In July, Marubeni Corporation and Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance completed an international trade transaction using blockchain. Marubeni’s Japanese and Australian entities participated in the transaction, which apparently used Hyperledger Fabric and support by Mizuho.
Digitalizing the process on the blockchain reduced the transaction time from days to a couple hours, while reducing labor costs. The advantage Marubeni had was that this was an internal transaction. There was no need for multiple organizations to agree on standards. This was one of the points Mizuho highlighted: international standards must be created for all parties participating in a given blockchain network.
Distributed ledgers provide a certain level of trust and a venue for digitalizing transactions, but many technologies can do that. If blockchain’s performance challenges can be overcome, the real work of creating international standards for a multitude of transaction types must be completed. Not only will dozens, perhaps hundreds, of organizations have to agree on standards for each transaction category, but international regulators must also be involved.
Blockchain-based technologies still have a long way to go before they’re ready for real-world use cases. Even if those sizable difficulties can be overcome, the technology aspect may still prove to be the easiest part. Getting organizations to agree? That will be the trick.
If you’re a Gartner client and interested in learning more about blockchain, start with our special report: Practical Blockchain: A Gartner Trend Insight Report.