The UN Agency is studying the potential of the blockchain for international supply chains

A division of the United Nations, which is facilitating global trade, examines the advantages of the blockchain and smart contracts to see if these technologies are to increase efficiency of international trade transactions.

To this end, the Centre for trade facilitation and electronic business United Nations (CEFACT) has posted a free whitepaper. The document contains information about the research technology organization with the purpose of studying its benefits, which can affect the work of enterprises and organizations.

Since the development of standards for trade facilitation and automation of supply chains is already a key component of its mission, CEFACT wants to focus on some of the tools of the blockchain as «smart contracts, e-notary and decentralized coordination process». To explore the blockchain in the context of cryptocurrency has no plans.

In addition, CEFACT is considering the technology as a possible means for further rejection of traditional paper document circulation, and also to eliminate the need of trust systems, which are now used for supply chain management.

According to the published document, within industry supply chains, many kinds of data can be transferred in blackany – insurance, invoicing, consignment and shipment of goods and invoices for goods. The whitepaper also notes that in the case of assistance to regulators, the blockchain can also store data when it is allowed to import the goods and returns.

Despite the fact that the organization sees «the obvious value and potential cases» of the use of the blockchain, it also did not escape the problems associated with technology. The document says:

«The technology of the blockchain does not solve the compatibility issue over which the organization works within the framework of CEFACT standards. In addition, different blackany not equal from the point of view of the level of trust that the parties should provide them».

However, the authors also see the potential of the blockchain for the organization. Representatives CEFACT hope that technology will help to organize a vast amount of information that is now part of the supply chain. Although the blockchain and other technologies such as IoT, can increase the efficiency of the supply chain, the document notes that more time is needed for research to fully determine their potential for trade mechanisms.

«It would be very useful to develop a conceptual model of the international supply chain, which shows the role of each technology stakeholders, services and standards,» say the authors.

In addition, the document highlights the shortcomings of existing supply chains that can only fix the organization. The authors also suggest that CEFACT should work with national delegations and experts and forming working groups for the development of new technical specifications given technology.

Work on the study of the blockchain CEFACT began in may last year – then appeared the first information
regarding plans to release a whitepaper focused on the technology of the blockchain. It was about two documents: one dedicated to technical issues, the other business development. In addition, in August of last year it became known that another UN Agency — UNICEF Ventures — tests
The Ethereum to increase the transparency and efficiency of the movement of the Fund.

The UN is also making efforts to develop other initiatives on the basis of the blockchain. In January of this year, Microsoft and blockchain consortium Hyperledger joined
to ID2020 Alliance, whose purpose is the implementation of the UN programme of digital identification in the blockchain. Last month it also became known that the Office of the United Nations for project services (UNOPS) United
with the IOTA Foundation for examining how the technology of the blockchain will allow the UN to streamline workflows, in particular the workflow.



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