Blockchain provides an immersive packaging experience.
The use of blockchain for supply chain processes sees exciting applications that can improve package tracking, consumer awareness and brand protection from counterfeit production.
Supply chains are getting more complex as the number of players involved is increasing. Tracking, communications, contracts, and payments are becoming difficult to be managed. Moreover, businesses have to also focus on their consumers while handling their operations. The use of blockchain for the supply chain can help streamline the processes involved, including product packaging.
How Blockchain Can Simplify Packaging & the Supply Chain Process
Using blockchain for supply chain, including product packaging, enhances the processes and reduces the shortcomings. Here are three ways blockchain is benefitting product packaging operations.
1. Enhanced Tracking and Tracing
With blockchain, customers and businesses can track products right from their origin. Blockchain also enables a quick and easy way for accessing the information with something as simple as having a QR code on the packaging. It forgoes the need to have long information displayed on the packaging boxes.
Since the data on a blockchain is immutable, customers can be assured of the authenticity of the information. Moreover, businesses can trace issues easily in the supply chain, such as recalls.
Thus, both businesses and customers get enhanced tracking and tracing with blockchain for supply chain. Many companies have already adopted blockchain for the same. For example, Bumble Bee Foods lets users trace information about their yellowfin tuna fish, from when it is caught to the availability on store shelves, using blockchain technology.
2. Reduced Instances of Counterfeiting
As blockchain enhances tracking, tracing and transparency, the instances of counterfeiting are reduced automatically. It ensures businesses and customers that they are getting the right product. For example, a jewelry business can utilize blockchain to eliminate conflict minerals.
The diamond leader DeBeers is already using blockchain for the same purpose and also eliminating child labor practices from its supply chain. Similarly, customers too can verify the authenticity of their ordered products using blockchain technology. Ardnamurchan distillery has incorporated a QR code on their single-malt scotch bottle that lets buyers verify its authenticity.
3. Improved Contracts and Payments
Blockchain enables smart contracts that enhance contract execution, completion and the payment process. The terms and conditions set in a smart contract cannot be changed once set. Moreover, the contract is executed automatically only after meeting the specified conditions. This helps reduce inefficiencies and automates the process.
Similarly, the payment is also made automatically once the contract has been completed. Looking forward, we can see cryptocurrencies being the default payment method for smart contracts executed on blockchains.
The use of blockchain for supply chain operations, including product packaging, enhances its security and accountability. This is just the beginning of the implementation of blockchain in product packaging. There are still yet-imagined use cases of blockchain in this area, and we can see new applications emerging every day as we move closer towards the ‘Internet of Packaging.’
How Blockchain and Big Data Can Work Together
Big data and blockchain work well together by providing more security and integrity.
One is transforming data management while the other is changing the nature of transactions altogether. Could they create an even more significant impact on the industries by binding together – big data for blockchain or blockchain for big data?.
Big data technologies first came into the picture at the dawn of this millennium to meet the computational needs of large datasets in the Internet-era. Proprietary applications like BigTable by Google and ZooKeeper at Yahoo showcased the potential of big data. However, the potential could only be tapped into after open-source projects such as the Hadoop File System (HDFS) and Hadoop MapReduce hit the market. Since then, big data has snowballed to transform how companies manage their data in the 21st century. Satoshi Nakamoto, an anonymous mystic individual, introduced the world to blockchain in 2008. It was developed in an attempt to solve the problem of double spending in transactions by eliminating the need for a third party in financial transactions. Blockchain also gave the world its first digital cryptocurrency – the bitcoin. Since then, the concept of blockchain has rapidly evolved to provide robust solutions to problems persisting in a wide array of industries. Now that both big data and blockchain are established as effective tools to tackle issues in different domains, we look forward to – possible methods of integrating both big data and blockchain to deliver even better solutions to specific problems, or as we’ve called it in this article, blockchain for big data and big data for blockchain.
How Big Data Works With Blockchain
A lot of governments have had trouble with the anonymity clause of blockchain. Despite being favored for its security and infallibility, blockchains are turned down for not being able to track stakeholders in transactions, thus being a preferred choice for illegal trade. Big data applications can help make blockchains trackable by managing structured datasets of wallet addresses and their owner details. This kind of infrastructure can convince governments to adopt blockchain as a platform for transactions that demand speed, safety, reliability, and traceability – thanks to big data for blockchain.
The Close Ties Between Blockchain and Big Data
Big data is comfortably dealing with huge sets of data, but some issues in its infrastructure have posed a problem in the widespread adoption of the technology. The big data infrastructure is centralized to a server location that offers complete unconditional control of data to the ones who have access to the server. This ‘ownership’ creates a problem when big data infrastructure is to be shared between different companies or even different regional offices of the same company. Besides, having multiple copies at different locations is not a solution because it puts a burden on resources and also creates confusion while determining the most updated data resource. Furthermore, now that big data resources are being traded among different entities, the legitimacy of a data resource poses a concern. With a blockchain for big data, we can create a decentralized data resource to which every one has full access. We can also track updates to the data resource on the blockchain, eliminating the need for and confusion due to multiple copies. Moreover, data transactions can be verified for legitimacy using blockchain concepts like proof-of-work or proof-of-stake and at the same time blockchain can provide a robust financial platform for data transactions between entities.
It is incredible how both of these technologies – big data and blockchain – can together significantly improve the usability of each other. The techniques can help create a hybrid infrastructure on pillars of big data and blockchain. The infrastructure will be flexible for different application types, like its parents – big data and blockchain.
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