South Korean giant Samsung Electronics plans to integrate blockchain technology into its systems, according to comments made to Bloomberg.
Song Kwang-woo, Vice President of Samsung SDS, the IT subsidiary of Samsung, said: “It will have an enormous impact on the supply chains of manufacturing industries. Blockchain is a core platform to fuel our digital transformation.”
Kwang-woo said that a blockchain system will be used for tracking global shipments, a sector which is worth tens of billions of dollars a year. He said that the technology could cut shipping costs by 20 percent.
SDS successfully ran a government-backed pilot of blockchain-managed shipping in from May to December 2017.
During the pilot, documentation related to imports and exports, logistics, shipping companies, customs officers, and banks was stored on a blockchain, which had the effect of simplifying the issuance process. The blockchain was also used to control the position, temperature, and humidity of fresh food in transit via IoT devices.
SDS is now developing a similar system for Samsung – according to CCN, SDS “expects to handle 488,000 tons of air cargo and 1 million 20-foot-equivalent (TEU) shipping units”. No comment has been made as to a timeline for development and release.
Samsung Group is South Korea’s largest conglomerate, with a market capitalisation of 335.6 billion dollars. Samsung Electronics leads the world in the manufacture of televisions, mobile phones, and semiconductor computer chips. In January 2017 it began producing cryptocurrency mining devices which it plans to distribute initially only in China via an unnamed Chinese company before expanding to Japan and South Korea in the future.
South Korea is one of the biggest markets for cryptocurrency in the world, but the government has been less enthusiastic, clumsily banning certain aspects of the industry while allowing others, carrying out investigations of cryptocurrency ventures and making arrests. The crackdown has not been popular amongst the technology-savvy population.