Blockchain, which emerged from financial services and cryptocurrencies, continues to evolve at breakneck pace, penetrating segments such as manufacturing, health, commerce, transport, the supply chain, agriculture and professional services, among many others, to improve the efficiency and transparency of processes, saving costs and cutting out intermediaries. Precisely to learn about real experiences, implementation of protocols, the current state of development and convergence with other technologies, IoT Solutions World Congress (IoTSWC) will devote a core theme of its congress programme to blockchain with a forum made up of 25 specific sessions in which more than 40 experts from around the world will participate as speakers.
This forum, called Blockchain Solutions World (BSW), will take place from 29 to 31 October at the Gran Via venue and is organised by Fira Barcelona in collaboration with the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC).
“Our objective is to offer a space where companies that are considering implementing blockchain in their processes can learn from the best from proven experiences, in addition to learning how this technology is evolving in conjunction with the IoT and artificial intelligence, as well as the most appropriate solutions for each case to promote the digitalisation of all types of businesses,” explains the director of IoTSWC, Roger Bou. In this regard, experts agree that blockchain has left the test phase behind to become a technology that will exponentially increase its presence in production environments in the short term.
In fact, the consulting firm IDC forecasts a notable growth in investment in blockchain for the next five years. Spending on this technology will rise from $2.7 billion by 2019 ($800 million of this in Europe) to nearly $15.9 billion by 2023 as large enterprises, SMEs and start-ups will need secure and reliable solutions to manage a larger volume of data, financial transactions, and assets of all kinds.
To highlight this trend, the Blockchain Solutions World (BSW) will address issues such as the use of blockchain to reduce digital threats, to authenticate and verify people’s identities, intellectual property management, for data control, signing of smart contracts and electronic transactions of all kinds. Specific sessions will also be held on the impact of this technology on the generation, distribution and consumption of energy; on food security; on the new relationship that can be established between farmers and consumers; on global trade; on health care; on mobility as a service, on the monetisation of consumer data and even on offsetting CO2 emissions.
Experiences based on blockchain
The Blockchain Solutions World (BSW) will also be the stage where the experiences of around twenty companies that have incorporated this technology into their processes will be presented. This is the case of Carrefour, the first distribution chain that uses blockchain in food traceability, generating information accessible to the consumer at any time or the Spanish railway operator Renfe, which has jumped on the blockchain bandwagon to offer mobility services to its users in a single application.
Pharmeum will also be presented; this is the first solution based on blockchain and artificial intelligence that gives any healthcare entity access to a patient’s history through a mobile phone. Another featured project will be Openvino, which makes the Argentine wine cellar Costaflores the first open-source winery in the world that can share all the information about its wines (from grape cultivation data and vinification, to accounting and sales logistics) and allowing the market to set the price of wine using cryptocurrencies. ClimateTrade, a blockchain platform to offset CO2 emissions and help businesses and individuals reduce their carbon footprint and invest in green financial products, will also be unveiled.
Blockchain in the food sector will have special prominence not only as a tool of traceability from the producer to the consumer that guarantees food security, but also to empower small farmers around the world. The cases of Agtools, a U.S. company providing real-time data services for farmers and companies; TraceMyDrink.io, an interface for consumers to know the origin of their beverages; and the Anheuser-Busch InBev brewery, which enables farmers who supply their raw materials to have full mobile access to their accounting information (sales price, volume, payment notice, credit, etc.), will be discussed.
Other examples among the many that will be discussed will be the Legal Aid Ontario corporation, which is responsible for administering the legal assistance programme in that Canadian province. It will present its case of digitalisation and use of blockchain solutions. Maersk will showcase specific achievements of the use of blockchain in the shipping industry and the cost savings it brings through the global trade platform TradeLens.