Written by Dr. Ernie Teo,
Co-Founder, Dedoco, Head of deLab
Experimentation by enterprises on blockchain technology started as early as 2014 when banks started looking at letters of credit as a use case. The release of the Ethereum Whitepaper in the same year sparked much excitement and signalled the advent of the smart contract era.
Why Blockchain for Enterprises?
The key characteristics of blockchain which made it attractive to businesses are trust, automation and disintermediation. Current day business processes are clunky and slow as there is a lack of digital trust. Human beings have to get involved to manually verify and enter information. Blockchain, being tamper-proof and transparent, allows the data/information to be shared and trusted among multiple stakeholders. The ability to have a single source of truth across the ecosystem drove many enterprises to look at implementing blockchain.
Enterprises, however, quickly found that they require some level of privacy over the data which permission-less public blockchain technology (during that time) could not provide. They also preferred that the blockchain network not be opened to the public. This led to the evolution in enterprise blockchain technologies such as the Hyperledger family of protocols and Corda. Many use cases have since been deployed and tested on these protocols. Some interesting and notable applications include Food Trust by IBM, Fizzy by AXA and Open Attestation by Govtech Singapore.
Enterprise blockchain application - Hyperledger Fabric technology & Food Trust
One successful case using permissioned enterprise blockchain technology was Food Trust which utilizes Hyperledger Fabric technology. Food Trust was started in October 2016 as an experiment by IBM and Walmart to track provenance of food products such as mangoes and pork across the food supply chain. It is a supply chain record keeping system designed to improve food safety. The successful trial which led to a production roll out across the industry in 2017. Prominent members of Food Trust includes Carrefour, Nestle and Dole Foods.
Use of Public Blockchain
Not all blockchain use cases for enterprise are built on permissioned blockchain technology. Fizzy by AXA was one example using public blockchain. It was parametric insurance offered by AXA for flight delays. Smart contracts on Ethereum were able to check if flights got delayed and could trigger instant payouts in such events. Unfortunately Fizzy shut down in Nov 2019, it was ahead of its time and the market wasn’t ready. However it demonstrated a very interesting use case on how smart contracts could be utilised for a business using public blockchain technology.
Public blockchain is also being adopted for certification use cases. Open Attestation is an example, it was first rolled out by Govtech Singapore to educational institutions for the issuance of education certificates (as OpenCerts). When COVID-19 hit, the framework was adapted to be used for PCR tests and vaccination proofs. Open Attestation allows for the verification of any digitally issued certificates and is also being used for trade documentations. Dedoco has also adopted this framework in our dCert product, allowing for our users to easily issue certificates of their own. The use cases for company issued certificates include testimonials, certificates of appreciation, trade documents and even greeting cards.
The blockchain journey for every business is different. Over the years there have been many implementations and use cases. Dedoco was part of a research study by the Blockchain Association Singapore and the University of New South Wales entitled “Mapping the Enterprise Blockchain Landscape - Use Cases across Asia Pacific” (Visit this link to download a copy). The aim of the report is to understand the different approaches business and their service providers take when implementing blockchain. The report included insights from government agencies in Singapore such as Govtech and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, as well as industry players such as One Connect Technology and Accenture. Discovered as part of the study, there are many areas one can explore to get started with Blockchain for their business. However there are many challenges, such as having to work with consortiums and your competitors, finding and paying for talent to build, develop and manage the blockchain solution. Setting up and maintaining your own blockchain solution is hard.
Dedoco & Blockchain for Business
At Dedoco, we make it simple to connect via our APIs to access blockchain features without having to directly interact with the blockchain. Dedoco stands for decentralised document connector. We aim to connect systems to systems using decentralised trusted documents. Every business deals with documents and has various processes associated with them. One of the biggest challenges for full digitization is a lack of trust between systems. Dedoco can help to change that. You can hash documents, add signatures, approvals and versions to blockchain via Dedoco APIs. To improve the business processes of our users, we have created a suite of products such as digital signing, video signing, certificate issuance and verification. Dedoco aims to help Web2 companies bridge into Web3 through the use of our platform and APIs to issue Web3 documents.
Dedoco is also designed to protect the privacy of your document. The solution does not store your document, rather it captures its hash such that it can be verifiable at different stages of the document process. With this design you can choose your own deployment model to use our solution, including the option to bring your own document store.
We also recognise that there are business use cases for blockchain beyond signing and certification. As such, we created deLab by Dedoco, our research and development branch. At deLab, we are building a set of basic building blocks for blockchain based document processes, we call this the Dedoco Trust Engine. This will be accessible via APIs and can be connected to different blockchain protocols and networks. The building blocks form the foundation for businesses to explore their blockchain use cases and be able to quickly create POCs.
The best use cases and applications come from the actual users of the product. At deLab, our consultants will work with your business to identify key touchpoints which can benefit from blockchain and co-develop solutions with you.
At Dedoco, we offer an alternative approach to creating business use cases for blockchain. Instead of writing your own custom smart contracts, you can interact with different blockchain functionalities via APIs. We also offer different options for the blockchain network (permissioned or public). This means you don’t need to maintain your own blockchain network or need specialised blockchain developers.
Dedoco aims to amp up blockchain adoption for real world business use cases and use blockchain to make a positive change for enterprises. Whatever your use case, our set of solutions are created to help you realise your blockchain vision. If you have standard business processes you want to digitise, you can use Dedoco’s SaaS platform or its APIs. If you like to build your own blockchain based applications and customise your own processes, you can use Dedoco Trust Engine.
If you are interested in Dedoco solutions or delab services, you can contact us here.
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