Speaking at the Blockchain Global Revolution Conference in Toronto, FedEx CIO Rob Carter said government-mandated standards are needed to achieve widespread adoption of blockchain technology.
“We’re not an organization that pushes for more regulatory control,” Carter said during a panel discussion, referring to FedEx’s traditional support of free market policy, “but there are times regulatory mandates and pushes can be incredibly helpful.”
In the company’s view, the blockchain’s purpose as a digital ledger would make tracking the paper trail much easier across the industry.
“There’s an incredible amount of information moving with an international package,” Carter continued. “An incredible amount of paperwork [such as] certificates of origin, and certain commodities require specific licenses. That information moves sometimes in digital forms and sometimes paper forms. As we move toward a more digital world, blockchain is where you piece that all together.”
“It’s what it does: authenticity,” said FedEx Logistics CEO Richard Smith. “So you want to know this merchandise is authentic and not counterfeit? Blockchain can do that. The concern from the government is that it hadn’t been widely adopted. My response to them was, “You’re the government. You can mandate it’s widely adopted.”’
FedEx is a member of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance, along with UPS and DHL. Last year it joined Hyperledger, an open-source project that enables organisations to build industry-grade applications and hardware systems based on blockchain.