Home Blockchain News The Brexit Irish border issue won’t be solved by Hammond’s blockchain plan

The Brexit Irish border issue won’t be solved by Hammond’s blockchain plan

by Michael Stark

Blockchain Technology and the Irish Border

In the world of technology and innovation, the term “blockchain” has become a buzzword in recent years. Originally a niche idea in fringe circles, blockchain has now become a hot topic in business and political discussions, leaving many people feeling the need for blockchain technology without fully understanding its functionality.

Applications of Blockchain Technology
One example of blockchain technology in action is the use of a digitized ledger in tracking goods throughout the global supply chain. London-based startup Provenance used blockchain to track the journey of tuna from net to supermarket, allowing consumers to verify the ethical sourcing of their fish. Similarly, IBM and shipping giant Maersk have partnered in a venture called Tradelens, using a digitized ledger to share digital certifications and provenance information about cargo.

Could Blockchain Technology Solve the Irish Border Issue?
In the context of Brexit and the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, some proponents of blockchain technology have suggested that it could be used to verify the compliance of British goods with the EU rulebook. This proposal aligns with Theresa May’s Chequers Agreement, which aims to adopt the EU’s “rulebook” on goods as a solution to the border conundrum. Blockchain technology could potentially document the movement of British goods through the supply chain, providing a way to confirm their adherence to EU standards.

Challenges and Limitations
While the idea of using blockchain technology at the Irish border may seem promising, there are practical challenges and limitations to consider. Even if a blockchain system were implemented by the March 2019 Brexit deadline, it is unlikely to solve the complex problems that will arise in the vicinity of the border. Checking blockchain-based certifications, while potentially more efficient than paper-based methods, could still be slower than the current system. This delay could have significant implications for the just-in-time supply chain products that traverse the Ireland-Northern Ireland frontier.

Looking to the Future
Despite the potential benefits of blockchain technology, it is important to approach its implementation with a realistic understanding of its capabilities. As businesses and politicians continue to explore the potential applications of blockchain in various contexts, including the Irish border, it is essential to consider the practical implications and limitations of this innovative technology.

In conclusion, while blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize certain aspects of the global supply chain, its application at the Irish border may not be the universal solution to the challenges that will arise post-Brexit. As discussions and debates continue, it is crucial to approach the use of blockchain with a clear understanding of its capabilities and limitations in the specific context of the Irish border issue.

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