FedEx exec: Blockchain will become a foundational layer – for everything


BOSTON – While blockchain may never be a panacea for solving all business transaction problems, it will eventually become a foundational technology across industries that will lead to new business models.

Before that can happen, however, proprietary blockchains will have to run their course and be replaced by open software and industry standards that enable distributed ledgers to communicate across competing businesses and borders, according to Dale Chrystie, a FedEx business fellow and blockchain strategist.

“Some years from now, I think it’s a foundational layer under everything,” Chrystie said during the Enterprise Blockchain Summit here this week. “Twenty year ago, you put the word ‘internet’ in front of everything and now you don’t. Today, we’re putting the word ‘blockchain’ in front of everything and I don’t think we’re going to in the future; it’s just going to be the way it works.”

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Dale Chrystie, a FedEx business fellow and blockchain strategist, called for industry collaboration around blockchain.

Essentially, blockchain can be an open, transparent electronic ledger able to remove the middleman – a central bank or a corporate supply chain database – and that will fundamentally change the way businesses transact, Chrystie said.

Combined with artificial intelligence and IoT sensors, a blockchain tracking system can accurately trace the origins of products and verify the authenticity of everything from produce to plane parts.

While a small number of businesses will manage to implement proprietary blockchains and achieve some semblance of business-to-business transactional efficiency on their own “toll road,” only an open-source ledger based on industry standards will get broad adoption, Chrystie argued.



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