business news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports that United Parcel Service (UPS) "has demonstrated blockchain-verified tracking of a shipment of Black Angus beef from Kansas to the table of a Japanese steakhouse … At a dinner at Ruby Jack’s steakhouse in Tokyo on Friday, diners were given menus with QR codes they could scan for tracking information on the journey of the beef being served."

The story says that UPS is partnering with agricultural technology firm HerdX Inc. for blockchain-traced international beef shipments. A blockchain is a network for transactions entered into digital 'ledger,' which cannot be altered without approval of those in the network."
KC's View:
The system builds on the belief, stated in the story, that "consumers want to know more about the food they consume, but there is no known global standard for tracing and verification."

One of the important things to remember is that such systems are not built just for the people who use them. They're also built for people who don't use them - because they don't feel they have to because of the high level of transparency. Just knowing that businesses are willing to be open and honest with us sometimes is enough, and can give businesses a tangible differential advantage.