“There is a new technological institution that will fundamentally change how we exchange value,” says Bettina Warburg during her Ted Talk on blockchain and it’s growing importance in trade and the economy. Blockchain is the latest way we as a society are trying to lower uncertainty about one another so that we can exchange value. As we’ve evolved throughout history, we’ve built formal institutions like banks, governments, and corporations, all to facilitate trade with confidence. Blockchain is the next generation of enabling trade with increased levels of assurance.
The blockchain is a distributed database that stores an archive of assets and transactions across a shared network. The dealings history is cryptographically secured and linked together in blocks of data, creating an unforgeable record for everyone using the system. For supply chain, this instills confidence in who you’re doing business with, increased transaction visibility, and creates recourse if anything goes awry. When managing different vendors across a traditional horizontal supply chain, different infrastructures and databases are being used, clouding transparency in a product’s evolution over time. Blockchain eliminates this challenge and creates a level of collaboration, efficiency and visibility the world has not seen before.