Distributed technologies such as the blockchain can provide full transparency over supply chains, transactions and operations. A blockchain can serve as an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. It is secured by the highest standards of cryptography and is stored on a "peer-to-peer" network, distributively across millions of computers.(Harvard Business Review)

Implications for supply chains

The inherent transparency of these technologies will be one of the main enablers of the circular economy. Being able to fully and transparently know in real time how a product was sourced, produced, transported and consumed, means resources flows can be precisely optimised to flow from one product into the other. At the same time, zooming out, this will enable us to have a full picture our planetary needs, consumption and production.

Several blockchain-based systems are already in use, such as Everledger (designed for tracking diamonds all the way to how they are sourced), Provenance (building tracking applications that can be applied in virtually any industry) and BlockVerify (used to fight counterfeiting).