By Jen Massing Harris, Co-Founder and Marketing Operations
There’s no doubt that there is a lot of buzz around blockchain among those involved in the supply chain and trade finance world. We know this from the many conferences, seminars and other events that Chain Business Insights' Co-Founders and Research Principals have been asked to participate in during the past few months. We like to get out as much as we can to engage with the community and find out in person what their interests, questions and concerns are regarding this transformational technology. Below are some key memories and takeaways from recent events.
World Trade Council, Austin Chapter– We presented an introduction to blockchain to this group that focuses on international trade. While most of the attendees were very new to blockchain, we were impressed by how quickly they caught on. One person picked up on blockchain’s immutability aspect, asking how the “right to be forgotten” aspect of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) would work in a blockchain world. The answer of course is to combine the functionality of traditional databases and blockchain, and to ensure only a subset of data is stored in the latter.
University of Texas, Supply Chain Management Center of Excellence Blockchain Roundtable– Our presentation focused on the future promise of blockchain in supply chains, so it was about exploring the road ahead and not a check on the rear-view mirror (another talk took care of that). No doubt, the biggest interest was on the adoption of public blockchains supporting ecosystems for suppliers and consumers.
University of Houston, Blockchain in Supply Chain Conference– At this event, we presented specifically on blockchain and the food supply chain, which is challenging, complex and critical – some 400,000 people die every year as a result of eating tainted food. Fortunately, neither eggs nor romaine lettuce were on the lunch menu!
APICS, Austin Chapter– We were honored to be invited to present on the blockchain promise in supply chain to locals who are members of this leading professional association. We were able to address concerns about power consumption of blockchains, and the volatility of cryptocurrencies.
University of Texas, McCombs School of Business, Blockchain Opportunities and Realities Conference– This was an excellent event with Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety at Walmart, keynoting. He broke the news that Walmart’s blockchain-based track/trace platform is now in live operation for around 20 food products. In tests, the platform cut recall trace times from a week to just seconds!
Once the summer break is over, we’ll be out and about explaining blockchain at some more supply chain events. Want us to come to present at your upcoming meeting? Get in touch by emailing Jen Massing Harris – firstname.lastname@example.org.