Inbound Logistics | January 2024

“Generative AI and Microsoft Copilot have opened the door for us to reimagine how workers and employees engage with their everyday tools and workflows.” —Georg Glantschnig, Vice President, Dynamics 365, Microsoft

provides a universal interoperability standard that securely connects data and value to both legacy and blockchain systems and enables interoperability between them. “The exchange of trade data and the verication of the movement of goods along supply chains is impeded by a fragmented trade ecosystem, where isolated systems lack access to critical information and interoperability with other systems,” says Chirag Dhull, head of product and industry marketing, Chainlink Labs. Changing the Game Blockchain changes all of that. “Additionally, Chainlink Functions [an additional offering from Chainlink] can be used to fetch data from any API, trigger events, and secure trade nance operations,” Dhull says. Ultimately, Dhull says, Chainlink can increase the transparency of supply chains, reduce administrative costs, enhance materials traceability, expand trade access to emerging markets, and establish high-integrity supply chains with end-to-end verication. That combination was appealing to global telecommunications provider Vodafone, which recently announced a collaboration with Chainlink, as well as Sumitomo Corporation and InnoWave, to address longstanding challenges in the $32-trillion global trade ecosystem. “The integration of IoT and blockchains has the potential to provide new monetization opportunities for IoT devices,” says David Palmer, chief product ofcer for Vodafone’s Digital Asset Broker (DAB). “Three billion IoT devices are forecast to be transacting in the economy of things by 2030. Securing consensus and validation between DAB and Chainlink will be important to drive this growth,” he adds. As is becoming increasingly clear, the time is ripe for companies to embrace new technologies that help streamline, strengthen, and secure global supply chains. Technophobes be warned: proceed at your own risk. n

connection between the companies allows TruTrace to offer a seamless way to utilize blockchain without large investments in network infrastructure or management of cryptocurrencies. Shoppers Drug Mart, Canada’s largest retail pharmacy chain, currently uses TruTrace’s platform as its underpinning technology infrastructure for traceability and accountability associated with its medical cannabis program. “When we began the development of TruTrace, our mission was to serve as an interconnected blockchain-secured product registry and traceability solution that could bring all stakeholders together and track and manage variabilities from batch to batch and lot to lot,” says Robert Galarza, CEO of TruTrace. Early on, they encountered difculties using this technology, including onerous transaction fees and being limited to permission-based systems. VeChain’s solution helped TruTrace get back on track. The company now has “a true enterprise-grade blockchain that understands how to bring value to clients at a reasonable cost with the ability to scale at a global level,” Galarza says. Decentralizing the Chain An IoT-enabled device that can recognize when a load arrives, send an update that triggers an invoice, and facilitates payment automatically used to sound too good to be true. But today it’s available through the use of blockchain networks such as Chainlink, a decentralized blockchain oracle network built on Ethereum. The Chainlink platform provides a suite of services connecting global trade systems with one another and to real- world data in a reliable, secure, and decentralized manner. Chainlink Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP)


One company succeeding with Provenance is ZorroSign, a global provider of data security solutions built on blockchain—including a digital signature solution that allows users to sign security documents online. The company recently announced its advanced integration with Provenance. End-to-End Traceability for the Win When VeChain Technology launched in 2015, it was rare to see major business applications running on public blockchains, and the company acknowledges that the level of enthusiasm was low. However, VeChain’s leadership team endeavored to raise acceptance by differentiating the company from the many speculative crypto projects in the marketplace and saw the opportunity for enterprises to capitalize on blockchain even beyond the digital realm. One strategy was to offer end-to-end traceability. VeChain’s blockchain platform enables an ongoing view of all transactions among supply chain participants. “Blockchain technology continues to disrupt the supply chain,” says Kuan Thurow, assistant vice president, VeChain US, Inc. “Decentralization, an important trait of public blockchains, provides a trust mechanism. It makes data more robust and reliable when managing multiple competing stakeholders. “Record-keeping, compliance, and dispute management are several ways blockchain can ensure product quality throughout the supply chain,” Thurow adds. In 2022, VeChain entered into a strategic integration partnership with TruTrace Technologies, developer of a fully integrated blockchain platform for the cannabis, food, apparel, and pharmaceutical industries. The direct

174 Inbound Logistics • January 2024

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