UN Trade Body Evaluates Blockchain

United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business examines blockchain to see if it impacts businesses and organizations.


Coindesk reports that a body of the United Nations that facilitates global trade is evaluating blockchain technology and smart contracts.

In the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business's (UN/CEFACT) white paper studies nascent technology to see if it benefits impacts its work or that of businesses and organizations. 

UN/CEFACT is focusing on the smart contract, electronic notary and decentralized process coordination features of blockchain technology, not its role in cryptocurrencies. According to Coindesk, the UN is eyeing the technology as a possibility to move further away from traditional paper-based processes and remove the need to trust in systems that are commonly used to manage supply chains. 

The supply chain industry has been flocking toward blockchain technology as of recent due to its transparency and its capability of being able to transmit data digitally. 

The authors of the paper believes that there's value in blockchain, but also sees issues in the technology. The paper reads, "Blockchain technology does not solve the interoperability problem that UN/CEFACT standards have always supported. Also, different blockchains are far from equal in terms of the level of trust that participants should place in them."

Coindesk reports that the paper sees potential for organizations to clarify the potential of the data. Blockchain, and other technologies like IoT or RFID, contribute to supply chain efficiency, but more work is needed to meet the technology's full potential in facilitating trade mechanisms. 

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