Blockchain has finally outgrown some of its hype, David Dalton thinks, and he’s keen to see where the technology goes now that it’s shed some of its cryptocurrency associations. Dalton is an industry veteran of financial services and is currently heading up Deloitte’s international blockchain initiative out of their Dublin labs.
He believes that the blockchain movement has matured: “Reality is setting in on the whole blockchain space,” Dalton said. “Once the dust settles, you can finally see what’s happening. The problem that blockchain has had is that it was constantly getting overshadowed by the whole cryptocurrency world.”
Industry is now leveraging the network architecture to build solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems – and some medium-sized ones as well. While world peace isn’t on the roster for this year, there are tech-leaders out their pioneering tomorrow’s answers to today’s questions. Dalton said his team is working on “track and trace” project which “allows you to follow parts, goods, or materials through a supply chain.”
De Beers, for example, is responsible for bringing 30 percent of the world’s diamond supply to the commercial and consumer space. In 2018, they announced their intention to build the world’s first blockchain network to track shipments from mine to market. Responsible sourcing for the precious stones helps keep them a girl’s best friend without funding the ‘blood diamond’ trade. Minerals are just one case study - corporations across almost every applicable industry are looking at blockchain applications for securing their logistics networks.
Dalton also points to the important work being done in finance with blockchain technology. Ireland’s government is investigating the role the protocol may play in finances. “The Central Bank is working with financial services organizations who want to do something different and innovative, and is providing advice from a regulatory perspective,” he added.
In the United States, both JPMorgan and Chase & Co. have created their own stable coin token for use on blockchain distributed ledgers. In addition, IBM introduced their Blockchain World Wire in March which allows financial institutions to transfer tokens and cryptocurrency which cuts costs and speeds up the process. Distributed ledger technology (DLT), on which the premise of blockchain is built on, has moved into the financial sector as a way to process payments in an efficient and transparent way.
Microsoft is trial-ballooning their own idea for DLT and have partnered with Accenture to build a blockchain-based digital identification called ID2020 solution. The project is aimed at the 1 billion or more people around the world who have challenges with confirming their identities for any number of reasons. The goal is to provide users with a safe, reliable way to prove their identity when other more conventional methods fail.
“In a world with increased conflicts and displacement, we should be working collectively to use digital technologies to empower people with the right access to services and live in dignity,” said Tamara Shukakidze-Demuria, Care USA’s humanitarian director of practice, partnerships & innovation.
“We are in a much more realistic phase around the technology and… there is a bit more mature thinking around how this technology applies,” Dalton concluded.