Embracing blockchain as a global data layer is transforming industries. The potential of blockchain extends beyond just supply chains and music distribution – it could revolutionize various sectors. Stephan Nilsson, the CEO, and co-founder of UNISOT, highlights the importance of a global data layer in supply chains to tackle issues arising from data silos and integration complexities.
Stephan Nilsson observes that the conventional method of creating point-to-point interfaces between systems is impractical in our fast-paced society. Nevertheless, this challenge can be overcome by harnessing the power of blockchain as a global data layer.
In contrast to centralized databases or private blockchains, he strongly advocated for the use of public blockchains to establish transparency and trust among supply chain users. “I firmly believe that only public blockchains can address this issue. We can utilize them as a global data layer, allowing every actor in the supply chain to connect and exchange information,” he emphasized.
By connecting to this global data layer, the process of exchanging information becomes seamless, leading to enhanced product quality, sustainability, and compliance with regulatory requirements.
Chris Light, who runs an e-livestock firm, shared his experience in using blockchain technology to enhance provenance and traceability in the livestock industry. He highlighted the humanitarian aspect of their work in Africa, where they focused on ensuring that cows receive proper treatment.
By utilizing blockchain, they could verify and track the well-being of livestock, addressing the lack of systems and paper-based processes. Chris also discussed the automation capabilities offered by blockchain, which have been instrumental in solving initial challenges and are now being extended to national and regional livestock systems.
Challenge: The Blockchain misconception
In this field of application, a significant challenge arises from the misconception about Blockchain. Stephan Nilsson shed light on the misconceptions surrounding blockchain technology, specifically the confusion between blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Nilsson stressed the importance of re-educating customers and shifting focus towards the core solutions that blockchain offers, rather than solely promoting blockchain itself. Drawing a parallel to internet usage, he likened blockchain adoption to companies utilizing the internet without comprehending its underlying protocols. To address this, Nilsson proposed a blockchain service provider model that allows companies to access blockchain functionality without requiring extensive technical expertise.
Benefits and going forward
The benefits of blockchain are extensive. They include the ability to monetize data by integrating payment functionality, which allows businesses to assign value to individual pieces of data and create new revenue streams. Nilsson highlighted the significance of companies being able to sell and buy data with their supply chain partners, facilitating information exchange and incentivizing collaboration. Chris further emphasized that blockchain technology can assist smallholder farmers in collateralizing their assets, providing financial flexibility and reducing risks for both farmers and financial institutions.
Looking ahead, Shem Booth-Spain from Blarecast, a music distribution platform utilizing blockchain technology, stressed the importance of identifying specific business needs and integrating blockchain in a modular manner. This approach can unlock efficiencies and commercial benefits across various industries.
Shem Booth-Spain stressed the immense untapped potential of blockchain technology in various industries. He emphasized the importance of moving beyond the speculative realm of cryptocurrency and instead focusing on the broader applications of blockchain.
Booth-Spain encouraged businesses to proactively explore and uncover new use cases, harnessing the capabilities of blockchain in areas such as supply chain management, data integrity, and payments.
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