Blog by C.O.nxt
What is the next technology that will transform the food and ag industry? What will astute leaders be devoting attention to these next couple years?
The answer is blockchain. We’re confident in this; because people like you have told us so.
In a recent survey focused on managers and directors in the agriculture, food or agri-food markets, only 13.2 percent said their company is currently conducting work regarding blockchain technology – but 49 percent said they believe their company will do so in the next three years.
That’s just one of the fascinating findings that emerged from C.O.nxt’s industry survey, distributed in partnership with Stratovation Group.
But before we dive in, let’s pause on the most basic question. What is blockchain? Because while the buzz for blockchain is growing right now, many still aren’t quite sure precisely what it is and how the technology would work in their system/s.
So a quick primer. While blockchain’s details and applications can be complex, the fundamentals are simple. Blockchain is a decentralized database (as opposed to a traditional database, like a server) that is comprehensive of all aspects of a product’s production and supply chain. One that’s secure, fast and completely transparent. Here’s how IBM, one of the leaders in blockchain usage, defines it:
Once you get a handle on the fundamentals, possibilities start to open up. What’s coming next? Here’s what we foresee:
Blockchain is perceived as a tool for the mega companies.
When survey participants were asked to name an ag or food company using blockchain today, IBM and Walmart were perceived as the top leaders in the space. AgriChain and Ripe.IO garnered attention too. Right now, blockchain is seen as something only the giants can afford to invest in. But that’s changing.
Blockchain will likely be common in companies of all sizes soon.
Over two-thirds of survey participants said their companies are at least “somewhat interested” in blockchain tech. So what’s stopping them from relying on blockchain’s capabilities?
Understanding and knowledge are the top barriers to adopting blockchain technology.
Blockchain can be dense. There is a steep learning curve of both language and scope that serves as barrier to entry. Our survey found that “understanding” and “knowledge” are currently most likely what’s holding most companies back. But like most new innovations, once the dam breaks, it will be found everywhere (and fast). As more and more companies start to use it, the pressure will increase to learn and keep up. What will newcomers find?
It’s much more than cryptocurrency.
Crypto and blockchain go hand-in-hand in many consumers minds. Digging into our collective industry, the most agri-food blockchain opportunities exist in traceability and connecting the dots in the supply chain the survey participants believe, along with commerce and food-safety optimization to a lesser extent. It is most definitely a big-picture technology, with capabilities to impact almost every part of business, especially within the Agri-food sector.
What does this all mean?
All signs point to blockchain surging throughout the industry. It’s a vital technology that provides opportunities and solutions in supply chain, food tracing, food security and more.
If you aren’t in the know about blockchain, it’s time to learn as much as you can. And if you have a grasp on the fundamentals, becoming an expert would be a smart step to putting your company in a position to grow and thrive.
At C.O.nxt, we’re always here to help. If you want to see more from the research or start a deeper conversation – reach out. We’re all going to be talking more about this in the next few years. So stay with us as we continue to learn together how blockchain can add innovation to the agri-food sector.