The lack of transparency and accountability are holding back the potential of online businesses growth. This is not just happening to online businesses, but also in many industries where the problem of lack of transparency and accountability is dampening the credibility of products, services and brand(s) that have existed for man years.
Due to several intermediaries or middlemen that are used to produce a product and/or deliver a service, the chances of error at every stage is high. As different providers use different software and technology in their processes, it is time-consuming and costly to find the origin of mistake/alteration.
With the help of blockchain technology, we can store and retrieve transactions information at every stage, with all parties getting the copy of the transactions from origination to the latest. Without all participants acceptance, individual intermediary or middleman can’t alter the records, leaving no room for misconduct.
Blockchain technology can be used in different industries for different use cases. From healthcare industry to banks and insurance, the use cases of Blockchain technology is vast. Increasing the transparency of systems reduces intermediation and costs to users. Blockchain as a decentralized digital ledger has the potential to increase the level of transparency and accountability in many industries.
The Blockchain is still going through a lot of research and improvements in order for it to be suitable for practical usage for all industries and/or companies. For now though, there are already reputed international companies and governments that have successfully implemented Blockchain into their products and core service offerings.
Land titling is still a low-tech affair in most countries and the transactions are susceptible to forgeries and counterfeit. Furthermore, the existing process involves heavy paperwork, which is accessible to insiders and outsiders giving room for counterfeit. To reduce these irregularities and counterfeits and increase transparency, Sweden has started experimenting with blockchain to put its land registries on it. The country started its experiments in June 2016, and it has successfully completed several stages of experimentation. Sweden is expected to have this system in place by 2019.
Lack of transparency and accountability are hampering the growth of the Indian economy. To improve transparency and decrease property disputes, the government of Southeastern state Andhra Pradesh has successfully recorded more than 100,000 land records using the blockchain technology. The state has also partnered with Swedish blockchain startup ChromaWay to incorporate land registry solutions into its system. Property related disputes account for an enormous 66 per cent of all civil cases and a 0.5 per cent drag on the GDP of the Indian economy, as per a study by think tank Daksh.
Zuffenhausen-based Porsche has successfully implemented and tested blockchain in a car to lock and unlock the vehicle via an app, temporary access authorizations and new business models. All these activities are based on an encrypted data logging process. This successful testing makes Porsche the first automobile manufacturer to implement and test blockchain in a car.
The world’s largest shipping company, Maersk uses blockchain technology from IBM to track shipping containers. There are many parties involved in shipping from the manufacturer, exporter, and consumer to customs departments of different countries. Freight tracking very crucial to the parties involved so they need to avoid inaccuracies in labelling. Blockchain allows the parties to closely manage the distributed system, and the digital signatures used in the freight tracking makes it difficult to label inaccurately.
Walmart uses the same technology to track 1.1 million items journey from manufacturer to the shelf. The objective of using blockchain in these two industries is different, shipping industry is using this technology to eliminate or to decrease irregularities from the starting point of the freight to the end-point.
Walmart is also using this technology to increase food safety. Many of the food products that Walmart sell are quickly perishable in nature. Using blockchain, Walmart is trying to be transparent with the customer and it can also make the parties involved in the middle accountable for any delays and malfunctions.
By tracking the product from farm to store, it can not only estimate the accurate shelf life of its products, it can pinpoint its providers accountable for any irregularities easily. By being more transparent with customers, Walmart increases its brand reliability and sustainability.
Starting in April 2014, Everledger maintains a blockchain-based registry of every certified diamond in the world. It already has 2.2 million diamonds in its registry, and it is adding approximately 100,000 diamonds a month. It records 40 different measures of every stone in its registry, including many physically unclonable features. Everledger traces the journey of every stone from its origin to the day it is purchased by a consumer. The participants in the chain, from the miner, cutter to the retailer maintains a node that consists of a full copy of the database in the Everledger Blockchain network.
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