Can blockchain, the distributed ledger technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, speed up international trade, historically beleaguered under paperwork and bureaucracy?
Container shipping firm A.P. Moller-Maersk and IBM think so, reports Reuters. The companies, each a giant in its industry, have teamed up to create an industry-wide trading platform that they say will accelerate global trade and also save billions of dollars in the process.
Blockchain is finding all sorts of interesting use cases outside digital currencies. It’s found a welcome home in supply chain transparency and management, for example. All “blockchain” means is that data is stored and shared across a network of individual computers, so why limit its use to cryptocurrencies?
Maersk and IBM say that blockchain could help manage and track tens of millions of shipping containers around the world, simply by migrating all that tracking data from paper to digital.