Background on blockchain and smart contracts
Blockchain is a digital ledger that stores data in a sequential and immutable way. This ledger is maintained by a group of participants that share the responsibility for storing and verifying the information. Smart contracts can be implemented on top of a blockchain platform. They are agreements between two or more parties directly written into lines of code. These agreements self-execute when the stipulated conditions are met.
The impact of blockchain on supply chains
Blockchain can be applied to supply chains to create an audit trail of transactions and automate processes through smart contracts. The potential impact of these tools could improve transparency, accountability, and efficiency of current supply chains.
Blockchain and smart contract applications to supply chains are manifold. This technology has been used to show provenance information and verify authenticity of products such as diamonds. It has been applied to automate auditing of key documentation and to enforce business rules in the transportation industry. And it has shown potential to provide end-to-end visibility, helping to quickly identify connections between impacts and causes, for example in the case of foodborne illness outbreaks.
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