- Enhanced transparency
- Increased speed
- Reduced transfer costs.
Blockchain pioneers have a chance to acquire a competitive edge. However, executives have many investment alternatives and maturity of some blockchain based solutions is low. Therefore, executives need to make smart decisions to invest in an optimal manner in blockchain based solutions.
In this article, we present 7 blockchain case studies. Real-world examples can help executives identify solution areas that are mature enough for investment.
Figure 1: Blockchain market size in billion US dollars
1. Blockchain ease supplier master data management: Trust Your Supplier
Trust Your Supplier saw an opportunity to reduce costs and effort when it came to finding and onboarding a reputable supplier. Supply chain interruptions and quality expectations to comply with regulations or stakeholders’ environmental and social concerns, are two important risk aspects that firms must deal with. Finding a suitable supplier is a time-consuming and expensive process for businesses because verifying and obtaining data from providers is difficult since companies do not want to share their data openly.
Trust Your Supplier collaborated with IBM to create an open source blockchain platform that allows businesses to securely and effectively share data with permissioned partners. Platform allows businesses to have their data confirmed by third-party verifiers such as:
Once your company’s data is confirmed, a blockchain-based corporate digital passport is created, allowing:
- Enhanced compliance.
- Enhanced risk management.
- Reduced onboarding duration of suppliers.
- Reduce supplier onboarding duration more than 70%.
- Lessen the cost for data verification to work with a suitable supplier 50%.
- Improve compliance by almost instantaneously checking international quality certificates of other parties like GRI, ISO, SASB etc.
2. Blockchain eases trade finance: Marco Polo Network
For both exporters and importers, international trading can be risky. When an importer pays in advance for goods, the exporter may collect the cash without sending the goods. However, if the exporter agrees to receive payment after delivery, the importer may refuse to pay after receiving the products. To overcome this problem, traders collaborate with third parties such as banks that employ instruments like letters of credit, which guarantee payment once goods are delivered to the importer.
Marco Polo Network utilizes blockchain technology to provide a platform for exporters and importers to transparently share delivery data by integrating with supply chain ERP systems and creating an irrevocable contract for parties that guarantees the exchange of money and goods under specified conditions (e.g. money transferred when goods receives the importer).
Initiative potentially eliminates the need for third party existence that solves “trust issue”. However, third parties also involve and benefit while they are using Marco Polo Network’ solution since the platform increases transparency.
- Enhances working capital cycle for both buyer and seller.
- Automates transaction settlement process.
- Reduced complexity by digitizing documents.
3. Blockchain improves compliance: Renault
The automotive sector is highly regulated. Renault, for example, deals with 6,000 regulatory and quality characteristics relating to:
- Safety regulations
- Geometric features
- Material quality
- Environmental concerns
A vehicle must meet certain internal and external compliance criteria in order to be offered on the market. A change in regulations needs to be communicated downstream to suppliers and suppliers of suppliers to ensure that they all build according to the new specifications. Therefore, Renault needed a platform throughout the ecosystem in a transparent manner to ensure compliance.
Renault and IBM collaborated to create the automotive industry’s first extended compliance end-to-end distributed blockchain platform for the traceability of components internal and external regulatory compliance.
- Reduces expense of non-compliance by half.
- The initiative reduces the cost of managing non-quality/non-compliance by 10%.
- Renault wants to invest more in blockchain technology for the visibility of product carbon footprints and recycling operations as a result of the initiative’s success, aligning with the company’s ESG and circular economy ambitions.
4. Blockchain authenticates infant products quality: Nestle
After 300,000 newborns were sickened with melamine from powdered milk products in 2008, Chinese parents‘ trust in infant nourishment products was damaged. Nestle was looking for ways to reassure Chinese parents about the quality of their newborn nourishment product NAN A2 to penetrate the market effectively.
Nestle teamed up with Techrock, a Chinese technology firm, to create a public blockchain platform that integrates with a mobile app. As a result, parents can verify the NAN A2’s following characteristics using their phone:
- Place the ingredients sourced from
- Origin of production
- Packaging details including the photos.
- Due to the transparency provided by blockchain, Nestle held the largest market share in China’s infant nourishment sector.
5. Blockchain ensures instant claims processing: Etherisc
Etherisc is an insurtech startup that was looking for ways to speed up the claims processing. Traditional claims processing comprises five processes, as shown in Figure 2. Though the time it takes to settle a claim varies by insurance company and type, it usually takes weeks. However, according to EY, nearly 90% of insureds choose an insurer based on the quality and speed of claims processing.
Figure 2: Steps of Claims Processing
Etherisc employed third-party data providers to determine if the payment arrangement’s terms were met or not (see Figure 3). Therefore, after alerting the insurance provider, Etherisc evaluates the initial claim investigation and policy check processes in real time, increasing its claims processing efficiency.
Figure 3: Claims processing with blockchain
- Reduces the time needed for claims settlement.
- Automatically investigates probable fraud using data from third parties (IoT devices or reputable databases).
6. Blockchain optimizes the power grid: Tennet
TenneT, situated in the Netherlands and Germany, is an energy transmission operator. Because energy demand and supply are not always in balance, electricity distribution is difficult. Energy productivity of sustainable energy supplies varies instantly depending on the state of the weather. Wind turbine electricity generation, for example, differs depending on the wind conditions of the day. Similarly electricity demand varies within the day. Thus, optimizing electricity distribution becomes a challenging issue.
To optimize the power grid Tennet cooperated with IBM and Sonnen. IBM deployed blockchain Sonnen, producer of home energy storage systems provides an opportunity for interaction with minor energy producers and consumers.
Energy storage systems linked to the TenneT’s power grid database via blockchain. Thanks to blockchain’s distributed ledger, inaccuracies in the demand and supply of electricity are transparently shared with a variety of stakeholders. Initiative enables the connected energy storage units to collect or release additional electricity as needed in a couple of moments, reducing grid transmission inefficiencies.
- Elevated curtailment and re-routing operations became unnecessary so the initiative saves millions of dollars.
- A significant step toward the transformation towards renewable energy sources has been taken. Because initiative provides a way of management for the significant supply volatility of renewable energy sources.
- Support local energy producers like home owners or farmers who deploy solar plants or wind turbines and lower their electricity expenses as well carbon footprint’s.
7. Blockchain assists the tracking of intellectual property (IP): IPwe
Many businesses do not have the opportunity to present the true value of their assets to potential investors so some companies are undervalued. IPwe intended to transform the inefficient old IP system, in which patent holders, lawyers, corporations, intermediaries, and global patent offices lack communication for a variety of reasons, including the inability to transfer information from one source to another transparently.
IPwe teamed up with IBM to create a blockchain that allows IP to be tokenized and stored in the cloud. As a result, traders have easy access to IP and can invest in it based on clear data. IPwe also provides a place for businesses to fairly advertise their intellectual property.
- IPwe’s blockchain database has 80% of global patents.
If you have further questions regarding blockchain you can contact us:
This article was drafted by former AIMultiple industry analyst Görkem Gençer.
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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