Most often, Distributed Ledger Technology, more commonly known as blockchain, is associated with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading. NFTs have also become one of the most well-known offshoots of DLT technology. Their diffusion has been favored by the biggest companies related to the mainstream market, just think of Nike, adidas or Meta. But the uses of blockchain have much more potential, especially in healthcare, logistics and public administrations.

These latter sectors, in fact, may be revolutionized by the application of blockchain. The largest realities are already trying to identify the applications that best suit a technology that makes speed, automation and security its main features.

Le 6 missioni del PNNR
La tavola espone le risorse assegnate a missioni e componenti del PNRR.

PNRR, blockchain and Public Administrations

There is a tendency to think that Blockchain technology is looked at with skepticism by institutions and public bodies. In reality, it is seen as a key support tool to enable the digitization and innovation of Public Administrations also envisaged in the National Resilience Plan. The use of blockchain would allow:

  • to create a network and a shared database between the various bodies of the Public Administration in order to speed up processes;
  • to guarantee the authenticity of the data of the single citizen, where each citizen is the owner of his own data and has the possibility to quickly share them if necessary;
  • the notarization of administrative and document management processes, to guarantee transparency and traceability.

Although blockchain still represents a narrow slice of the market, its annual growth is 18%. There are already several projects promoted by the ad hoc bodies EBSI (European Blockchain Service Infrastructure) and IBSI (Italian Blockchain Service Infrastructure). Entities such as INAIL, Inps, ENEA and state companies such as Poste Italiane have already joined the promoted projects. This easily suggests that this phenomenon is not a hype and that it enjoys great interest and credibility even among institutions.

Bita blockchain trasportiEfficient logistics: speed in adapting to external contexts

One of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic was undoubtedly the logistics sector.
The spot closure of production, distribution and retail plants according to the different trends of the pandemic curves influenced by seasonal periods did not allow an easy reorganization.
For this reason, many multinationals still find themselves having to deal with the critical issues arising from the pandemic.
In addition, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has destabilized the entire Eastern European area, as well as the transit of goods coming from the Middle East. But how does blockchain technology offer its support towards logistics?
Thanks to its decentralized and immutable structure, blockchain reduces human intermediations, and possible errors, resulting in a decrease in costs and time.
Especially in the field of port transportation, the biggest costs come from bills of lading, which burden about $100 per container. Just think of the number of containers in transit to understand how much each company could save.
The distributed registry allows for greater transparency of data: from this it follows that goods could be tracked in real time and delivery times can be updated and recalculated constantly, automatically.
This represents a major advantage over the current checkpoint-based tracking structure.
In addition, the logistics and financial side could be encapsulated in a single digital twin, the digital twin of each transferred unit.

More than 500 companies from 25 different countries have formed the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA). The biggest giants like Maersk, IBM and Msc are the companies that are focusing on this technology more than any other.

The turning point of certified health data

Certified health data, stored in a single blockchain ledger, ensuring rapid completeness of information. This scenario would be a potentially great benefit for both patients and medical teams.
Using blockchain-processed data would allow for better estimation and organization of time for operations and hospitalizations.

Even WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) is introducing a project on blockchain for the certification of athletes’ health data. In this sense, just think of the recent case of Novak Djokovic in the last Australian Open: if the certificate of positivity to Covid-19 of the former Serbian number 1 had been guaranteed by the incorruptibility of the data recorded on blockchain, there would have been no “Djokovic case”.

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Davide Calderone

Contributor