Blockchain Uses in Transportation

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Blockchain technology is most well-known for its use with cryptocurrencies, however, it has wider potential applications in other sectors beyond that of banking and financial services. It is being evaluated for uses in the transportation sector which has potential benefits ranging from more efficient business transactions to increased tracking capabilities for cargo across all modes: maritime, trucking, aviation and freight rail. Trade partners may also see great value in the use of blockchain within the broader global supply chain as well.

Transportation executives are looking at the advantages associated with blockchain and distributed ledger technology in a number of areas. In supply chain development, improved production and capital flow tracking could facilitate the accuracy with which manufacturers can distribute their products and create efficiencies with transportation providers. Transportation leaders may then also have increased access to secure information transfers across trade sectors, further adding transparency and value in the supply chain.

The use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology is also being reviewed by U.S. and global regulators and is being evaluated in the current regulatory regimes and structures. In the U.S., a variety of Executive Branch agencies are looking at the use cases as well as the national and homeland security considerations in blockchain including the US. Departments of Homeland Security and Defense. Other agencies including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency all have working groups to review the use of the technology. Cybersecurity issues throughout the use of blockchain and distributed ledger are also being evaluated.

The European Union (EU) recently launched a new effort called the Blockchain Observatory Forum, which is part of the EU's Digital Single Market (DSM) focus. As part of the launch of the initiative, the European Commission stated "This is particularly helpful for providing trust, traceability and security in systems that exchange data or assets. There is a lot of potential for blockchain to be used in many different areas such as financial services, supply chains or healthcare."

The use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology have different implications for use cases, cybersecurity and privacy risks in different sectors. For more information on this, see a recent webinar conducted by Partner Joe Dewey and Senior Policy Advisor Norma Krayem.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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