Blockchain for supply chains and international trade

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Blockchain could benefit supply chain management and international trade processes. See the new STOA study of potential use cases, their impacts, and potential policy responses. Blockchain technology could be valuable for supply chain management and international trade processes which require cooperation and trust between several actors arranged in complex relationships across different regulatory frameworks. Blockchain could facilitate of trade through a combination of digitalisation, information exchange and automation, reducing costs and increasing transparency. Blockchain could facilitate SME’s access to trade and trade finance, as well as consumers’ access to product information with could enable more ethical and environmentally responsible choices. There are no major technical barriers to the use of some types of blockchain solution for some elements of trade. Many of the benefits of blockchain for trade derive from digitalisation, which could be achieved through other means. There remain substantial barriers to digitalisation of trade processes. Barriers to blockchain in supply chains and international trade include legal recognition, data localisation, identification of applicable laws, allocation of liability, and interoperability and standardisation across various economic operators and regulatory frameworks. 20 policy options for blockchain in supply chains and international trade including supporting customs facilitation, sustainable trade, SME involvement, leadership in standardisation, evidence-based policy and awareness raising.

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