Often described as the backbone for a transaction layer on the internet, blockchain originally gained prominence as a digital ledger where cryptocurrency transactions such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are made, with the data recorded chronologically and publicly. It then gained popularity due to its enhanced security, which makes monetary transactions safer and much faster than traditional banking methods.
Of course, it’s still an early form of technology, and much is still misunderstood about it. But as numerous companies and organizations all around the world are adopting it, the fog around blockchain is slowly starting to lift. And now, Canada, one of the world’s leading nations when it comes to technology, is starting to leverage its distributed ledger technology (DLT) to provide faster and safer transactions, streamline and automate back-office operations, enhance overall customer experience, and even reduce costs, all at the same time.
According to Paritosh Gambhir, who is the Head of Blockchain and Partner for Financial Services at KPMG in Canada, “There are several good examples in the private, public and non-profit sectors where organizations are embracing blockchain to create new experiences for customers and enhance their operations.”
Financial services companies, for example, according to Gambhir, have been innovating by thinking outside of the box in an effort to make the entire payment process simple, streamline securities trading, enhance loyalty programs, and even change the way smart contracts are developed. According to Gambhir, these are proven improvements in the system that can turn into credible business models.
Indeed, blockchain technology is proving to be very useful in various applications. For example, KPMG professionals have advised clients from all over the world on a wide range of blockchain-based solutions. These include supply chain visibility, fixed asset management procurement system, parts and documentation tracking with tax management for an aerospace firm, a distribution platform for Luxembourg’s asset management industry, and even a tracking system for a U.S. pharmaceutical company, where it will be used to track finished products that comply with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act from 2013.
Gambhir added, “Embracing a rapidly-advancing new technology is not easy, but Canadian companies should not wait for the blockchain fad to fade. The time is now to test use cases and get moving on implementation and governance – or risk getting left behind.”
And it’s true, blockchain, although still a relatively young technology, has the capacity to not only disrupt organizations, it can also enhance supply chains and conduct other multi-party processes.
A new space
All over the world, huge companies are also starting to take notice of Canada’s blockchain waves. Accenture, for example, recently revealed that it plans on building an innovation hub to be located in Toronto. Doing so will open 800 new jobs for the locals, who will then be helping clients to work on new technologies such as crypto, artificial intelligence and, of course, blockchain.