Tradeshift Exec: Blockchain Isn’t Ready For Global Supply Chain Deployment
Blockchain “Isn’t A High-Performance Technology”
Blockchain and similar decentralized applications have long been touted as the future of many, if not all industries and subsequently, the future of how humans live. But as per Christian Lanng, the CEO and co-founder of Tradeshift, blockchains are still not ready to hit the streets, if you may, especially in markets that involve supply chain management in any meaningful manner.
In an interview with CNBC at the World Economic Forum in China, Lanng explained that supply chains often involve many stakeholders, resulting in the involvement of complex logistics management, as all points in a said supply chain should be verified and authentic.
And while blockchains “are a great technology to manage that kind of flow and [to] be sure of the integrity,” the CEO pointed out that it “just isn’t a high-performance technology.” Not only that, but the executive of the digital invoicing startup drew attention to the fact that blockchain systems aren’t cheap, or at least in their current state. Explaining his last worry, Lanng added that existing supply chains, which are essential to the 21st-century economy, were not built for large-scale change and alterations.
But all hope isn’t lost, as a transition from paper-digital hybrids to fully digitized supply chains will allow firms to “respond to change quickly.” Moreover, many experts believe that blockchain’s primary use-case is likely to be supply chain management and similar data-focused applications.
Most recently, at an appearance at CambridgeHouse’s Extraordinary Future 18 conference, Dan Reitzik, the CEO of DMG, a crypto/blockchain-focused Canadian startup, noted that supply chain management is blockchain’s “perfect use.”
Interestingly enough, the slightly pessimistic comments from the Tradeshift executive mirror sentiment held by the decentralized technology lead at PricewaterhouseCoopers, who recently divulged in a Bloomberg interview that corporations are having a tough time rolling out blockchain-based systems and solutions “at scale.”
Explaining this point in-depth, Grainne Mcnamara, the aforementioned PWC executive, first brought up the idea that although blockchain is undoubtedly a promising technology, firms are finding it difficult to enterprise-level solutions in a manner that will reach 0% ROI over time and/or that will attract a large customer base.
But many forget to remember that this industry is nascent, to put it lightly, and this technology is still gaining traction with firms, individuals, and governments all across the globe.
Back to the matter at hand.
Taking a step away from supply chains for a second, the innovator explained that this early-stage technology still shows lots of promise in industries such as certification and identity verification. More specifically, as taken straight from the horse’s mouth, Laang stated:
When you run a global supply chain, you have (thousands) of transactions per second. So, I think for identity, I think for certifications and stuff like that, blockchain is useful.