The talk of blockchain grows a lot these days, and this growth seems to be never ending. With all the media out there covering various news on Bitcoin and its use of blockchain, people are getting to know it better: even big businesses all around the world are starting to take a closer look at it. The potential of blockchain is without limit and it can be used in any area, from copyright protection to recording transactions.

It was not until July 2015 that a new player started to come into the blockchain playing field. Ethereum was the first open-source public blockchain running on its own platform. Ethereum provides a decentralized virtual machine (think of it as a giant computer) that enables people to build and develop their own apps on its blockchain. With its Smart Contracts, people are also able to do transactions of any kind in a transparent way. Under some programmed variables and conditions, a Smart Contract will honor a transaction between two entities and automatically execute orders, thus cutting short the need of a middleman and saving unnecessary transaction fees. Some businesses are already using it, and it still has room to grow – including in the automobile, real estate, and healthcare industries, among others, which have all seen benefits from the technology.

While there have been projects other than Bitcoin and Ethereum, the core to each of these projects is the same: a blockchain. How revolutionary is this technology actually? Let’s take a closer look on its implementation in the trading world.

The trading industry itself has long been confronted by many problems: a long supply route and the challenging nature of shipping are just two classic examples. This is where the blockchain will come in handy.

These days, our current supply chains are extremely complex. There are just so many ways that they could go wrong. Back a century ago, sales and commerce were largely local. It was not a trouble to handle orders. However, things have changed. They have grown incredibly complex. If a retailer wants to stock a certain item that’s not available in their country, this item will then have to go through a long supply route. The retailer will not know how many stages that the item has to pass through, therefore it can create confusion and can result in less transparency as they are at a loss of how much an item’s value truly is. That is, however, not the only problem. A complex and long supply route also makes it difficult to investigate in the case of illegal or unethical practices. And still other problems can arise from complex and non-transparent systems.

With a blockchain, solutions can be created for these problems. As a blockchain is recorded on a public ledger, it gives transparency. People can check if someone sends something to another person. There will be less suspicious activities and entities to check on. The true value of an item that’s recorded and transacted in the blockchain is also clearer, for there would be no use of middlemen. Items recorded on the blockchain should be more easily tracked down if there’s ever a problem.

Another serious problem would be the challenging nature of shipping.  While technology never dies and is always developing every second, shipping (and even more so if it’s international shipping) leaves a lot of paper trails. Shipping still relies heavily on millions of paper documents, which can be extremely costly and time consuming.

With a blockchain, documentation that usually needs a lot of paperwork can now be stored digitally. With a blockchain, the documentation process is faster, cheaper, and more efficient, as traders now don’t need to manually record everything. By utilizing Smart Contracts, a record of a transaction can be made automatic.

Shipping also comes with big, expensive fees. Still in a relation with the fact that documentation is always needed, shippers pay a lot of money to employ staff members who will take records of shipped items. The electricity bill is another example: with manual inputting on local computers – especially when big orders are coming – a lot of power is going to be used over a long period of time, multiplying electricity costs for shipping service providers. By employing a blockchain, the cost of moving goods – even across oceans and continents – can drop dramatically.

And this isn’t all just in theory either. Some big players in the trading and shipping industry have tested their very own blockchain versions. Some of these include APL Ltd. – the world’s third biggest container line, Accenture PLC – a European customs organization, and Hyundai’s Merchant Marine Co. of South Korea. They have all run blockchain trials in the hope of making shipping more efficient and cheaper. The World Economic Forum has even published their take on it, saying that a circular economy – which employs the use of blockchain to improve communications and border administrations – could generate an additional $1 trillion in global trade.

All in all, it looks like the future of blockchain is bright. It shouldn’t die too easily, as many businesses and big players are looking into it. It’s for their own benefits to make good use of blockchain technology. This is a technological revolution that’s much like the internet: while at present not everyone is familiar with it, it has so much potential (think of the internet in 1995 – although many were opposing it, it has grown into the mainstream technology it is today.

You don’t want to be left behind. Whether you’re a big player in the trading industry or just an everyday joe who’s looking for a cheaper and faster way to transact, a blockchain can help. To make sure that your digital assets in the blockchain are safe, we recommend you to check out our advanced & secure, multi-asset, blockchain-based wallet: the Blockchains.my (BCMY) digital wallet app. It’s a simple yet secure wallet that you can carry in your phone everywhere you go!


References:
https://www.techrepublic.com/article/5-companies-using-blockchain-to-drive-their-supply-chain/
https://medium.com/swarmdotmarket/5-companies-already-brilliantly-using-smart-contracts-ac49f3d5c431
https://blockgeeks.com/guides/smart-contracts/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2018/03/23/how-blockchain-will-transform-the-supply-chain-and-logistics-industry/#5510565fecdf
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-18/drowning-in-a-sea-of-paper-world-s-biggest-ships-seek-a-way-out
https://www.weforum.org/press/2014/01/circular-economy-can-generate-us-1-trillion-annually-by-2025/
https://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/internet/2016/08/25-years-here-are-worst-ever-predictions-about-internet