You may have heard the term ‘blockchain’ or ‘bitcoin’ floating around as one of the next big “emerging” technologies, so I thought it’d be a great topic for today. (I put emerging in quotes because after a bit of research, I discovered that blockchain has actually been around since 2009!)
Blockchain is in fact the structure on which bitcoin, a form of cryptocurrency, is built upon and enables the creation, authentication, sequencing, time-stamping, replication, and completion of a bitcoin transaction. The best definition I found for blockchain itself is, “a type of distributed ledger, comprised of unchangeable, digitally recorded data in packages called blocks. Each block is then ‘chained’ to the next block, using a cryptographic signature. This allows block chains to be used like a ledger, which can be shared and accessed by anyone with the appropriate permissions.” Distributed ledgers are “a type of database that are spread across multiple sites, countries or institutions. Records are stored one after the other in a continuous ledger.”
Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be changed without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires the consent from the other network participants, making it a transparent and incredibly secure method to record any number of processes from financial transactions like bitcoin to medical records, identity management and verification, and asset tracking and management.
You guessed it, blockchain is coming to the logistics and FM world. BiTA, the Blockchain in Transport Alliance, was recently created to help the freight and logistics industry understand the many possible use cases of blockchain within the industry and ultimately provide “clarity and direction for the development of blockchain technology in the trucking industry in a manner that will create efficiency, transparency, and foster trust.”
Very interesting! On that note, stay tuned for an announcement from SCLogic related to this fascinating and transformative technology.