The scoop on IoT and Blockchain

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You want to talk about ice cream? I’m listening! Earlier this year, I asked a colleague to explain IoT and Blockchain and he started talking about how it could help ensure that the ice cream in my local supermarket was of the highest quality by optimising the supply chain. My interest was piqued.

Blockchain in action: the supply chain

The use cases for IoT and blockchain certainly aren’t limited to the supply chain, and I’ll write subsequent posts about other applications, but it’s a great way to make easy sense of a complicated topic.

When different business partners come together, they have disparate systems that don’t necessarily mesh easily. So there’s no simple way to assign responsibility and manage payments when the terms of a contract have been met. It also means that pinpointing problems in the supply chain can be tricky. For example, if my ice cream is exposed to extreme heat and spoils at some point between the processing plant and my bowl, how will we know when that happened? Was it in a truck? On a loading dock? Or did my husband forget a bag of groceries in the car?

IoT enabled shipping containers

Blockchain can’t do too much about the last scenario, but it can give peace of mind that the goods in IoT enabled shipping containers arrive at their destination in the right condition. If a variable like temperature goes out of the approved range, it will be easy to track where that violation happened, which means no more finger pointing between various parties. The data in the package is sent through a private blockchain to the Watson IoT Platform at certain points along the journey (wherever there is connectivity,) and this information is shared with all interested parties.

Check out this short video to learn more about Blockchain and the Internet of Things:

For the latest IoT and Blockchain resources, take a look at our website.

Now do I want chocolate chip cookie dough or praline and cream…?

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