When people think of blockchain, they think of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and others are capturing headlines around the globe as values soar and plummet. But the underlying mechanism – a blockchain – has more applications than speculative currency trade. Forward-thinking brands are using blockchain to build a transparent, sustainable business.
Technological innovation is disrupting traditional methods and changing how we live. Consumers want to know where products come from and how sustainably they are created. Transparency, traceability, and sustainability are the new normal. Innovative brands are responding to these demands for transparency, traceability, and sustainability by using blockchain technology to verify their claims.
What is Blockchain and How Does it Work?
Unless you just crawled out from under a rock, you have heard about cryptocurrencies. Created in 2009 to drive Bitcoin cryptocurrency, “the blockchain is intended to provide a tamper-proof record of transaction metadata, regardless of transaction type.” It provides complete transparency and lets the end-user review the entire chain of events.
Simply put, a blockchain is a chain of blocks connecting data. Each new chunk of data added builds new blocks on top of previous ones. Every piece of information linking the blocks contains a cryptographic hash, a timestamp, and all transaction data – creating the chain.
Blockchain data is decentralized, meaning it is stored on devices worldwide. Data is secure and cannot be altered. Best of all, it can be reviewed by anyone for complete transparency.
Forward-Thinking Brands Recognize Multiple Blockchain Applications
Forward-thinking businesses recognize that blockchain has heaps of applications. Blockchain technology is proving effective in a range of transparency-first business models.
Blockchain can be used almost anywhere, from money transfers and smart contracts to healthcare and logistics. How about using blockchain to “discover and support underrepresented filmmakers using a blockchain-powered web platform?” There is a blockchain solution for that.
There are several “notable blockchain projects that have had massive real-world impacts.” Some examples: Estonia’s eHealth uses KSI Blockchain technology “to ensure the integrity of retrieved electronic medical records as well as system access logs.”
In collaboration with Onchain Custodian, Limestone Network is embarking on an ambitious program to “build a smart-city ecosystem for real estate developments and infrastructure across South East Asia” using blockchain technology. The pilot project in Phnom Penh City Center, Cambodia, targets 10,000 businesses and 190,000 individuals.
Blockchain enables businesses, individuals, and nations to develop effective, transparent solutions. And consumers can see the proof.
Blockchain and Sustainability
More than ever, transparency, sustainability, corporate purpose, and ethics are essential. Clearly defining what your brand stands for and opening to public accountability increases trust, leading to a stronger bottom line.
The days of corporate opacity and standard operating procedures are done. Companies must be willing to use technology like blockchain to adapt and change. An unwillingness to do so will lead to failure. When it comes to promoting sustainability, the blockchain validates claims with evidence.
Blockchain-based technologies set new standards for conducting and evaluating a business. Transparency means we can see corporate statements turned into actions. Without traceability, consumers cannot use our collective purchasing power to drive and reward more responsible production.
You can now track the sustainability of rubber in your car’s tires. Or scan a barcode on your coffee beans “and discover the coffee’s journey from farmer to cup, including packing, roasting and distribution.”
Want to know how and where fish are caught, processed, and land on your plate? Fishcoin supports sustainability and shows you the story.
The Future of Blockchain
Brands are exploring new ideas. They are embracing creativity and applying technological advances to improve systems and outcomes. Tech companies, once seen as breaking the rules, are now making the rules - new rules based on change that evolve and are rewritten continually.
People who use your products want to know where they came from and if they are produced responsibly. There has never been a better time to grow your sustainable brand with the transparency and traceability blockchain provides.
By Tim MORCH, freelance writer (www.timmorch.com)