Practitioners seeking the most exciting procurement jobs and supply chain jobs in the near future may need to start availing themselves now of new skills and knowledge relating to blockchain technology, if a major new initiative from the World Economic Forum (WEF) proves fruitful.

In a move to accelerate the uptake of the technology by business, the WEF has launched a new self-service, public blockchain traceability platform that makes it possible for firms to make accurate maps of their materials and product flows.

The WEF is now seeking brands and suppliers that are already employing blockchain to enhance supply chain visibility to take part in a major pilot. 

To date, major names signing up for the pilot include textile supplier Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), Internet of Things platform EVRYTHNG, and Platforma Verde, a blockchain traceability platform.

After a strong initial interest, industry adoption of blockchain has dissipated in recent years.

The technology rests upon a very high degree of trust, as participants must share substantially more data than they have conventionally.

While proprietary transaction data can be kept private with blockchain, data ownership and competitive advantage concerns have impeded industry adoption.

The WEF’s new platform is designed to provide neutrality for competitors and is aimed at driving adoption of the technology across industries. 

The platform’s chief architect, Francisco Betti, expressed hope that the pilot will encourage more firms to take part in collaborative design of the technical reach of the technology and work together on solving tough issues concerning data privacy and how to link physical and digital worlds together. 

If they can demonstrate this, the outcome is likely to accelerate adoption by encouraging more firms to join in.

The WEF, along with the participants who have already signed up, believes that the next step is to use the technology to alleviate the sustainability concerns expressed by today’s consumers, which is essential to competition now.

The new platform is very well-equipped to do precisely that.

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