Technologies designed to create electronic money are tested in many other areas to improve the traceability and security of exchanges.
Thousands of American consumers were able to indulge in a little experiment before tasting a traditional Thanksgiving turkey on Thursday, Nov. 23. By entering a reference number on a dedicated website, they learn about the farm where the animals are raised. The portal also provides photos of some of the farms and descriptions of the breeders.
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The pilot project was initiated by U.S. agricultural giant Cargill. Interesting aspects aside, it first aims to measure the potential of blockchain, the technology behind the virtual currency Bitcoin. Ultimately, it can improve traceability and transparency in the food chain from farm to consumer’s table.
IBM’s Brigid McDermott predicts that blockchain “will change business transactions in the same way the internet changed communication.”
The promise of blockchain is even greater. “It will change business transactions in the same way the internet changed communications,” predicts Brigid McDermott, IBM’s vice president of blockchain development. In the U.S. and elsewhere, many companies are testing the technology. Their fields of activity are diverse: banking, insurance, health, logistics, industry, air transport and contract management.
According to a study conducted by Juniper Research, 57% of companies with more than 20,000 employees are deploying or considering deploying the technology. “Companies have a better understanding of blockchain than they did a year ago,” the research firm said in its report. This can be explained by increased R&D by internal and external partners. »
A blockchain is a fully encrypted and decentralized record of so-called “peer-to-peer” transactions. Each participant has his own copy on his computer, which makes its content tamper-proof. “It addresses a major problem: how to build the trust needed to share information between the different actors in the ecosystem,” Ms. McDermott stressed. According to the IBM chief, 80% of the world’s data is still locked in silos.
Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety at Walmart, confirmed: “In the agri-food space, tracking relies on paper records or databases that do not communicate with each other. Therefore, it is impossible to have a holistic view. At the beginning of the year, the world’s leading distributors conducted a Experiment: Determining the farm of origin of a pack of sliced mangoes. The traditional method takes almost 7 days, but only 2 seconds using the blockchain.