A blockchain is a database distributed on many computers that securely documents digital transactions. The list of transactions is visible to all Blockchain subscribers. It is constantly being extended in chronological order, comparable to a chain in which all participating computers are integrated and to which new members are constantly added (hence the term “blockchain” = “block chain”). If one block is complete, the next one is created.
The blockchain: potential or hot air?
It is on everyone’s lips, some describe it as an omnipotent database, on the management floor there is unrest: “Do we miss something?” It is about the blockchain – a technical model, which was developed in the context of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The original blockchain is a mega-bookkeeping. In a “block chain” but also all kinds of transactions – not only money transfers, but also notarizations or details of a consignment – listed and stored immutable and error-tolerant. It is obvious that this technology will be valuable for many areas.
What makes Blockchain so special?
The block chain is enabling technology that secure, tamper-proof transactions in the net. Without Blockchain, the Bitcoin system would not work, because new Bitcoins can only be calculated on the basis of the previously generated Bitcoins and therefore must be tracked, what has happened in the past.
A block chain is – regarding the actions – consistently transparent. Everyone can track which transactions were made and when. A blockchain offers the interesting opportunity to make a complete trading process or project history transparent. But technology is not always better than existing technologies in every possible application. Looking at the entire world of IT projects, you will quickly realize that only a tiny part benefit from this system or even need such a system. Because the blockchain grows infinitely, it is also one of the most inefficient database in the world.
An often-cited example is currently provided by IBM with Food Trust , a blockchain-based food tracing platform. The aim is to create transparency throughout the food supply chain, from the grower to the processor, retailer and retailer to the consumer. All stakeholders are permanently given a shared access record of up-to-date information about the food system. This avoids inefficiencies, environmental violations and manipulations in global delivery processes (see also: IBM explains its blockchain strategy ). Nestlé, Walmart and Carrefour are supporting the project.
Like IBM and SAP, Oracle also operates its own Blockchain as a Service platform. This is where a project with the non-profit World Bee Project comes into its own: The database leader is working with the NGO on a system for monitoring the supply chains in honey production, as Ledger Insights reported. The aim is to be able to guarantee honey consumers that the sweet spread comes from a sustainable, ecologically correct production.