I have stated that I consider blockchain the least mature of the emerging technologies poised to impact supply chain management. Based on what I’ve heard in recent weeks, I need to revise that opinion.

Speakers from the technology community included Anant Kadiyala, Director of Blockchain & Industry Solutions at Oracle; IBM’s David Noller, Executive Architect Watson IoT – Blockchain and Industry 4.0; and Steven Kim, a Senior Director at SAP.  The user community was represented by Jeff Denton, the Senior Director of Global Secure Supply Chain at AmerisourceBergen. Blockchain technology is incredibly elastic.  It can be shaped in different ways, to fit different processes, network node architectures, and participants.

It is difficult to generalize about blockchain for business in a way that is universally true. But IBM, Oracle, and SAP – probably the three largest players in the business application blockchain space – were all addressing this topic in a very similar way.

One point all participants agreed on is that blockchain for business applications is not Bitcoin.  Bitcoin was the first blockchain application, it is an unregulated shadow-currency, and it is widely seen as a mechanism more conducive to financial speculation than conducting business. IBM, Oracle, and SAP all built their blockchain platforms on Hyperledger, a technology more suitable to building business applications.

Like blockchain for cryptocurrencies, there are mechanisms to make sure transactions are authenticated across a network of participants with distributed databases. There are several differences between cryptocurrencies and blockchain for SCM. Read more from forbes.com…

thumbnail courtesy of forbes.com