Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu

#33: IBM and BlockChain

December 04, 2018 Season 1 Episode 33
Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu
#33: IBM and BlockChain
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Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu
#33: IBM and BlockChain
Dec 04, 2018 Season 1 Episode 33
Radu Palamariu
The topic of our discussion will be Blockchain and we will discuss some of the practical case studies it is already used by clients across the region and the globe.
Show Notes Transcript

Meeta Vouk is the director of IBM Singapore Research Center and previously Chief Data officer Blockchain technologies. The topic of our discussion will be Blockchain and we will discuss some of the practical case studies it is already used by clients across the region and the globe.

Discover more details here

Some of the highlights from the episode:

  • Microloans based on peer identity in areas where people have  no official papers
  • How the blockchain story is different from the RFID story for logistics
  • In 5 years we will not use the word "blockchain" anymore
  • For any long supply chain with a big number of middlemen, blockchain can be a huge disruptor
  • Smart-contracts and enforcing the rule of - not to spending money you don't have.
  • Teach kids art and philosophy and then show them technology as a tool to solve the problems we really need to focus on.

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Speaker 1:
0:00
Hello and welcome to the leaders in supply chain podcast. I'm your host around the Palomar you global supply chain practice head for Morgan Phillips executive set. Today. I'm happy to have with us, um, Utah Hook Director of IBM Research Center and previously chief data officer for blockchain technologies that Ibm and the topic of our discussion will be of course blockchain. Specifically we will discuss some of the practical case studies, um, used by IBM clients around the region around the globe and we will also address some of the most asked questions around blockchain in this new and up and coming technology that a lot of a lot of our listeners have been asking us to go more in depth. So me, it's a pleasure to have you with us today and thank you for joining us. Thank you for having me. My pleasure. So maybe we can, we can start with a, with a big picture question and then the, and the, we've had a good friend of mine, Charles Brewer who was the CEO of Dhl ecommerce, asked this. Um, and I think a lot of other people are asking this is what exactly is blockchain? Yeah. So, you know, if you were to, and I'm a technologist, um,
Speaker 2:
1:02
balancer is, it's distributed ledger, blah, blah blah. But I am, I personally think that blockchain is a concept, right? It is an idea that is enabling the worlds to create one version of the truth no matter what you do. So if you look at the key tenants of what the technology can offer us, it's enabling us to create an ecosystem where there's transparency, there's one version of the truth and visibility and auditability when you bring these key features together and you could bring this concept together and allows you to really make your existing processes better and actually read, think about some of the things we were not able to do before. So really reinvent or invent new business models as we do that. So I really think that blockchain is a concept. It's technology is a part of it, but it's the bigger idea that the world will be decentralized. That what we do will be decentralized, that they will be more truth and transparency into what we do.
Speaker 3:
1:59
I mean, it's almost like peer to peer, kind of peer to peer enabling the peer to peer and decentralized platform where trust can be in building the platform. And if I to kind of summarize yeah. Also, yes.
Speaker 2:
2:11
What I mean from a technological perspective, we have, you know, the innovation that we've created technically is this ability to decentralize what we do, uh, create, um, uh, auditability, right? So when you do have, when you go look looking for truth in the system, there's one version, right? Nobody can dispute it because everybody who's participating in that agrees to that one version of the truth. So technically, you know, um, we are creating blogs, we're hashing them them together. We are cheating them together, you know, whatever that mechanism, however we get to it, the key tenants, it's uh, it's, uh, actually, um, exposing to us is this notion of um, uh, auditability immutability and transparency.
Speaker 3:
2:54
Good. And since you mentioned an insurance in, I mean this, this was, there's myths and I think there's a lot of people wondering, um, I mean naysayers as well as, as well as, as people that are very, very much supporting this, this new way of, as you mentioned maybe thinking about things as well as backed by technology. But what would you say are the biggest truths and biggest myths about blockchain?
Speaker 2:
3:16
So, you know, I do think it's a except very hyped word. Um, I do think we are looking at a future where we will look at the things this technology has enabled and talk less about the word itself using blockchain. Um, we firmly believe blockchain is not a hammer and not everything is a nail. Um, but I think it has, it's very promising, right? It's very promising because it can not only help us reinvent things, it's not going to not only going to help us come up with new business models. I think it is, has key tenants to it that it'll help us redefine the way humanity operate. Right. To think about it. Um, billions of people around the world don't have an identity because they don't have an identity. They are more susceptible to human trafficking. Most of the human trafficked victims actually don't have an identity.
Speaker 2:
4:05
We don't have an identity that automatically can, can transcend borders. The people who don't have an identity do not have access to finances. When you start looking at these things and when you were saying, well, because of what this technology can enable, we can live in a world of self sovereign identity. It really started, stopped, started to at least question, um, audit address possibilities are solving problems that we've wanted to solve and, and have not been able to solve. So in my, in my opinion, I think when people say blockchain will not solve all world hunger, it's true. But I think blockchain will solve some very serious problems for us that we are facing as humanity. But like I said, um, we are starting this journey on blockchain. We have a long way to go be, um, you know, the, if you have a process, for example, they, there is no middle man, you know, clock genes aren't going to be of much help to you. So, you know, you have to be very clear on what, what problems you're going to solve. But I really think that it's going to be very impactful and how it has huge potential, what it can achieve.
Speaker 3:
5:09
So, so yes, it is. I think if I'm, to summarize, you mentioned that you a few things, it's not, it's not going to, it's not a cure all. And definitely now just, you know, going the discussions in the hype, it seems to be a cure all and definitely it's not a cure all. Definitely. It's gonna take time. Um, and I'd love to dig a little bit deeper, just an example that you have just mentioned, which I think is a good example in terms of identity, right? And, and, but how for that particular example, right? In terms of millions, billions, and millions or hundreds of millions of people not having an identity, the same not being banked because you don't have an identity. How would specifically for that, how would blockchain,
Speaker 2:
5:45
so the way to solve, they did an identity. There's different, different ways of solving the problem of identity and you know, I mean all some of the developing countries have taken a stab at that. We believe whether you're solving the problem of identity for the people don't have that, don't have identity or making identity better for people who already have an identity. So right now as a human being, my identity lives with several different entities. The government owns a version of my identity. All the social media that I use have a version of my identity. When I go to a bar to get a drink, I have to give them my driver's license to prove I'm about 21 years of age. But I'm giving them all the information about myself. I'm giving them my name, my address, my date of birth. Exactly. Um, I love it when I get caught in these days, you know.
Speaker 2:
6:31
Um, but, but think about a world where I own my identity. I can crude things on a need basis. So, you know, when I walk into a bar, I can prove I'm above 21 years of age without having to give them additional information when I cross borders, right? You know, the, the whole immigration a crisis the world is going through right now I have some fall off an identity that actually is crossing borders without having a paper with me that the other government doesn't trust. So when we envision that future, right, when we envision the ability to create a bank account and prove things about myself. So whether, you know, if you look at the entire spectrum of what our identity enables us to do, can we really now address the problem, you know, really create an ecosystem where we are looking at self sovereign identity, where I as an individual own my identity and approve things on a need basis.
Speaker 2:
7:22
Right? And can we really create a world with these, you know, people who've not had an, had an identity before have an identity. I, uh, spoke to, and I'll give you a little bit of an example. Um, I actually spoke to this nonprofit in based in South America where they wanted to microfinance, um, you know, group of women who were working on developing, developing, you know, literally local arts and crafts. Um, so local artisans, these women didn't have an identity. So there's nonprofit actually couldn't give them a loan because these women didn't have an identity. They didn't have it. So what they did was they created this notion of identity with a defined that entity of a person and had that identity validated by members of community, right? So saying, yes, I'm [inaudible] and here are my five neighbors who validate that I'm with me. That was enough for them to give out a micro loan due to these people.
Speaker 2:
8:15
And you know, again, once you start, you know, uh, really banking down, banked in some form or you know, you really get into this notion of micro financing, it opens up a world of opportunities for these people. So, um, the notion of having self sovereign identity requires identity, the underlying layer to be decentralized, to be able to support that. Right? It's hard for any centralized system to be able to support that. So that's why we believe it's a longer term vision. You know, we've, we are starting the journey on it, but we really believe that that's where the gold,
Speaker 3:
8:47
yeah. Cause basically from a government perspective to do that, it's probably going to be much, much harder to do. And if you can, you can kind of link it back to five individuals versus a government official, whatever it is currently that needs to go there, especially in the economies and the countries with typically, which are not so developed. Right. This way please problems occurring. Okay. Makes a lot of sense and good example in it. And I just need to ask, because you know, we talked about trust, we talked about myths. I think this is a question that actually one of our, uh, one of our listeners, how do you know he's actually challenging a little bit here? He was saying that he, you know, everybody was big on our RFID, right, that the technology about 10 years ago and the media coverage and everything was that is going to change the world and you know, everybody will be transformed by it. And that was a bit 10 years early. It's just happening now. Um, so he was asking what's the difference between both blockchain and RFID as a, as a technology do you think is going to be a hype, is going to happen the same standing as early or do you think is going to be different?
Speaker 2:
9:42
So I really think that any technology that we talk about, you know, there are some technologies that are going to just sneak into our lives like just like the excellent and what it enabled. And you know, we probably didn't see the journey of the technological evolution that happened for us to enable to create things like the iPhone, right? Um, any technology, whether it's RFID or blockchain or artificial intelligence, I think is going to go to the classic hype curve, right? So we are good to go through the innovation trigger, the peaks and the troughs of the solution. It's illusion meant and then actual adoption of the technology. Right. Um, having been a bot of some of the chip design, uh, technologies coming out, um, iot technologies coming out. The one thing that I have noticed with personally, personal note, is it blockchain is it's pushing pasta type cycle faster than the other technologies we, we we've seen, right.
Speaker 2:
10:34
Is it going to play out exactly like the RFID technology? I don't think so. I think it's going to put it, we are already seeing that, you know, we, IBM started really uh, working on it. You know, the research, I mean, research has been looking at it for several years. IBM started looking at and t two years and even in three years we've actually seen people really move from the education to the, from the tire kicking phase to doing PLCs to actually doing serious violence and running in production. So, you know, I personally believe that we will push past this hype cycle sooner rather than later. We will hit the world very quickly in five years from now, where will, we will not use the word blockchain. We will talk about decentralization but we will not talk about the technology itself. And that's what success would mean for us.
Speaker 2:
11:18
That's when we will know, yes we have been successful. Um, in terms of we as society gets so used to doing things a certain way. So you know, blockchain success will depend on how quickly and how easily we can, you know, solve problems that we have and seamlessly solve problems and become, become uh, uh, you know, mainstream. But I think, um, there in lies the challenge for blockchain because we are trying to solve some critical problems that the world really wants to solve in optimizing trade, in improving efficiencies and food supply. You know, we do want to be all as a society want to in a world where I know everything about my food, I want to live in a world where supply chain the more efficient, right? And I am getting better dollar value for the things that I buy. We do want to live in a world where identity is self sovereign. So when you look at those notions and the need that humanity has for these things to become a reality rather than just the tech industry, you know, um, um, I think we will definitely see it most successful sooner rather than later.
Speaker 3:
12:17
Let's go into some examples because I think that's it. That would make it and bring it down to practicality. Right? So then it's a lot of, a lot of our listeners who are, uh, who are, who are wondering, maybe give us some, some, um, proof of concepts. I mean the further down the implementation path and if you've had some implemented projects with your clients, that would be amazing. So maybe just, you know, if you can share some examples across industries that you think,
Speaker 2:
12:41
yeah, sure. So, you know, I, I like to break it down and took several, several broad categories, but if we look at just the big category that you know, affect you and me are in our daily life, you know, identity being one, food being the being there, the one and money, um, uh, being the third one in the identity space, you know, uh, this again, this notion of um, a self solver notion of identity. You know, IBM is, Ibm is part of the sovereign network where we are going to be a steward node. We are also doing work around the New York customer corporate as well as retail with a separate with several banks and several corporate where we again want to make the know your customer process for banks really, really more efficient and effective, right? We have a pilot running in a serious pilot running and Singapore where the thanks and the corporate global banks in the corporate side actually testing the system right now.
Speaker 2:
13:30
Um, in terms of food, you know, IBM has a big play in uh, actually making sure that our food is safe, right? Uh, tracking the entire life cycle of food. Um, hundreds and thousands of people, you know, it's actually 420,000 people die every year from food borne in less that it was one of those, uh, uh, our children, right when we have a problem of that magnitude and we realized now we have a technology that can help us really not only make our food supplies, uh, safer, but also help reduce waste. Because before we had this, or what happened is if you detected, um, contamination,
Speaker 3:
14:11
okay,
Speaker 2:
14:12
the food supply would have to pull all of the foods. So for example, if spinach was contaminated, they had no way of telling, it's only specific Spanish that's contaminated. They had to pull all spinach off the shelf. So we ended up wasting a lot of food and it would take up to two weeks for us to be able to figure it out and take it off the shelf. Now we can do it in a matter of seconds, right? So, and that's, that's almost we working, you know, it's becoming a reality. We are able to track mangoes. We are able to track Polk and I'm the safety around those things and adding more things as we go. Now when we start talking about financial services, right? This notion of um, um, this notion of a tokenization of assets, for example, you know, tokenization of carbon credits, tokenization of incentive, incentivizing people to keep plastics, plastics out of the ocean.
Speaker 2:
15:03
They aren't becoming a reality. These things are in production. So, you know, based on, you know, whether, whether it's work with the big banks do banks to working with the small corporate to working with, you know, food suppliers. We are starting to see things become reality under all these big umbrellas. And again, you know, trade and optimizing trade is a, is a big thing that we are working on and we, we really think we can make trade extremely efficient and bring the costs down because currently, you know, trade is, um, um, the, the trillion of dollars just trapped in the inefficiencies of trade. And we really think we can tap into, into that to make it more efficient.
Speaker 3:
15:37
So that's this. So there's three broad categories and I think definitely, I mean as, as you mentioned that for consumers for example, food is a huge one, but let's go. Don't even, even more in detail. Um, so maybe if you can, cause it's almost like the question's how exactly does that work? Like, so you mentioned that, okay, so spinach, your, you know before to do two weeks to figure out which one was it. You take it out from the shelf, you kind of have to waste it. They know even until the time that you track your supplier. That was, you know, the issue, it takes two weeks, a long time, lots of money wasted. Now you can do to the matter of seconds. But how exactly is that possible using blockchain? I mean, you know, from a practical, simple way of explaining it didn't look Jenny.
Speaker 2:
16:17
Yeah. So, and I would like to break that problem into two parts and just to touch on something. Trade lands. When we first started it, it started that project and IBM, it was called global trade digitization because the first problem we tried to solve was not decentralization, but we said because we are solving this problem, it's actually they're also going to solve the problem of digitalization while we solve it. And um, these digitalization and decentralization. So if you look at the food supply chain, we really wanted food, you know, for after your farmer grows your food, it touches so many middlemen. And then it finally, you know, go, goes to the likes of big carriers, like all miners, you know, and then finally gets to a stove and then the consumers buy it. Um, you know, we were talking about coffee earlier. Coffee's exactly the same way.
Speaker 2:
17:01
We have no idea who grew up coffee right now they're trying to come up with mechanisms of figuring out who your farmer is, but there's no way of tracking their supply chain end to end. So currently in, in, in, in this food supply chain, you know, coffee folded under that category. We have no way of tracking where in a supply chain certain thing is and how it was distributed in bed when we broadly know. But this badger spinach went to these 10 stores. So when you actually are creating packages of food, we start labeling them and we start tracking them. Once we start tracking those, those labels and we track every time it hits the middleman in that process, whether it's the person shipping the food or the path person just holding onto the food. And then now because it's decentralized, um, um, when I have to really check, it's, I'm not pulling one person or the central system that could be corrupted, right?
Speaker 2:
17:53
To check where food is, I'm actually pulling the entire system and I'm seeing, hey, ecosystem or food suppliers. Tell me where did the spinach go? And because I've now built in tracking abilities, they can say, these batches are with r and d, this store right now. So if you think this, this, this Spanish that was grown on this particular farm is with these stores at the scale, at given time, if you need to recall, it is what needs to be recalled here. The specific packages that need to be recalled from these specific stores so we can actually get that fine grain information. And now, because the tech, because um, and I, I'm, I'm not just pulling a central system, but I'm pulling all the participants of the ecosystem. I know exactly where what I'm looking for is. So it might not be at the store, it might be somewhere with somebody who's actually in the middle.
Speaker 2:
18:40
Yeah. In the warehouse. Could be anywhere. It could be anywhere. So now blockchain has enabled that, right. Locked in. It's also given me absolute confidence that nobody went in Dene, tamper, tamper with that information. So I'll always know the truth. Right. Because the moment somebody tries to tamper, tamper with blockchain, the leaving not, they live in the trail and they can't really tamper it because the blogs have been hashed and chained together. So it's, you can't, you can't operate since tamperproof. Right. So now I know that's what I meant by one, but see the distress and is one version of the truth. So no matter who I fall in that system, I'll get one answer.
Speaker 3:
19:19
I just need to kind of wrap my head around is personal. And I think the, some of all the sounds might hit the same because from um, um, from a practical perspective. So, uh, there's, there's a fair bit of work to be done in order to get that information to, you know, even from practical, the right label getting all the different, so let's say 10 middle men in between the farmers who farmed the Spanish to the, uh, the person, the Walmart that sells it, right? The stand middle men, all of them have to agree to contribute and to be part of that. And basically for the middle man they met, that may or may not really be in their interest long term, right? Yes. So the million dollar question then becomes how do and why would you, why would they do that? Why would they come into it? Because Walmart forces them to, which I read several news that they do and therefore they are kind of doing the, you know, I'm just, I have to throw that at you because,
Speaker 2:
20:11
yeah, no, no, I think it's a fair question. And we constantly, you know, so the biggest thing that, that blockchain of this technology is going to do for us is it's good. It's decentralizing everything, right? So the role of the middleman is either being completely disinter mediated, mediated or it's getting redefined, significantly redefined. So anyway, who was in the middle is questioning the, you know, um, the role of this technology. So when we, um, when we see different ecosystem or rebuild ecosystems, um, together, when you build these ecosystems, whether it's ecosystem of trade, whether it's ecosystem of food over there ecosystem of New York customer, let me start to bring these plans together. And by the way, I think that's where blockchain has the biggest value. It's allowing us to have the conversations we never had before. It's bringing all these people to the table before, we never had an opportunity to bring competition to the same table.
Speaker 2:
21:05
Competitors to the same table. Um, when we started, when we started to have this conversation, and at the end of it, our main collecting goal is to solve that one problem. So for the food trust ecosystem, we had one collective goal to actually create, um, uh, food safety, make food safety better to actually create transparency into, in our food supply chain. So if that's our collective goal, they're always going to be, you know, um, paper pusher. But if you talk to, um, the guys who are running safe food safety for more math, for example, or Nestle or disco,
Speaker 2:
21:38
they all have one collective goal. And that is you don't want to watch somebody die because we didn't recall certain food if we don't want to waste food. So that's our collective goal and we want to make this process that extremely efficient. Um, and transplant, I'll be honest with you, some people will believe in that collective goal and say, yes, it's going to cause me to really rethink and Redo the, the way I've done it. But I, I agree for the betterment of everything that's happening. Even if it's financial incentive, I need, I want to participate in that. Most of the time that we've seen in our ecosystems, people are have this shared vision, so it's easier for them to come to the table. There will be cases when some have to come kicking and screaming. I can't cite an example right now that comes to mind where we had to bring somebody kicking and screaming. But I do see, I do think that when you bring in 10 people at the table, maybe they live in person is not a happy participant, but agrees to participate in this ecosystem. But that's why we will also solve hard problems, right? Because right now we've enabled that conversation and people who probably don't want couple complete disintermediation or this decentralization, I'm not going to be in agreement with what we do. Right. But they can't help but be a part of this conversation. Right? So we are forcing this conversation that we should have had.
Speaker 3:
22:57
Again, back to your point, and I think back to our discussion before the podcast where I think that that was the example with the coffee, right? With the Cohi producer makes a $1 and Starbucks, it's a Thursday for $20 or whatever it is. And that increased will hike of price for the consumer is because of all the different middle men. If we take out any within with the help of blockchain, those, some of those transactions in the middle that are taking out there being you know, more efficient or less costs in health, folk of the consumer, both obviously the consumer will be happy but the middle guys will not make money anymore. So, uh, for sure, uh, whenever it's, there's a talk about changing the way things are, somebody will not be happy. But ultimately as long as it's basically the consumer benefits, it's the same with ecommerce isn't it? Right. I mean a lot of the retailers are not happy that ecommerce came up and they, you know, they were bankrupt but you know, consumers go to your and then you know, at the end of the day you have Richard,
Speaker 2:
23:50
which I'm right. For example, just the couple of taking the coffee example. We are not only helping the end consumer actually helping the farmer as well. The world's poorest people are farmers and you know, they're, they're the ones driving the food but they're not being compensated because all that money's going in the middle.
Speaker 3:
24:05
Yes. Right. And I'd love to, maybe you have, I mean, I don't know if you can disclose names of companies or, or anything like that that you work with. Do you, do you have some, and maybe it would be even great if you have some Asian examples. It doesn't actually matter so much in, in terms of regions actually come to think about it. But do you have some, you know, maybe some data or some, you know, you've worked in x and this is, you know, what you managed to implement so far? There was a proof of concept and then they were able to cut this much. You'll save this much or improve this much or something. I don't have those lines. Yeah. So just,
Speaker 2:
24:36
um, you know, again, uh, if you come to food safety, you know, we've proved, we've proved that. I'm just recalling food that would take them up to two weeks. I think they've brought it down to a matter of seconds. And in success, do you have Walmart? We have two schools. We have a Dole foods, we have Leslie, you know, we have multiple participants in that particular network. So that's a good example and very relatable because we are, we as a society are getting very conscious about our food, right? And I, I mean, I, I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum. I need, I want to know who grew my food. I want to know the farmer who wrote rule food, right? So I think that's a powerful one. But no matter where, which, you know, trade lands is again, a big, big one for us, right?
Speaker 2:
25:14
So in the work that we're doing with lisc in 94, other players that have joined that ecosystem, that's again, a big sister ecosystem. And we've, we've actually shown Mondayyou, um, uh, in, um, how much efficiencies we can bring into the entire trade ecosystem. Um, you know, we from a Singapore, a perspective of the have done work around digitizing electronic bill of lading negotible has been Avila is non negotiable bill of lading and all the ecosystem participants are we, uh, that we need that, you know, you think about big banks, you know, I mean we've done flug um, with everyone as the chief data officer of uh, for IBM blockchain. I saw every bit flip on every single thing related to related to blockchain. And I have to tell you that the interest and the work that's been done has been absolutely tremendous. I, you know, I was a skeptic and I'm a believer now and it's very data driven. It's very, very data intensive. And so we've just, I mean, you name it, whether it's work with the FDA, whether it's work, work with clinical trials on something or health records, very to work with, um, energy, um, whether it's, you name it and we've had conversations and we've done work around that. Whether it was MVPs a POC or pilot or production, you know, major banks. You think about major banks. We've done both with almost all of them tearing houses.
Speaker 3:
26:37
Yes, please. And if I'm to kind of try to generalize a, and I think you rightfully mentioned just to just now it, wherever there is an industry or a chain, let's call it the chain or supply chain or whatever you may call it, when there's a lot of intermediaries where there's a lot of middle men, there's a much, there's a quite a high likelihood that blockchain will be a quite a game changer. And wherever there is less of them or no, none of them, then it's obviously it's not gonna solve anything because it's already a kind of a direct and, and then, yeah. Um, and, and let's address a little bit the question we'd, okay. So you mean let's, let's stand up right on the, on the part where you mentioned that you'd bill of lading and, um, and, uh, this has been effected and I think there's been, um, a question that we got in terms of the implications of this smart contract. Uh, um, type of agreements, let's say in logistics and shipping, explained it in, you know, in, in this kind of, um, archive. If you want industries right, where it's been the same and the bill of lading hasn't been changed for decades and it's been very paper, paper treatment, how do you see blockchain and this technology impacting that and changing that are impacting that.
Speaker 2:
27:41
So I think the entire digitalization and decentralization of trade is going to have a big, big impact. And I think we would make a lot of headway. You know, electronic bill of lading just happens to be one set of people that we know, uh, digitizing in respect of that. And I, I don't know, it's, I don't know if the audience there, but it's very interesting beast. Sometimes we spend more money, uh, shipping the paperwork across them, the actual container, you know, I love Avocados. We, when we ship out with models, we have no way to tell which containers, Avocados, and you know, what God was either to roll that to. Right. You know, that's, that happy middle is very, very hard to reach in there. And I'm personally very picky about, and I missed it at my home, I miss them. And, but knowing that that's the container of Avocados, it has it's $4 million in revenue and it's in value.
Speaker 2:
28:27
Sorry. And that's the one I need to unpack first. That kind of information was just completely missing, right? You know, like I said, blockchain and the things that it's going to enable, the things it's going to do is go, it's a journey. We're starting that journey now. It's started off in tastic Lee. Well, I think we have places to go with it. Um, but I, I really think that, you know, um, if you look at any of the archaic processes going to redefine, treat being the biggest one, I mean all of them, I'm going to be identity being another one. You know, I really also think that, um, um, the, the entire notion of money and tie concept of money money is, um, uh, gosh, 2000 years old, right? And it's still, you know, I give you a dollar and that dollar now belongs to you and it belong to me. So, you know, and then there's, um, there's a, a rule, um, that says it's called the Nimo datchell which just says you can't spend money that you don't have.
Speaker 3:
29:24
Yeah. Which has changed in the last [inaudible] borrowing
Speaker 2:
29:28
that money. Like, you know, you are officially like essentially getting that money that you're spending. So smart contracts in a simple way allow us to honor that rule. Right. And it's saying you can't spend the money that you do that you don't have. So I think just this smart contract to bring in an interesting notion of being notions of notion of being able to um, now do these things, right. So, um, um, the things that, that I think in terms of things that have at human life, money, um, identity, food, you know, trade supply chain traded, I think we will see all of those change because of what smart contracts a contract can do. I, I have to say one thing, it's just digital enforcement and digital governance and things that it can do. But I have to say, I find it very, very interesting. Smart contracts are called smart contracts. They neither smart nor are they contract. So you know, if you think about it that way, it's just rules that are saying, if this happens, we have to make sure that this isn't enforced.
Speaker 3:
30:27
Right. And the million dollar question, the million dollar challenge is getting people to be on board and agree to those. Uh, absolutely. So that's kind of be fine to look back on the question and just kind of come back to the, in some ways that goes, we've had this in, in different forms from our audiences. Um, um, I guess it's, it's where do you see in the next couple of years, right? Cause I think, you know, you obviously see a huge potential in this. A lot of people see like here's potentially in books, but where do you see as the biggest and what's the biggest adoption and people getting on the platform type of, I mean, is it, is it governments, the bottleneck that will be the most, is it the middle man that will, you know, just screaming, shouting, you know, they don't want to be part of it. Is it, I don't know. Consumers in some way, shape or form. What,
Speaker 2:
31:15
what's the, so I think from, from where we said, I think the regulatory bodies have to move faster to really start looking at this and, and you know, saying, yes, the society and the world and the technology is now asking for things to be done a little differently. So we should take a closer look at it and bless it. Um, you know, that said there are always, regulations are in place for good reasons, you know. Um, um, so, you know, I'm not saying that a go look at regulation that make anonymous transfers of money. Uh, okay. But I think for certain things that you're trying to do, you know, we obviously need regulators and governmental agencies to take a closer look at it and bless it from an IBM perspective, you know, we don't believe in cryptocurrencies or the entire ICO wall. So, you know, if you take that out, and we started looking at regulations around digitizing assets, um, we started looking at regulations around identity, know your customers. I definitely think in that moment, um, we could get a quite a bit of help from regulators as well as governmental agencies. I think that would help push that in with a fall forward much more than anything else would. That would be the, that would be most impactful.
Speaker 3:
32:24
Understood. And other than you know, the smart contracts, you know, creating the echo system for shippers, we discuss trade lens specifically in supply chain. Right. What do you see blockchain having the most or most impactable I would say in the next couple of years know I, I really
Speaker 2:
32:40
think, uh, whenever there's a supply chain, no matter what that supply chain chip supply chain looks like, I think we can make it more efficient or imagine new ones. Um, food, you know, we don't move, don't touch, don't talk about food and quite and quite a bit. But I think food supply chain is going to be very impactful because if you look at what society is looking at, you know, food sustainability is becoming agriculture, all of that is becoming extremely important. You know, food itself has multiple supply chains, not just, you know, food safety is one supply chain, you know, but there are other supply chains in this industry as well as well. So I really think, um, I don't think it's going to be one thing that's going to be bashful. I think it's going to be multiple things that are important that are going to be impacted at the same time. So it's not that food is going to be more important, rate is going to be less impacted. I think they're all going to be equally impacted. We are, you know, you talked about RFID and blockchain earlier. The efficiencies are the things we could have, could have done with RFID for incremental. With blockchain. You're actually telling everything on its head and saying, here's a new way of doing things. So it's very different. Um, but I think it's, the impact is going to be that much more, right when this
Speaker 3:
33:52
good. Um, and moving on a little bit to the people, to the skill set to the let's say a type of knowledge that we as individuals or, uh, or, or people in general should have. Uh, because blockchain is a new thing, right? So we, they were in different programs for either we're in the, you know, university wasn't teaching nothing, no one lost one or two years. They started to teach it instead sit in the sit in schools. One of all this was asking you if he wants to become a data scientist, blockchain kind of expert, what it should want us, you need to do, how does that, how does it get there?
Speaker 2:
34:21
And I, and I, I'll, I'll take a step back and I'm super passionate about education so I can go on for a flare out fat for hours. Uh, uh, but I've been an adjunct faculty, a professor for 12 years. So I have, but my background is in computer chip design, so very, very technologically focused. But if he, if we take a little bit of a step back and the biggest power in my mind that blockchain is bringing to us is it starting conversations. We never had it saying now we have a technology that can do these things for us and people who worked with each other but never really trusted each other and already ready to sit down at a table and a half conversation that they were not ready to have earlier when we are good to enable things. Uh, because of the conversations that are happening, what are the skill sets we need right?
Speaker 2:
35:07
In most of the work that we've done. You know, technology is one aspect of it, which is a very, very important aspect of it. But I think there's a lot of heavy lifting done, 11 heavy lifting to be done around bringing these ecosystems together. There's a lot of work to be done to think outside the box. So, you know, when people ask me for what skills are we are looking at, if you're looking at blockchain as an idea and a concept to completely revolutionize how we do things, two broad categories and much let's just say, and you for simpler, let's just break it in technical and nontechnical terms and let's do get technical first. Um, from a technical perspective, we've had deep researchers look at the blockchain problem, right? We've had, um, deep engineers, um, work on some of the applied research problems. As we deliver things, the new things that are coming out are on zero knowledge proof, you know, um, homomorphic encryption, we will continue to need, um, deep, um, researchers as well as engineers defined this technology.
Speaker 2:
36:08
And that's why, you know, in, um, uh, in IBM and we did blockchain, it was actually, research was heavily invested in it as was the business unit. Also when we started looking at the intersection of technologies like blockchain and Ai, you know, and how do you do analytics on data that lives in different sources in a secure multiparty computation. Again, we will need a lot of research to be invented, done, done, done in those fields. So that's where I would break down the category. And that's that skill set we look for. In terms of the nontechnical skills. I really think that it's, um, it's people who can think outside the box, you know, people who can really come up with new ways of doing business, defining new business, business models, um, designers, you know, you really have a hard time coming, you know, finding extremely good designers who can technically get what the, what the, what the technology can do and also figured out how to solve it, how to best solve it.
Speaker 2:
37:01
Right. I think technology is best, so best serves people that it's transparent and it's not very visible. Right. And I think to get to that point, we will need not just the technical folks but the folks that are both on the business aspect of things as well. So when, um, so for people who want to go into blockchain, my, you know, my, um, a recommendation would be that now education around blockchain, both in the business side and the technical side is getting stronger. You know, there are courses available on most of these, uh, you know, massive opencourseware sites like Coursera, etc. Um, we as IBM or have partnered with several universities globally, Oxford, Columbia, uh, around blockchain and delivering these courses even in Singapore who button with nus last year to deliver a course on blockchain. Um, and it really starts with what problem would you like to solve and how would you solve that problem?
Speaker 2:
37:52
And that brings in, you know, the business, the designers and the engineers together to solve that, to solve that problem. If we take a step even further back and we say we are really looking at a future where jobs are going to be Uber rised for lack of a better word, um, we are going to look at completely decentralized market where the consumer is directly going to go to the buyer. Um, and there is no central thing controlling all of these. I really think we need to educate the younger generation on concepts beyond purely technical and purely business. I think really they really need to be thinkers. So I, you know, my recommendation has always been taking kids, don't teach them engineering too early on in their life. Take them what art and philosophy and history and then when you tell them, um, you know, here's the entire thing and technology is just a tool in your tool set to solve the problems that really need to need to be solved. I think we will look at a very different world.
Speaker 3:
38:47
Hm. Got It. And then, um, because I mean, and also to kind of add to your point, and we've had a couple of, actually there's been a lot until we trust the multicultural, there's been a lot of them, especially with it is I've done and we agreed on that. I think that the end, there's a lot of private equity and venture capital funds that are putting money into startups that are trying to do different things using blockchain. So we've had the several inquiries and we have worked on a couple of assignments where they asked for a CTO to have in depth knowledge of blockchain and some of them came up with requirements seven to 10 years in right there. I'm okay by and say seven to 10 years ago there was no blockchain. So yeah, whether you're talking about, yeah. Um, and then basically it was a matter of finding somebody that has very good technical, analytical and, and programming skills that has maybe taken a dad but some sort of blockchain projects in the last one to three years and then has them, has the soft skills and the management skills to manage teams.
Speaker 3:
39:39
Because as a CTO you need to have that. Um, so pretty much that's how we found those, those people. And it's, you know, it's going to add my perspective or my 2 cents as a headhunter, uh, that indeed it is the, it's kind of building upon what you said it is the technical skills. But that being said that you can learn and if you have a in pretty much, again, you know you don't need to be a rocket scientist in blockchain, you can pick it up and you can learn what's more important potentially in probably and it's going to be more and more important as we move along with all this technology advancements is going to be the soft skills, the human skills, the human touch, the how do you get your teams and people together to work towards the common division. Then how do you get the creative around it, right? To maybe better orchestrate the model and put it in a way that hasn't been thought before. And then we'll shift our, you know, a little bit then we'll make or break the company. Right. So yeah, true.
Speaker 2:
40:30
And I mean just to give you an example, in Singapore, you know from a research perspective, we work on blockchain and AI and then started a strategic pillar on blockchain. Does AI we do is we spend quite a bit of what I'm doing, cool research where we spend most of our time doing applied research. So we work with customers and deliver problem how to solve problems that have never been, so they haven't been told before. Right. So even we as researchers, what delivering this, we always frontend all of our work with the designer because the designer saying, yes, you guys are very bright and you can come with the technology but nobody wants to use it stupidly.
Speaker 4:
41:02
Yeah. [inaudible] do have to use it's clunky. You know, I just before we,
Speaker 2:
41:06
we were um, we started the podcast, I had a meeting this morning, but some of the banks and corporates that we are working on and um, you know, it was lovely to hear because the first thing that the bank said to me was the interface was amazing and it was quite idiot proof.
Speaker 4:
41:21
But that's what's you need get cause lovely to hear that. That is idiot proof. You know? So and I mean I'll be very honest with [inaudible] with you,
Speaker 2:
41:29
researchers will, you know, you ask a person to change the interest in light, right? There are 20 people, 30,000 ways we can do that. The designer front ending, it just said, no, this is how the user needs to experiences. This is how you're going to expose it. I don't care. You are solving hard research problem, solve them in the background while I surface surface this and that. Then the designers or you know, they're very interesting people because they've spent most of their time in art and design and aesthetics of things. They really say, does that really need to be solved? You know, I mean, do we, do I really need to solve? And they ask, you know, it might be a simple question and I might have 10 researchers looking at it, but when the designer knows that question, now you've started to take a pause and saying yes, if we can't answer her question, we are not doing the right thing. You know
Speaker 3:
42:14
that, that's brilliant. I mean, do you need to walk on your hands that you can work on your sheet? Just have to share this, right? So I was, um, in terms of design, right? So maybe the people in the MRT system in Singapore won't like me, but I will say it anyways. Um, you know, the, the, sometimes I forget my, if I take the MRT, forget the card, right? So if you buy one ticket, you can get some sort of occurred. And then after five, there's some sort of a system. If you use it five times, you get 10 cents back. And truthfully, I never figured it out and I have a bothered to figure that out because for some reason I like to learn. But if for some reason I don't want to spend my time figuring out that thing, right, you go to Hong Kong is the same Mrd and MTR or whatever they call it is the same system as say, some way you buy the car, it's a one trip to get the end.
Speaker 3:
43:03
When you exit, you just put it in the slot and it takes it away. And that's it. Done. I mean, it's much more simple. I mean, I don't need to figure out anything. So back to the point, and this was not necessarily to suggestion to the MRT system as a more to take it on board, but um, uh, it's design design should be simple. Design is the reason why apple is what is it is today and it is about the users and technology at the end of the day and as you, as you, as you said, maybe in a couple of years nobody will talk about blockchain anymore. It's just going to be what can I do and they want even know probably that it is built on blockchain.
Speaker 2:
43:36
Yeah, it has. Yeah, exactly right. I mean I really want to live in a world where we don't say the word blockchain, we really are just talking about things that has enabled and the new thing we can do because of what the technology is underneath it. So you know, that would be my ideal world. I do think, you know, I mean and design and just to help you experiences is just going to be so critical for introduction as well. Yeah, you just have to make it easy and seamless and beautiful. Yes.
Speaker 3:
44:01
Super. Well, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate your sharing your stories, your case studies and has been a real pleasure and thank you for taking your time. Thank you so much. I enjoyed it.
Speaker 5:
44:11
Thank you for listening to a podcast. If you liked what you heard, be sure to follow us on Rapala mario.com/podcast for all the show notes, links, and extra tips covered in the interview. Make sure also to subscribe to our emailing this to get the news in the nick of time. If you're listening through a three in platform like iTunes or stitcher and you like what we do, please kindly review and give us five stars so weekend. Keep the energy flowing and get more people to find out about our podcast. I'm most active on Linkedin, so do feel free to follow me to stay tuned for our latest articles as well as future guests for the podcast. And if you have any suggestions or any other idea, please feel free to write to me. I respond to all and also please make sure not to miss our next episode where we will be having a few other c level and top leaders in supply chain joining us. Stay tuned.
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