Digital Ramblings


A blockchain is only as good as the data it receives.


Logical? Most certainly!


However, in a world where there is so much hype surrounding distributed ledger technology (DLT), it is worth remembering that one single technology is not a panacea for all problems.


There is no doubt that DLT is a key development for the future. But, in the world of trade finance, as we have mentioned in previous blogs, it is possibly the Internet of Things (IoT) that is a more exciting evolvement.


It is estimated that the IoT will have 50 billion sensors connected to the Internet by 2020 and 1 trillion by 2025 (DHL and Cisco, Internet of Things in Logistics, 2015).


The IoT embeds sensory and wireless technology within objects, making it possible to digitally transfer ownership of all kinds of physical property. The technology has an additional benefit in that it also provides the ‘object' with the ability to transmit data in respect of identity, existing condition and the environment in which it is based.


In the trade world, advantages could be obtained in a number of scenarios including:

  • Tracking of goods in transit
  • Checking atmospheric and environmental conditions of goods in transit
  • Learn at an early stage of problems encountered with goods in transit
  • Access to pre/post-inspection information and updates
  • Immediate awareness of exact date/time of departure and arrival of goods
  • Potential reduction in fraud and corruption
  • Simplified administration
  • Cost reduction


Based upon recent developments, it is clear that a lot of the immediate attention will be focussed upon the Blockchain. The IoT will need, by default, a ‘Ledger of Things' and this is where Blockchain will play an important role.


Although, as one commentator has recently mentioned, perhaps we will see utilisation of digital cloud-based databases instead of DLT - time will tell.


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