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What’s the Scoop: Blockchain & the Supply Chain

Like so many new technologies, blockchain has promised much, but has yet to really deliver. I’ve taken time out recently to read, explore and try to understand blockchain whilst talking to experts about possible applications in the world of manufacturing and supply chain.

This technology, born out of necessity for the management of cryptocurrencies, seems to have applications wherever trusted data needs to be exchanged and where a distributed ledger can be used.

Investopedia defines blockchain in the following way:

A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically.

Blockchain has been around for a decade or more, but, until now, had been used mostly for underground purposes, such as criminals trying to hide money. That’s set to change. In fact, Market Reports Center, in a recent report, estimated that the global market for blockchain, which accounts for $708 million in 2017, will grow to reach $60.7 billion by 2024. 

With so much information and confusion out there, I decided to ask a few friends, colleagues and experts for their opinion. I wanted to know how much of ‘blockchain in the supply chain’ is hype and how much is it being realized, as well as where the biggest gains are to be had in the technology supply chain.

Click on the image below to start a slideshow that delves into the thoughts of a handful of industry leaders.

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