The present and future of blockchain

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Blockchain became a buzzword when bitcoin took the world by storm. Over the years, interest in the underlying technology has grown and blockchain has now found its footing in business, across various sectors, including finance and telecom.

AI-enabled blockchain technology is used today in facilitating cross-border payments, identity management, secure payments, employment records, tax identification records, and the list is endless. Companies and governments are using blockchain to even monitor supply chains, digital voting, real estate title transfers, food safety, medical recordkeeping, etc., and has reduced flaws in the functioning of businesses.

Clearly, the future of blockchain is now, and to discuss it, top leaders like Mominul Islam, CEO IPDC, Bangladesh; Sunil Bajpai, Principal Advisor, TRAI; and Jitan Chandanani, blockchain leader, IBM India & South Asia sat down for a panel conversation at ‘Building Cognitive Enterprises’ event by IBM and CNBC-TV18, deliberating blockchain’s impact and revolutionary use cases.

During the panel discussion, it emerged that IPDC benefitted from the modern technology growing multi-fold in the past few years, while being the first finance company in Bangladesh to use blockchain. IPDC, a supply chain financing company, adopted a technology-led model and was also able to expand its footprints.

“We really wanted to get into digital platform and approached IBM for a blockchain-based platform. Our initial thought process was how we can ensure that our supply chain financing can be made efficient so that we can really have the 10-fold growth in next five years,” said Islam.

IBM not only increased efficiency at IPDC but also expanded its market to Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

Another sector that will see the best use case of blockchain soon is the telecom sector. The Indian regulator, TRAI, has mandated its use to telecom companies to handle the issue of spam calls.

“There are a number of things that need to be checked and verified. Earlier, TRAI was providing a rudimentary kind of intermediation between the telcos, which was not enough to check the menace (spam calls). Much richer collaboration is possible now with blockchain (to foil spam calls). It is possible to do (now) what wasn’t possible earlier,” said Bajpai

With the rising popularity of blockchain, concerns have also surfaced about privacy and data sharing. Debunking the major misconception, Chandanani said that propriety data is safe.

“The myth is blockchain forces you to share propriety data. The answer is absolutely not. You (only) share transaction data what a participant in a transaction is supposed to be receiving. So, the idea that blockchain is actually required to share every single part of the transaction of every single participant, an absolute myth,” said Chandanani.

Thus, forward-thinking companies should explore using blockchain to bring efficiency, add more value to businesses, and transform ideas from paper into the real world, while putting ‘smart to work’ with IBM. IBM Blockchain helps companies bring together allies across departments, industries, and cultures.

Engage with IBM Services experts to know how IBM can help you get started.

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