Blockchain Technology for Irish Border Post-Brexit
The Meaning of Blockchain
Once considered a niche idea in fringe circles, blockchain technology has now become the latest hyped buzzword in business and political confabs. Despite this, many people admit they are not experts in understanding what blockchain is or what it does.
Application of Blockchain Technology
The debate surrounding the use of blockchain technology to solve the Irish border issue post-Brexit has sparked a discussion on how the technology would actually be used. Some companies have applied blockchain technology to supply chain management, such as London-based startup Provenance, which used blockchain to track the journey of tuna from net to supermarket. Similarly, IBM and shipping giant Maersk developed Tradelens, a digitised ledger to share digital certifications and provenance information about cargo.
Use of Blockchain in Brexit Britain
In the context of Brexit Britain, the Chequers Agreement proposes adopting the EU’s “rulebook” on goods, which would require a system to validate compliance with EU standards for British products. A proposed blockchain documenting movements of British goods through the supply chain could be a way to verify their compliance with the EU rulebook. Despite this, experts argue that even if such a blockchain was up and running by March 2019, it would not solve the myriad problems that will arise around the Irish border post-Brexit.
Challenges of Blockchain Implementation
One of the challenges of implementing blockchain technology for the Irish border is the potential impact on the just-in-time supply chain. While blockchain-based certifications may be more efficient than paper-based ones, they could still cause delays in the supply chain, ultimately wreaking havoc on goods traveling through the Ireland-Northern Ireland frontier by the thousands.
The debate surrounding the potential use of blockchain technology for the Irish border post-Brexit raises questions about its practicality and effectiveness in solving the complex issues that will arise in the aftermath of Britain’s departure from the EU. Despite the allure of blockchain as a solution, its implementation could pose new challenges and potentially exacerbate existing problems. As discussions continue, it remains to be seen whether blockchain technology will truly provide a viable solution for the Irish border post-Brexit.