Blockchain Technology was first used for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. But Blockchain is much more Bitcoin or Ethereum. First of all, it is a growing list of records, called blocks. These are linked using cryptography. 

Blockchain is based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and provides the highest level of cybersecurity (information security) thanks to decentralization. This means, networks made of different blocks (individual computers called nodes) store data in a decentralized manner, so it cannot be manipulated anymore.

In contrast, a common centralized server or centralized database can be hacked much easier. Therefore, Blockchain Technology is indeed one of the most valuable technologies for our future. 

Read more about the benefits of Blockchain Technology here.

3 Digital Trends in 2021 for the Blockchain Revolution We Need

Despite the many hurdles due to the global pandemic in 2020, Vault Security Systems AG was able to win many new clients and partners who think – and act – with us towards a better future.

According to CIO Applications, CIO Bulletin and Technology Innovators, we are among the world’s leading pioneers in blockchain and blockchain for supply chains. But in the fight against counterfeiting and fraud, the actual implementation of innovative ideas counts more than all the awards, publications on renowned platforms and invitations to international events.

That’s why we want to elaborate on 3 digital trends that blockchain can revolutionize in 2021.

In this blog entry you will also learn how ivault for companies and consumers can contribute to this development – with 3 strong Blockchain Use Cases.

Blockchain steht für Cybersecurity: Die Blockchain Technologie kann helfen Datenschutz und Datensicherheit zu erhöhen.

Blockchain 2021


What Technology Innovators says about ivault

 

Technology Innovators, the “New-age knowledge sharing platform,” ranks Arman Sarhaddar as one of the Top 25 Blockchain Technology CEOs 2020. They are writing:

 

Arman knew right from the start: Blockchain is much more than Bitcoin. And today, there are many blockchain providers trying to capture the Supply Chain market. But Blockchain Technology alone is only one side of the coin. It is the combination of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) with other technologies that is the way forward.

There is nothing more to do than to proudly agree with Technology Innovators: With our anti-counterfeiting technology ivault we really are among the pioneers.

Our platform helps not only companies protect products by shielding the entire supply chain against fraud and counterfeiting – thanks to improved supply chain transparency and traceability. ivault.app for a safer neighborhood enables consumers to protect their most valuable items and assets against theft and loss as well – not only in their immediate environment, but also on a global scale.

The difference between these two business models? With customized Blockchain solutions, companies benefit from the supply chain security and traceability provided by Distributed Ledger Technology. They can also provide customers with transparency regarding production conditions. Another advantage is that customers can thus check via smartphone that the products are indeed authentic originals.

 

3 digital trends and our Blockchain Use Cases

 

This month, Blockchain expert Arman Sarhaddar published an article about 3 striking digital trends that clearly emerged for 2021:

  1. The combination of established technologies with innovations such as Blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)
  2. Blockchain and sustainability: Sustainable business models are becoming increasingly important
  3. The social collective: digital solutions against isolation and loneliness during the global pandemic

These 3 digital trends call for a Blockchain revolution via innovations like ivault. Below we will demonstrate this with three of our Blockchain use cases.

1. Combining different technologies

 

There are many Blockchain companies and startups that claim expertise in the field. But Blockchain is not all that is needed for a digital revolution. The Distributed Ledger Technology can only develop its full potential when it is linked with other technologies.

Many technologies are already well established and mature in many aspects. Of course, these technologies must continue to be used and combined with Blockchain Technology, these are responsible for success. Providers of innovative solutions can be connected via APIs and integrated into an existing IT infrastructure, workflows and testing processes.

In this way, a familiar interface can be supplemented and optimized with additional functions, which can result in an enormous gain in efficiency. This is the case not only for Blockchain but for Artificial Intelligence and other innovations as well.

With ivault, for example, we are already using QR codes, NFC chips and GPS trackers in products that can be monitored using Blockchain tracking. This makes the supply chain, products, and manufacturing conditions completely transparent and traceable.

Blockchain Supply Chain Use Case Nr.1: Counterfeit and fake drugs

The great advantage in our case is that the technical weaknesses of QR codes, for example, can be offset by the high information security of a decentralized database. We have already demonstrated this with food products such as Golisan’s herbal extracts, which have been certified with the ivault verified label.

Putting QR codes on product packaging is a particularly cost-effective measure. But they can also be easily copied and then pasted onto a counterfeit product, for example. But the data stored in a decentralized way based on Blockchain Technology cannot be changed or manipulated.

So if each individual product receives its own unique QR code, as is the use case with Golisan, there can be no QR code twice. This means that counterfeiting can be noticed very quickly if duplicate or even multiply copied QR codes are scanned – e.g. by customers who unknowingly purchased counterfeit drugs from a dubious online pharmacy.

Right after the buyer scanned the QR code he can check for himself that the product was never sold to that online pharmacy by the drug manufacturer! – as long as the manufacturer makes this information available to the general public via the ivault app. He immediately gets a fake drug alert notice. And so does the manufacturer.

So – although the use of QR codes has been criticized time and again before – we have clearly created a new value here, thanks to the uniqueness of QR codes and Distributed Ledger Technology. Of course, even more secure – especially in relation to pharmaceutical products – is the use of NFC chips in combination with Blockchain.

In the coming year, we can look forward to more innovative linkages that combine the best features of multiple technologies and solve a variety of different challenges.

Supply Chain Fälschungssicherheit bei Golisan: Die Nahrungsergänzungsmittel von Golisan haben nun das ivault verified Label auf der Produktverpackung und je einen eigenen QR-Code auf der Etikette.

Anti-counterfeiting solution based on Blockchain at Golisan: Golisan’s herbal extracts now carry the ivault verified label on the product packaging and each bottle has its own unique QR code, to make the products 100% counterfeit-proof.

 

2. Blockchain and Sustainability?

 

Sustainable business models are the future. Because we won’t have any other.

As CEO Arman Sarhaddar puts it, “Sustainability has long been more than a buzzword – it’s a necessity, rightly demanded by both customers and business partners.”

Here are some examples for new business models that focus on sustainability:

  • Circular Economy (a model in which resources are not consumed but used and reused wherever possible)
  • new product paradigms such as the cradle-to-cradle design concept and
  • sustainable offerings in the financial sector

However, sustainability encompasses not only the ecological dimension, but also the social and economic dimensions. Technologies that enable sustainable business models to be successfully implemented and optimized will also be in high demand in 2021 and will be further developed.

This is also where Blockchain comes into play again – for example, in fishing and fish farming. Responsibly caught fish will become traceable through Blockchain Technology, and by monitoring the supply chain, substandard products can be detected earlier. New productions, recalls, and damages can thus be reduced.

Blockchain Supply Chain Use Case Nr.2: Sustainable Fashion

In the case of clothing, proof of sustainability is also becoming increasingly important: Buyers of these products want to be sure that their clothing is 100 percent sustainably produced, especially if they are expected to pay a higher price.

From the production of materials to the point of sale, every step in the complex supply chains of clothing manufacturers must be identifiable beyond doubt. If this is the case, counterfeit products on Ebay or Amazon, for example, can be quickly identified.

In addition to authentication via smartphone, thanks to ivault, consumers also get the transparency they want regarding sustainable materials and fair production conditions – whether it is sustainable fashion, branded clothing or luxury goods like watches as well as fish, meat or other foods.

Blockchain is setting a new benchmark in consumer trustivault is the prime example of the new way of connecting manufacturers and consumers – a Blockchain-based communication channel that increases trust in a brand. This can also increase brand awareness. Companies, on the other hand, know the buyers and owners of their products.

3. Togetherness – during and after COVID-19

 

The year 2020 has shown us more than clearly that digital solutions can make a very valuable contribution to strengthening interpersonal relationships and counteracting isolation and loneliness caused by COVID-19-related “Social Distancing”.

Providers for video conferences like Zoom, collaborative communication tools like Slack, and in the private sector apps like Houseparty already experienced a high demand during the first lockdown. Traditional social media platforms like Facebook, on the other hand, are losing relevance. Thus there is clearly a need for new technologies that can connect people and better replace real physical interaction digitally. The need for digital networking options will continue to grow in 2021.

Last but not least, the current crisis is leading to more solidarity between and among people. The great willingness to go shopping for people from at-risk groups is just one example. This greater networking in one’s own neighborhood and the renewed recognition of how valuable it is will give a particular boost to digital platforms that bring people together at the local level.

The Forrester study “2021 Predictions” also points to these developments, which play a central role for customer service and the authentic communication with customers as well. The goal of every company should be to anticipate consumer behavior and needs. These resources can provide important insights:

Blockchain Use Case Nr.3: Digital tools for a better local community

While digital solutions for local networking among people will be on the rise, data protection and information security will also become an even more relevant topic in 2021. Proper handling of customer and user data in compliance with the GDPR is central to the implementation of new digital solutions such as the ivault.app for consumers.

ivault brings people together locally, enables trusting and secure coexistence in every neighborhood. In doing so, the technological properties of Blockchain guarantee the highest possible protection for user data – while many apps collect vast amounts of personal data and users are hardly aware of what their apps know about them.

Our Blockchain-based platform is anonymous. Users decide for themselves when to disclose what data about themselves.

For example, a user can register his brand new e-bike in his anonymous Blockchain wallet at ivault to protect it from loss and theft. Not even we know, who has entered what valuables and items in our decentralized database, because we do not collect any of this personal data.

However, if the e-bike is stolen, the owner can report the theft via ivault, making it public for his neighborhood and surrounding areas. This is the only way that the stolen bike, a lost wallet or a runaway dog can be found and returned to the owner by someone nearby. A trustworthy babysitter or tutor nearby can also be found more easily this way, of course.

More importantly, the owner briefs his neighborhood of theft crime going on nextdoor. ivault thus acts as a cornerstone of a safe, responsible and trustworthy neighborhood. Crime prevention is guaranteed, because fraud and theft are hardly left any room, as ivault supports the entire community to keep an open eye for fellow citizens – without much effort, because every user receives important notifications such as theft reports directly on their smartphones.

 


Summary
10 Advantages of the Blockchain solution ivault

 

ivault has set itself the goal of establishing a new standard in anti-counterfeiting using Blockchain Technology. That is, for every company, every product and every individual consumer. In an earlier article, we already pointed out some advantages of the ivault Blockchain solution, which we want to summarize for you again in the following paragraphs:

1. Combining innovative and well-established technologies

The potential of ivault Blockchain lies in the combination with other established technologies such as NFC or GPS. In doing so, the customized Blockchain solution can be easily integrated into an existing Supply Chain Management system to increase anti-counterfeiting, traceability and transparency. Within a short time, we were able to implement this for the company Golisan, for example.

2. Supply Chain Traceability

Every production step in the supply chain is traceable in the long term. The manufacturer has real-time information about where a product is located or which production step it is currently undergoing – including suppliers, intermediaries and distribution partners. This makes it easy to trace where counterfeit products might have entered the process.

3. Supply Chain Transparency

With the help of ivault, the entire supply chain thus becomes transparent – for the manufacturer as well as for the end consumer, who nowadays is very concerned about sustainability, animal welfare and fair production conditions. The manufacturer can use our B2B solution to give environmentally conscious consumers the transparency they desire.

If a buyer scans the QR code on a Golisan product, for example, he or she gets all the information about the ingredients and their origin – full supply chain transparency thanks to Blockchain Technology. With its herbal extracts, the Swiss company is thus unrivaled on the food market so far …

4. Significant damage reduction for companies

Financial losses and damage to a company’s reputation are reduced because counterfeit products that infiltrated the supply chain can be detected much faster thanks to ivault. Consumers are thus less likely to be harmed by cheaply produced imitations such as fake drugs.

Corona Arzneimittelfälschungen, Fälschungssicherheit Supply Chain Transparency

Whether it’s imitations of branded clothing that are contaminated with pollutants, harmful counterfeit drugs, or defectively imitated spare parts for elevators, motor vehicles, or even airplanes – product counterfeiting entails serious, sometimes fatal consequences. These risks can be drastically reduced with the help of our Blockchain solution.

5. Preventive counterfeiting protection with the blockchain

Being able to track exactly where counterfeiters have infiltrated a supply chain also serves to prevent counterfeiting and fraud attempts. The efficiency of Blockchain, in terms of traceability and supply chain visibility, is an effective deterrent against counterfeiters who fear that their criminal activities will be exposed even before they are able to make a profit.

For companies that have already implemented our technology, this competitive advantage is essential. Thanks to ivault, they have not only an preventive anti-counterfeiting solution, but they were also able to build a new relationship of trust with their customers. For the competition, on the other hand, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make up for this deficit.

6. Consumer trust thanks to transparency and authenticity

The many advantages of ivault for companies have a particularly positive effect on the customer relationship, because the customer also has many advantages thanks to ivault. First, he can have full transparency when it comes to sustainable products, fairtrade and animal welfare. Secondly, consumers can easily check at any time from anywhere with any smartphone whether they bought an original product. This enables consumers to gain new trust in a brand – even after previous damage caused by counterfeiting.

7. Crime prevention in local communities

Not only global counterfeiting crime can be drastically reduced by ivaultivault also has a preventive effect on the environment of individual consumers. A neighborhood that uses ivault to recover stolen items, such as bicycles, actively tackles theft crime. Bicycle thieves and other criminals are effectively put in their place as a result.

Is it that simple? Yes. An effect deterrent to prevent theft crime can be something as simple as an ivault sticker. Thus the owner can put the ivault logo on his bike after registration and flagrant thieves will immediately see that the owner uses ivault. Thus the owner will report a theft as soon as he notices and thereby informs and alerts the entire neighborhood! The criminal must fear that he will no longer remain undetected.

8. Guaranteed Data Privacy

Data is stored in a decentralized way. This means that once data have been entered, they can no longer be manipulated. This ensures the highest level of information security and makes fraud virtually impossible – a huge benefit not only for businesses and consumers, but also for the whole insurance industry! Furthermore, the Blockchain is anonymous. We do not steal customer data. Read more about the advantages of blockchain technology here.

9. Sustainability and scalability of our Blockchain solution.

Blockchain scalability in the crypto sector has become one of the biggest challenges, especially for the giants Bitcoin and Ethereum. The culprit is the somewhat outdated, energy-consuming proof-of-work algorithm. ivault, on the other hand, deliberately does NOT use this algorithm. Our blockchain technology is scalable. This means we can even perform 100,000 transactions per second if needed.

However, the ivault Blockchain has nothing to do with FinTech and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Bitcoin mining in particular is known for being environmentally harmful and consuming a lot of energy. But Distributed Ledger Technology can also be implemented in an environmentally friendly way – as in our case.

10. Trust, security, comfort & happiness

All this leads to more security, trust and satisfaction on both sides: Both supply chains and products, homes and neighborhoods become more secure thanks to ivault. Companies and consumers can trust each other, while at the same time companies can better trust their business partners and individual users can better trust their peers. The insurance industry will also happy to see fewer fraud claims.

Blockchain enables a win-win situation in which all parties benefit and can live more comfortable, carefree and happy lives.

CIO Bulletin, Top 30 Most Influential Companies of 2020, providing Blockchain Technology Solutions

The Future of Blockchain Technology in Supply Chain Management 2021

At the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) Congress 2020 in Dubai, CEO Arman Sarhaddar spoke about the future of Blockchain technology for supply chains in the fight against COVID-19. You can watch the #AIMDigital video below.

It is no secret, that Supply Chain Management became a challenge during the pandemic: Supply Chains were disrupted and many other problems occurred. But these issues showed once more the potential of Blockchain Technology.

We need to take action, but people are afraid of change… So, what can we say about Blockchain 2021? And how can we build trust in Blockchain technology?

Blockchain AIM 2020: blockchain for supply chain and fighting the pandemic

Blockchain technology in supply chain management: At the Annual Investment Meeting #AIMDigital 2000, Arman Sarhaddar, CEO and founder of Vault Security Systems AG, appeared alongside speakers from renowned companies such as Siemens, Microsoft, Pfizer, General Electric, Philips, Agility, Cigna Insurance, Hyperledger and many more.


1. Blockchain Technology in Supply Chain Management

 

In October, Arman Sarhaddar, the inventor of ivault, was personally invited by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to speak at #AIMDigital 2020.

In this article you will find a summary of his impressive speech “Future of Blockchain and its Impact on Supply Chain and fighting the Pandemic”. We will also provide you with further information about the topic.

The Annual Investment Meeting is a special event for technological innovations and interested investors from all around the world. We were honored to have this great chance to be heard and to connect with new partners.

Here you can watch the video recording of the transmission on October 21, 2020:

 

2. Challenges in Supply Chain Management

 

The pandemic has forced us to make changes in many areas. But above all, COVID-19, truly a catalyst of digitalization, forces us to be open to these changes.

To understand the impact of COVID-19, Arman takes one step back first: to the time before the pandemic.

For several years pre-COVID, consumers have already been more and more concerned with quality, sustainability and climate impact of products. For example, more people buy regional and organic food. Certifications, quality assurances and supply chain in general, has become a topic for consumers.

Mainly, production conditions help consumers to evaluate products in concrete terms. Thus, a lack of supply chain transparency can also have a negative impact on their purchasing decision.

However, seals and certificates only partially fulfill consumers’ wishes for more transparency. Sometimes even certified products were not up to standards, for example in regard to organic certifications. Thus, governments are now establishing frameworks to dictate to companies quality requirements, which are slowly becoming more popular.

 

3. Impact of COVID-19 on Blockchain

 

At the beginning of the 2020 pandemic, the shortcomings of many supply chains were exposed.

There were many serious disruptions, for example in the supply of food. Supply bottlenecks in the pharmaceutical sector also became more serious.

Consumer behavior and regulations created challenges and requirements. And so did COVID. COVID-19 has created many problems, but also opportunities for change. As bad as the pandemic was and still is, these problems give companies the opportunity to revise processes and tackle inefficiencies.

This is exactly where Blockchain technology can help:

It provides platforms for the transmission and data exchange with the highest reliability and cybersecurity (#InfoSec). It provides platforms for process optimization and automatizations. And it can make different systems interoperable, to work together in a much more efficient way.

Undoubtfully, the digitalization, which is still far behind in many industries, has been fueled by the pandemic in all sectors. COVID-19 has boosted the realization of the immense potential of Blockchain technology.

The grave disruptions many businesses encountered made it obvious that there is a need for the implementation of such innovative solutions for supply chain management.

Arzneimittelfälschungen-Coronavirus

Blockchain technology against counterfeit drugs on the Internet: In the pandemic, more pharmaceutical products are ordered online. With ivault, the end consumer himself can perform a simple authenticity check with any conventional smartphone to ensure that a purchased product is an original.

 

4. The Future of Blockchain technology

 

Nevertheless, we have to keep in mind, for supply chain management and optimization, Blockchain technology is not enough on its own. It can provide astonishing links, connections and integrations.

But to use the full potential of Blockchain technology, we need 3 things:

  1. to provide standards in data integration and exchange,
  2. to meet transparency and privacy requirements of companies, clients and regulators, for example with permissioned systems, and
  3. to connect Blockchain with other technologies, such as NFC, GPS, etc.

Thus, at Vault Security Systems AG, we are combining permissioned blockchains with technologies such as NFC, RFID, GNSS, GPS. Working with permissioned blockchains meets all requirements:

  • Companies decide what and how much to disclose.
  • Clients can rely on privacy.
  • Regulations can be met without compromising security.

When speaking about building trust, what ivault for supply chain management provides, is: A secure ledger for data exchange, where companies can decide what they want to share with each other, and with everyone else, while the data companies decide to keep private is encrypted with the best available security.

P.S. If you would like to learn more about ivault, please read our article about our news from Silicon Valley: CIO Applications rates ivault among the Top 10 Blockchain Solutions of 2020.

Besides Supply Chain Management, there are many other areas of application for Blockchain technology. In the pandemic, healthcare is another focus of the Blockchain pioneers.

Blockchain could have prevented, what just happened in Finnland: According to CNN, patients have been blackmailed after their sensitive health data, namely psychotherapy records, were stolen by hackers.

Following Dr. Efrat Shefer (Philips), Jerome Droesch (Cigna Insurance) and Sinan Atlig (Pfizer) for example, who, along with CEO Arman Sarhaddar, also acted as #AIMDigital Speakers, the pandemic accelerates the adoption of new technologies in healthcare as well. Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Blockchain play a central role.

Fälschungsschutz Blockchain Supply Chain 2020

Blockchain 2021: The general public’s confidence in Blockchain technology will increase dramatically once end users see Blockchain in their everyday lives. In the supermarket. In the pharmacy. At the doctor’s. Or at home. The question is not if, but when it will happen.

 

5. Outlook: Building trust in Blockchain 2021

 

Despite all this, a large number of companies are still struggling. What is holding them back?

One of the main problems is the lack of trust in Blockchain technology. A lot of people (and decision makers) are afraid of change. They are reluctant to implement new technologies that they cannot fully grasp.

Blockchain technology is still seen in connection with cryptocurrencies and FinTech. However, today’s Blockchain solutions like our product ivault are more energy efficient, sustainable and scalable than the old algorithms of some cryptocurrencies. Furthermore our Blockchain app is GDPR compliant.

What many companies do not know is how easy it is to implement Blockchain technology: It can be added to an existing Supply Chain Management system. Established processes do not have to be reinvented from the bottom, but can be retained and optimized using Blockchain technology.

In order to strengthen the confidence of companies, decision makers have to be more educated about the advantages of Blockchain technology. They do not have to understand every technical detail.

These advantages can be summarized in 3 core statements:

  • Blockchain means increased efficiency in various areas.
  • Blockchain brings information security at the highest level.
  • Blockchain is a clear competitive advantage – especially, for those who act fast…

On the other hand, public trust will significantly increase when end users see Blockchain in their everyday life. Online and offline. In banking or trading applications. In certificates for quality, origin and production conditions of everyday consumer goods such as food.

In the supermarket. In the pharmacy. At the family doctor. At home.

The question is not if, but when  it will happen.

 

P.S. Here is the Thank You Letter, we received from Dubai a few days ago – along with an invitation to join the Annual Investment Meeting again next year. We are looking forward to seeing you there in 2021!

Annual Investment Meeting Thank You Letter for Speaker Arman Sarhaddar

Annual Investment Meeting 2020: Thank You Letter for Speaker Arman Sarhaddar, inventor of the Blockchain app ivault.

 

Arman Sarhaddar on it-daily.net: Blockchain on the way from niche to mainstream application

Blockchain 2020
From Niche to Mainstream Application

Blockchain 2020: Last week, a new article by CEO Arman Sarhaddar, inventor of ivault, was published on it-daily.net – a German platform for the latest news on IT, technological innovations and digitalization trends.

The Distrubuted Ledger Technology (DLT), better known as blockchain, is evolving from a niche to a mainstream application. We already noticed this clearly emerging trend at the World Economic Forum (WEF 2020).

This blog entry will provide you, as one of our English readers, with a translation of Arman Sarhaddar’s expert insights and some more facts and figures, you should not miss.

Arman Sarhaddar on it-daily.net: Blockchain on the way from niche to mainstream application

New article by Arman Sarhaddar, CEO and Founder of Vault Security Systems AG, on it-daily.net: Blockchain 2020 auf dem Weg aus der Nische zur Mainstream-Anwendung.


Blockchain 2020: Moving to the next level

 

Anyone who has ever dealt with the topic of blockchain knows that the technology offers a number of advantages. In B2B business, it provides greater transparency, simplified processes and cost savings. Therefore, it is also relevant for the end consumer – for example, when tracking supply chains and production conditions and providing proof of ownership and product authenticity.

CIO Applications & Blockchain Lösungen: ivault zählt zu den Top 10 Blockchain Solution Providers 2020

Blockchain 2020

Earlier this year we already informed you that CIO Applications from Silicon Valley ranked us as one of the TOP blockchain solution providers 2020 (see certificate). Therefore we can proudly say that we, Vault Security Systems AG, are one of the pioneering companies when it comes to blockchain solutions of the future.

Now that the initial hype about Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) has subsided somewhat, more and more applications are coming into use.

However, it is also becoming apparent that there is still a need for clarification, and that blockchain solutions cannot always be seamlessly integrated into existing software and processes.

 

1. Small enterprises are still hesitant

 

… but should not wait too long.

The 2019 Bitkom study (see below) on blockchain in Germany found that respondents viewed the technology with suspicion (9 percent) and curiosity (12 percent) at the same time.

It also shows that the size of the company is decisive for whether it has already dealt with the topic in terms of content. Especially in small and medium-sized companies, the blockchain often competes with other technologies for innovation budgets.

The figures below show the application of blockchain and other digital technologies in companies with more than 50 employees:

Bitkom Study 2019

Application of the blockchain 2020. Source: Bitkom Research 2018; https://www.bitkom.org/sites/default/files/2019-04/190410_bitkom_studie_blockchain_2019.pdf

In the figure above you can see the companies’ size and how many percent of these companies already use the blockchain (blue), how many plan to do so (black), whether application is being discussed (dark grey) or not (grey – this is the case for most companies). No answer/no data (light grey).

Decisions are sometimes made in favor of Cloud Computing and Big Data & Analytics, which are already tried and tested more often, as you can see in the figure above. Therefore, there is an increased risk of missing the boat in regard to blockchain technology, especially for SMEs.

After all, catching up later will be much more difficult and time-consuming on a tight budget. Consequently, it makes sense for small and medium-sized companies to take a closer look at the technology now, identifying areas of application.

 

2. Cooperation with blockchain specialists makes sense

 

The Bitkom study points out the strategic approach of companies already using blockchain technology. In addition, most of them are open for consulting and cooperation: Almost two thirds of the companies (63 percent) implement the blockchain together with partners or at least plan to do so.

This decision is particularly important because skilled workers with blockchain competence are still rare, but in great demand. Instead of bringing the expertise in-house, it is therefore more appropriate to work with a specialized partner.

Of course, solutions can still be tailored to the respective needs. A reputable blockchain provider not only supports companies as a technology partner, but also plays an advisory role.

 

3. Blockchain 2020: On the way to mainstream application

 

Despite the hitherto hesitant attitude towards DLT, especially in small and medium-sized companies, the technology is clearly on the way to broad application in very different industrial sectors.

A recent global Deloitte study (see below) on the status of blockchain 2020 shows that something is slowly changing. Decision-makers no longer see the technology as merely groundbreaking and promising, but are now treating it as an important part of their company’s transformation and innovation.

According to the Hype Cycle described by the IT research and consulting firm Gartner, distributed ledger technology is thus out of the valley of disappointment. We are now in a phase, where understanding is increasing and companies are implementing or testing the technology: the slope to enlightenment.

The Deloitte study depicts this development over time:

Deloitte study 2020 blockchain applications

Sources: Deloitte’s Global Blockchain Survey, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Application of the blockchain 2020;https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/us/articles/6608_2020-global-blockchain-survey/DI_CIR%202020%20global%20blockchain%20survey.pdf

This is blockchain 2020: 86 percent of those surveyed already stated that their company management believes in real efficiency gains through blockchain technology in their own company. Two years earlier, the figure was only three quarters. Similarly, 83 percent believe that their own company will lose a competitive advantage if DLT is not applied (2018: 68 percent).

 

4. Use cases should be thoroughly examined

 

The attitude towards blockchain technology is thus increasingly characterized by a differentiated (a more comprehensively informed) view, while at the same time confidence and optimism are increasing.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to approach the technology in a considered and prudential way, instead of simply adorning oneself with the term. Some proven applications are already being used for example in logistics and supply chain, and can therefore be quantified economically.

In fact, compared to for example the financial industry, the practical implementation in those areas is already further ahead, although less of a prominent topic.

Some applications receive a lot of attention nowadays and are slowly becoming more commonly used. There are numerous possibilities to integrate DLT into your own business model in a meaningful way. Exciting application scenarios exist in various areas, such as: verification (authentication or data verification) or insurance.

The best conditions for a profitable adaptation of blockchain 2020 are provided by companies that approach the topic with openness and willingness to innovate and that acquire the necessary expertise – either through clever recruiting or with a competent partner.

from sustainable blockchain solutions for supply chain to social applications to benefit every single private citizen

Sustainable Blockchain Solutions 2020
Or: Can Blockchain be Sustainable?

In short: YES! Sustainable Blockchain solutions are just around the corner. The bad reputation of the Blockchain due to its high energy consumption is not entirely justified. Blockchain can even contribute to environmental protection.

Everyone is talking about sustainability. This raises the question: What about Blockchain, the major future technology pioneers  all around the world put their trust in?

Arman Sarhaddar, CEO of Vault Security Systems AG, answers a few essential questions on the topic in a German interview with Industry of Things, a platform for Blockchain experts and upcoming technological innovations.

We summarized these insights for you in this blog entry to show you why Blockchain doesn’t necessarily mean high energy consumption and low environmental compatibility.

Sustainable blockchain solutions: Is it possible to protect our environment and nature with the distributed ledger technology, that has been described as dramatically energy-inefficient.

Sustainable Blockchain solutions: Sustainable economic models are becoming increasingly important for companies and end consumers. But how is it possible to protect our environment and nature by using a technology that has been used almost exclusively for Bitcoin mining, which is horrifyingly energy-inefficient?


1. What’s the reason for Blockchain’s bad reputation concerning sustainability?

 

ivault’s founder Arman Sarhaddar explains, it is true that Blockchain does not have a good reputation in terms of its environmental performance. This is because, despite growing knowledge, the term is still strongly associated with crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin.

Bitcoin mining activities are indeed energy-intensive: The proof-of-work algorithm (PoW) by which transactions are verified and new coins are generated, involves a very high computational effort. A single transaction now consumes as much energy as 1.5 average American households per day.

This must be viewed critically since there is a lot of mining going on e.g. in China as well. There, the necessary electricity often comes from coal-fired power stations, which is extremely harmful to the climate.

“But Bitcoin is not Blockchain and Blockchain is not Bitcoin!” – Well said, Arman.

 

2. So, what about sustainable Blockchain applications outside the crypto world?

 

Today we can choose from many different algorithms –many alternatives to the PoW algorithm nowadays, which consume less or even net zero energy. Each option has advantages and disadvantages, which have to be weighed up in terms of application as well as environmental compatibility.

Most companies do in fact use these more sustainable Blockchain algorithms. For a company network or a network between known consortium members, the energy-consuming level of protection as with Bitcoin is simply not needed.

So, most Blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) applications developed for businesses can do without the energy-intensive PoW. This requires networks that are not freely accessible like the Bitcoin network, but need permission (permission-based networks).

Instead of a proof-of-work, for example, a proof-of-stake can be used for verification and consensus building – but you don’t need to understand all the technological details in this case, only acknowledge the fact that this reduces computing power and thus reduces energy consumption drastically.

Yet these sustainable Blockchain solutions can still achieve the desired performance.

 

3. Can Blockchain technology contribute to environmental protection?

 

There are many business models that directly address social and environmental problems with SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Like any technology, Blockchain can be used for different purposes. In general, it can reduce paper consumption enormously by securely and permanently recording continuously retrievable data.

Sustainable blockchain solutions: energy-saving future technology, carbon-neutral supply chain

Due to its ability to record data unalterably, the Blockchain has a particularly great potential for environmental protection. Currently, it is already being used to record data on the natural environment and to record changes in ecosystems.

Among other things, there are sustainable Blockchain applications for sustainable aquaculture and fish farming, that track distribution, make fish traceable and provide evidence of the companies’ ecological responsibility.

Monitoring the supply chain makes it possible to identify inferior products earlier in the process. The extent of recalls and new production can thus be reduced, which has a positive effect on the greenhouse gas balance and other resources.

Another important issue is counterfeit protection. Counterfeit products are often highly polluting and therefore harmful to the environment. It seems ridiculous to mention that the extent of this is hardly scalable, as there are no legal controls on production and distribution standards in this dubious sector of world trade…

 

4. What about the social compatibility of sustainable Blockchain solutions?

 

Sustainability has not only an ecological dimension. Counterfeit protection and the tracking of supply chains has an ethical component too. Apart from consumer protection, Blockchain can ensure that goods have been produced under responsible conditions.

In the fair trade goods segment, for example, these sustainable Blockchain solutions are gradually being established and guarantee human rights and fair working conditions.

Another aspect is that in some markets up to 70 percent of medicines are counterfeits. An estimated 100,000 people die every year as a result of taking counterfeit medicines. A technology that can prove the authenticity of medical products helps to reduce the risk and potentially minimizes the amount of fatal incidences.

On the other side, Blockchain enables smart contracts that automatically come into force under certain mutually agreed and unchangeable conditions. The “if-then” principle can be used, for example, for automatic payments. Thereby payment delays or misappropriation are not possible anymore.

The entire business world can benefit from more trusting, transparent and direct relationships catalyzed by sustainable Blockchain solutions. This is also in line with the basic idea behind the technology:

In the Genesis block of Bitcoin, inventor Satoshi Nakamoto linked an article that deals with the crash of Lehman Brothers and the start of the financial crisis. A transparent network, in which transactions can be viewed and tracked by everyone, would rule out corruption.

 

5. What needs to be done to enhance eco-balance and the image of Blockchain?

 

The most important thing is: The public awareness of the difference between the Blockchain technology and crypto currencies like Bitcoin has to increase.

The fact that Bitcoin has a very high energy consumption that exceeds that of countries like Switzerland, for example, is usually being covered by the media to a greater extent than sustainability in the case of other applications of distributed ledger technology.

We need to put more effort into explaining that there are fundamental differences between Bitcoin and other Blockchain applications, which are now slowly being put into practice.

We are already on the right track – the applications that are working for a better world, such as energy savings or waste avoidance, more than make up for their energy consumption. In the future, this balance will continue to improve.

sustainable blockchain solutions for supply chain

This goes to shows that with Blockchain as our main future technology we are indeed on the right way. In times that provoke as much scepticism and doubt as now, it is at least good to know how fast nature can heal itself, when we hit the brakes of co2-emissions and environmental pollution like we were forced to due to coronavirusWith the Blockchain, environmental protection can be further promoted.