Over the last few months I have been researching, the very exciting world of Blockchain and learning about this technology. I believe that Blockchain can lead to an entirely new eco-system of commerce and transacting across the world, and across all industries.
I am looking at blockchain through the eyes of a retailer, and looking at how this new world can shape the future business model for retailing.
The basic premise of Blockchain:
- A decentralised, open ledger of information (open to participants who are allowed access)
- Data is held on many distributed ledgers around the world – Blockchain is also referred to as DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology ) for this reason
- All ledgers hold the same information for the data in question
- Any changes to this data can be tracked
- All ledgers carry the same copy of this data
- Blockchain leads to transparency and trust across the network
This leads to many different applications of blockchain within our lives and within our businesses, and we will look at three possible use cases for a new retail business:
Three possible retail use cases for blockchain
1. Supply chain ledger
2. Tokenised ledger
3. Executable/Smart contracts
We will base our explanation around an example retail business:
Let us assume we are starting with a new way to operate a retail business which we have no previous business or systems in place. We will call the business “Antony Stores” or AS for ease of understanding
AS is going to sell luxury, branded clothing via its physical stores, website, mobile site and through social media across the whole of Europe.
Retail use case Two: The Tokenised ledger (“AS Blockchain”)
Lets take the continued example of our new retail business “Antony Stores” (AS) which sells luxury branded clothing.
In this use case I will look at using a tokenised ledger to provide a complete token based system, similar to “real” money where tokens are sent and exchanged at different times and for different reasons, based on calculated rules and events.
Within our network we us AS Tokens and they are built on the “AS Blockchain”– these are tokens of value which we will use to transact with the different events that happen.
At the start we set up the token system so that we will pay the supplier on a set of defined circumstances automatically – e.g The jumpers have arrived in the specified warehouse, on time, in the right quantity and with the right quality.
If all those criteria are met the supplier is then paid with the token immediately. Imagine that this “AS blockchain” is already loaded with the previous supply chain use case and we know all about the provenance of the products – it is data stored on our “AS blockchain”
The supplier can then use these tokens to pay staff and order new raw materials for the next order of jumpers. This would need all the suppliers and partners to join the network which would be hard to imagine at first – but this is new tech and in a few years this is likely to be the norm
The order of jumpers is then loaded into a delivery van which heads to the NYC store. The doors are locked with a QR code.
The van arrives at the NYC store and the QR code is scanned by the manager and this unlocks the door of the van. The products are off loaded and scanned onto the “AS blockchain” in store.
This process automatically transfers the stock into the store file and the items are ready for customer collection and to go onto the store shelves for sale.
If connected to the token system, other suppliers and partners could be paid with these tokens, thus using one ledger to see all process, transactions and stages of the process.
What are the benefits of Tokenised Blockchain ledger?
- On time payment to smaller suppliers and all partners. Our current financial system doesn’t work – with blockchain suppliers will be paid in real time
- All transactions are shared and open to blockchain members – no need to reconcile the ledgers at the end of the month
- Currency variations are removed within the token system
Next week, I will look at Retail use case three: Executable/Smart contracts
#Blockchain #DLT #Ethereum #Bitcoin