Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 65 - Page 48

FEATURE : BLOCKCHAIN
Bernard Bussy , Software Engineer , Andile facilitating the transfer of assets , to rewiring recordkeeping processes , to supporting data sharing and preventing data tampering . “ But as with all new technologies , it ’ s important for businesses to first be clear on the desired outcomes and determine the Blockchain approach from that ,” he said .
“ The type of Blockchain approach that ’ s optimal for a business depends on the industry and business goals . Businesses must decide on the right mix that will work for the problem they ’ re trying to solve and adopt the right type of Blockchain ( public or private ).”
According Bussy , the most common mistake with all technologies , not just Blockchain , is starting without a goal in mind . He added that technology for the sake of it quickly goes nowhere and that ’ s doubly true for Blockchain .
to small fruit and vegetable kiosk owners . Credit scores serve as a proxy for trust and loans are issued via smartphone , making them significantly more accessible , secure and efficient than before ,” he said . “ In Mining , Ford Motor Company , Huayou Cobalt , LG Chem and RCS Global have joined forces with IBM to ensure the responsible sourcing of industrially mined cobalt , by using Blockchain technology to trace and validate ethically sourced minerals . CHO , a Tunisian olive oil producer , uses IBM Blockchain to create a provenance record that traces their Terra Delyssa extra virgin olive oil from retailer back to the tree .”
“ What we need to remember when implementing Blockchain is that it ’ s still relatively new technology and basically described as a ledger of transactions that can ’ t be corrupted . It should not however , replace the other security checks and balances that still need to take place in a process framework ,” added George .
He explained that Blockchain should be implemented in a manner that aligns with the security policies of a business . “ Similarly , smart contracts also should not be implemented in isolation . There needs to be facilitation and collaboration between the coders and the legal side of a business to ensure the contracts are compliant with the legislation of the territories in which they will be applied ,” he said .
IBM ’ s Ratshefola explained that the promise of Blockchain is that it enables new means of exchanging business value in a decentralised manner – from
“ It ’ s also a complex technology requiring a variety of skill sets , so there are risks and costs associated with Blockchain development . The typical places you encounter Blockchain currently are either as part of a new product , such as the fintech platform Mesh ,” he said . “ Trade , as part of a sector-wide effort , such as diamond tracking , or as part of long-term innovations emerging from what banks and retailers like Walmarts are doing .”
Looking ahead , George said current factors that will drive Blockchain implementation across the continent include the growth and development of the technical skills pool , along with the expansion of infrastructure to support greater bandwidth availability and decreasing data costs .
“ These elements will be vital in setting up the essential processing nodes required by Blockchain networks to make the investment in the technology feasible . The number of use cases are also steadily growing and as they prove the technology benefits and ROI , we can expect to find broader implementation ,” he said .
At IBM Ratshefola said Blockchain is doing for new business models what the web did for e-commerce and product-sharing services . “ Anywhere you have complex business problems – from tracking shipping details to streamlining payments – Blockchain is a good solution ,” he said . “ It has the ability to completely transform how businesses operate . Blockchain is an independent and neutral technology that is here and already being used in many ways , well beyond powering new digital currencies – and is effectively helping businesses implement smarter processes and run more effectively by changing how they view and conduct trusted transactions .” p
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