Despite the termination of Maersk's blockchain-based supply chain platform, the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), a Hong Kong-based consortium focused on blockchain trade applications, is optimistic about blockchain's potential as a key tool in logistics in the long term.
GSBN operates a large platform that is similar to Maersk's TradeLens tool but is based on a permissioned blockchain with stringent data governance, enabling only authorised parties to contribute and access shipping-related data, as per a report by the South China Morning Post.
After the launch of its blockchain-based shipping platform in 2021, GSBN has partnered with major shipping companies such as Cosco, Orient Overseas Container Line, and Hapag-Lloyd, as well as terminal operators including Hutchison Ports, SPG Qingdao Port, PSA International, Shanghai International Port Group, and Cosco Shipping Ports.
The majority of the members are based in mainland China or Hong Kong, with the exception of German-based Hapag-Lloyd and Singaporean-based PSA International.
Bertrand Chen, the CEO of GSBN, is optimistic about the potential of blockchain technology in the logistics industry despite similar projects being terminated by major companies like Maersk.
Chen believes that global trade will not continue to rely on traditional paper-based methods by 2032 and that blockchain has the potential to help the industry transform in response to supply chain issues, such as those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Chen, using blockchain to digitise documents for global trade will be a more practical use case than NFTs for digital art.
Additionally, Chen noted that China is leading the way in blockchain logistics due to significant investment in the industry, and this investment will benefit GSBN by generating potential partners for the firm.
In recent months, Hong Kong has been gaining traction as a significant hub for Web3 and crypto, with the local government implementing clear regulations for the industry.
Despite China's prohibition on crypto, some government-affiliated companies in China have displayed interest in investing in crypto. State-owned firms such as CPIC have reportedly launched funds related to crypto in early April.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash