Blockchain is the new Internet revolution which now allows the transfer of data and value with absolute security and in real time via multiple computers.
The most disruptive features of Blockchain include:
- It needs no intermediaries or regulatory bodies – It is a Public, Secure, Decentralised and Transparent distributed network.
- It is fully auditable and Unchangeable – transactions cannot ever be eliminated or edited.
- Each entry in the chain records a transaction, a single issuing address, a destination address, amount and digital signature (all of them signed).
As a decentralised network it eliminates dependency in online transactions on a Central Body (Bank, Social Media, Hospital, Census…) which could be selling our data.
Blockchain: what it is and what it’s for
Perhaps the simplest way of understanding what Blockchain is and the possibilities it offers is to set out a practical example, such as healthcare.
How many of you have moved house, and as a result lost some of your medical records? How many of you have medical data that are “public” and also “private” (health insurance policies or your employment insurance scheme)…?
Could there be any more inefficient system to access patient information?
The fact is that there is no digital access to information from other organisations, and each has a highly fragmented perspective.
- Thanks to Blockchain, all doctors could access encrypted files, with the patient deciding who has access to their data.
- Medical tests could be sent directly to the patient via the Blockchain network from the device conducting them.
But the possibilities go much further…
One Blockchain use case is already happening in the healthcare sector, where the system is starting to store data from medication production lines. The stored data can be reviewed by the supervisory authority to oversee quality, both at the company itself and at the governmental level. The purpose of the application of this Blockchain model is to maintain a high level of transparency and trust.
At the end of this document we set out a number of use cases in which Blockchain will bring about a radical improvement in production processes.
Hyperledger – the technological basis for Salesforce blockchain
Salesforce is incorporating Hyperledger technology to benefit from the opportunities of Blockchain. Hyperledger is an open source initiative supported by the leading technology firms worldwide. The technology is simplifying the development of Blockchain applications, making it possible to choose the transactional rules, permissions and consensus algorithms that provide the basis for unique commercial needs.
Benefits of Salesforce Blockchain
Salesforce Blockchain encapsulates the following benefits:
- It can create, secure and share data from applications with a network of members, who may or may not work with Salesforce.
- It provides the infrastructure of a distributed accounting ledger, aggregating the potential of Salesforce metadata.
- A member can securely publish and independently verify the Salesforce Blockchain records via any system they might be using.
- Salesforce users can see and work with Blockchain data in reports, automations and anywhere they expect to work with standard record data.
- It handles the difficulty of building a secure network and establishing appropriate authentication protocols.
- It can decide which style of authentication protocol makes sense for the network being built.
- It handles the complex task of network communication and integration.
True to the Salesforce paradigm, all this helps keep the focus on the logic of the application, not the infrastructure.
And so creating the network, generating consent, permissions and smart contracts (the 4 basic aspects of its architecture) are configured by “point and click” (without the need for coding):
Other potential Blockchain use cases (some already in progress)
- IOT: thousands of devices connected to the Internet, without the possibility of a centralised network. Your fridge will be able to detect that you are out of milk, place a direct order with the supermarket and pay for it (all within a BC network).
- Management of Digital Assets: Event and airline tickets, copyright, music… Right now these assets cannot be exchanged without intermediaries.
- Food Control: Blockchain provides comprehensive product traceability control. Some companies are already using Blockchain for integrated control of perishable produce such as fruit.
- Education: Unification of transcripts, reliability of academic transcripts, easier student transfers between establishments…
- Logistics: Coordination of carriers, suppliers and partners, management of customs documentation, goods traceability, etc. (e.g. Maersk: a simple shipment of refrigerated goods between West Africa and Europe passes through some 30 individuals and organisations, including more than 200 interactions and communications).
- Official Bodies: Voter administration, Land Register (projects already in progress in Japan and the UAE).
- Insurance: Blockchain’s capacity to provide full responsibility, transparency and greater security will help insurers save time and money, and improve their customer service. As greater levels of trust are established between insurer and insured, more solid relationships will also built.
Save the Children
Save the Children is currently exploring a Proof of Concept to help verify volunteers in conflict or disaster zones.
This “humanitarian passport” could help the organisation to verify new volunteers during difficult periods, when they quickly need to deploy volunteers and extensive background checks would take too long.
A Blockchain-based system would be beneficial, as the organisation comprises separate legal entities and having one database containing information about volunteers that is unchangeable, verifiable and trackable could be of immense value in emergency situations.
Alongside the humanitarian passport, Save the Children is also on the lookout for other applications of Blockchain, such as improved crowdfunding processes or the use of smart contracts to settle transactions with members more quickly.
Salesforce Blockchain blends all the strength of the Salesforce platform with the disruptive technology of Blockchain. A combination which opens up astounding opportunities to improve processes and deliver a major competitive advantage for companies that opt for this winning combination.
S4G, the leader in Salesforce consultancy with offices in Madrid and Barcelona, would be happy to enable you to turn this potential into a reality.
Our specialisation in Salesforce solutions as a Platinum Partner, and our 95% customer satisfaction, are the best calling card we have.
Cristina Callejón. Salesforce Consultant