Podcast – How Blockchain will change Global Trade and Logistics

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The Import Export Podcast

Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize Global Trade and the import export process. Warwick from BeefLedger explains what blockchain technology is, how it works and how blockchain solutions are being applied to real world import export shipments. Blockchain technology provides value for all parties along the supply chain, from shippers, freight forwarders, ports, customs, shipping lines and importers all over the world. Implementing blockchain throughout the supply chain will eliminate manual data re-entry, eliminate human error and increase security. It also provides the base for smart contracts to initiate events such as International payments when certain conditions are met.

Topics Covered:

  • What Blockchain technology actually is?
  • How does Blockchain technology work?
  • How will Blockchain actually increase efficiencies in the logistics supply chain?
  • How will Blockchain increase security in the supply chain?
  • How does Blockchain technology enable smart contracts and payments with Crypto-Currencies?
  • How will Blockchain change the Letter of Credit process
  • How can banks and other parties implement the Blockchain / Smart Contracts / Crypto-Currencies?

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Read full Transcript here:

Ben:                     00:00:05:14
Hi, everybody, it’s Ben Thompson here from incodocs.com and welcome to the Import Export Podcast. Today, we’re talking about blockchain technology. More importantly how blockchain technology will actually affect the import-export process and make things better. We’ve all heard of blockchain. It’s a relatively new technology. There’s a lot of hype surrounding it today, but we want to discuss how it will actually be applied to the import-export process. Today, we’re joined by Warwick Powell from BeefLedger. Warwick, welcome to the show.

Warwick:            00:00:38:03
Good day, Ben, how are you?

Ben:                     00:00:39:17
Good. Thanks, mate. So, today, Warwick, I want to break down blockchain into some easy-to-understand parts. I want to explain it in some quite simple terms. I mean it can be quite a technical process but explain to our listeners what blockchain is and how it will actually provide real-world solutions to import-export shipments all around the world?

Warwick:            00:01:04:10

Ben:                     00:01:04:10
It’s quite a big technology, you know. Some people say, that it can be quite the biggest revolutionary change since the shipping container in the 1960s. So, yeah. So, before we get started why don’t you give us a bit of a background on the experience you’ve had in this industry.

Warwick:            00:01:24:02
Look, in terms of trade itself, I guess I’ve been involved, Ben, in trading mainly between Australia and China on and off for 25-odd years. In fact, my first experience of trading started with family connections who lived in a port city called Zhuhai, which is on the other side of the border from Macau in mainland China. I work with them on – I’m bringing out of China, this would be back in the late 1980s early 1990s, a whole range of things like swimwear and those sorts of artistic knickknacks. So, going all the way back then, I’ve been involved in one way or another trade. In the last 10-15 years or so, trades focus a lot more on exporting Australian products, mainly in the food and consumable space: food, wine. And those sorts of things that have really taken off in China. But on the other side of the fence, also, I’ve been involved in bringing things like LED lights into Australia and into other parts of Southeast Asia. So, and natural resources of course, which was partly my background. I started working in the mining and energy industry 25 years or so ago. So, I continue to maintain some of those links. So, I contracting around natural resources and I’ve been bringing in electronics and that sort of stuff. So, fairly diverse base of experience. Got to see how many different kinds of industries, dealing with different kinds of things had to facilitate the processes.

Ben:                     00:03:05:28
Yeah, absolutely. It sounds good. It’s always good to have a chat with someone who’s been through the process before. So, more recently, I understand you’ve been working in blockchain, but before we get into that, I mean, can you explain on a basic level to our listeners– what chain technology actually is?

Warwick:            00:03:23:21
The blockchain technology, in the first instance, is a decentralised ledger. In essence, business for 500 or so years and possibly even earlier than that, maintain records in a ledger and that was to enable it to keep track of things. The way in which computers have over the last 30 or 40 years enabled that to happen in businesses is that business ledgers and records have been maintained initially on central servers inside businesses themselves. So, you remember the days when information was stored on individual hard drives and then eventually businesses implemented their own server farms so that they would have their own servers. So, they’d be stored on servers. And now, of course, a lot of data is stored, not in servers inside individual companies, but are stored on the Cloud. Nonetheless, that basic data storage mechanism and retrieval mechanism is a very hub and spokes kind of model. So, you put all your information into a central point. There might be one or two backpacks of it, but usually, the numbers of computers involved are quite limited. Where decentralisation comes in is that it brings to the mix the idea of having a vast network of computers involved in the storage of information and involved in the provision of that information to the users of it. So, instead of there being a single place where data is now stored, the data is stored simultaneously across many, many, many devices. So, that’s the guts of the decentralisation part of blockchain, Ben. Of course, to make that happen involves a whole bunch of smarts in cryptography, as well as what we would call consensus protocols. Which in layman’s terms is: “How do you get hundreds and possibly thousands of independent computers actually agreeing that a particular record is the true record of a certain set of events.” So, they’re the challenges and they’re the issues involved in how you make blockchains actually work as a very, very secure decentralised storage of data.

Ben:                     00:05:42:26
Yeah. Okay. Great. And I think there are so many applications for blockchain within the industry. From what you’ve just explained, it provides a decentralised ledger for the storage of information. But, it also provides a lot of other increased efficiencies throughout the supply chain.

Warwick:            00:06:02:12
Yeah. Look, it’s important, Ben, I guess for your listeners to sort of cut away some of the hype if you will and focus on some of the core attributes.

Ben:                     00:06:12:12

Warwick:            00:06:12:12
And I think that the simple question to ask is: “What are block chains good at?” Blockchains are good at a number of things. So, firstly, they’re good at what we would call “maintaining the validity of an application state.” Now, that’s a bit technical in the wording, but, what that essentially means is that; whatever the information is to describe a certain state of affairs has actually been secured through a process and that process is known to the participants. That second feature and related to that is the idea that that process or that set of rules by which that information got to be on the ledger in the first place is transparent. So, the people who are using that ledger, also have confidence that the rules by which that information got there are being adhered to and that they know what they are. Once the data is put into the blockchain, the blockchain essentially constructs a field of data through time. So, a whole bunch of transactions are bundled together. They’re then put into a block, surprise, surprise, that then gets installed across all the many different devices that are involved in the network. Then the next set of transactions are put together and that creates the next block and that second block is connected to the first block. So there’s a process by which the data is built through time. Once it’s been built and validated, it means it’s impossible to actually unwind that. So, time only works one way in terms of the blockchain, which makes that information very, very difficult, I guess, to amend. Now, that’s a very, very useful attribute. The third thing is that it– or the fourth point actually is that, the blockchain itself is what we would call “censorship-resistant.” What that really means is that, it’s actually very, very difficult in a public blockchain for individual participants to either block other participants from putting information into the ledger, or to create false information on the basis that they can sneak information into the ledger without anyone else knowing that they’re trying to sneak information in. So, they’re the sort of key attributes of a blockchain decentralised ledger environment. From a technical point of view, it delivers to further attributes. One is, of course, is I think you’ve mentioned a high level of security. In that centralised servers, of course, are vulnerable to attacks because everything’s in one place. So, if you know that everything’s in one place, it becomes a little focal point for attacks, and so you need to build very, very costly defences against those attacks. The second technical attribute is that the network is described as fault tolerant. In other words, if one computer goes down, it doesn’t stop the network from functioning. In fact, you can have many, many computers go down across a diverse network, but the data continues to be maintained and updated and when those broken down computers come back online, they will literally pick up the threads from where they left off and refill the rest of the ledger. So, very, very fault tolerant. When you’re dealing across borders where computer networks are exposed to different operating conditions, where they may be vulnerable, the idea of a decentralised ledger delivering this level of fault tolerance and security can be very, very important to long-term business sustainability.

Ben:                     00:09:49:24
Yeah. Absolutely. Security is going to be a lot better than it’s ever been before throughout the industry. So that’s a great point. When you talk about data, I just want to give listeners an insight into what that data actually is and what it means along the process. So, for example, I mean, global trade, it’s important for people to understand that it’s essentially two parts of the process. You’ve got the physical goods, the physical containers, and the ships and ports, that are moving goods around the world. And then you’ve got what you talk about is the data. And that data being starts from the shipper, you know. The starts with the shipping documentation that they create, where they pass on to the ports and freight companies, etc. That process currently is driven by manual paper documents, right? And everybody along that supply chain is, again, manually re-entering data into their backend systems. You know, that’s obviously very time-consuming. Opens up the element of human error, of multiple people retyping information, but also doesn’t give any – what surprises me is that the industry lacks the verification of that data. These shipping documents are driving real-world shipments of clearing goods through customs, based on what’s been sent to somebody via email on a piece of paper, but, how does anybody actually know that that hasn’t, that somebody’s email hasn’t been hacked and hasn’t been forged or edited or manipulated? We just don’t know. And this blockchain process is essentially going to give us all of that security, am I right?

Warwick:            00:11:34:15
Look, it’ll certainly improve on existing processes in a number of ways, Ben. As you mentioned, the processes by which information is currently collected, recorded and transmitted is very paper-centric, which involves a lot of human interaction. We know that there is a significant risk in that process for error in that data by virtue of human error. Now, that doesn’t have to be even malicious, it can simply be that someone just made an honest mistake. You only need to make an honest mistake once and for that little piece of information to be erroneously transferred from one piece of paper to the next will actually see that entire paper trail if you want built around a piece of incorrect information. Now, that could be quite important at the end of the day because that little bit of information that was erroneously recorded early on in the process, could cause something to not get through a gateway of some sort. Which could cause significant losses, it could cause a perishable to sit on a dock for a long time or whatever it happens to be. So, the digitalisation itself of those processes can be very, very, very useful. Now, digitalisation is, of course, something that is already happening in the industry and I know that IncoDocs is one of the leaders in that space. But, once we digitise that information and we bring that into a digital domain, the issue is how do we ensure that it is highly secure and that it is accessible right through the whole supply chain in that secure format. Now, the blockchain can provide a technical solution to that, so that the information that is brought in through a digitisation process, once validated as accurate, actually sits there available as a resource to everybody in that blockchain to then refer back to. Your listeners may have heard people talk a lot about things like; smart contracts and that sort of stuff. In essence, that information could be stored in a smart contract available to downstream users. It could be permission-based, it could be totally open, it really depends on the rules that you want to write to govern that access. That enables all the key players in a process to refer back to what is essentially the single source of authority in that supply chain. So, it could be the source of authority about the thing or where it came from or how much it weighed or whatever its attributes are. I think it’s probably useful just from your listeners’ point of view to just to backtrack a little bit and open up that little black box that you talked about before between the two parts to global trade. He described the things and that move and the data about those things. That’s how we tend to think of it as well, is that there are things and the data about those things. And ultimately, payments are made not actually against the things themselves. Payments is actually a movement of data the other way and that happens when the information about the things matches up to what they’re meant to be. That there is “X” amount of something arrived at a certain time from a certain process, from a certain exporter shipper,– cut the seller, whatever it happens to be on a particular boat, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. When you line all of that information up, then it triggers actually another movement of information, which is the movement of information from one account to another account. So, for us, the blockchain really creates a range of mechanisms to streamline and automate the transactional dimension as well. So, not only is it a secure data repository, it’s also the technology that allows us to take that security and drive efficiencies in transaction processes and payments processes.

Ben:                     00:15:44:18
Absolutely. That’s automated payment options has never been an option before in the industry. I’m excited about it. I think blockchain along with the ability to have smart contracts and make near-instant payments with cryptocurrencies or whatever, is really going to change the way people trade because why would people want to go transfer their money at a bank which might take three to four to five days to clear at most often quite a bad exchange rate when an instant payment with very low fees is just such a better solution for global trade. How do you see it actually changing the payment process of it? Is it going to take a long time? Is it going to take five years or what’s going to change in your thoughts?

Warwick:            00:16:35:13
Look, it does open the potential for a very, very rapid and low-cost cross-border transactions, as well as intra-jurisdictional transaction between parties. One of the challenges that the industry, in terms of the blockchain industry, I think, faces in terms of its implementation into real-world environments, is going to be that interface between the cryptocurrency if you will and the existing regime of fiat currency. Fiat currency, being a national currency, is whether they’re US dollars, Australian dollars, Chinese renminbi or whatever it happens to be. Ultimately, business is involved and embedded in national supply chain and international ones for that matter do need to ultimately settle a lot of their accounts in conventional currencies. So, one of the challenges is to achieve some stability around how a cryptocurrency relates to a fiat currency, on a dollar-for-dollar basis if you will. The other one is to deliver the streamlining of the transactions process with the support of existing banking institutions. So, a conventional letter of credit, for example, in very, very simple terms is essentially a promise being made firstly between, say, a buyer and the buyer’s bank, and then between the buyer’s bank and the seller’s bank, and then ultimately between the seller’s bank and the seller. Now, there’s a whole lot of trust and friction points in those processes.

Ben:                     00:18:10:10
And nobody likes doing LCs, by the way.

Warwick:            00:18:14:23
Well, it’s a very, very old-fashioned way of writing promises basically. It does depend upon two banks trusting each other. And we know after the GFC, there were a lot of issues around intra-bank trust. So, even though a buyer’s bank may be trusting of the buyer in terms of their ability to meet their credit obligations. The seller’s bank might have had a very, very different attitude and so was reluctant to become the counterparty or to essentially complete… …the funds transfer if you will given rise to buy an LC arrangement. So, a blockchain enables a number of things in that regard. One, is that it can create a very transparent repository of funds. So, it is possible to create on a public blockchain a permission-based environment, so that you could actually see that funds are available and that they’ve been escrowed and put aside subject to condition. So, you know that the resources are there in the first place. The second thing, it can then do is streamline the costs and the time involved in the transfer of those, so long as you perform the conditions of the agreement. So, provided that you perform those agreements and you meet the obligations of your contract of service, you’ve delivered “X” things at the right time, under the right conditions, then those funds can be released. Now, those funds are released in a crypto sense. Once they get released in the crypto sense, you still need to convert them into a conventional currency if that’s what you need to do. So, having the support of the mainstream banking institutions can be a really important part of a transitional process whereby, supply chain participants can make use of the benefits of streamlining and transparency, whilst at the same time maintaining that connection to the conventional world of fiat currencies.

Ben:                     00:20:18:28
Yeah. I guess, and that’s a fine line, I guess, when it comes to banks becoming involved, I mean they’re traditionally holding the ledger. They have their own ledger where this is blockchain, this in cryptocurrencies is a distributed ledger. So, I mean where does that fit? Are the banks going to try and turn that into more of a traditional process like we’ve seen before and control that, or is there somewhere in between which is a good fit?

Warwick:            00:20:44:18
Look, there’s probably going to be a number of hybrids, I think, Ben. Over time that will deliver to different participants in supply chains. Different levels of comfort around what matters to them. So, from a blockchain perspective, and there are probably three broad types, I guess. One, is a public blockchain where it is permissionless in that anybody can become a node and participate in the maintenance of the ledger. Then we have a more controlled blockchain environment if you will which involves multiple parties that aren’t directly related with each other. They’re often described as “federated blockchain.” So, a federated blockchain could be one that a supply chain implements, so that everybody involved in a particular supply chain says: “Yep. Whilst we might not trust everybody else in the supply chain, we know that we have a common interest and that is, that this supply chain has got to work smoothly, efficiently in a low-cost manner so that we can all benefit from the fact that, you know, I produce something, I then sell it, someone transforms it, resells it, packages it and sells it and we all depend upon the chain working efficiently to do that.” We might say: “Instead of there being a central clearinghouse for transactions together, we’re going to create a federated blockchain that enables all of us to participate in maintaining this supply chain’s ledger.” Then you have private supply chains and that’s private blockchains I mean. That’s probably your third type which, essentially, is a decentralised ledger structure, but fully controlled by one or two organisations. So, the second model is possibly one that will find a lot of favouring many supply chains, where you don’t necessarily want to have hundreds or thousands of nodes of a computer network involved, but you are very committed to the idea of the security and those sorts of fault tolerance benefits of decentralisation. And you say, “Okay, well, we’re going to pull together an industry and that industry is going to involve– the main banks involved in it, it’ll involve the main shipping companies, suppliers of containers, the suppliers of trucking services, product manufacturers, packaging manufacturers and others. There might be 50 or 60 participants come together and go, ‘Right, we’re going to set up a supply chain blockchain.’” So, that’s something that I think is quite conceivable that can bring some of the benefits of decentralisation without necessarily totally turning our world upside down.

Ben:                     00:23:42:14
Yeah. Absolutely. There’s got to be some sort of fit there, which works well for, for different industries, I guess. I guess that brings us to what you’ve been working on at BeefLedger, which is specifically the beef supply chain. Can you run us through, you’ve explained a lot on the technology in the blockchain and how it can help. In what you’re doing right now, can you run us through as a shipper, as a buyer and seller, and a consumer for the beef…

Warwick:            00:24:14:05

Ben:                     00:24:14:05
…exporting from Australia? What are the benefits to the parties along the supply chain through what you’re doing with blockchain?

Warwick:            00:24:21:23
Look, I think the main benefits, relate to ultimately increasing the level of confidence that end consumers have in the veracity of the product itself. There is… …a large degree of concern around food fraud. Right now, in the last 24-hours even, we’ve had an explosion of concern around food fraud, particularly about the adulteration of honey. And that’s just one instance where food fraud is part of what I think KPMG identified or might’ve been PwC, as a 40-billion US-dollar problem, every year. What we’re saying is that, in emerging markets in particular where there is rapid growth in the demand for new kinds of food products. Whether they’re the proteins or honey or dairy or whatever they happen to be, or wine, luxury items, we are also seeing a growth in the incidence and the risk of food fraud. So, our first objective with BeefLedger is to provide another layer of security that will contribute towards addressing this food fraud problem. And so, our aim really is to ensure that a consumer has the ability to verify that at the very least the data thread that connects the product that they’ve got in front of them with wherever it came from is as robust and as dependable and as transparent as possible. So, we’re utilising the transparency benefits of a public blockchain to deliver what we hope will be a higher level of confidence around the veracity of the data. That, of course, raises a challenge which is what we loosely described as the “Rubbish in, Rubbish out” problem. The blockchain, being what it is, once the data goes in and it’s validated, It’s very hard to unwind. So, for us, this now focuses our attention on improving data input quality and the systems that capture the right information to put it into the blockchain. There’s no point having a really secure data storage environment if we’re sloppy when it comes to actually collecting the right kind of data. So, as we work our way through the supply chain from consumer all the way to producer, we are now working very, very closely with people involved in packaging, the internet of things, transporters, scientific laboratories, et cetera, et cetera, to create the right kinds of digital artifacts and the methods by which we validate those digital artifacts. In other words, validate that the data is true when we put it onto the blockchain itself. So, we firstly tackle that issue of confidence in the thing itself. “Is this really Australian beef?” That’s the first thing we do. The second thing we do, of course, in solving the question of: “Is this really Australian beef?” is that we, also– as we were discussing earlier, you know, trades actually… …the thing itself and data about things and when that data about things is right, then payments happen. So, once we get the data about things to be right, we can also make payments happen smoothly. The second benefit of what we’re working towards is to improve payments, both from a streamlined point of view and from a cost of cross-border transactions point of view. Now, the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle, once we start doing that is that it opens up the real possibilities of creating new economic models that will incentivise people in the supply chain to do the right thing. So, if the problem is, for example, food substitution, in other words, Australian meat being replaced with meat from some other country and being sold as Australian meat. We have to ask ourselves the question, “How do we use these technologies to increase the likelihood that the person who was substituting the meat chooses to no longer substitute the meat?” In other words, “How do we make it worth someone’s work to do the right thing instead of the wrong thing, and how do we validate, that in fact, it was that person doing the right thing?” So, a very simple example I use, Ben, is to talk about a future desired outcome. An outcome that, we all in the industry desire to happen is that a particular… …container or a box of meat arrives at a particular place at a desired time and is only opened by authorised people. Now, if we can achieve that, then we are able to do for consumers a higher level of confidence that the integrity of the product itself has been maintained. The risk in that process is that, right now, the economics drives some people in that process to say, “Actually, I’m not going to do the right thing or I’ll turn a blind eye to the wrong thing being done because there’s more to be made by letting the wrong thing happen.” We’ve got to turn that around and we want to be able to say, “If you’re the person who’s meant to be opening that box by being able to prove that it was you opening that box, we also ensure that you are rewarded to the maximum extent possible. As opposed to, trying to make more money if you will, by selling a bit of fake meat, and then selling the real deal on the black market.” So, that’s the third and final frontier for us. We call that “mechanism design,” and it really draws on a lot of work being done in that specialised discipline of economics, which derives from game theory. You probably remember that movie “A Beautiful Mind.” And that was really about game theory and how people and economic agents behave under given circumstances. We’re taking a lot of those learnings and applying that into a blockchain environment to drive the pursuit of excellence, number one. But, you do that by rewarding the achievement of excellence. So, that’s what we’re up to at the moment and I’m heading off to China, actually, very shortly as part of the Australian blockchain delegation. We’ll be talking to a lot of folk in China at a regulatory level, at a banking level and at a customs and quarantine level about how this technology can provide them with greater visibility, much more certainty that in fact, it’s a real deal coming through the ports and that consumers in China are going to get what they’re paying for. And in that process, hopefully, reward the participants in the supply chain by doing the right thing.

Ben:                     00:31:44:12
Yeah. That’s very interesting. So, in your particular case, as you mentioned, with beef supply chains, just as an overview that the consumer, they know for sure that that’s the meat that’s come from Australia, that it’s been looked after, that it hasn’t been tampered with, straightaway at the supermarket, off the shelf. So, they can simply scan a QR code and get that verified information. And what that does is essentially increases the price that the consumers will be willing to pay because they know they’re not going to buy fake meat or meat from another country.

Warwick:            00:32:22:09
Yeah. Absolutely, Ben. Look, we know that consumers in marketplaces, where there are significant concerns around fraud, do pay a premium for what they believe is the real thing. Now, that happens in all sorts of product categories whether they’re handbags, motor vehicles or foods themselves. We already know that consumers in China pay a premium for imported meat products from Australia, from the US and from Canada over what they will pay for domestically supplied products or products from other parts of the world. What that implies is that a consumer recognises a certain value in the country of origin of that product that is above and beyond the mere fact that it’s a kilo of something or another. We know from research from the Meat and Livestock Association that the country of origin is the single biggest driver of imported beef purchasing decisions by Chinese consumers. We know that the second big one is actually animal welfare. So, that deliver data and visibility and transparency around that data to consumers on just those two points alone is going to give consumers the ability to differentiate the real deal from something that may be simply pretending to be the real deal.

Ben:                     00:33:50:11
Absolutely, yeah. So, yeah. That’s obviously going to bring a lot of a lot of extra value and a lot of shippers, buyers and sellers are quite interested in blockchain and enabling that blockchain process through their supply chain. But, I guess at a users point of view, the real key to it is that it has to be very simple and as seamless as possible, I mean, and essentially, no different to what they’re currently doing, right? I mean, a blockchain is a technology that sits behind what happens with the data but in their day-to-day operations, in their creating of documents, in their transferring of data and communicating with parties. I mean, I think the real key to it is to making that look like it’s not on a blockchain, but you’re getting all of those benefits of the blockchain.

Warwick:            00:34:45:03
Look, Ben, you’re absolutely right on that. One of the challenges for anything that’s driven by technology is to make the technology incredibly human. I often use the analogy that as human beings who are interested in the time, I actually just want to know what the time is. I don’t really need to know how that clock is made. I think the same comes with this technology as well. People need to have access to the functionality and the benefits of the technology without ever really needing to know too much about the technology itself. We don’t ask how it is that a mobile phone works today and yet, we make use of a smartphone in all of our activities. And the same I think is going to need to be done at a blockchain level where the human interface must be seamless, it must be driven by enhanced user experiences. And, in a sense, it has to be done in a way that makes the transition from one world to another– if you will, imperceptible. So, whether or not the data that is being processed is being processed in a blockchain or a decentralised ledger environment versus a centralised ledger environment, really shouldn’t be something that worries a person who is involved in the supply chain process. So long as, they know what they need out of the process is being done. And what they want, of course, is to save time, they want to save money, they want to make sure that what they’re selling or what they’re buying is actually done in the least cost smoothest way possible and to be ultimately profitable so that they can do it again tomorrow. That’s what people in supply chains are looking for. They’re looking for authenticity in the product, they’re looking for security of payment and they’re looking for high levels of efficiency where we can take out of the process– drudgery if you will. The repetition that comes with traditional document formation– create automation. But, In a way that is still incredibly real. The bottom line is, is that people are tactile animals, if you will. We live in smartphone-driven environments, but we swipe, we pinch screens. So, when we complete forms, we need to be able to do it in a way where the experience doesn’t look like you’re entering into a different universe. We want to fill a form in that looks like a form. We don’t even need to know that that data that are getting stored on some smart contract on a decentralised ledger somewhere, that’s not important. What matters is that, when I perform my service to the agreed standards that, lo and behold, what I’m promised in return is actually done. I get paid for delivering X, Y and Zed to the next person down the supply chain. And that’s how we’ve got to get this industry focused. Is to get it really committed to understanding end users of systems, not just consumers but end users within supply chains. Whether they’re shippers, freight forwarders, truck drivers, merchants who are receiving deliveries each and every day. People– right back to people who are working on properties, putting ear tags into cattle. Everybody involved in a supply chain process needs to have a smooth experience when it comes to how; what they do, becomes captured as data and digitalised.

Ben:                     00:38:24:10
Yeah. I think we’re in an exciting time. We’ve just seen some of the biggest players in the industry and the shipping industry it’s taking blockchain seriously now. You’ve got the Maersk and IBM partnership which they’ve announced probably 12 months ago. And a lot of other shipping lines and freight companies and port service providers and other trucking companies along the supply chain, they know this is serious and everyone needs to get together to make it work.

Warwick:            00:38:53:04
Absolutely. Absolutely, Ben. Look, one of the things we’re really focused on in terms of what we’re doing at BeefLedger is to ensure that the architecture that we develop, and the methodologies around our blockchain structures if you will, as general-purpose as possible. So, that different blockchains can interact with each other in a seamless or frictionless way. There’s no point having siloed universes where you’ve got one group of people maintaining a ledger on one blockchain environment that can’t interact with people who are transacting in other blockchain environments. So, data that may be stored in an environment that has been built on, say,… …the hyper ledger fabric that needs ultimately to be something that is accessible from, say, a smart contract that has been developed in the ethereum environment. They’re the sorts of fourth frontiers, if you will, for us. As we start thinking about becoming generalisable and useful across many industries without being… …too prissy, if you will, about which particular technology we favour. It is about being general purpose and it is ultimately about being blockchain protocol agnostic.

Ben:                     00:40:20:29
Yeah, it’s exciting times. I can’t wait to see what develops in the next 12 months, 24 months and five years time. I think it’s really going to change this whole industry. We’ll be part of that. You can pull any blockchain in the near future. I hope that all of these parties work together, the quicker the better. Yeah. That sounds it’s exciting times.

Warwick:            00:40:51:24

Ben:                     00:40:45:20
Yeah. Appreciate your time, Warwick. Thanks very much for taking the time to chat about blockchain.

Warwick:            It’s my pleasure and great working with IncoDocs.

Ben:                     00:40:55:03
Thanks, Warwick. Cheers.

Warwick:            Cheers.

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