The World Economic Forum sees blockchain as a means of restarting the global economy

The World Economic Forum publishes a report examining how the implementation of blockchain-based solutions can cope with the inefficiencies and failures in the supply chain that have been uncovered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In parallel to the report, WEF has launched a blockchain deployment toolkit designed to help government and business adapt their supply chains to the current economic climate and “accelerate the economic rebound after COVID-19”.

World Economic Forums advocates for DLT to restart the economy

The report, published on April 28, claims that the sustainability of private and public supply chains has been tested against the backdrop of the coronavirus epidemic – citing the supply chains of pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and foods among the sectors that are most affected.

The report states that supply chain efficiency relies on transparency, advocating the adoption of Distributed Book Technology (DLT) in order to create “shared truth” among supply chain stakeholders.

The World Economic Forum is a non-governmental organization based in Switzerland, founded in 1971 to engage leaders in business, academia and policy on key economic issues related to the development of the global economy.

WEF launches blockchain toolkit

To help businesses and government leaders implement blockchain-based supply chain solutions, WEF also launches its Transformation Trust: A Blockchain Implementation Toolkit – which aims to enable “leaders to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks “associated with DLT.

The toolkit has been developed for over a year and involves more than 100 public and private organizations covering 50 countries – including Deloitte, Maersk, the World Bank and the World Food Program.

“The blockchain deployment toolkit is essential for designing solutions that work for multiple actors, including smaller players, who may not have access to the resources needed to unlock the value of blockchain technology,” says Nadia Hewett, Head of the blockchain and digital currency project at WEF USA.

The DLT toolkit has been tested in a variety of contexts, including Saudi Aramco, Hitachi and numerous small and medium enterprises.

Adoption of DLT solutions for supply chains is increasing

In recent months, an increasing number of large companies and institutions are leading ambitious blockchain deployment programs in their supply chains.

“We are seeing accelerated digitalization in the Singapore port, which has improved the productivity and efficiency of the sector,” said Qua Lei Hoon, CEO of Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority.

“Blockchain has huge potential relevance in areas such as bill of lading, cargo tracking and commercial financing,” she added.

The UAE is also nearing the deadline for completing its 2021 blockchain strategy, an ambitious program to migrate 50% of government transactions to DLT-based platforms.

Consumer demand also drives the adoption of DLT for the supply chain

Rupert Colchester, head of IBM Australia and New Zealand blockchain initiatives, noted that many businesses are deploying DLT solutions in their supply chains in response to increased consumer demand for transparency.

Colchester states that “consumers require a whole new level of transparency”, adding that “they reward the supply chain when transparency and sustainability are in place.”

Earlier this month, it was reported that ethically raised egg producers, Farmers Hen House, had begun printing QR codes on their cartons to allow consumers to track the origin of their produce.

The H&M fashion brand also seems to be embracing blockchain tracking for its premium subsidiary Cos.