Blockchain is delivering on its promise of the future right now: Jack Muhs of FedEx

To the casual eye, a Blockchain can be a complex system of ledger entries. But go deeper and there is much that can be mined out of it.
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The environment around us is evolving and challenging the status quo. From a ‘Future is now’ point of view, powerful trends shape and reshape lifestyles, drive new technologies, and change business and human behavior.

It’s crucial for industries to stay up to date and respond accordingly. The past decade has seen technological breakthroughs in robotics, A.I., augmented and virtual realities, and blockchain. Far from being a futuristic concept, these technologies are already being successfully put to use across multiple industries.

More than data security

Take blockchain – this technology, when first explored, can be viewed as the future of data transfer. In reality, however, blockchain is already bringing significant change to everyday lives, as consumers demand more transparency into the products they purchase.

Have you ever wondered if the ‘Fair Trade’ logo on the chocolate bar or jar of coffee you purchased is authentic? With blockchain, every piece of information – from the exact GPS coordinates of the cacao tree to the manufacturing facility, the logistics provider, and the retailer is digitized and recorded in an encrypted format, then saved in a single trusted source.

Whether a consumer wants to check the ethical sourcing, sustainability, or authenticity of the product they purchased, blockchain is the technology that verifies each step in the supply chain and validates the genuineness of the information.

Future is experimental – and sustainable

The success of any technology depends on it being dynamic, experimental, and sustainable. Blockchain fulfills all three criteria; simply put, the ‘Future is Now’.

To be dynamic, industries must adapt to the environmental or technological changes. Being dynamic means being a force of change that motivates, affects development, or challenges the existing state. Blockchain matches this approach by taking information already available in multiple places, and not only making it secure, but providing access for anyone along the supply chain, including the consumer.

The daily discovery of new uses and their potential to solve real-world challenges show the technology’s dynamic nature. From increasing the efficiency of disaster relief to improving consumer services, a range of uses are being explored.

Blockchain in the global logistics and supply chain market alone is set to grow to $3.3 billion by 2026. In fact, when blockchain works with other emerging technologies, it becomes even more impactful in providing users insight into details about products throughout the supply chain.

Similarly, to be experimental, the attitude of trial and error and imagination is crucial to be progressive. The simplicity offered by blockchain allows industries to experiment with its uses.

This can result in the creation of new business models and more efficient processes within an organization. For example, live-saving pharmaceuticals and emergency medical supplies, including the COVID-19 vaccine, often come with specific prerequisites in terms of temperature and shelf-life.

The integration of Blockchain and IoT can increase traceability and reliability of information regarding critical medical shipments throughout the supply chain. Sustainability has also been a driving force behind the change of business practices, and the range of products offered.

A report by Mastercard highlights that 74 per cent of individuals above the age of 18 in the UAE think it’s important for businesses to do more for the environment. The report also indicates that 28 per cent of these respondents plan to stop using or buying from brands that do not have a plan to help the environment or behave sustainably.

Fueled by the need to spread awareness of eco-friendly practices, many manufacturers and retailers are actively adopting steps to reduce their carbon emissions and keep customers informed. Here, Blockchain plays a critical role in creating a clear record of product history and sustainable sourcing initiatives adopted, which allow consumers to make a more informed purchase decision.

Delivering the future – now

For any new or innovative technology to have a lasting impact, these technologies need to have clear real-world applications. Blockchain is a prime example of a disruptive future technology that is unfolding in the present, enabling both consumers and industries alike.

The logistics industry is ready to respond.