What Benefits Could Blockchain Offer Us During The Coronavirus Crisis?

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Very early on in the COVID-19 outbreak – before it had even been labelled a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation – multiple supply chain disruptions were announced as a result of the virus’s impact in China, which naturally had significant implications for global trade. Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce company, experienced such intense supply chain disruptions in the wake of the pandemic that it chose to temporarily cease the shipping of any items considered non-essential – and it isn’t the only company to do so.

But it appears the challenges we are facing have simply energised us to find new and more efficient ways of conducting business. Last week, the World Economic Forum published a report claiming that blockchain and digitisation could help make supply chains more resilient to future shocks, by helping make supply chains more visible to manufacturers. It’s a shame it took a global pandemic for us to recognise this.
As a distributed and immutable ledger, blockchain has the capacity to accurately track and trace the movement of goods in a supply chain, helping manufacturers and business owners identify where problems might arise during the production process and find alternative suppliers instead.

What this means is that while a manufacturer may be able to identify problems with Tier-1 suppliers during a global or regional crisis, they are less likely to know what is going on with those supplier’s other partners, and this is where experts believe blockchain could play a critical role in responding to shocks.

During COVID-19, many manufacturers have realised that this is where the problem lies – not in getting products or services rendered by Tier-1 suppliers but by “their” guys, and therein lies the potential value in leveraging blockchain technology to trace the entire supply chain to identify potential roadblocks.

Already pharmaceutical supply chains use blockchain to ensure…

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