Deloitte’s Recent Move Proves That Blockchain Uses Are Not Restricted To Finance
Blockchain uses are reaching new heights as companies begin to implement opportunities outside fintech. On September 23, Deloitte collaborated with DNV GL to start tracking certificates of vessels such as ships and oil rigs using the blockchain technology. Around 90,000 certificates are now present on the private or otherwise known as permissioned shared ledgers.
DNV GL is a result of a merger that united DNV and GL in 2013. It is now the largest classification society in the world based in Norway. Deloitte is a consulting firm but its EMEA’s (Europe, Middle East and Africa) lab, along with DNV GL, found the solution to be of incredible use.
Blockchain and certification – how does it add up?
Certification is essential so that offshore buildings and vessels comply to environmental and safety standards. However, these certificates can be falsified and the process of checking their authenticity is a long and tiring process. Checking the website of the company or sending them an email is also not a foolproof method.
Since blockchain is a transparent and decentralized technology, issuing certificates through it will assure that fraud is minimalized. Once a certificate is given a digital identity, it will be tracked easily. The original certificate will also be stored in a system of nodes. Whenever someone would need to trace a certificate or check for the certification of a company, they would have to scan the QR code.
According to Lory Kehoe, Deloitte EMEA lab’s lead, “instead of one record being held on one server, it’s held over many, many systems.” He also said that the certification industry needed to be digitalized and that while one half of the system was manual, the other half was not completely digital. Renato Grottola, DNV GL’s director of global digital transformation, said:
“Anyone can, by scanning the QR code on the certificate, check its validity and data. With the one-to-one connection between the certificate and the blockchain, verification is instant and easily done with a mobile device. As the original data is stored and updated in the blockchain, it will quickly reveal whether a certificate is authentic or not … It is quite early after the deployment, but feedback received so far has been positive.”
DNV GL strives to provide the most authentic certificates to companies – but those certificates can be replicated by deceitful companies. If this happens more than once, the company’s image can be damaged. Kehoe explained that it takes the company years to build a reputation that is broken in a few seconds due to these situations. It would take years to bring it back to that level but blockchain technology will ensure that this never happens again.
Kehoe also said, “In the world of certification, other companies presume we’re looking at this … If I was in the business insurance industry myself beyond DNV GL, I would have been looking strongly at blockchain.”
The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) selected a new chairman, Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen – CEO of DNV GL. Some of its members are already a part of DNV GL but the organization has chosen to remain neutral on this topic. According to a spokesperson, they have also not discussed this issue among themselves. Interestingly, Nilssen did talk about the importance of keeping digital transformation as a priority as soon as he was appointed.
The market and the competitors
Grottola mentioned that the company was keeping an eye out for competitors and participants in the market who are researching blockchain’s resourcefulness. Lloyd’s Register, DNV GL’s competitor, based in London said:
“[Lloyd’s Register] is actively working at real-world applications of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies with our clients and partners.”
Another statement released by a spokesperson read, “We believe blockchain and distribute ledger technology has wider applicability in industrial applications, especially around increasing transparency in supply chains and around safety and reducing risk.”
Similar to Deloitte, other firms providing non-financial goods and services are also looking at blockchain uses. Kehoe said that ever since June and September of last year, queries related to this technology have increased. Clients are now more knowledgeable about blockchain prior to working with Deloitte. He also said:
“The work we’re doing now is kind of skipping the [proof of concept] phase because our clients understand the technology … They’re coming to us with use cases with a clear problem to solve. We’re not talking about experiments anymore in dark rooms where people are playing with this technology. It’s now all about how do we integrate the technology in a meaningful way so that it solves the problem – it creates an opportunity, helping companies stay relevant, I think that’s a very important point too.”