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Blockchain and distributed ledgers

by Rob Guikers on 30th October 2018

When you order a product from China you start a complex system. Before there is a new vacuum cleaner on your doorstep, there are sometimes dozens of logistics partners who each own your order for a short time. These parties must keep a complete paper trail for checking afterwards. That makes it an expensive and risky process, but the blockchain makes it a lot cheaper and more reliable. It is the perfect audit trail for supply chains.

The internet has radically improved the way we communicate and exchange information. Blockchain goes one step further. Some call the blockchain the internet for the exchange and storage of value. It irrevocably records transactions. Innovations as promising as these are rarely encountered.

A third party has always been necessary for the exchange of value, such as a government department, a bank or a notary. This involves considerable transaction costs. This also applies to the underlying value of data. The quality of data on a supply chain can be better guaranteed if we know that it cannot be manipulated.

In addition to cost savings, blockchain transactions are also safer. Protected files made it impossible to verify whether this third-party act fairly. You just had to trust it. That has changed now. The blockchain also works if parties do not trust each other.

The exchange of information via the blockchain takes place via an open database that is decentralised. This is a virtual dataset that does not belong to a company or government agency that supervises the information traffic. Instead, there is a peer-to-peer network that keeps control.

Anyone can download a copy of the shared transaction database. All transactions that have ever taken place in the blockchain can be checked and saved by everyone. It is impossible for malicious parties to distort the facts. You can therefore see the blockchain as a sort of “truth machine”.

The possibilities of blockchain applications are almost limitless. From VIQTOR DAVIS we look at the possibilities within data management. From a single version of truth to a shared single version of truth, the quality and availability of data will be greatly improved.

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