The blockchain technology did wonders for bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies. The high bitcoin value of over $10,000 present only a year ago, is in large part due to the blockchain.
However, even though the value of the entire cryptocurrency market is still falling, that doesn’t mean that the benefits of blockchain cannot be utilized elsewhere. What’s more, it is used in many areas already.
We are here to see if the same technology can be applied in manufacturing and to explain all the benefits of blockchain in one of the most critical industries in the world.
What is Blockchain?
The primary use of blockchain is with digital currencies because blockchain allows a decentralized market.
The technology does this because its primary purpose is to store data online, in an incontestable, safe, and utterly decentral method. That’s possible as blockchain exists only because all members of the blockchain have to confirm the validity of the data stored in it. It is precisely the reason for the name – blockchain. The data exists in an unbreakable chain where every part is essential for the chain to remain whole.
Security is assured because if anyone tries to change something in the blockchain, the others can easily disagree and the change will be discarded. It also allows for full transparency.
Due to all of this, blockchain has found many practical uses all over the world, especially in finance. The World Economic Forum from 2015 predicted that 10% of the global GDP would store on the blockchain by the year 2027.
What Potential Does the Blockchain Have for Manufacturing?
There are already several areas where notable companies and startups are testing out blockchain technology in manufacturing.
- Companies like IBM, Maersk, and Everledger are testing blockchain in supply chain management as well as in auditing. They are trying to track containers in the shipping process and register certifications and transactions with the help of blockchain.
- Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 are also areas where companies and startups like Factom Iris, IBM Watson IoT, IOTA, and many more, are trying out the relatively new technology. They are testing the identification of IoT devices over blockchain, and similar things, all of which have a high potential to increase security.
- 3D printing is another area as well. Genesis of Things is trying to create a platform to enable 3D printing over smart contracts, and Moog Aircraft Group is seeking to ensure secure 3D printing of aircraft parts with the blockchain.
These are some of the ways many companies and startups are testing and trying out blockchain in their fields.
One thing here is clear; the potential is there, that’s undebatable. The safety, transparency, and increased efficiency the blockchain technology can provide has already made people and businesses interested in the technology and want to apply it in their operations.
However, the technology is still relatively young, and its use in manufacturing is yet to be tested entirely, but we are confident that only within a few years will we see blockchain fully integrated and its enormous potential utilized in manufacturing.