There are two components to the cryptocurrency system, each with its own advantages and merits. The first is the cryptocurrency itself, a peer-to-peer currency that allows for faster, less expensive financial transactions that can be completed in seconds to any point of the globe. The second is the blockchain, which is not only the carrier of those financial data records, but which can store data of any kind. More companies are now adopting blockchain technology for their daily operations and Jason Simon, a FinTech and cryptocurrency expert, details some of the top companies that have adopted blockchain.
There are now hundreds of companies around the world that rely on blockchain to handle their data needs. The blockchain provides a distributed ledger that is immutable and secure, making it the ideal solution for data storage and transmission. It cannot be altered and, since it is not maintained in a single location and is encrypted, isn’t prone to compromise or theft. States Simon, “The blockchain technology enables companies everywhere to accurately and definitively track their operations in ways that were never before possible. It serves as undeniable proof of activity that supports virtually any company’s operations from start to finish.”
A.P. Moller-Maersk is one of the top companies to have embraced the blockchain. The Denmark-based shipping and logistics company has its own blockchain, TradeLens, which it uses to digitize its supply chain data. TradeLens was first introduced in 2018 and has onboarded approximately 50% of all container ships around the world since then. Last year, the blockchain processed around one billion shipments, 30 million containers and 14 million documents, twice what it had a year earlier.
BHP, out of Melbourne, Australia is another company that is relying on the power of a distributed ledger to manage its operations. The mining company has digitized much of its operations, including the tracking of ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) protocols and the verification of suppliers’ identities. BHP relies on MineHub and HyperLedger Fabric, two blockchain platforms, to fulfill its blockchain requirements.
Illinois-based Boeing is behind SkyGrid, a blockchain-enabled air traffic control system. Through the company’s HorizonX venture capital arm, it has made substantial contributions to the development of the system, which has already been approved by the FAA for use in low-altitude operations by drones. Explains Simon, “SkyGrid began as a pilot program to determine the feasibility of the blockchain in managing air traffic control. It has been developed as a free-to-use app and could eventually see its way to becoming the tracking system for autonomous flying taxis.”
In 2017, Cargill decided to test the benefits of blockchain when it used Intel’s Hyperledger Sawtooth to track turkeys ahead of that year’s Thanksgiving. It was able to monitor the turkey distribution networks to ensure every step of the supply chain was properly registered, showing how advantageous blockchain technology is for supply chains. Last year, it became a partner in the Covantis platform, which uses an Ethereum-based blockchain to store all of the data related to grain and oilseed movements around the world.
Blockchain has also taken a position directly with consumers. Carrefour, a multinational supermarket brand based in France, is using it to track more than 30 product lines. It is able to verify the origin of products such as eggs, salmon and cheese from their origin all the way to the supermarket shelves and the response has been substantial. Carrefour has indicated that sales have already increased and that it plans on adding up to 70 more products to its tracking system by the end of this year.
A number of financial institutions around the world have also adopted blockchain solutions for their daily activity. ING Group, HSBC, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation and others are relying on the technology to ensure the proper tracking of transactions related to fiat, equities, credit and more. The result is more transparent and credible operations that benefit the companies, as well as investors, consumers and regulators.