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Blockchain and e-mails

<<Do we really need this blockchain? From what we see from current projects it looks like we could do the same with the technologies already in use.>>

I get these and other objections from entrepreneurs and managers (either from companies or banks) in my daily work of Blockchain Management Outsourcing. The questions are legitimate and the answer I give sounds more or less like this: today the initiatives related to blockchain are similar to the early days of the Internet when those trying to convince companies to use e-mail were responded: << But we already use the fax! And it’s very convenient because you just have to hand-write a document and put it in the machine, dial the phone number and it's done. Much faster and easier than having to turn on the computer, open the email application, type on the keyboard (how many mistakes and how time consuming!), save the file and then, only then, send the document. >>

Adamant remarks. E-mails certainly had interesting and innovative features, but not to the point of changing the way things were done. Moreover, the return of the benefits was not so immediate or clear. Time went by and with emails it was now possible to attach documents and insert links in the text. <<Wait a minute! We can’t do these things with the fax machine! Explain me a little, how does this e-mail work? >>

And here we are today. Blockchain-based applications provide nothing more than an efficient way of managing transactions and streamlining some process. That's all. We are like in the early days of emails and the fax machine. Where is the return on this new technology? Well, we are still waiting for the blockchain equivalent of what the attachments and links were to the email. So, the objections are valid.

Not for long, however, because I'm already seeing on the horizon features that the current non-blockchain systems cannot achieve. One of them is the use of digital tokens to manage transactions in the physical supply chain (e.g., elimination of purchase orders) as well as in the financial supply chain (e.g., exchange of invoices, payments, and financing). Just look at some realities in both supply chains to see that these concepts are close to realization earlier than one might think. I wrote about this in https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/16020/supply-chain-tokens-for-collaboration#comment

So what?

The fax is still used in many companies, so there must be a good a reason. Therefore, it’s not indispensable to use blockchain-based applications in your organization. However, you must be aware of the technology and its possible solutions, so you can make an informed decision. Returning to those companies that still use the fax, everything is fine as long as their competitors will also use the fax. But how long before these competitors discover that there is something called e-mail?

 

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Comments: (1)

Jo&#227;o Bohner
João Bohner - Independent Consultant - Carapicuiba 27 November, 2018, 10:15Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

 

Not to mention, the telex/teletype machine before the fax machine...