Ten years after Bitcoin’s introduction, the world has just begun to wake up to the advancements and efficiencies of using blockchain-based administrative systems. Traditional media outlets have so far focused only on the price volatility of digital assets, ignoring the underlying technology by large.
Korea’s Blockchain Push
Beneath the un-reported depths of blockchain’s potential, companies and governments around the world are massively testing and deploying the decentralized ledger technology. Such attempts have begun to blur the lines between an unknown fad and widespread implementation.
According to a report in Korea Times, the Korea Customs Service (KCS) looks primed to test a large-scale blockchain project for verification of data by tracking the country’s import-export activity.
The development involves over 50 domestic companies, of which will be participating in the KCS’ data platform in a bid to dispose of a notoriously slow and inefficient paper-based shipping process, in favor of an efficient and cheaper blockchain-based alternative.
The KCS notes that using blockchain eliminates the human element from the shipping system, along with recording all shipment data in a wholly immutable database.
As per the report, real-world testing would follow a strictly defined process, and aim precisely at the transparent and accurate issuance of Certificates-of-Origin (CO) via the distributed blockchain ledger.
An integral part of the shipping process, a CO is an internationally recognized shipping trade document that certifies that a particular shipment’s goods were manufactured, obtained, or produced in the country from which it claims to have arrived.
Additionally, the CO contains all product details, country of export information, a stamp of approval from origin’s customs authorities, and in some cases, a signed declaration from the exporter.
With this in mind, a smart contract is full-suited to serve such a process and omit the use of any other related procedures.
Tests to Serve As Stepping Stone to a Fully-Blockchain Based Shipping System
Although the report lacks detailed information about the type of smart-contracts, it is confirmed that Korea’s customs authorities have recruited five specialized groups working on the project. Alongside the above mentioned 50 local companies that will export material, ten companies from Singapore and Vietnam have been chosen to import the product to.
Based on the test’s success, the deployment of blockchain shall be implemented on other products and services.
In December 2017, the KCS concluded a seven-month blockchain trial, which saw the authority partner with electronics giant Samsung to conduct a logistics project.
Later in April 2018, BTCManager reported on the tech giant’s intention to use blockchain for a massive shipment of “488,00 tons of air cargo and [one] million 20-foot-equivalent (TEU) shipping units” in 2018.