The term “blockchain” is getting thrown around a lot these days, especially with all the hype surrounding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency. However, there is much more to blockchain than intangible wealth, and its utilization got started in the trucking industry.
Blockchain As Defined By Bitcoin Et Al
In the world of Bitcoin, blockchain is touted as the reason behind its sudden meteoric rise. The technology allows information to be stored and sent digitally, instead of copied. This secure transfer of information means electronic financial transactions cannot be falsified. Currency is harder to launder as it can be tracked every step of the way, and tied to an individual or business. This method has caused a lot of people to get behind cryptocurrency trading and utilization, and the value of Bitcoin has jumped significantly from where it was only a few months ago. Despite what fans say, Bitcoin and others have not stabilized enough to prove that this is not just a fly-by-night cash grab or bubble which will burst in the near future.
It All Started With The Trucking Industry
Blockchain technology goes back much farther than the recent Bitcoin fever. IBM started developing the technology years ago as a business solution with a focus on the trucking industry. In the original presentation, an avocado was used as an example of how the tech works. Imagine a large shipment of avocados. Blockchain technology will allow everyone involved to not only monitor the entire shipment, but also each individual item. This saves everyone from the manufacturer to the shipper to the end user a lot of time and resources. If we extrapolate from avocados to things like meat, cars, and electronics, we can see even bigger benefits. In the case of meat, if there is an outbreak of some sort of illness, the technology will allow people to isolate the exact shipment and trace it back to the point of origin. With cars and electronics, if there needs to be a recall, the faulty equipment can be pinpointed a lot easier, instead of sending fleets out to pick up every single unit which was distributed nationwide. IBM’s technology is actually designed to improve logistics, take the strain off of resources, and save shipping fleets a lot of money.
The Future Of Blockchain
Right now, blockchain may seem like nothing more than a buzzword, the same way Bluetooth was in the early 2000s. However, as the technology is refined, we will see it implemented in everything from trucking to pharmaceuticals, as more industries adopt it as a standard method for keeping things secure and trackable.