One of the most exciting new technologies of this decade is blockchain. Data and access to it are crucial topics in today’s world. Secure, reliable, and high-capacity methods of storing and transmitting important data are constantly sought out. Blockchain has a wide range of applications, including Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It is also being used in different fields such as healthcare, supply chain, and logistics. This article looks at how this technology works and the advantages there are for the companies that operate in logistics and the supply chain industry, in general.
What Is Blockchain Technology?
Unlike many new technologies and innovation, the exact identity of the creator or creators of blockchain technology is unknown. All that is known is that the system was created under the name Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2008. In spite of this, blockchain technologies have been embraced all over the world for their many applications and benefits.
The most well-known cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. The blockchain serves as a public transaction for this ledge. This means that without an actual bank or other authority superintending it or a central server location, it continues to function. Double-spending is not an issue, thanks to blockchain technology. Blockchain is also used in other cryptocurrencies as a payment rail providing open public records.
At the heart of it, blockchain is a series of blocks that are linked together with code or cryptography. Each block consists of a list of records. For every block, there are a few important elements that must be included, besides the actual records or transaction data. There is a timestamp as well as a coded hash from the previous block.
The great thing about blockchain records is that they are made secure by design. The data in a blockchain cannot be modified after it is added. Each blockchain is managed by a peer-to-peer network. The data in a blockchain ledger is therefore permanent, secure, and verifiable.
Blockchain in Supply Chain and Logistics Management
When it comes to this specific industry that supports much of the retail, commercial, and industrial transactions, blockchain could be a real gamechanger. In fact, in some supply chains, the technology is already in use. Blockchain can help solve some of the challenges experienced in global supply chains as lots of products and raw materials are transported by road, rail, air, and sea to the far corners of the world. Transparency, access to information, and a universal platform can all benefit this industry tremendously.
One of the applications of blockchain here is the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. These are growing in popularity even in formal commerce because they are not subject to the same controls placed on local currencies.
Blockchain can be used in supply chain and logistics to provide a standalone platform for information exchange. Having up-to-date and accessible records of material shipments is useful for not just the receiver of the products, but all the others in that same supply chain. Knowing how products are moving throughout the chain allows distributors, warehouses, transporters, retailers, and anyone else involved to plan better. Tracking orders can be greatly simplified using such a platform.
Blockchain use in the supply chain can also help with verifying information, linking identity tags such as bar codes with products, and sharing information. In summary, blockchain in the supply chain provides increased transparency from start to finish, a greater data volume capacity allowing scalability, better security from this open-access ledger design, as well as more opportunities to innovate and share data in novel ways.