How Blockchain is Increasing Transparency, Truth and Trust
Building trust and truth has increasingly become a critical issue for companies across all industries.
In many ways, the Internet serves as an open marketplace for truth and trust, but users are inundated with competing and often contradictory claims. Those needing truth and trust quickly discover that it’s often impossible to trace the origin and reliability of information.
In 2018 we will see businesses place more emphasis on transparency, which is essential to rekindle trust between customers, colleagues and partner organizations. More than ever, people need to see before they believe, and they also need to be able to trust what they see.
This has significant implications for how businesses win new customers, as the power of expensively produced advertising campaigns is rapidly waning.
Delivering a customer journey today is often less about functional steps and more focused on shepherding customers from initial doubt and cynicism, through empirical verification and, ultimately, on to emotional engagement, commitment and loyalty. In this world having an auditable truth directly and positively influences the Lifetime Value (LTV) and your bottom line.
Although Blockchain was caught up in a significant media hype in 2017, often being touted as a panacea for every business issue, one thing that it is uniquely capable of achieving, is helping businesses demonstrate an objective truth to their customers.
Blockchain offers a decentralized, secure database that records transactions between multiple parties which is efficient, verifiable and permanent. A Blockchain record can only be changed with a consensus from all parties. This will enable, what Foresight Factory has dubbed, objective “mechanized truths”, the antithesis to emotionally charged alternative facts. Mechanized truths present a significant new dynamic in business to business (B2B) as well as business to consumer (B2C) relationships, assuring the reliability of information and providing peace-of-mind for consumers and suppliers. Blockchain has already proven to be valuable in the banking industry. Activities such as trade finance and cross border payments benefit from its ability to provide transparency across multiparty transactions. Both the potential for fraudulent transactions and administrative overhead have been reduced whilst the speed of transactions has been accelerated.
In 2018 use cases for Blockchain will expand as industries beyond banking discover its potential to reestablish a trusted relationship with consumers and other businesses.
Diamonds on the Blockchain
The transparency and traceability offered by Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the luxury goods market and restore trust. In the luxury good market, provenance means the difference between a $10,000 handbag and a $10 knock-off.
To solve this problem, London-based Everledger has created a Blockchain to track the provenance of high-value assets on a digital global ledger. Think of it as a digital vault for luxury goods.
The diamond industry has struggled to demonstrate both the truth about provenance and the authenticity of its product. Insurance fraud, fakes and blood diamonds plague and complicate the industry, and paper certificates are easy to forge.
Everledger uses Blockchain to essentially digitize diamonds, creating clear records that trace a gem’s route from mine to ring.
As Wired reports, an Everledger diamond ID is made up of more than 40 features, including clarity and color. The complex mapping of the physical commodity, paired with a Blockchain digital record, maintained across a distributed system, creates a rock-solid assurance of authenticity.
A Database for Patient Information
Sensitive health data is increasingly becoming the target of security breaches. These security violations can cause significant damage and destroy trust between patients, clinicians and the medical sector. To address this risk, Patientory’s Blockchain-powered Health Information Exchange (HIE) connects doctors, care providers, and consumers all within a single, secure platform. Patientory aims to enable electronic medical record interoperability, protected by enhanced cybersecurity protocols. Users can buy storage space on the platform using Patientory’s own cryptocurrency, PTOY.
In the US, a group of pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and Amerisource Bergen, are working with MeidLedger to tackle the problem of stolen and counterfeit drugs.
MediLedger, a Blockchain-based platform, tracks pharmaceuticals across each step of the supply chain: from ingredients, to manufacturer to pharmacist. Data is recorded about the origin, route and destination of drugs, enabling easy compliance with the US Drug Supply Chain Safety Act (DSCSA). This US legislation requires all prescription drugs to be tracked and traced through the supply chain using an interoperable system. Having this verification increases patient safety and reduces the audit, regulatory and legal costs of pharma companies.
Everledger.io. (2018). Everledger | A Digital Global Ledger. [online] Available at: https://www.everledger.io/
Fjord (2018). Fjord Trends 2018. [online] Available at: https://trends.fjordnet.com/?/.
Frog design inc. (2017). Tech Trends 2018. [online] Available at: https://www.frogdesign.com/techtrends2018.
Future Forecast 2018. (2017). [pdf ] The Future Laboratory. Available at: http://www.thefuturelaboratory.com/futureforecast-
McNamara, G. (2017). The blockchain problem is a trust problem. [online] Pwc Next In Tech. Available at: http://usblogs.pwc.com/emerging-technology/theblockchain-problem-is-a-trust-problem/
Mediledger.com. (2018). MediLedger – Blockchain solutions for Pharma companies. [online] Available at: https://www.mediledger.com/
Patientory. (2018). Making Healthcare Secure – Patientory. [online] Available at: https://patientory.com/.
Trending 2018 The Report. (2018). [pdf ] Foresight Factory. Available at: https://www.foresightfactory.co/global-consumertrends/.