3 Key Takeaways from the TPM 2019 Blockchain Panel
March 18, 2019
Pictured left to right: Rob Bailey (co-founder and CEO, MState), Andrew McLoone (director, operations, BDP International), Michael White (CEO, Maersk GTD), Lionel Louie (chief commercial officer, CargoSmart), and Peter Tirschwell (executive director content, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit). Photo Credit: CaughtintheMoment.com
On March 4, CargoSmart participated in the panel, "Building Blockchain, One Link at a Time," at the JOC TPM 2019 Conference in Long Beach. CargoSmart was joined by BDP International, Maersk GTD, and MState. Peter Tirschwell of JOC moderated the panel and sought to find out from the panelists the momentum of blockchain going into 2019 and its importance.
During the hour-long lively discussion with the perspectives of a venture capital firm, a freight forwarder, and two solution providers, the excitement in the room around blockchain was high and the panelists demonstrated how the value it can provide continues to grow.
Here are highlights from the panel discussion:
1) Blockchain projects are moving out of the POC stage
Rob Bailey from MState acknowledged that blockchain has the potential to disrupt and transform a lot of industries. Supply chain is one of the top use cases and gaining traction. Companies are currently in the proof of concept (POC) stage for supply chain. Lionel Louie of CargoSmart added that 2018 was the year of the blockchain POC for supply chains and that in 2019, companies are moving to the stage of proving value with a controlled number of customers. After having proved the technology, now companies are proving the value with small scale pilots with specific use cases, collaborating with stakeholders in the supply chain to transmit real time information.
2) Documentation is a key area where blockchain applications can provide value
Andrew McLoone of BDP International shared that blockchain is an innovation enabler that helps them on our journey for digitization. He believes that blockchain could be a key tool for digitizing documents and providing benefits. In addition, Lionel noted that permissioned blockchain helps to ensure the right people and the right transactions are being exchanged and collaborated on. It provides proof and immutable records to help you trace information to help you resolve issues when something happens. Innovations that use digitized trusted information and provide transparency in the infrastructure are creating value.
3) Interoperability is key for having blockchain networks connect to each other
The panelists discussed the different approaches to standards including consortium models, non-profit organizations, and open source APIs. Lionel added that interoperability is critical for blockchain networks, especially for trade finance and insurance. The networks will need to work seamlessly to cross pollinate trusted information. Rob noted that it is the early days for blockchain with a lot of players competing on different standards. He expects that within five years, a couple of standards and protocols will win based on technical quality. He also sees a big opportunity for cross-protocol data integration.
To conclude, the panel was in agreement about the industry's forward momentum in blockchain in 2019, from standards development to innovative solutions.
Find more information on "Building Blockchain, One Link at a Time" panel in JOC’s article.