Blockchain is no longer a buzzword tossed around by mainstream institutions as meaningful and fully operational pilots and programs come to the fore at Blockchain Expo Europe 2022 in Amsterdam.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of mainstream companies from various industries started exploring ways in which blockchain technology could be used to improve processes and products.
After two years of social distancing and working from home, the time has come to reap the rewards of the sewn seed, as evidenced by some intriguing updates from major companies adopting blockchain technology.
The worlds of business consulting, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and the energy sector are all delivering working, blockchain-based solutions that seem to have proven the wide range of benefits promised by the burgeoning technology.
Cointelegraph was on hand for the event and was able to connect with a number of speakers who showcased how their companies are using the technology to drive innovation.
EY, the global business consulting firm, has been hard at work building blockchain capabilities for businesses over the past three years. Federico De Poli, who leads global development of EY OpsChain functionality, explained how the company spent over $100 million over the past three years to build a fully working product solution.
Driving corporate adoption has been key to helping customers navigate a new environment, developing privacy tools focused on security, and helping companies run business processes on the Ethereum blockchain.
As explained by De Poli, the company’s proprietary EY Opschain and EY Blockchain Analyzer are two main tools that use blockchain technology.
“Opschain products are our business product suite. We have traceability which is our most used tool used by several customers in different industries in production. We have a contract manager that is being used in a first try – it’s a tool that helps us set up digital contracts between the parties.”
EY’s Public Finance Manager also enables governments to track the spending of funds, proving the broad applicability of blockchain solutions.
Healthcare and pharmaceutical companies also visited the RAI Amsterdam convention center. Alex Popa, associate director of Blockchain for Pharma Supply Excellence, MSD (Merck), outlined a pilot project aimed at addressing issues with multi-faceted healthcare networks.
Plagued by expensive, inefficient, and vulnerable systems, blockchain technology offers practical solutions to these problems. MSD piloted a vexing industry problem, counterfeit medicines, using Hyperledger Fabric, allowing patients in Hong Kong to verify the authenticity of medicines based on their source.
Jessica Lee, Blockchain Lead at Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Commercial North America, also presented a piloted use case for a values-based healthcare system to share data privately, securely, and transparently using blockchain technology.
Sabine Brink, Blockchain Lead at Shell, gave a compelling presentation focusing on digital innovations in the energy sector. A key finding was the increasing use of blockchain technology to promote energy transparency.
The company is involved in several blockchain-based projects deployed on public blockchains to counteract the energy sector’s long-standing tendency to work in silos. A key highlight was Shell’s work in support of Avelia, a sustainable, blockchain-powered aviation fuel tracing system that aims to decarbonize air travel.
Noting that 90 percent of airline emissions are due to business travel, Avelia acts as a sustainability service product for corporate fliers and airlines to book and claim sustainable aviation fuel.
“Energy is distributed and decentralized, and it’s hard to imagine it being centrally orchestrated. There is no other way to do this on a global scale and blockchain plays a big part.”
Discussions with conference attendees and speakers highlighted the apparent advances being made in developing working blockchain solutions across industries. Technology has fueled innovation across industries, and mainstream companies are doing their part to drive new use cases and solutions for blockchain-based systems.