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Blockchain Will Disrupt Every Industry

Jun 24, 2020 | Blockchain Technology, Digitalization Trends, Industry Trends, Supply Chain Technology

“As with all major paradigm shifts, there will be winners and losers. But if we do this right, blockchain technology can usher in a halcyon age of prosperity for all.” — Don Tapscott

I continue to read articles and see example of the disruptive nature of Blockchain. Recently, one of our Salesforce higher education customers demonstrated a persistent, progressive student profile that was built on top of a blockchain chain-script, linking student credentials to potential employers in a real-time using a mobile trusted framework. Trust is foundational to all businesses, and Blockchain enables entities to seamlessly establish trust and transparency at scale. Today,  The total market capitalization for the world’s crypto-currencies, led by Bitcon on Blockchain, is more than $100 billion. 

To learn more about the impact of Blockchain on businesses and industries, I spoke with Brett Colbert, Solutions CTO and Vice President of Enterprise Architecture at Salesforce

In this role of Solutions CTO, Colbert leads the customer-facing Salesforce Enterprise Architecture team which helps customers and prospects strategically transform their business systems. Previously, Colbert was IT CTO and Vice President of Enterprise Architecture at Salesforce. In this role, Brett was responsible for Salesforce IT strategy and Enterprise Architecture. Colbert has been researching Blockchain for more than three years, leading customer implementations and collaborating with blockchain industry thought leaders. 

What is Blockchain? “A Blockchain is a digital, distributed transaction ledger, with identical copies maintained on multiple computer systems controlled by different entities.” Blockchain owes its potential to its many valuable characteristics: Reliable and available, Transparent, Immutable, Irrevocable, and Digital.Here a high-level summary illustration of blockchain:

a  single institution charged with auditing transactions and keeping  records. And the blockchain is encrypted: it uses heavy-duty encryption  involving public and private keys–like the two-key system to access a  safety deposit box–to maintain virtual security.” — Don Tapscott, Author of Blockchain Revolution 

Why is Blockchain a disruptive technology? Blockchain is a disruptive technology because of it’s ability to digitize, decentralize, secure and incentivize the validation of transactions. A wide swath of industries are evaluating blockchain to determine what strategic differentiators could exist for their businesses if they leverage blockchain. 

Soon to be disrupted industries will include Financial Services, Healthcare, Aviation, Global Logistics and Shipping, Transportation, Music, Manufacturing, Security, Media, Identity, Automotive, Land Use and Government. Blockchain is garnering a lot of attention because blockchain will fundamentally change many of the industries listed above. 

“The  “killer app” for the early internet was email; it’s what drove adoption  and strengthened the network. Bitcoin is the killer app for the  blockchain.”  — Harvard Business Review 

Examples of Blockchain use by Industry – The answer isn’t in the technology, but in how the technology can improve inefficient business processes. The processes that we use to ship goods globally, buy and sell things, determine ownership of things or identify ourselves are typically slow, error prone, paper-based and heavily people-dependent. 

Here are a few examples of the opportunities that exist to improve processes in a variety of industries using Blockchain:

  • Land Use –  Ownership and history of property currently requires the investigation  of many different document sources such as Grantor-Grantee index, Land  Records or Deed Records. The goal is to find any records related to  property liens, easements, covenants, conditions and  restrictions(CC&Rs), agreements, resolutions and ordinances. This a  time consuming and laborious process in which it is easy to miss  important information. Sweden is leveraging blockchain to track land  registries called the Lantmäteriet. They estimate a taxpayer savings of  $106 million per year based on reduction of fraud, eliminating paperwork  and accelerating the process.
  • Identity –  Across the globe we use passports to identify people, which are  paper-based identity cards similar to your driver’s license and  therefore counterfeitable. ISIS is reported to have the ability to  manufacture fake passports. In 2013, almost 40 million “travel”  documents were reported as lost or stolen since 2002, according to  Interpol. Dubai is working on a digital passport with a London-based  company called ObjectTech. The digital passport is based on Blockchain.  “This is an identity that is fit for the digital age,” said Paul Ferris,  co-founder and chief executive of ObjectTech. “Not only will it make  international travel quicker and safer, but it also gives people back  control of their personal digital data.”
  • Global Logistics and Shipping –  The second largest port in Europe, Belgium-based Port of Antwerp,  announced a blockchain pilot to automate and streamline the port’s  container logistics operations. “According to the terminal authority,  moving containers from point to point often involves more than 30  different parties, including carriers, terminals, forwarders, haulers,  drivers, shippers and more. This process results in hundreds of  interactions between those parties, conducted through a mix of e-mail,  phone and fax.” Maersk is investigating blockchain to track global trade  and shipments.
  • Automotive  – German automaker Daimler AG has issued a corporate bond worth €100m  as part of a Blockchain pilot project. “According to Daimler, the entire  transaction cycle – from origination, distribution, allocation and  execution of the loan agreement, to the confirmation of repayment and of  interest payments – was automated digitally through the blockchain  network. Lending technical support were the IT subsidiaries of Daimler  and LBBW, which also adopted the Blockchain’s cryptographic signature to  prevent manipulation of transactions.” Jan Brecht, Daimler’s CIO said,  “We see blockchain as a promising technology, not fully mature yet, but  continuously growing. Now is the right time to get into it, build up  knowledge and form a network of like-minded people to share  experiences.”
  • Aviation – Accenture’s head of  Aerospace and Defense said about Blockchain, “I really see this coming  in, in a couple of years”, speaking at the Paris Air Show in June 2017.  “Through all that life cycle of the engine, the original parts, the  replacement parts and configuration are all being tracked, and it is  being done by a number of different companies. “Blockchain is in effect a  single federated ledger that everybody who uses and touches that engine  could use it as a single point of truth of what has happened to the  engine,” he explained. “It is something we can see clearly in terms of  the benefits and we effectively have a patent pending on how to leverage  blockchain in the aftermarket.”
  • Manufacturing –   The manufacturing industry uses QR codes and bar codes to identify  products. These methods are notoriously insecure given the ease at which  someone can copy or duplicates these codes. According to the  Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the  “imports of counterfeit and pirated goods are worth nearly half a  trillion dollars a year, or around 2.5% of global imports.” Imagine if  luxury goods were tracked in an immutable blockchain.
  • Prescription Drugs  – Worldwide sales of counterfeit medicines could top US$ 75 billion  this year, a 90% rise in five years, according to an estimate published  by the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest in the United States  of America (USA). The FDA’s Drug Supply Chain Security Act,  signed into effect in November 2013, creates a requirement to ‘develop  an electronic, inter-operable system to identify and trace certain  prescription drugs as they are distributed in the United States.’ A San  Francisco-based startup called Chronicled has launched a ‘track and  trace’ pilot using blockchain to build an electronic, inter-operable  system to identify and track prescription drugs as they are distributed  in the United States.
  • Finance  – Visa has a blockchain effort called “Visa B2B Connect” partnering  with Chain to analyze the possibility of optimizing near real-time funds  transfer system for high value bank-to-bank and corporate payments. A  company called Ripple is working with banks to optimize how they send  money around the world, with the goal of new revenue models, lower  processing costs and better overall customer experience. IBM Global  Finance is working on one of the largest blockchain implementations. 
  • Government  – The US Navy’s Naval Innovation Advisory Council (NIAC) will spearhead  the testing of Blockchain technology in their 3D printing in order to  help securely transfer data during  the manufacturing process. 


  • Banking – According to an Accenture survey, “Nine  in ten executives said their bank is currently exploring the use of  Blockchain.” Some of the focus is on transforming payments at scale and  reducing the risk of failure. 
  • Blockchain as a Service –  Several enterprise software vendors have announced Blockchain as a  Service offerings in which customers can leverage blockchain in a cloud  environment.  


“Every business, institution, government, and individual can benefit in  profound ways. The blockchain is already disrupting the financial  services industry. How about the corporation, a pillar of modern  capitalism? With this global peer-to-peer platform for identity,  reputation, and transactions, we will be able to re-engineer deep  structures of the firm for innovation and shared value creation. How  about these billions of connected smart things that will be sensing,  responding, sharing data, generating and trading their own electricity,  protecting our environment, managing our homes and our health? And this  Internet of Everything will need a Ledger of Everything.” —- Don Tapscott, Author of Blockchain Revolution

Article Originally Published by HuffPost News by Vala Afshar, Contributor Chief Digital Evangelist, Salesforce/ This article was co-authored by Brett Colbert —— Solutions CTO, Vice President of Enterprise Architecture at Salesforce./ 2017

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