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Digital technologies are gradually entering all areas of our lives. The industrial sectors are no exception, and they are being digitalized very quickly. According to the forecast from Huawei, conducted with Oxford Economics, digitalization will reach 24.3% of global GDP by 2025, which is about $23 trillion. Among the innovative tech tools used by industrial sectors is blockchain. In this article, I’ll discuss the areas where distributed computing technology is being used and the benefits it offers.
Blockchain appeared in 2009 as the core technology of bitcoin, which was created by Satoshi Nakamoto. A few years later, blockchain became independent, affecting markets such as online finance, insurance, law and logistics, as well as other areas. Now, blockchain is also being used by various players in the industrial sectors.
What Exactly Is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a structured database based on chains of data blocks. The structure is subject to certain rules laid down by its creators. The difference between blockchain and all other databases is the complete absence of a single center. In this case, the database is available simultaneously to all users. If someone changes something, then all data from other users is almost instantly synchronized.
The advantage of the technology is that the data added to the database cannot be deleted or changed by one user without displaying the changes to all the other owners. All changes are fixed; you cannot hide any operations. These properties make blockchain the most important tool available for exchanging data and protecting information.
The benefits of blockchain are attractive to businesses. According to a study from PwC that polled 600 executives across the globe, 84% of respondents said they already use blockchain in their organization. In addition, 10% to 20% of the global economic infrastructure could operate based on blockchain. According to forecasts made by analytical agency Gartner, by 2030, the blockchain solutions market will be worth about $3.1 trillion.
As co-founder of a blockchain investment platform, I have the opportunity to observe the blockchain market moods closely. From my point of view, now that they are quite familiar with blockchain’s capabilities, industrial enterprises are beginning to implement it. Oil and gas companies, mining companies, pharmaceutical corporations, manufacturers of consumer goods and network technology developers, among a host of others, are beginning or continuing to implement blockchain technology.
The Oil And Gas And Energy Sectors
Blockchain in the energy sector allows users to monitor transactions, control output and verify the origin of certificates.
There is a blockchain-based trading project with participants such as BP, Shell, and Statoil, as well as Gunvor, Koch Supply & Trading and Mercuria commercial enterprises and, from banking, ABN Amro, ING, and Societe Generale. They developed a digital platform for managing transactions in the energy market. The goal of the project’s authors is to reduce the dependence on traditional paper contracts and the kilograms of paper documentation used in favor of a digital registry.
My opinion is that blockchain will give the energy sector the chance to reduce operating costs, accelerate domestic trading operations for all its energy supply chains and increase the reliability of their operations. Most projects are currently under development, but their relevance and importance have long been understood by representatives of industry. There is no doubt that over time, the number of blockchain solutions in various sectors of the economy will increase significantly, and the benefits of their implementation will become quite apparent.
The Auto Industry
Blockchain in the automotive industry is seen as a tool for the storage and transmission of data by smart cars. In addition, the technology can be used to store data about specific cars in various registries. Blockchain will not allow for the falsification of data about a car. For example, after a vehicle is put on the market, all data about it, including information about service and repairs, will be stored using blockchain. As a result, the owner of a car will be able, at any time, to check the number of repairs it has undergone, accident data and other information.
Auto industry players have been exploring the possibilities of blockchain for several years. Two years ago, Toyota announced a new program to introduce blockchain into its smart car technology where a distributed registry is used as the basis for exchanging data between smart vehicles. A similar project is being implemented by General Motors, which patented its own technology in 2019. Volkswagen is developing a type of blockchain technology that allows smart cars to exchange information about road conditions. According to its developers, the project could reduce the number of accidents caused by poor-quality road surfaces, difficult weather conditions or other accidents.
Consumer Goods Manufacturing
Blockchain technology makes it possible to track the entire path of manufactured goods, from the shipping facilities at a factory to customers in stores. Due to the fact that blockchain is completely transparent, it makes it possible to coordinate transaction details among all participants in the production chain.
One example of this is the tracking of counterfeit spare parts. In appearance, it is often difficult to distinguish these spares from the original ones. The percentage of low-quality spare parts among all after-market parts is quite high, and many of them quickly fail, which damages the reputation of dealers and car manufacturers alike. Using blockchain, an identifier can be created for each part that permits the tracking of the entire path of the spare part from the manufacturer to the client.
For the world’s largest companies, blockchain is no longer just technology of the future. Many companies are already implementing and using blockchain solutions. I believe that blockchain will have a positive impact on the fundamental principles of the systems that dominate the world today. I believe that blockchain has the potential to change this world more than the internet did.