Factories and machines can be connected using blockchain platforms to enable automated value-added processes. Blockchain technology has transformed the business world and supply chain management is no exception. With its ability to create secure and transparent networks, the blockchain will reshape the way we manage supply chains. Blockchain technology allows companies to track all types of transactions in a more secure and transparent way.
The potential impact on the function of the supply chain is immense. Blockchain-based smart contracts can help inculcate related intellectual property rights to exclusively sell drugs and complete transactions to the rightful owner. However, it is necessary to carry out a detailed evaluation of the implementation of blockchain in companies in order to have a concrete roadmap for the future. The same goes for data privacy; there is still a risk that sensitive information will be exposed if appropriate precautions are not taken due to the transparency of the blockchain.
Therefore, combining blockchain with complementary technologies, such as big data, cloud computing and machine learning, can further increase the effectiveness of blockchain applications in SCs and their impact on overall social, environmental and economic sustainability. With its origin in finance, blockchain technology has been widely implemented in the financial sector due to the growth of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. When the number of users increases day by day, the scalability challenges of the blockchain also increase. The technology was invented to support transactions in bitcoin, a digital cryptocurrency that works independently of a central bank.
Section 4 shows us some of the functional areas of SC that can be improved by the blockchain, according to current research. The implementation of blockchain in SC operations, with the key topics and objectives of each article studied, is presented in table 8 in the appendix. These solutions do not carry the additional burden of some of the technical complexities that blockchain can pose (see the sidebar entitled Introduction to Technology). Different companies and countries are investing to explore new applications with blockchain to achieve greater operational efficiency.
By creating a secure and transparent network that allows products to be tracked in real time at every stage of the supply chain, blockchain technology can help address many of these challenges. A broad future research agenda has been proposed on various functions and operations of SCs, the management of business processes and the sustainability of SCs, which includes possible research in different industrial sectors. Before adding blocks to the blockchain, it is necessary to validate them, which can consist of a proof of work, which is known as “blockchain mining”.