The Blockchain Research Institute (BRI) and Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) announced a partnership to support members of both organizations in their efforts to build a collaborative network of leaders in blockchain technology last September.
BRI Managing Director Hilary Carter spoke at this week’s BiTA Spring Symposium in Atlanta, offering members insight into how the research institute operates.
“To be present at a meeting where organizations, competitors within a single industry, are coming together to create standards is music to my ears, and it is what we have been waiting for for a number of years,” Carter said. “There’s so much skepticism and negativity with the term blockchain, and to see leaders coming together to create new opportunities is fantastic.”
Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of internationally-acclaimed, “Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World,” founded BRI in 2017. The organization was founded to investigate blockchain transformations.
The organization has already seen blockchain technology come a long way since its inception.
“To see the evolution of blockchain turning into a team sport is incredibly satisfying. When the institute was founded, it was an incredible struggle to find real use cases,” Carter said. “There were maybe a dozen, and those who were working with the technology were not exactly willing to talk about it for obvious reasons. A lot of the information was proprietary.”
Carter is encouraged by the use cases she has seen popping up across the air and trucking industries more recently.
“What we do is take those stories, if you will, and we publish them to a global audience,” she said. “These are deep insights that can help others understand why this technology is so transformational, what efficiencies it creates and friction it helps overcome.”
When BRI begins to research transformations, the institute’s leaders start out by asking serval critical questions like:
How would blockchain technology solve some of the organization’s most pressing problems?
What are the implementation challenges?
What are the opportunities?
What are the regulatory hurdles we have to overcome?
The organization creates reports about blockchain’s impact on transportation, logistics and supply chain management. The reports are meant to help decision makers at various organizations understand the value of investing resources into blockchain technology.
“Our reports are designed to help individuals who are non-technical to better understand the opportunities,” Carter said. “When these things are explained in plain language, it makes everyone’s job a little easier.”
Carter was clear that BRI’s focus goes beyond simply exploring how Fortune 500 companies are using blockchain technology to solve problems.
“It is one thing for an organization to use blockchain technology to solve certain problems,” she said. “It is another thing to understand who the competitor of the future will be and pinpoint the initiatives that are being built today that will radically change the competitive landscape of tomorrow.”
Once blockchain becomes incorporated into an organization’s life, it will reshape it, according to Carter.
She believes blockchain technology, along with disrupting industries and enterprises, will also shake up the firms that implement it. The technology could have the power to change everything, from hiring practices to marketing spend.
At the heart of blockchain is the ability to source problems quickly, respond instantly and reduce waste in the economy. If companies can figure out how to utilize the technology to do just that, their reshaping may just be inevitable.
“We believe that blockchain plays an important role in the fourth industrial revolution,” Carter said. “It will be the underlying platform that underpins all the other technologies.”