Project thesis Anders Jørgen.pdf

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The blockchain is a new groundbreaking open-source technology (Nakamoto 2008) which was
initially released as the underlying technology for the world’s first decentralized global digital
currency, Bitcoin. The blockchain is an immutable and transparent distributed database, a ledger
which has global consensus by all participants. This means that the things written in the ledger
can’t be edited and cheated, thus trusted if the writer is trusted.

The supply chains for commercial markets are opaque and complex, they can span over hundreds
of production stages and several geographical locations so that the provenance and history of a
product is usually unknown to upstream actors. Lack of transparency and trust in the supply
chain lead to lack of information about the provenance and working conditions behind the
product. There has been shown that some actors behave illegally and unethically.

This thesis’ research purpose is to investigate the nature of trust in supply chains and if
blockchain technologies can increase trust in supply chains. A theoretical framework involving
trust and transparency in supply chains, blockchain and record keeping has been established.

Blockchain has its strengths and limitations: high integrity but unstable information reliability.
How data is recorded on the blockchain is considered critical and require a trusted third party
recording transactions to guarantee information reliability. The authors believes that if the
problem of information reliability is solved, trust in blockchain implementations will increase.

The actors in the supply chain need an incentive and clear profit in order to have any motivation
to implement the blockchain technology. A strong incentive and a method and specific steps for
implementation still remains to be researched.