Ramblings on blockchain

Some thoughts on what could be done with blockchain

  • Supply Chain/Inventory Validation
    • Blockchain opens up the possibility of building a “trusted supply chain” that is not just dependent on partners reporting in a reactive manner.  Through the use of blockchain it is now possible to validate the who, what, when, where, and how many in a way that cannot be forged.  Consider the idea of recording entry/exit of a “group of items” along with their unique identifiers in a blockchain ledger.  The idea being that now here is an immutable record that traces things down to the item level that can be validated at any time along the way without relying on specific partners data systems.  This could have a huge image on fraud, product loss, “accidental redirection” of inventory, etc.
  • Embedded Software Validation
    • Consider the recent IOT attach on DynDns that took out DNS on the east coast for a few hours.  This could have been prevented if there was a way for embedded systems to not only validate that individual components (dlls, code, etc) are valid but also that the integrity of the entire system state is in a valid state (not compromised).  This could be done by setting up a blockchain that stores enough information for an embedded system to validate that all components are a state that the provide considers “valid” and “update to date”.
  • Intellectual Collaboration
    • Today more and more companies are working together to bring new products to market and are seeing a lot of value from these partnerships.  The hard part is keeping track of who contributed what and who had the first real substantive idea that lead to a product/solution.  Blockchain could be used to setup an “ideation and collaboration” ledger system that would in turn establish a “trusted system of record” for the entities involved in the collaboration.
      Note: This could just as easily be used internally.
  • Licensing/Royalties
    • Blockchain opens up the potential for a self-enforcing contract that can be validated real-time in an automated way.  Consider the music industry (or any industry that licensing something for that matter).  Today these contracts are managed by intermediaries, manually maintained, and “audited” for compliance and payment.  With blockchain you have the ability to not only record a “purchase”, you can also record the “terms” associated with the purchase.  This is then something that can be validated at any point in time allowing systems to be designed to easily and cost effectively report usage (and potentially track incorrect usage through thumbprints).

At the end of the day most of these ideas come down to the idea of leveraging blockchain for managing “contracts” in a way that can be automated and validated in real-time and in a standard and cost effective manner.