Berkshire Hathaway-owned BNSF, which is a Us- Canada railway found in Ft. Worth, Texas is the latest member of Blockchain Transport Alliance (BiTA). BiTA comprises of more than 200 freight and logistics plays which are very interested in establishing distributed ledger technology in to the industry. Despite this industry which is also associated to Billionaire Warren Buffett accepting to use Blockchain which is also the underlying technology for Bitcoin Buffett has stated that the has no intention of going near cryptocurrencies.
In the meantime, the Blockchain technology continues to gain more attention from different sectors of the economy. A good example is FedEx which already has Blockchain projects underway with the main focus being customer service and especially conflict resolution. This is because Blockchain brings transparency, ensures safe storage of data and fastens the transaction process.
When it comes to rail distributed ledger also fits well because of the industry’s heavy reliance on logistics to move goods along the supply chain. According to BNSF’s vice president, Muru Murugapan:
“Blockchain technology will change many aspects of the transportation industry. This makes it important for the industry to come together to align along a set of standards. We are very happy to drive those standards forward as BiTA.”
BiTA currently want to develop blockchain standards for logistics industry and also for supply chain. Some of the issues they look to sort include freight payments, smart contracts, ownership industry, and asset management. All these are believed to be achievable using the Blockchain technology. Some other issues in the rail which will be sorted is ensuring that each switch position is correct. This is to avoid incidences like the one that happened a few days ago when Amtrak train and CSX collided in South Carolina as a result of misplaced switch position.
This accident was the fourth since December and if there could be a solution to prevent these accidents using Blockchain then that would be good. Lack of modern technology adoption is being blamed for these accidents. It’s recommended that there should be a GPS-fueled positive train control which looks achievable using Blockchain technology.