Jan Granroth: Blockchain does not only threaten banks – even H&M fears transparency

Jan Granroth: Blockchain does not only threaten banks – even H&M fears transparency.

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Jan Granroth

jan.granroth@trijo.co

OPINION. Blockchain technology enables an unprecedented level of transparency in many areas. Trijo News reporter, Jan Granroth, is not sure everybody welcomes this change.

Those following the development of the blockchain technology know that it promises many advantages for mankind, aside from working as a payment method like bitcoin. I have myself explained what advantages the technology can bring to people in undeveloped countries.

Also, the industry, in general, can enjoy many advantages and Fred Smith, CEO for Fedex, have argued for how the blockchain may revolutionize distribution and logistics.

One reason for this is that the whole supply chain then becomes transparent, which enables much better possibilities for control, supervision and accountability in case of any misdoings. This owing to the fact that the blockchain may not be manipulated retrospectively with the intent to hide the identities of the perpetrators.

May prevent new scandals in China

Recently, a scandal took place in China where the misconduct of vaccine producers had lethal consequences. Much reminds us of the former scandal where melamine was found in milk. This time it didn’t take long before voices were heard, stating that blockchain technology may be used to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Another example of the advantages of the technology regards the production of cobalt, a chemical element regularly used for the production of smartphones and much else. Time after another, discoveries of human right violations and child labor come into light in the hunt for this sought after metal, but now blockchain technology is being tried to alleviate the situation.

This because it allows full documentation and supervision of the process – from the mining of the metal to the ready product.

“I’m not convinced the industry is ready to show just how much shady business actually goes on”

Nobody can deny the potential pros with this, but it is also clear how uncomfortable such transparency could be for many industries.

Personally, I’m not convinced the industry is ready to show just how much shady business actually goes on, and that many businesses are terrified of the extra costs and changes this might lead to.

H&M can’t afford transparency

The Swedish multinational clothing-retail company Hennes & Mauritz, currently in its worst state ever, is time after time accused of using child labor in the production of their clothes. The criticism quickly is brushed away, followed by claims that they do all they can to prevent it. It must be rather convenient to always have the trump card of “not knowing”.

This, the blockchain will put an end to. I’m not sure the companies only see this as a blessing, but perhaps maybe more of a curse. The currently strained financial situation of H&M surely doesn’t allow H&M to start paying for salary increases and better working conditions.

Also, one doesn’t have to be prone to conspiracies to assume that enormous scandals and corruption potentially can be prevented if states and municipalities were to start using a blockchain to document their work, like the Indian state Telangana intends to do.

Even though H&M probably has good intentions, be aware that it’s not only the banking industry who look with dismay at the revolutionary possibilities that the blockchain has to offer.

Jan Granroth,
Reporter at Trijo News

Interested in sending us an opinion article? Mail us at info@trijo.co.

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