By Nathan Jin, Ivy
Everyone is clamoring for greater traceability and sustainability. And as we all move toward technological operating frameworks, enterprises are seeking solutions to boost traceability and recordkeeping. The potential for blockchain technology to change the information-transfer of food supply chains has become a hot topic.
Blockchain has its roots in 2009 as a distributed ledger for recording monetary transactions in the Bitcoin network. Here's how it works: transactions between participants on the system are bundled into blocks, which are then linked to the previous block, forming a chain. Each subsequent block is based on the previous block, so retroactively changing entries in previous blocks is functionally impossible. As a result, blockchains are said to be immutable, or permanent.
Companies are increasingly exploring blockchains for a range of industries, including financial services, healthcare, land grants and food.
Blockchain presents a new platform for recording traceability info and, with companies such as Walmart and IBM, already serves as a direct competitor to track-and-trace software. Although smaller entities may not have comprehensive tracking systems, many large entities have proprietary software that enables full traceability through their supply chain.
Blockchain also offers other advantages over existing systems.