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The Demise of Maersk’s TradeLens Likely Marks the Death Knee for Blockchain Consortia

of imminent shutdown One of the largest digital shipment tracking ledgers could indicate that costly, customized enterprise blockchain projects managed by consortia are doomed.

Gartner Research Vice President Analyst Avivah Litan said: “[This] It seems like the last chapter in the era of costly enterprise blockchain projects. “

This week, Danish shipping giants Maersk and IBM announced their blockchain-based TradeLens Digital Ledger The service for tracking global shipments will end in the first quarter of 2023. Reason: Not all industry players are participating.

In 2018, TradeLens pilot project 94 initial participants and 20 who wanted to test whether a permissioned electronic blockchain ledger could reduce the cost and increase transparency and efficiency of tracking global shipments looked promising as it was the first to acquire the port operator of Today, Maersk claims TradeLens covers his 60% of global container trades.

But on Wednesday, Rotem Hershko, head of business platforms at Maersk, said: statement“The need for full global industry collaboration has not been met. As a result, TradeLens has not achieved the level of commercial viability necessary to continue operating as an independent business and meet financial expectations. has not been reached.”

“From today, the TradeLens team is withdrawing its offer and taking steps to discontinue the platform,” said Maersk. “During this process, all parties involved will be available to serve customers without disrupting business.”

Tradelens Blockchain Supply Chain IBM, Maersk

Maersk said it will continue its efforts to digitize supply chains and encourage industry innovation through other solutions to reduce trade frictions and facilitate more global trade. What those efforts will be remains unknown. Maersk did not respond to a request for comment, and an IBM spokesperson said the company had nothing to add beyond his Maersk statement.

Unlike permissionless blockchain ledgers such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, where anyone can join, permissioned or private blockchains use a centralized distributed ledger technology (DLT) that only admits vetted members. . Permissioned blockchains sacrifice anonymity and decentralization to allow participants to confirm business transactions in real time, while also gaining the benefits of digitization, including speed and efficiency.

“I think there was just no ROI,” says Litan. “They were spending more than they could get in terms of monetary value. increase.”

IBM has several blockchain-based projects underway, including: blockchain world wirea global blockchain-based payment network, and food trustis a blockchain-based electronic distributed ledger that allows you to track and track data in the food supply chain from farm to store shelf.

There are scaling issues related to hyperledger fabric As a result of developing the underlying platform for TradeLens, the number of participants in the project “just wasn’t enough,” says Martha Bennett, principal analyst and vice president at Forrester Research.

According to Bennett, it is likely that only a small percentage of all participants in the global shipping industry have actually signed on to the project. and one of Europe’s leading shippers participates in TradeLens. Global shipping business network (GSBN), a competing permissioned blockchain supply chain ledger.

“There are also more fundamental reasons related to the challenges of digitizing documents, especially those that span multiple jurisdictions,” says Bennett.

For example, electronic bills of lading are not new, they’ve been around for decades, and more needs to be done to investigate the main reasons for the failure to digitize shipping documents “before we threw blockchain.” had to do Bennett said.

To this day, finding a viable commercial model for electronic shipping ledgers remains a challenge for all blockchain networks, Bennett said.

In the case of TradeLens, the technical difficulties are exacerbated by the fact that the driving force behind the ledger was shipping giant Maersk, which “many people are hesitant to participate.”

“There would have been more opportunities for a network in a more neutral setting. It should also be remembered that the initial plan to form a joint venture between Maersk and IBM fell through for legal and regulatory reasons.”

TradeLens was jointly developed by Maersk and IBM. Recorded details of freight transport When they leave their place of origin, arrive at a port, are shipped overseas, and reach their final destination.

During the transportation process, all parties in the supply chain can view tracking information, such as shipment arrival times, and documents such as customs declarations, commercial invoices, and bills of lading, in near real time. Permissioned blockchain ledger.

according to TradeLens websiteTo date, the ledger has tracked nearly 70 million shipping containers and published nearly 36 million electronic shipping documents.

According to Litan, the cost of enterprise blockchain projects is coming down with offerings from new “Enhanced Blockchain as a Service” (EBaaS) providers such as: Consensis, dragon chain, Kaleido, shelter zoom, Settle mintWhen Bendia.

EBaaS service providers offer to run applications and other business solutions on their own infrastructure. That means you pay for the infrastructure (i.e. server nodes) and maintenance costs.

“These providers sell simpler applications, mostly based on reusable code sets and technologies that support easier legacy system integration,” says Litan. “We are seeing success with this new generation of projects. ROI can be achieved through faster implementation than seen in the first generation of expensive customized enterprise blockchain applications such as TradeLens.” .”

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3682128/maersks-tradelens-demise-likely-a-death-knell-for-blockchain-consortiums.html The Demise of Maersk’s TradeLens Likely Marks the Death Knee for Blockchain Consortia

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