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Blockchain in supply chain and logistics

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Blockchain can transform the global supply chain model for products in real-time with faster and more secure transactions.

This technology provides a more secure alternative to a centralized database because a decentralized database has more than one official record of a transaction. With a distributed ledger, the record of a transaction is validated by many nodes within a network before being accepted. After a record is stored on a block, it is identifiable by a unique 64-character code called a hash. Each block is linked into a “chain” by a block’s hash that connects the blocks in a specific order. Any alterations in a hash breaks the chain, demanding an immense amount of computing power to construct back together. Having to alter multiple distributed ledgers and hashes on a blockchain network is what makes a decentralized network more secure.

Blockchain can be a method of improving safety in business to consumer transactions. By adding a more certain record of authenticity, consumers can be more sure of a product. Sensors like flexible RFID chips can hold records of information that confirm the origin and chain of custody of items like medication. With a vastly rising counterfeit market, blockchain can be a safeguard against tainted and diluted pharmaceutical drugs. In many instances, substances like fentanyl are used to stretch and repackage prescriptions like oxycodone.

Counterfeit drugs that are fashioned in this way not only increase patient mortality but give rise to the exploding opioid epidemic in America. Blockchain can be a useful tool that ensures authenticity in critical situations that can be the difference between wellness and death.

Distributed ledgers are more advantageous when dealing with financial transactions between banking institutions, public stock trading, and property records. Because a decentralized network can allow for more direct transactions from participants, processes can be more efficient and require the use of fewer intermediaries. This can lower the cost of operation for most businesses while allowing for more executions. Consequently, with more accurate and widely distributed accounts of a transaction, corruption will decrease because of a less manipulative blockchain. If a blockchain is only effective in defeating mass corruption by large financial institutions; due to a more secure record of transactions, the world’s economy can take a step forward. By having more accountability of money, there can be more assurance that it is going to the appropriate destination.

LAMAR Enterprises has begun a project that uses blockchain and internet of things (IoT) to offer a safe, transparent, and trusted product management platform. One application for our technology will prove the chain of custody of dairy products from producer to market. From production to consumer, many factors can affect product quality. Storage temperature, transport time, distance traveled, measure shock absorbed, and product location is just a few of the parameters that can be monitored using blockchain connected devices. The information stored on the blockchain is immutable and tamper-proof, creating a one-way communication exchange. Thus, providing an advanced form of security for consumers, businesses, vendors, and supply chain nodes to communicate across. After the creation of the product, with our embedded software platform, participants in the supply chain become the blockchain network. Allowing for seamless real-time data to be spread across equally to all participants in the blockchain. Whether you are a potential customer purchasing high-end luxury goods and want to validate the authenticity of the item or a business that would like to know how a customer is using your product; LAMAR’s platform provides access for either option.

Blockchain has the capability to transform how the world handles healthcare, financial transactions, and the advancement of technology. I believe that more secure and efficient processes, that are a result of blockchain, wield the necessary tools to advance and change the world. This interconnected database has infinite possibilities of advancement that will only become more profound with the secure structure that has been set in place.

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Blockchain in supply chain and logistics

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