Is blockchain the next disruptor for manufacturing?

Manufacturing is a key driver of the global economy. This sector alone accounts for nearly 17% of global GDP, according to the World Bank. With the benefits like reducing costs by multiples, decreasing lead time to focus on other core competencies and other great benefits, the application of blockchain will enable manufacturers to generate greater visibility within their manufacturing process and simplify mundane and costly steps. Unfortunately, the industry has always been rife with inefficiency and quality-control problems. Fake products can make their way to market because the current system lacks a way to track what’s real and what’s not.

The many problems we see today in manufacturing – from counterfeiting and poor quality to inefficient processes and a lack of trust in production is due to the negligence of manufacturers. Increasingly, with complex manufacturing processes, the demand for parts and material integrity, within the supply chain, needs to be improved to combat increases in lead time and ultimately lower the cost of production.

Leaders see blockchain as transformative

TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) is the world’s largest chip foundry, responsible for over 55% of the world’s chip production and is profiting heftily from the crypto mining boom.

C. C. Wei, co-chief executive of TSMC, said at the company’s Q1 2018 earnings call that the first quarter revenue of $8.46 billion was “mainly driven by a strong demand from high-performance computing such as cryptocurrency mining and increases from both automotive and IoT.”

The company also noted that crypto mining gave a timely boost that offset weaker demand for smartphone sales. In April, the company cut its sales target due to the lack luster performance of Apple’s iPhones. Taiwanese authorities know that blockchain poses as a great economy booster and their positivity towards the innovation is a sign that the Taiwan economy is ripe for blockchain adoption.

The world’s first blockchain smartphone

Foxconn, one of the the largest employers and a multinational electronics contract manufacturing company situated in Taiwan has developed a smartphone where users are able to store and use digital currencies securely. A plethora of tokens will be integrated by the device. It will also enable owners to shop on crypto-accommodating sites like and Expedia, converting liquid money into particular tokens if necessary.

Finney, created by Sirin Labs, will be a phone that allows people to store and use digital currencies without having to pay transaction fees, Bloomberg reported. This means you won’t need to carry USB sticks along with your digital wallet. Instead, everything will all be stored on the phone.

Blockchain’s industrial impact:

From sourcing raw materials to delivery of the finished product, blockchain can increase transparency and trust at every stage of the industrial value chain. Among the pain points it could help address are:

* Supply-chain monitoring for greater transparency

* Materials provenance and counterfeit detection

* Engineering design for long-duration, high-complexity products

* Identity management

* Asset tracking

* Quality assurance

* Regulatory compliance

Blockchain-powered solutions can seamlessly aggregate all of this information, delivering significant value for industrial companies, and can also help unlock the full potential of other advanced technologies like augmented reality, IoT and 3D printing.

There is plenty of room for industrial companies to be blockchain pioneers. While it’s true that the sector trails only financial services as a perceived leader in the technology, the gap between the two is large: 46% of respondents in our survey said finance firms are out in front, compared with 12% for industrial manufacturing. Meanwhile, the World Blockchain Summit will highlight the common pitfalls that sabotage promising blockchain projects with intelligent planning, strong collaboration and a clear strategic vision.

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