How Blockchain will change Import Export and Global Trade


Ben: Hi, everybody,
it’s Ben Thompson here from incodocs.com and welcome
to the Import Export Podcast. Today, we’re talking
about blockchain technology. More importantly
how blockchain technology will actually affect the import-export
process and make things better. We’ve all heard of blockchain. It’s a relatively new technology. There’s a lot of hype
surrounding it today, but we want to discuss how it will actually
be applied to the import-export process. Today, we’re joined
by Warwick Powell from BeefLedger. Warwick, welcome to the show. Warwick: Good day, Ben, how are you? Ben: Good. Thanks, mate. So, today, Warwick,
I want to break down blockchain into some easy-to-understand parts. I want to explain it
in some quite simple terms. I mean it can be quite
a technical process but explain to our listeners
what blockchain is and how it will actually provide
real-world solutions to import-export shipments
all around the world? Warwick: Sure.
Ben: It’s quite a big technology, you know. Some people say, that it can be quite
the biggest revolutionary change since the shipping container
in the 1960s. So, yeah. So, before we get started why don’t
you give us a bit of a background on the experience you’ve
had in this industry. Warwick: Look, in terms of trade itself, I guess I’ve been involved, Ben,
in trading mainly between Australia and China
on and off for 25-odd years. In fact, my first experience of trading
started with family connections who lived in a port city
called Zhuhai, which is on the other side of the border
from Macau in mainland China. I work with them on – I’m bringing out of China, this would be back in the
late 1980s early 1990s, a whole range of
things like swimwear and those sorts of
artistic knickknacks. So, going all the way back then, I’ve been involved
in one way or another trade. In the last 10-15 years or so, trades focus a lot more on exporting Australian products, mainly in the food
and consumable space: food, wine. And those sorts of things
that have really taken off in China. But on the other side of the fence,
also, I’ve been involved in bringing things like LED lights into Australia
and into other parts of Southeast Asia. So, and natural resources of course,
which was partly my background. I started working in the mining
and energy industry 25 years or so ago. So, I continue to maintain
some of those links. So, I contracting
around natural resources and I’ve been bringing in electronics
and that sort of stuff. So, fairly diverse base of experience. Got to see how many different
kinds of industries, dealing with different kinds of things
had to facilitate the processes. Ben: Yeah, absolutely.
It sounds good. It’s always good
to have a chat with someone who’s been through
the process before. So, more recently, I understand
you’ve been working in blockchain, but before we get into that, I mean, can you explain
on a basic level to our listeners– what chain technology actually is? Warwick: The blockchain technology, in the first instance,
is a decentralised ledger. In essence, business for 500 or so years
and possibly even earlier than that, maintain records in a ledger and that was to enable it
to keep track of things. The way in which computers
have over the last 30 or 40 years enabled that to happen
in businesses is that business ledgers and records
have been maintained initially on central servers
inside businesses themselves. So, you remember the days
when information was stored on individual hard drives
and then eventually businesses implemented
their own server farms so that they would have
their own servers. So, they’d be stored on servers. And now, of course,
a lot of data is stored, not in servers inside individual companies,
but are stored on the Cloud. Nonetheless, that basic data storage
mechanism and retrieval mechanism is a very hub
and spokes kind of model. So, you put all your information
into a central point. There might be one
or two backpacks of it, but usually, the numbers of computers
involved are quite limited. Where decentralisation comes in
is that it brings to the mix the idea of having a vast network of computers
involved in the storage of information and involved in the provision
of that information to the users of it. So, instead of there being a single place
where data is now stored, the data is stored
simultaneously across many, many, many devices. So, that’s the guts of the
decentralisation part of blockchain, Ben. Of course,
to make that happen involves a whole bunch
of smarts in cryptography, as well as what we would
call consensus protocols. Which in layman’s terms is: “How do you get hundreds and possibly
thousands of independent computers actually agreeing that
a particular record is the true record
of a certain set of events.” So, they’re the challenges
and they’re the issues involved in how you make blockchains
actually work as a very, very secure
decentralised storage of data. Ben: Yeah. Okay. Great. And I think there are so many applications
for blockchain within the industry. From what you’ve just explained, it provides a decentralised ledger
for the storage of information. But, it also provides a lot of
other increased efficiencies throughout the supply chain. Warwick: Yeah. Look, it’s important,
Ben, I guess for your listeners to sort of cut away
some of the hype if you will and focus on some
of the core attributes. Ben: Yup.
Warwick: And I think that the simple question to ask is:
“What are block chains good at?” Blockchains are good
at a number of things. So, firstly, they’re good
at what we would call “maintaining the validity
of an application state.” Now, that’s a bit technical
in the wording, but, what that essentially
means is that; whatever the information is
to describe a certain state of affairs has actually been secured
through a process and that process is known
to the participants. That second feature
and related to that is the idea that that process
or that set of rules by which that information
got to be on the ledger in the first place
is transparent. So, the people who are
using that ledger, also have confidence that the rules
by which that information got there are being adhered to
and that they know what they are. Once the data is put
into the blockchain, the blockchain essentially constructs
a field of data through time. So, a whole bunch of transactions
are bundled together. They’re then put into a block,
surprise, surprise, that then gets installed
across all the many different devices that are involved in the network. Then the next set of transactions
are put together and that creates the next block and that second block
is connected to the first block. So there’s a process by which
the data is built through time. Once it’s been built and validated, it means it’s impossible
to actually unwind that. So, time only works one way
in terms of the blockchain, which makes that information
very, very difficult, I guess, to amend. Now, that’s a very,
very useful attribute. The third thing is that it– or the fourth point
actually is that, the blockchain itself is what we
would call “censorship-resistant.” What that really means is that,
it’s actually very, very difficult in a public blockchain
for individual participants to either block other participants
from putting information into the ledger, or to create false information
on the basis that they can sneak information
into the ledger without anyone else knowing that they’re
trying to sneak information in. So, they’re the sort of key attributes of a blockchain decentralised
ledger environment. From a technical point of view,
it delivers to further attributes. One is, of course, is I think you’ve
mentioned a high level of security. In that centralised servers, of course,
are vulnerable to attacks because everything’s in one place. So, if you know that everything’s
in one place, it becomes a little focal point
for attacks, and so you need to build very, very
costly defences against those attacks. The second technical
attribute is that the network
is described as fault tolerant. In other words,
if one computer goes down, it doesn’t stop the network
from functioning. In fact, you can have many, many computers
go down across a diverse network, but the data continues
to be maintained and updated and when those broken down computers
come back online, they will literally pick up the threads
from where they left off and refill the rest of the ledger. So, very, very fault tolerant. When you’re dealing
across borders where computer networks are exposed
to different operating conditions, where they may be vulnerable,
the idea of a decentralised ledger delivering this level
of fault tolerance and security can be very, very important
to long-term business sustainability. Ben: Yeah. Absolutely. Security is going
to be a lot better than it’s ever been before
throughout the industry. So that’s a great point. When you talk about data,
I just want to give listeners an insight into what that data actually is
and what it means along the process. So, for example, I mean, global trade, it’s important for people
to understand that it’s essentially
two parts of the process. You’ve got the physical goods,
the physical containers, and the ships and ports,
that are moving goods around the world. And then you’ve got
what you talk about is the data. And that data being starts
from the shipper, you know. The starts with the shipping documentation
that they create, where they pass on to the ports
and freight companies, et cetera. That process currently is driven
by manual paper documents, right? And everybody along
that supply chain is, again, manually reentering
data into their backend systems. You know, that’s obviously
very time-consuming. Opens up the element of human error,
of multiple people retyping information, but also doesn’t give any – what surprises me is that the industry lacks
the verification of that data. These shipping documents
are driving real-world shipments of clearing goods
through customs, based on what’s been sent to somebody
via email on a piece of paper, but, how does anybody
actually know that that hasn’t, that somebody’s email
hasn’t been hacked and hasn’t been forged
or edited or manipulated? We just don’t know. And this blockchain process
is essentially going to give us all of that security, am I right? Warwick: Look, it’ll
certainly improve on existing processes
in a number of ways, Ben. As you mentioned, the processes
by which information is currently collected, recorded
and transmitted is very paper-centric, which involves
a lot of human interaction. We know that there is a
significant risk in that process for error in that data
by virtue of human error. Now, that doesn’t have
to be even malicious, it can simply be that someone
just made an honest mistake. You only need to make
an honest mistake once and for that little piece of information
to be erroneously transferred from one piece of
paper to the next will actually see that
entire paper trail if you want built around a piece
of incorrect information. Now, that could be quite important
at the end of the day because that little bit of information that was erroneously recorded
early on in the process, could cause something to not
get through a gateway of some sort. Which could cause
significant losses, it could cause a perishable to
sit on a dock for a long time or whatever it happens to be. So, the digitalisation itself
of those processes can be very, very, very useful. Now, digitalisation is, of course, something that is already happening
in the industry and I know that IncoDocs
is one of the leaders in that space. But, once we digitise that information
and we bring that into a digital domain, the issue is how do we ensure
that it is highly secure and that it is accessible
right through the whole supply chain in that secure format. Now, the blockchain can provide
a technical solution to that, so that the information that is brought in
through a digitisation process, once validated as accurate,
actually sits there available as a resource to everybody in that
blockchain to then refer back to. Your listeners may have heard people
talk a lot about things like; smart contracts
and that sort of stuff. In essence, that information
could be stored in a smart contract
available to downstream users. It could be permission-based,
it could be totally open, it really depends on the rules that you
want to write to govern that access. That enables all the key players
in a process to refer back to what is essentially the single source
of authority in that supply chain. So, it could be the source of authority
about the thing or where it came from or how much it weighed
or whatever its attributes are. I think it’s probably useful
just from your listeners’ point of view to just to backtrack a little bit
and open up that little black box that you talked about before
between the two parts to global trade. He described the things and that move
and the data about those things. That’s how we tend to think of it as well, is that there are things
and the data about those things. And ultimately, payments are made
not actually against the things themselves. Payments is actually a movement
of data the other way and that happens when the
information about the things matches up to what
they’re meant to be. That there is “X” amount of something
arrived at a certain time from a certain process,
from a certain exporter shipper,– cut the seller, whatever it happens to be
on a particular boat, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. When you line
all of that information up, then it triggers actually
another movement of information, which is the movement of information
from one account to another account. So, for us, the blockchain
really creates a range of mechanisms to streamline and automate
the transactional dimension as well. So, not only is it
a secure data repository, it’s also the technology that allows us to
take that security and drive efficiencies in transaction processes
and payments processes. Ben: Absolutely. That’s automated payment options has never
been an option before in the industry. I’m excited about it. I think blockchain along with the ability
to have smart contracts and make near-instant payments
with cryptocurrencies or whatever, is really going to change
the way people trade because why would people want to
go transfer their money at a bank which might take three to four
to five days to clear at most often quite
a bad exchange rate when an instant payment
with very low fees is just such a better solution
for global trade. How do you see it actually changing
the payment process of it? Is it going to take a long time? Is it going to take five years
or what’s going to change in your thoughts? Warwick: Look, it does open the potential
for a very, very rapid and low-cost cross-border transactions, as well as intra-jurisdictional
transaction between parties. One of the challenges that the industry,
in terms of the blockchain industry, I think,
faces in terms of its implementation into
real-world environments, is going to be that interface between
the cryptocurrency if you will and the existing regime
of fiat currency. Fiat currency,
being a national currency, is whether they’re US dollars,
Australian dollars, Chinese renminbi or whatever it happens to be. Ultimately, business is involved
and embedded in national supply chain and international ones
for that matter do need to ultimately settle
a lot of their accounts in conventional currencies. So, one of the challenges
is to achieve some stability around how a cryptocurrency
relates to a fiat currency, on a dollar-for-dollar basis
if you will. The other one
is to deliver the streamlining of the transactions process
with the support of existing banking institutions. So, a conventional letter of credit,
for example, in very, very simple terms is essentially a promise
being made firstly between, say, a buyer and the buyer’s bank, and then between the buyer’s bank
and the seller’s bank, and then ultimately between
the seller’s bank and the seller. Now, there’s a whole lot of trust
and friction points in those processes. Ben: And nobody likes doing LCs,
by the way. Warwick: Well, it’s a very,
very old-fashioned way of writing promises basically. It does depend upon two banks
trusting each other. And we know after the GFC, there were a lot of issues
around intra-bank trust. So, even though a buyer’s bank
may be trusting of the buyer in terms of their ability
to meet their credit obligations. The seller’s bank might have had
a very, very different attitude and so was reluctant
to become the counterparty or to essentially complete… …the funds transfer if you will
given rise to buy an LC arrangement. So, a blockchain enables
a number of things in that regard. One, is that it can create
a very transparent repository of funds. So, it is possible to create
on a public blockchain a permission-based environment, so that you could actually see
that funds are available and that they’ve been escrowed
and put aside subject to condition. So, you know that the resources
are there in the first place. The second thing, it can then do
is streamline the costs and the time involved in
the transfer of those, so long as you perform the
conditions of the agreement. So, provided that you perform
those agreements and you meet the obligations
of your contract of service, you’ve delivered “X” things
at the right time, under the right conditions,
then those funds can be released. Now, those funds are released
in a crypto sense. Once they get released
in the crypto sense, you still need to convert them
into a conventional currency if that’s what you need to do. So, having the support
of the mainstream banking institutions can be a really important part
of a transitional process whereby, supply chain participants
can make use of the benefits of streamlining and transparency, whilst at the same time
maintaining that connection to the conventional world
of fiat currencies. Ben: Yeah. I guess, and
that’s a fine line, I guess, when it comes
to banks becoming involved, I mean they’re traditionally
holding the ledger. They have their own ledger
where this is blockchain, this in cryptocurrencies
is a distributed ledger. So, I mean where does that fit? Are the banks going to try and turn that
into more of a traditional process like we’ve seen before
and control that, or is there somewhere
in between which is a good fit? Warwick: Look, there’s probably going to be
a number of hybrids, I think, Ben. Over time that will deliver
to different participants in supply chains. Different levels of comfort
around what matters to them. So, from a blockchain perspective, and there are probably
three broad types, I guess. One, is a public blockchain
where it is permissionless in that anybody
can become a node and participate
in the maintenance of the ledger. Then we have a more controlled
blockchain environment if you will which involves multiple parties that aren’t directly related
with each other. They’re often described
as “federated blockchain.” So, a federated blockchain
could be one that a supply chain implements, so that everybody involved
in a particular supply chain says: “Yep. Whilst we might not trust
everybody else in the supply chain, we know that we have
a common interest and that is, that this supply chain
has got to work smoothly, efficiently in a
low-cost manner so that we can all benefit
from the fact that, you know, I produce something,
I then sell it, someone transforms it,
resells it, packages it and sells it and we all depend upon
the chain working efficiently to do that.” We might say: “Instead of there being a central
clearinghouse for transactions together, we’re going to create a federated
blockchain that enables all of us to participate in maintaining
this supply chain’s ledger.” Then you have private supply chains
and that’s private blockchains I mean. That’s probably your third type
which, essentially, is a decentralised ledger structure, but fully controlled
by one or two organisations. So, the second model
is possibly one that will find a lot of favouring many supply chains,
where you don’t necessarily want to have hundreds or thousands of nodes
of a computer network involved, but you are very committed
to the idea of the security and those sorts of fault tolerance
benefits of decentralisation. And you say, “Okay, well, we’re going
to pull together an industry and that industry
is going to involve– the main banks involved in it, it’ll involve
the main shipping companies, suppliers of containers,
the suppliers of trucking services, product manufacturers,
packaging manufacturers and others. There might be 50 or 60
participants come together and go, ‘Right, we’re going to set up
a supply chain blockchain.’” So, that’s something that I think
is quite conceivable that can bring some of the benefits
of decentralisation without necessarily totally turning
our world upside down. Ben: Yeah.
Absolutely. There’s got to be
some sort of fit there, which works well for,
for different industries, I guess. I guess that brings us
to what you’ve been working on at BeefLedger, which is specifically
the beef supply chain. Can you run us through, you’ve explained a lot on the technology
in the blockchain and how it can help. In what you’re doing right now,
can you run us through as a shipper, as a buyer and seller,
and a consumer for the beef… Warwick: Sure.
Ben: …exporting from Australia? What are the benefits
to the parties along the supply chain through what you’re doing
with blockchain? Warwick: Look, I think
the main benefits, relate to ultimately increasing
the level of confidence that end consumers have
in the veracity of the product itself. There is… …a large degree of concern
around food fraud. Right now,
in the last 24-hours even, we’ve had an explosion of concern
around food fraud, particularly about
the adulteration of honey. And that’s just one
instance where food fraud is part of what I think KPMG
identified or might’ve been PwC, as a 40-billion US-dollar problem,
every year. What we’re saying is that, in emerging markets in particular
where there is rapid growth in the demand for new
kinds of food products. Whether they’re the
proteins or honey or dairy or whatever they happen to be, or wine, luxury items, we are also seeing a growth in the
incidence and the risk of food fraud. So, our first objective
with BeefLedger is to provide another
layer of security that will contribute towards
addressing this food fraud problem. And so, our aim really is
to ensure that a consumer has the ability to verify
that at the very least the data thread
that connects the product that they’ve got in front of them
with wherever it came from is as robust and as dependable
and as transparent as possible. So, we’re utilising the transparency
benefits of a public blockchain to deliver what we hope
will be a higher level of confidence around the veracity of the data. That, of course, raises a challenge
which is what we loosely described as the “Rubbish in, Rubbish out” problem. The blockchain, being what it is,
once the data goes in and it’s validated, It’s very hard to unwind. So, for us, this now focuses our attention
on improving data input quality and the systems that capture
the right information to put it into the blockchain. There’s no point having a really secure
data storage environment if we’re sloppy when it comes to actually
collecting the right kind of data. So, as we work our way through the supply chain from consumer
all the way to producer, we are now working very, very closely
with people involved in packaging, the internet of
things, transporters, scientific laboratories,
et cetera, et cetera, to create the right kinds
of digital artifacts and the methods by which
we validate those digital artifacts. In other words,
validate that the data is true when we put it
onto the blockchain itself. So, we firstly
tackle that issue of confidence in the thing itself. “Is this really
Australian beef?” That’s the first thing we do. The second thing we do, of course,
in solving the question of: “Is this really
Australian beef?” is that we, also– as we were discussing
earlier, you know, trades actually… …the thing itself
and data about things and when that data
about things is right, then payments happen. So, once we get the data
about things to be right, we can also make payments
happen smoothly. The second benefit of what we’re working
towards is to improve payments, both from a streamlined
point of view and from a cost of cross-border
transactions point of view. Now, the last piece
of the jigsaw puzzle, once we start doing that
is that it opens up the real possibilities of creating new economic models that will incentivise
people in the supply chain to do the right thing. So, if the problem is,
for example, food substitution, in other words, Australian meat being replaced
with meat from some other country and being sold as
Australian meat. We have to ask ourselves
the question, “How do we use these technologies
to increase the likelihood that the person
who was substituting the meat chooses to no longer substitute
the meat?” In other words,
“How do we make it worth someone’s work to do the right thing
instead of the wrong thing, and how do we validate,
that in fact, it was that person
doing the right thing?” So, a very simple
example I use, Ben, is to talk about
a future desired outcome. An outcome that,
we all in the industry desire to happen is that a particular… …container or a box of meat arrives
at a particular place at a desired time and is only opened
by authorised people. Now, if we can achieve that, then we are able to do for consumers
a higher level of confidence that the integrity of the product itself
has been maintained. The risk in that process
is that, right now, the economics drives some people
in that process to say, “Actually, I’m not going to do
the right thing or I’ll turn a blind eye
to the wrong thing being done because there’s more to be made
by letting the wrong thing happen.” We’ve got to turn that around
and we want to be able to say, “If you’re the person
who’s meant to be opening that box by being able to prove
that it was you opening that box, we also ensure that you are rewarded
to the maximum extent possible. As opposed to, trying to make more money if you will,
by selling a bit of fake meat, and then selling the real deal
on the black market.” So, that’s the third
and final frontier for us. We call that “mechanism design,” and it really draws on
a lot of work being done in that specialised
discipline of economics, which derives from game theory. You probably remember
that movie “A Beautiful Mind.” And that was really
about game theory and how people and economic agents
behave under given circumstances. We’re taking
a lot of those learnings and applying that
into a blockchain environment to drive the pursuit of excellence,
number one. But, you do that by rewarding
the achievement of excellence. So, that’s what we’re up to
at the moment and I’m heading off to China,
actually, very shortly as part of the Australian
blockchain delegation. We’ll be talking to
a lot of folk in China at a regulatory level, at a banking level
and at a customs and quarantine level about how this technology
can provide them with greater visibility, much more certainty that in fact,
it’s a real deal coming through the ports and that consumers in China are going
to get what they’re paying for. And in that process, hopefully,
reward the participants in the supply chain by doing the right thing. Ben: Yeah. That’s very interesting. So, in your particular case,
as you mentioned, with beef supply chains, just as an overview
that the consumer, they know for sure that
that’s the meat that’s come from Australia,
that it’s been looked after, that it hasn’t been
tampered with, straightaway at the supermarket,
off the shelf. So, they can simply scan a QR code
and get that verified information. And what that does is essentially
increases the price that the consumers
will be willing to pay because they know
they’re not going to buy fake meat or meat from another country. Warwick: Yeah. Absolutely, Ben. Look, we know that consumers
in marketplaces, where there are significant
concerns around fraud, do pay a premium
for what they believe is the real thing. Now, that happens in all sorts of product
categories whether they’re handbags, motor vehicles
or foods themselves. We already know that consumers
in China pay a premium for imported meat products
from Australia, from the US
and from Canada over what they will pay
for domestically supplied products or products from other parts
of the world. What that implies is that a consumer
recognises a certain value in the country of origin of that product
that is above and beyond the mere fact that it’s a kilo of something
or another. We know from research
from the Meat and Livestock Association that the country of origin
is the single biggest driver of imported beef purchasing decisions
by Chinese consumers. We know that the second big one
is actually animal welfare. So, that deliver data
and visibility and transparency around that data to consumers
on just those two points alone is going to give consumers the ability
to differentiate the real deal from something that may be
simply pretending to be the real deal. Ben: Absolutely, yeah. So, yeah. That’s obviously going to bring
a lot of a lot of extra value and a lot of shippers, buyers and sellers
are quite interested in blockchain and enabling that blockchain process
through their supply chain. But, I guess
at a users point of view, the real key to it is that it has to be
very simple and as seamless as possible, I mean, and essentially, no different
to what they’re currently doing, right? I mean, a blockchain is a technology that sits behind
what happens with the data but in their day-to-day operations,
in their creating of documents, in their transferring of data
and communicating with parties. I mean,
I think the real key to it is to making that look like
it’s not on a blockchain, but you’re getting all of those benefits
of the blockchain. Warwick: Look, Ben,
you’re absolutely right on that. One of the challenges for anything
that’s driven by technology is to make the technology
incredibly human. I often use the analogy
that as human beings who are interested in the time, I actually just want to know
what the time is. I don’t really need to know
how that clock is made. I think the same comes
with this technology as well. People need to have access
to the functionality and the benefits of the technology
without ever really needing to know too much
about the technology itself. We don’t ask how it is
that a mobile phone works today and yet, we make use of a smartphone
in all of our activities. And the same I think is going to need
to be done at a blockchain level where the human interface
must be seamless, it must be driven
by enhanced user experiences. And, in a sense, it has
to be done in a way that makes the transition from
one world to another– if you will, imperceptible. So, whether or not the data
that is being processed is being processed in a blockchain
or a decentralised ledger environment versus a centralised ledger environment, really shouldn’t be something
that worries a person who is involved in the
supply chain process. So long as, they know what they
need out of the process is being done. And what they want, of course,
is to save time, they want to save money, they want to make sure
that what they’re selling or what they’re buying is actually done
in the least cost smoothest way possible and to be ultimately profitable so that they can do it
again tomorrow. That’s what people in supply chains
are looking for. They’re looking for authenticity
in the product, they’re looking for security
of payment and they’re looking
for high levels of efficiency where we can take out
of the process– drudgery if you will. The repetition that comes
with traditional document formation– create automation. But, In a way
that is still incredibly real. The bottom line is, is that people
are tactile animals, if you will. We live in smartphone-driven environments, but we swipe,
we pinch screens. So, when we complete forms,
we need to be able to do it in a way where the experience
doesn’t look like you’re entering
into a different universe. We want to fill a form
in that looks like a form. We don’t even need to know that
that data that are getting stored on some smart contract
on a decentralised ledger somewhere, that’s not important. What matters is that, when I perform my service to
the agreed standards that, lo and behold, what I’m promised in return
is actually done. I get paid for delivering
X, Y and Zed to the next person
down the supply chain. And that’s how we’ve got to get
this industry focused. Is to get it really
committed to understanding end users of systems,
not just consumers but end users within
supply chains. Whether they’re shippers,
freight forwarders, truck drivers, merchants who are receiving
deliveries each and every day. People– right back to people
who are working on properties, putting ear tags into cattle. Everybody involved
in a supply chain process needs to have a smooth
experience when it comes to how; what they do, becomes captured
as data and digitalised. Ben: Yeah. I think
we’re in an exciting time. We’ve just seen some
of the biggest players in the industry and the shipping industry
it’s taking blockchain seriously now. You’ve got
the Maersk and IBM partnership which they’ve announced
probably 12 months ago. And a lot of other shipping
lines and freight companies and port service providers and other trucking companies
along the supply chain, they know this is serious and everyone needs
to get together to make it work. Warwick: Absolutely. Absolutely, Ben. Look, one of the things
we’re really focused on in terms of what we’re doing
at BeefLedger is to ensure that the architecture
that we develop, and the methodologies around
our blockchain structures if you will, as general-purpose as possible. So, that different blockchains
can interact with each other in a seamless
or frictionless way. There’s no point having siloed universes
where you’ve got one group of people maintaining a ledger on one blockchain
environment that can’t interact with people who are transacting
in other blockchain environments. So, data that may be stored in an
environment that has been built on, say,… …the hyper ledger fabric that needs ultimately to be something
that is accessible from, say, a smart contract that has been
developed in the ethereum environment. They’re the sorts of fourth frontiers,
if you will, for us. As we start thinking
about becoming generalisable and useful across many
industries without being… …too prissy,
if you will, about which particular technology
we favour. It is about being general purpose and it is ultimately about being
blockchain protocol agnostic. Ben: Yeah, it’s exciting times. I can’t wait to see
what develops in the next 12 months, 24 months and five years time. I think it’s really going to change
this whole industry. We’ll be part of that. You can pull any blockchain
in the near future. I hope that all of these parties work
together, the quicker the better. Yeah.
That sounds it’s exciting times. Warwick: Absolutely.
Ben: Yeah. Appreciate your time, Warwick. Thanks very much for taking the time
to chat about blockchain. Warwick: It’s my pleasure
and great working with IncoDocs. Ben: Thanks, Warwick. Cheers.
Warwick: Cheers.

One thought on “How Blockchain will change Import Export and Global Trade”

  1. I did Master's in logistics and supply chain management from sydney business school, university of sydney. I am mechanical engineer too. I work with freight forwarders and custom house agent. I may work for some shipping line in the near futute.I myself is planning to be an exporter
    For me learning blockchain technology is of uttermost importance. I need your help. I want to learn block chain technology. My email id is [email protected]

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