University College London Centre for Blockchain Technologies Releases New Report on Supply Chains

Over 100 projects from around the world have been analysed.

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The University College (UCL) London Centre for Blockchain Technologies (CBT), with the support of the UK Retail Blockchain Consortium (RBC), has released a market report looking at the adoption of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in physical supply chains.

 Get a copy of the report here.

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“Despite the increasing opportunity for digitisation and looming disruption, currently, application areas and progress of DLT adoption in this area are not well understood. This report seeks to shed light on where DLT is being applied functionally in global physical supply chains and within certain sectors.”

This report is the first comprehensive outlook on the state of DLT in the global physical supply chain sector.

Food provenance is an increasingly hot topic for the industry and both start-ups and corporate projects are working to develop DLT-based solutions, and substantial progress has already been made. IBM’s Food Trust initiative which counts Walmart, Carrefour, Albertsons, Unilever and Nestle among its members.

The report also notes that Dutch market-leading supermarket chain Albert Heijn which has implemented a blockchain traceability pilot for its orange juice sales, in partnership with its supplier (commodity major Louis Dreyfus). Customers buying orange juice can scan a Quick Response (QR) code to not only find out where the orange juice came from but also to do a ‘Like2Farmer’, where they can send a message directly to the fruit pickers at the source.

The report covers more than just food:

  • Product (Tracing)
  • Usage Area: Logistics
  • Usage Area: Financial Transactions
  • Usage Area: Retail Operations
  • Usage Area: Circular Economy

In a retail context, the most significant domain in which blockchain can create transformational change is the physical product supply chain. By putting assets first, blockchain can enable an efficient flow of data and funds from each stakeholder at each step of the chain. This can deliver fundamentally new ways of working and brings visibility and control on each supply chain which is simply not achievable in centralised configurations where data has to pass from one environment to the next. However, transformation is never straightforward – particularly so in the context of increasingly complex supply chains with multiple manufacturers, processors and distributors along the way. It requires collective engagement and industry-level initiatives to drive adoption and deliver benefits to the supply chain participants and end consumers. Figure 3 describes how DLT addresses some of the major pain points in supply chains.

More Details on the Report

The UCL CBT, with the support of the Retail Blockchain Consortium (RBC), have created a market report looking at the adoption of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in physical supply chains. This report is the first comprehensive outlook on the state of DLT in the global physical supply chain sector. As part of this report over 100 different projects have been analysed including start-ups, corporates, consortia and government that are implementing various aspects of DLT in the application areas of tracing (provenance), logistics, financial transactions, retail operations and circular economy. This initial report looks more closely at the impacts of DLT in the physical supply chain in the application areas in the Grocery, Fashion and Healthcare sectors.

 Get a copy of the report here.

About Richard Kastelein

In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, ' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, the Netherlands where he has set down his anchor to raise a family and write.

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015) and director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He has written over 2500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published in Harvard Business Review, Venturebeat, Wired, The Guardian and a number of other publications.

Kastelein has an Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute software and Technology. He has over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the EuropeanCommission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division. Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology at over 50 events in 30+ cities.

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