To understand how the blockchain has to do with our daily lives, we share reflections from the sidewalk of the Company Builder ThalesLab, on technology combined with good ideas and adequate institutional support as a driver of innovation and corporate growth.
In this pandemic and digital acceleration scenario that we are experiencing, where many industries have been disrupted, we ask ourselves, how could some sectors be beneficially transformed with traditional processes and empowered with the use of technology? Thinking about the possibilities of new technologies, the question we are going to answer in this post is: How could blockchain be used to improve processes ?; one of the questions that the accelerator ThalesLab and PowerLedgers seek to answer and from some of their answers, innovative startups have already been born. *
Blockchain and logistics
In November 2019, PowerLedgers launched an innovative proposal when it comes to streamlining logistics processes: a network made up of different business representatives called “Multi-Blockchain Network for the Logistics Sector”, where each participates with a blockchain node, which at in turn, it can participate in different blockchains and their subsets, impacting the competitiveness and traceability of various business processes. This network improved the Achilles heel of the companies that handle international logistics processes for their processes.
The customer goes through a large number of points from the moment they make the purchase, a complex process in which 80% is logistics and involves many back and forth of information. The change that occurred with this project was to detect that blockchain technology was much more efficient than other ways of executing the different phases of information exchange – through emails and excel spreadsheets – and other administrative processes that generate an overload, involving an ecosystem that ranges from importers, exporters, customs brokers, freight operators and agents, officials from ministries and other public bodies, insurers, clients.
In the project “Multi-Blockchain Network for the Logistics Sector” carried out jointly between important companies such as Jaume & Seré and Montes del Plata, blockchain technology allowed them to reduce procedures and data exchanges in the logistics of importing inputs for the plant, which which significantly shortened the times increasing the productivity and competitiveness of the process, adding competitiveness.
Blockchain and wind energy
Not only in logistics has blockchain technology proven to be a driver of secure agility. By joining the possibilities of the Internet of Things (IoT), it enabled Ventus (a leading company in the construction of renewable energy projects and infrastructure) to collect electricity generation metrics from wind farms scattered throughout the territory and belonging to different owners .
Ventus, beyond designing, implementing and operating wind farms, also relies on technology to commercialize the surplus energy of its customers. The union with technological partners has been key to the consolidation of PowerLedgers and the incorporation of innovative ideas within traditional industries: “We are specialists in Blockchain, but an innovative project needs different technology specialties”, says Gonzalo Varalla, director of PowerLedgers, about it.
For now, Logistics and Energy are two of the sectors where blockchain technology has a positive impact. In Gonzalo Varalla’s understanding, in Uruguay we have great potential: “There are very good entrepreneurs, and at the same time, there is also a strong technological culture; but in themselves, they are separated: we have that sector that knows about their business and has little knowledge of technology, and vice versa, surely those who know about their business have needs to solve their processes but do not know how to do it with technology, and those who know technology does not know the business where it could positively impact.
The point that we worked for both for logistics and for energy, was to detect a problem and look for technological mechanisms to solve them, “says Varalla and concludes:” The solution has to be relevant, it is not about innovation being fashionable or the blockchain or the Internet of things, it is about uniting powers to improve processes with digital transformation ”. Looking ahead to 2021, as regards blockchain, the possibilities seem to be in foreign trade, laboratories and energy; It would be necessary to think about what processes, businesses and industries could be added to this chain that triggers productivity times with safety and competitiveness for the country.
* PowerLedgers, is a platform of software solutions based on blockchain to apply in any industry, and that operates in Uruguay since 2017 together with its incubator ThalesLab -the company to make companies, which unites innovative ideas with technological partners- allowing them to incorporate blockchain technology within its products and processes.