Mobile standard 5G: The gamechanger for blockchain applications?
While banks and financial institutions are being turned upside down by token infrastructures, other sectors have been rather lukewarm so far. Why blockchain technology hasn’t yet managed to conquer other industries and why the 5G mobile phone standard could change just that.
If you stumble across blockchain technology, 90 percent of the time you will find a use case that revolves around the financial sector. Whether it’s the Bitcoin exchange rate, new DeFi applications or The News Spy tokenisation of securities. Industrial blockchain applications for the automotive or logistics sector, for example, are currently one thing above all: a large pilot project. The impression can quickly arise here that blockchain technology, far away from the financial industry, does not manage to provide any significant benefit.
The leap into the cold pool
The added value of blockchain technology for industry is primarily that it increases the potentially feasible exchange between different companies and their software programmes as well as machines. Blockchain applications are primarily applications for the „field“, where one leaves the familiar terrain and uncertainty is great.
An infrastructure is created on which data and values are exchanged that would otherwise only be transferred and processed via intermediaries. By bypassing these central bottlenecks, the level of technological automation can in turn be increased and new business models developed. This sounds interesting at first glance, but it also requires enormous prerequisites that are currently difficult to map.
Blockchain is not an end in itself
Even if a company shows willingness to process transactions via a decentralised smart contract infrastructure instead of via the usual service providers, there are often still problems with economic efficiency and the necessary interfaces. Decentralised organisational forms increase the level of complexity, while middlemen can take complexity out of it.
Smart software programmes and internet-enabled terminals are needed to deal with this complexity. Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are key technologies for making blockchain applications useful in industry.
If, for example, there is a lack of internet-enabled sensors in the cargo hold that track the refrigeration temperature and send it to a blockchain, which in turn triggers a contractually defined condition if the cold chain is not maintained, then a blockchain solution only brings limited benefits. Even if paper shipping documents and fax machines are still used at the port where the goods or containers are handled, it will be difficult to enable trade processing via blockchain technology.
Cars do not yet need a hardware wallet
The same applies to the mobility sector, where it currently makes little sense to install car wallets in cars, as Daimler or Porsche are doing in their pilot tests together with the blockchain start-up Riddle & Code. The Daimler blockchain solution „Welcome Home“ based on the Ontology blockchain has also not yet been rolled out commercially.
Many blockchain applications are several years ahead of the level of digitalisation in our economy. The transactions that are to be processed on a Blockchain are not yet taking place in practice. The use of drones and robots, for example, as well as autonomous driving will undoubtedly turn many things upside down in this decade. At the moment, however, we are still at the beginning: a lot of theory, many pilot tests and few commercial applications.