Even in a sea of headlines hyping the blockchain, it is still very easy to spot headlines that have the tendency of driving fear into the hearts of people concerning the blockchain. Sadly, it is difficult to see reports detailing the gradual progress that is being made in private blockchain development for commercial uses. Not a lot of people are convinced that blockchain is advancing past its excitement stage into more useful practical applications as was seen in the recent Osborne Clarke blockchain event where 65 percent of the audience held such conviction.
The blockchain is More Than Just Hype
Through compelling arguments from well informed and knowledgeable industry speakers, the likes of Julia Weber of Luther Systems, Michael Platt of Microsoft and Lisa Grayston of Elemental Concept at the Osborne Clarke event, the audience was swayed from its previous conviction.
After hearing tales of their work with clients and partners to establish private blockchains across several commercial sectors, opinions were swayed in the audience significantly. By the time the event drew to a close, 70 percent had agreed that we are in indeed in the era of blockchain-based productivity and way past the hype.
The event was chaired by Mark Taylor, an Osborne Clarke partner and it was opened by Catherine Hammon who started with a ‘deconstruction’ of blockchain. She opened the floor for the discussions that followed by explaining that any particular blockchain is influenced by the objective for which it was created as well as the choices that went into its structuring, for instance, whether the system should be private or public, the consensus mechanism choice and whether it will require a coin.
After the guest speakers gave their individual presentations, Tom Try And Ian McKenzie of Osborne Clarke joined them for a panel discussion.
Challenges Facing Private Blockchain initiatives
The best application of blockchain technology in commercial initiatives is in the ‘track and trace’ aspect.
Blockchain might not be the best method of data transfer, but it is undeniable that it serves very well in the aspect of sharing information about data. The blockchain is very useful in the pharmaceutical industry as it is used for drug traceability, where a lot of benefits have been derived from it in dealing with returned drugs. This problem is witnessed in about two percent of supplies, and it is not easy to determine if the return is counterfeit or genuine. With the blockchain technology, a particular drug can easily be checked for originality, meaning that they can be returned to the marketplace, thereby saving the company from losses and also reducing environmental disposal worries.