As the world seeks a path to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, trust looms large as a critical enabler of success.
If I am an employer, can I assure my employees and customers are safe? Did our supplier ship the right product? Is that new vendor legitimate? If I am a consumer, can I trust that this medicine will do what it promises? Am I spending my money in the right place?
While this new imperative for trust is being felt across boundaries—by corporations, governments, charities, non-governmental organizations and individual consumers—many organizations are struggling to build the conditions that earn trust. At a time when business models and value chains are being reconfigured on the fly, they’re seeing legacy processes and systems aimed at creating trust coming up short—too manual, too time-consuming, insufficiently scalable.
Technology offers a solution. Using tools many organizations are already deploying as part of their digital transformation initiatives—blockchain, cloud, data analytics, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity software, the Internet of Things, and more—organizations can automate their value chain processes and eliminate the guesswork that undermines trust. In short, they can create a digital trust infrastructure that injects security, auditability, immutability, and rigorous governance into the processes and transactions that flow through their value chains.
Blockchain, of course, is the foundational linchpin of a digital trust infrastructure. A distributed ledger shared by many users over a peer-to-peer computer network, a blockchain is made up of “blocks” of data, each of which is assigned a unique digital identifier. Every block is built on the one that proceeded it and must be validated by a consensus of users before it is posted, after which it cannot be altered.