Blockchain Series #4: Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Implementations

Most blockchain implementations today are focused on cost reduction and efficiency improvements. In the future “programmable economy,” it is widely held that new business models will emerge, representing new ways of value exchange and new forms of business value. Distributed ledger technologies, like blockchain, are still in their infancy and changing constantly. As such, viable blockchain use cases will largely avoid speculative new business and operating model experimentation.

Examples of Promising Blockchain Projects

Companies across most industries are investing in DLT with varying degrees of success. There are many highly visible blockchain investments involving supply chain management. One such investment involves Walmart, which began rolling-out its Food Trust Blockchain and is requiring all direct suppliers of produce, related logistics firms and partners of these suppliers to track the produce they are selling to Walmart and Sam’s Club on this blockchain. The goal is to speed-up and improve the accuracy of produce recalls when food-borne illness or other problems emerge.1

Another high-visibility supply chain project includes Maersk, the international shipping and logistics company. Maersk is partnering with IBM to form a new business that intends to help shippers, ports, customs, banks and other stakeholders in global supply chains track freight, as well as replace related paperwork with tamper-resistant digital records.2

In addition, Microsoft is collaborating with Bank of America to develop a blockchain that will be used to digitize and automate the money flow around trades. Many other banks are collaborating around R3’s Corda distributed ledger to accomplish the same objective.3

There are several groups forming consortiums around their industry or market vertical. For instance, the insurance industry has formed such a group called the RiskBlock Alliance.4 This consortium, representing 31 risk management and insurance companies across North America, is focusing on insurance solutions leveraging the blockchain. Some of the first use cases the consortium is addressing include proof of insurance, first notice of loss data-sharing and a smart contract-enabled subrogation tool.

Another such consortium is the Accounting Blockchain Coalition (ABC).5 This group is comprised of industry leaders from accounting, law, tax, technology and education with a mission to educate organizations on digital assets and distributed ledger technologies. DHG is pleased to be a member of ABC.

Most industries are experimenting with blockchain. The financial services industry has proven to be a good fit with blockchain’s capabilities as core financial service functions – such as verifying and transferring financial information and assets – align well with blockchain’s basic value proposition.

There are also numerous governments involved in blockchain pilots. These pilots are testing new approaches to voting, records administration, identity validation and more. Many of these pilots include working with stakeholders in education and healthcare as these industries have significant interdependencies with various government services and agencies. The data exchange workflows between providers, patients, insurance companies and researchers has generated a lot of interest from healthcare industry technology partners to produce blockchain solutions for electronic health records, serialization of inventory and regulatory compliance.


  1. Wall Street Journal, Walmart Requires Lettuce, Spinach Suppliers to Join Blockchain, September 24, 2018.
  2. Fortune, IBM and Maersk are Creating a New Blockchain Company, January 16, 2018.
  3. Fortune, Why Big Business is Racing to Build Blockchains, August 22, 2017.
  4. Deloitte to Accelerate Blockchain Development in U.S. and Canada, Accounting Today, September 27, 2018.
  5. Industry Leaders Launch Accounting Blockchain Coalition, Business Wire, April 10, 2018.

Related Knowledge Share