For the majority of people, Blockchain is the technology associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. There’s no doubt that the most popular use of blockchain today is linked with digital currencies. But the applications of this revolutionary technology are not limited to Bitcoin and other digital currencies only. Due to blockchain’s association with Bitcoin, it was initially assumed that this tech has applications for banking and financial sector only. However, in reality, the applications of blockchain go far beyond that.
Blockchain, which is still in a nascent stage, has many practical use cases and new applications across industries. In fact, several industries have already started exploring and adopting blockchain to transform their business processes. So, what exactly blockchain is?
Blockchain, the core component of Bitcoin, is an immutable peer-to-peer recordkeeping system. It stores data without a central authority and enables communities to securely record and share information. The system works by creating a chain of blocks, which are linked using cryptography. In short, blockchain is a distributed, decentralized, public ledger.
This innovative technology is already embraced by the financial and related industries. Moreover, other industries are also actively exploring the uses of this tech. However, the applications of blockchain technology in manufacturing are still vague. So, here we’ll look at the future of blockchain in the manufacturing industry.
Blockchain Technology in the Manufacturing Industry
Initially, research and adoption of this technology were confined to the finance industry. But gradually other industries started exploring its applications into their business operations. And reportedly, the blockchain in the manufacturing market is expected to reach USD 30.0 million worth by 2020 and USD 566.2 million by 2025. There are several companies that are investigating the role of blockchain for Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT). Moreover, companies are also looking at combining blockchain solutions with 3D printing to facilitate new manufacturing processes. In the manufacturing sector, blockchain can potentially simplify the business processes, as well as bring transparency and immutability.
By 2020, there will be a significant rise of blockchain use in logistics and supply chain management applications. The technology is already helping companies in eliminating intermediaries to streamline the flow of supply chain operations. Moreover, blockchain can synchronize all transaction data across networks so that participants can validate each other’s work. In fact, IBM and Maersk have already tested the application of blockchain in logistics. Maersk, the leading shipping company has deployed a blockchain solution to track containers during the shipping process. The technology is found effective in reducing the effort and paperwork of the shipment process.
Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 applications
IoT technology faces the challenge of device authentication. In order to overcome this issue, the Factom Iris Company registered the devices on a blockchain. This helped the company in creating a digital identity of the device which cannot be altered. This solved the scalability issue, as well as helped in dynamically updating the information about the device. Moreover, businesses can now also benefit from IoT investments by utilizing blockchain. IBM has developed a platform to help companies save selected IoT data to a private blockchain. This platform can be used by companies to share protected data among all business partners.