain technology will lead to an annual business value of over $3 trillion by the end of the next decade. This enormous potential is inspiring innovative blockchain startups, and leading to blockchain technology permeating new areas of finance, trade and logistics.
Blockchain technology is changing the face of banking, replacing overbearing intermediaries and cumbersome paper-based processes with secure yet accessible records of transactions. These changes could be put to good use in cases of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is dealt with using different types of protection, including Chapter 7, where most debts are discharged in exchange for the turnover of assets. The auction procedure that deals with a debtor’s assets is convoluted, and involves numerous separate parties. It is here that blockchain could simplify the bankruptcy process, automate the auction procedure and, in so doing, remove the real risk of human error. It also allows greater transparency, as all interested parties could be granted access to view any recorded transactions throughout the bankruptcy process.
Logistics are an essential component of modern life, but the unwieldy and extensive systems involved in shipping, trade routes and haulage often lead to inefficiencies, delays and losses. By securely connecting all the different businesses, shipping agents and trucking companies involved in a chain, onerous paperwork is eliminated, end to end logistics are streamlined and travel times are shortened. The greater transparency offered by blockchain technology means that goods can be carefully supervised from one end of the supply chain to the other. Routes can be monitored and examined, allowing clients to track the progress of their products, and giving businesses the chance to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
Refining Fair Trading
Blockchain is reaching further afield to improve the supply systems of FairTrade coffee in Africa. A speciality coffee company in Ethiopia is already using a more open and impartial supply chain, known as FairChain. They are now in the process of adding blockchain technology to improve the system further still. Blockchain not only provides proof of provenance, but it also incorporates a design that allow users to offer tips to farmers. Its potential for use in the future includes educating landowners on sustainable farming practices, and rewarding them for successfully implementing changes.
Although blockchain is still evolving, its influence is already far-reaching, permeating a wide range of modern day systems and infrastructures. Through its positive involvement in simplifying financial transactions, streamlining transport chains and enhancing fair trade, it’s easy to see the enormous potential of blockchain for the future.