The system of Blockchain has been quietly growing since its inception in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym for the suspected group of individuals who co-created Bitcoin. Blockchain serves as the underlying infrastructure for Bitcoin, a form of cryptocurrency that has been gradually taking the world by storm. Now, companies like Maersk are looking for ways to incorporate the blockchain infrastructure to make themselves more efficient.
Bitcoin is built upon a digital ledger that is decentralized throughout the internet. Information on all transactions is anonymously recorded and impossible to modify thereafter. This is achieved through blockchain, which provides a secure, accurate, decentralized system across a network of computers. Blockchain is a relatively new system that hasn’t been fully tested, and it has several potential drawbacks.
To execute a successful blockchain, many organizations are required to agree on the fundamental rules of the network — which could be challenging since opinions on this topic widely vary. Since a blockchain system depends on a decentralized network, multiple protocols must be accommodated in order to launch a blockchain system. Despite these drawbacks, a major company is now turning to the blockchain system.
The shipping company Maersk has officially announced its partnership with IBM to use blockchain to keep track of international shipments. Rather than tracking entire shipment, the company is now narrowing its focus on the individual shipment containers. At the same time, the companies hope to use blockchain to address the inconvenience of maintaining paperwork for deliverables with short or long trips to their destinations. During delivery, a single shipping container could involve 30 different people and over 200 or more interactions in total.
For the sake of convenience, IBM established a blockchain that allows every participant involved to witness the shipment’s progress at any stage. They have a plan to start updating the user on the whereabouts of the container and the status of their goods in late 2017.
And IBM is not alone. Blockchain technology is finding itself at use in some impressive circles. From Big Blue to Wal-Mart, blockchain is slowly infiltrating corporate structures around the world.