Tracking Hershey chocolates with Blockchain

by Maria Hartas, DCMME Graduate Assistant

Imagine being able to trace cacao “bean to bar”, as expressed by the head of addressable media and technology for The Hershey Company, Vinny Rinadli. Such granular reporting will be possible as a result of the Hershey Company joining AdLedger, a blockchain-based consortium founded by IBM, Tegna and blockchain company MadHive in 2018.

AdLedger is a nonprofit consortium spearheading the development of shared ledger technologies for the digital advertising market. Blockchain technology would not only be advancing supply chain tracking capabilities but would also be enhancing advertising through readily available data and intermediary transaction documentation.

Starting with cacao farmers, moving to intermediaries and factories, all the way to tracking end consumers, blockchain technology could fundamentally change the way chocolate companies operate.

How can blockchain technology advance digital advertising?

Where can blockchain be applied?

How can companies use blockchain technology?

https://cointelegraph.com/news/hershey-chocolate-company-joins-blockchain-advertising-consortium

https://www.investing.com/news/cryptocurrency-news/hershey-chocolate-company-joins-blockchain-advertising-consortium-1818980

Blockchain digitally transforming B2B processes

by Maria Hartas, DCMME Graduate Assistant

A blockchain pilot program has successfully been completed between Elemica, the leading Digital Supply Network for Process Manufacturer, and crossinx, a network for financial business collaboration solutions. The pilot program aims to redefine B2B processes and support multiple industry digital transformation.

The program consists of the two companies existing as nodes on a public blockchain connecting structures data with unstructured data. Additionally, two global chemical companies partook in transferring invoice, purchase order, delivery tender, and proof-of-delivery documents and data.

Further testing blockchain capabilities could enable a many-to-many connection of companies. Connecting to a digital network, supply chain data can be shared with all trading partners regardless of the network each is connected to. As expressed by crossinx CEO and founder Marcus Laube, the goal is “To use the blockchain to automate document exchange along the supply chain and make it more transparent. This is the basis for our Supply Chain Finance solution”.

A many-to-many connection with blockchain could lead to the:

  1. Ability to decentralize and free-up from intermediaries the exchange information between different stakeholders
  2. Simplification and enhancement of existing business processes
  3. Development of auto-ordering based on IoT information
  4. Automation of PO confirmations
  5. Creation of auto-invoice based on Pickup or PoD
  6. Auto-matching of invoices
  7. Ability of auto-payments
  8. Extension of technology to other complementary decentralized networks and from IoT devices

The pilot program will continue to push blockchain applications before full adoption of the technology.

  1. Can you think of alternative ways to solve potential Supply Chain Finance bottlenecks (manual order creation, invoice matching, payment generation/confirmation, and so on)?
  2. How can multiple shareholders avoid intermediaries in sharing documents and data?
  3. What are the benefits of blockchain technology in creating a shared network?

Source: https://www.supplychain247.com/article/automating_multi_tier_processes_elemica_crossinx_deliver_blockchain_pilot/news

 

Blockchain technology in developing microgrids

 

By Maria Hartas, DCMME Graduate Assistant 

Microgrids have transformed the transmission of electricity, and South Korea’s largest power utility company Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) plans to augment this system using blockchain technology. 

The company’s project, “KEPCO Open Micro Grid Project”, will reportedly integrate energy and blockchain technologies with the existing microgrid system. The KEPCO Open MG power source is a fuel cell which addresses the current difficulty in supplying stable power. Unlike consisting of photovoltaics, wind turbines, and energy storage devices, the improved microgrid will be using power-to-gas technology. Converting excess electricity into hydrogen, which can be converted to electric energy through fuel cell, will provide a continuous supply of power.

Blockchain use case

The KEPCO Open MG will implement its blockchain to remove the existing bottleneck created by attempting to connect different microgrids. Eliminating the existence of multiple technical standards by separate providers could potentially enable network operators, customers and energy stakeholders to be more efficient in connecting operationally.

How can blockchain technology increase energy efficiency?

How could a microgrid be developed using blockchain technology?

How is blockchain technology driving energy conversion?

Sources:

https://www.ccn.com/koreas-biggest-power-utility-is-developing-a-microgrid-on-a-blockchain/

 https://tokenpost.com/South-Koreas-largest-electric-utility-KEPCO-to-develop-future-microgrid-using-blockchain-technology-747

 

BLOCK CHAIN MAKING GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS BETTER by Abhilasha Satpathy, DCMME Center Graduate Student Assistant

When an E.coli outbreak at Chipotle Mexican Grill outlets left 55 customers ill, in 2015, the news stories, shutdowns, and investigations shattered the restaurant chain’s reputation. Sales plummeted, and Chipotle’s share price dropped 42%, to a three-year low, where it has languished ever since.At the heart this crisis was the ever-present problem faced by companies that depend on multiple suppliers to deliver parts and ingredients: a lack of transparency and accountability across complex supply chains.

Now, a slew of startups and corporations are exploring a radical solution to this problem: using a blockchain to transfer title and record permissions and activity logs so as to track the flow of goods and services between businesses and across borders.With blockchain technology, computers of separately owned entities follow a cryptographic protocol to constantly validate updates to a commonly shared ledger. A fundamental advantage of this distributed system, where no single company has control, is that it resolves problems of disclosure and accountability between individuals and institutions whose interests aren’t necessarily aligned. Mutually important data can be updated in real time, removing the need for laborious, error-prone reconciliation with each other’s internal records. It gives each member of the network far greater and timelier visibility of the total activity.

In a nutshell, this is a global system for mediating trust and selective transparency. Although much attention and money has been spent on financial applications of the technology, an equally promising test case lies with global supply chain relationships, whose complexity and diversity of interests pose exactly the kinds of challenges this technology seeks to address. The technology can reveal  hidden information and allows users to attach digital tokens — a unique, negotiable form of digital asset, modeled on bitcoin — to intermediate goods as they progress along the production, shipping, and delivery phases of a supply chain and as title to them passes between different players. This could give businesses far greater flexibility to find markets and price risk, by capturing the value that they have invested in the process at any point along the chain. What we end up with are dynamic demand chains in place of rigid supply chains, resulting in more efficient resource use for all.

Various endeavors have already started.Walmart is working with IBM and Tsinghua University, in Beijing, to follow the movement of pork in China with a blockchain. Mining giant BHP Billiton is using the technology to track mineral analysis done by outside vendors. And many more such examples.Advances in chip and sensor technology, which can translate data from the automated movement of physical goods, should greatly enhance these emerging blockchain systems. It could be especially powerful when combined with “smart contracts,” in which contractual rights and obligations, including the terms for payment and delivery of goods and services, can be automatically executed by an autonomous system that’s trusted by all signatories.

But this technology’s potential traceability and automation benefits don’t just pertain to things; it could also keep human beings in check. Staff and supervisors from different vendors can be granted special, cryptographic permissions, which, when placed into a blockchain environment, would appear as unique, traceable identifiers — preferably encrypted, to protect the employee’s personal information. This would allow all members of a supply chain community to monitor the activity of each other’s credentialed staff. This kind of provable, transparent credentialing will be especially important for additive manufacturing, which is central to the dynamic, on-demand production model of the so-called Industry 4.0 movement. These potential efficiency improvements, enabled by hitherto unavailable information, suggest blockchain technology could deliver vast savings for companies everywhere.

Please see the link for reference:

https://hbr.org/2017/03/global-supply-chains-are-about-to-get-better-thanks-to-blockchain

Questions:

  1. How is blockchain a global system for mediating trust and selective transparency?
  2. How is blockchain creating automation in industries?
  3. How is blockchain changing the rigid supply chains to dynamic demand chains?

Blockchain: Solution for a safer airspace?

In a recent article on the website, Security Intelligence, the idea of blockchain is introduced. Security is becoming more of an issue as more and more businesses and individuals are using UAVs. Concerns range from privacy to terrorism. Drones can interfere with large aircraft, take pictures of private spaces, and even deliver explosives and other weapons with devastating effects. Fortunately, technology is being developed to regulate this industry and the se of UAVs. Blockchain can help to organize information, regulate airspace, and protect drones and individuals by providing a type of virtual air traffic control system. How ubiquitous will blockchain become? What other technologies may compete with blockchain? How will agencies like the FAA enforce the use of blockchain by users?