Blockchain and Bitcoin, while related, are two distinct entities. Blockchain is the underlying infrastructure because Bitcoin is one blockchain program. Bitcoin is a virtual currency built upon a foundation of blockchain.
Blockchain is a decentralized ledger which is distributed yet immutable.
It’s immutable so nobody can undo or overwrite once a transaction has been added to the blockchain, thus, making it almost tamper-proof.
Distributed blockchain. The ledger is not stored in a single location, it is duplicated in the blockchain by parties. Furthermore, blockchain is decentralized; the database does not have a central authority or administrator. It renders blockchain immune to interruptions, as there is no single point of failure.
In the end, blockchain is a ledger, a transaction record. Those transactions can be almost anything that can be recorded digitally, such as ownership names, attributes, transfers, places, conditions and statements, and more.
Such versatility makes blockchain supply chain management perfect where various parties meet, and paperwork is continuously exchanged.
Another useful concept provided by blockchain is the “smart contract.” A smart contract is a digital contract that executes itself when predetermined conditions are met. Such code-based contracts allow agreed actions (such as payments) to take place automatically, immediately, and without intermediaries upon fulfillment of the contract terms. For instance, when the customer confirms delivery of the package a smart contract may be used to release payment to a carrier.
The smart contract is a contractual arrangement between parties that keeps each party responsible for its position in the contractual. Smart contracts specify the rules and punishments for a conventional contract-like agreement, but also make sure the contract is implemented. They specify the rules and punishments for a conventional contract-like agreement, but also make sure the contract is implemented.
Smart contracts can be a complicated area, but we answered your questions so you can determine whether they are right for your supply chain organization.
A smart contract at its simplest is a piece of code that exists on the blockchain. This smart contract can be used to describe the relationship that occurs between supply chain parties to almost everything. For example, an operational smart contract between a retailer and a distributor may state, for supply chain purposes:
Some of the information that can be written into a traditional operating contract can also be written into a smart contract, making smart contracts suitable for virtual agreements to handle complex supply chain relationships operationally.
A legal arrangement specifies the high-level arrangements and contractual ties between two supply chain organizations. A smart contract is an operational tool that ensures the execution of lower-level, specific trade agreements.
You might not. The formation of high-level relationships and agreements between the parties also involves a normal legal contract.
Standard contracts are useful and the way things are done is defined but they have limitations. For example, monitoring ongoing output against a standard contract is very difficult, as there is always a lot of filler language and legal to get through.
In a smart contract, the precise, day-to-day specifications and goals are easier to identify and agree and see whether they are being met in the supply chain. They’re most successful as operational agreements of procurement, production, distribution, and related areas.
Smart contracts can respond to inputs from elsewhere and are activated automatically when specific factors come in. A supply chain manager, for example, might set up a contract for a specific order and put the payment into escrow. When the items are purchased by the retailer’s warehouse, the smart contract is updated, and the funds are transferred to the supplier automatically.
Anyone with the requisite permissions can access a smart contract because it is stored on a centralized, central ledger. That means all relevant stakeholders in the supply chain can access all smart contracts at all times. They can also see the contract conditions, how close it is to being met, and the contract history.
Generally, smart contracts are secure from tampering:
Yes. One of the greatest benefits of these forms of operational contracts is that they do not require a middleman like a lawyer. Instead, two supply chain entities may establish an operating arrangement directly between them and enshrine it in a smart contract. The contract will manage the sign-off, and it will become successful after authorization. If the contract terms have been met, the contract shall be considered to have been fulfilled.
We have addressed some of the advantages before but smart contracts are useful in many other ways:
Smart contracts are not just for tracking and managing transactions. Can also be used as:
Smart supply chain contracts are still in their infancy but the technology is rapidly evolving. And other major companies, through their supply chains, are now using smart contracts.
Oodles allows for transparency and granular visibility for freight audit and payment, cost accrual auditing, and blockchain-enabled payment and settlement with smart contracts.