It’s Sunday, I know that much, early evening, and our weekly family phone (now video) call with the folks, a tradition dating back decades to when we were away at Prep school.
I’ve got one eye on the telly: Leicester City could go top if they keep the lead against Wolves; my other lazy eye is pointed in the general direction of my laptop screen – one half shows my brother drinking homemade something from what looks like a jam jar and the other half is my Mum, frowning at my Dad (she knows I love them, but she also knows I love Leicester City and I can talk to them any time).
My brother, having just finished his mead, moves closer to his camera and with an Arthur Shelby-like grin, prompts:
‘Yes, little brother, what is blockchain?’
My Dad looks at me inquisitively, like a slightly let-gone John Craven or underwhelmed Paxman, waiting for me to answer.
Oh well, here we go, let’s see if Leicester has the same amount of doggedness to see the game out as I do determination to get through the next few minutes of my life.
‘Well Dad, let’s say that I’m a dairy farmer and I distribute and sell milk nationally to a range of industries, including makers of ice cream.
I’m proud of the quality of my milk produce and its quality is second to none, yet there’s been reports in Skegness of ice cream tasting like moisturiser.
Now I’ve got the Milk Board knocking at my farm gate, demanding answers as to why I’m being blamed by the transport firm who collected the milk for sending them moisturiser instead of a frozen treat.
The transport firm are mad because they have been blamed by the depot. The depot have been blamed by their dairy broker, who are blaming the distributer, because the manufacturer blamed them and are being held accountable by the wholesaler… who have been named by the beach-front ice cream huts in a legal class action’.
‘How can this mess be sorted out? I don’t know what’s happened to my milk after it’s left the farm.’
‘Blockchain, in simple terms, is a tamper-proof digital system that improves the transparency and accountability of processes. It is decentralised, meaning everyone in the network can view each ‘transaction’ and can approve that transaction recorded is valid. This maintains the consistency, validity and integrity of the data for the lifecycle of the process.
‘This transparency, most importantly, would have exonerated Matilda, my prize dairy cow, and saved the farm.
It would have proved it wasn’t her use of age-defying ointment which she applied before a date with Barry the Bull, but rather a shop keeper with predictive text switched-on placing an order with their wholesaler for nice eye cream. We would have been able to pinpoint exactly where in the process things went wrong and who was accountable.’
‘I see!’ my Dad smiles.
‘It’s actually the technology that underpins Bitcoin.’
‘What’s Bitcoin, son?’
If I can help my Dad understand Blockchain, our team of experts at 848 can help your organisation tackle the issues impacting your business, and Plan, Build and Run Business Changing IT solutions that work for you.
Want to know more about 848? Email William at [email protected] or call 01785 847366