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What does crypto currency have to do with the supply chain? Featured

vechainThere’s plenty of volitility in the standard international monetary market where exchange rates can vary based on any number of factors. And the recent enormous swings in the value of the most visible crypto currency, BitCoin, are enough to drive money managers running from the concept. But let’s not get confused between crypto currencies, blockchain, and speculation.

Blockchain is interesting as a secure data structure. Cyber currencies are interesting as boundryless money exchanges free from governmental effects. Supply chain visibility depends on secure storage of data in ways that can be reliably monitored and depended upon. VeChain is a technology that is being looked at to fuel supply chain operations. It is based on blockchain structure and links tracking technologies like QR codes and RFID tags to monetary transactions so that products can be tracked reliably from point of origin to final destination, and to consumption.

VeChain hasn’t yet been fully adopted as the new standard but there are companies getting onboard with the concept because of its unique combination of advantages. It’s been reported that big industry players like BMW and Norwegian based risk management company DNV GL are looking to VeChain for use in some segments of their operations. The tamper-proof aspect of blockchain data structures makes this combination appealing to companies that rely on multi-step international transactions where cyber interference can cause disruption and lack of confidence in the validity of a company’s information and eventually its products.

Validity start to finish

Cars and insurance certainly need assurance of the validity of origin and shipping status, but when full-cycle validation is applied to products like foods and pharmaceuticals they become enablers for regulatory initiatives. The USA’s FSMA puts processes and regulations in place to safeguard and track foods as they move from farm to consumer. And the FDA’s responsibility to track manufacture and distribution can benefit from having an unalterable chain of evidence. Both applications provide ways to track backwards to the point of origin when there are health implications. And the financial control aspects can be linked with location and transport to provide law enforcement the tools to impose controls.

The monetary component to the VeChain is its own currency, the VET that is linked directly to the tracking process. It offers both the unregulated status of a crypto currency and the unalterable link to the products offered through blockchain. These two attributes can make big differences in the way products are managed and paid for, and in the reliability of product safety assurances in the age of cyber intrusions around the globe.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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