CIO Insider

CIOInsider India Magazine


How the Blockchain Market is Progressing

Ashish Bansal, Sr. Principal, Global Products and Technology, GSK

Below is an excerpt of Ashish Bansal, Sr.Principal, Global Products and Technology, GSK with CIO Insider magazine. Ashish is a result-oriented technology leader, pioneering and managing complex IT solution designs including building the digital roadmap for large MNC shared services and startups. As a management graduate, Ashish grew from a core technical specialist role to a leadership role. Over 20 years, he has successfully managed multiple shifting priorities & demands, read/analyze/interpret technical manuals & agreements. Possess international working exposure & have been awarded at the vertical level, companywide & industrywide for outstanding performance, respecting company values & implementing innovative solutions.

In conversation with Ashish Bansal, Sr. Principal, Global Products and Technology, GSK

The Blockchain market is expected to reach $ 67.4 billion by 2026, according to MarketsandMarkets Research. According to you, what are the factors boosting this growth?
Blockchain is accelerating digital transformation across multiple industries, including the pharmaceutical industry which suffers from a lack of transparency, difficulty tracking products, lack of trust, and the shipment of expired products. Recently, the proliferation of research, projects, and discussions of blockchain technology has attracted the attention of both researchers and practitioners especially in the proven areas of Logistics, Finance and Supply Chain areas in Pharmaceutical Industry towards bringing more Transparent, Reduce Transaction Time, keep the data Secure, having a Cost Effective solution with Irreversible Transaction capability. Given the properties of blockchain technology, particularly the way it enables decentralization, transparency, trust, anonymity, and stability, the use of blockchain technology in the pharmaceutical industry has been identified as a viable way to protect against counterfeit drug distribution. Blockchains can be used to trace the origin of pharmaceuticals, the transport of drugs, and the procurement of raw materials. Blockchain technology also reduces the number of intermediaries involved in the pharmaceutical process, thereby reducing costs and improving safety.

How is cryptocurrency impacting the adoption of block chain? What are the reasons behind the cryptocurrency’s recent popularity?
A cryptocurrency is, most simply, a digital asset. Transactions are internet-based and are recorded in a blockchain. The blockchain shows the transaction history for each unit and is used to prove ownership. The digital assets are best visualized as virtual tokens. These tokens mean something to the internal system and can be programmed to record financial transactions and other valuable information. It increases in value based on supply and demand. Value fluctuates based on the market’s perception of its value at any given time. The major factors around the recent popularity are massive profits or losses, hacks which have wiped out investors and companies as

well as bankruptcy due to unethical business trade practices due to absence of a regulator and guiding principles. Extreme volatility leading to massive cryptocurrency gain in value resulting in extensive profits for the early adopters in this space who have owned it, hold it and sold around the top. Overall, the crypto industry is currently under self-regulation and still at quite an early stage of its financial maturity and subject to such incidents.

What are the other functions that made cryptocurrency popular beyond being a method of payment?
With the industrialization and involvement of technology, digital currencies are gaining an upper hand. One such currency is bitcoins. Many of us are familiar with this well-known terminology. Some of the salient features of Cryptocurrency which are supressed in the overall hype & noise around in this space are as follows:
§ Blazing fast transaction speed
§ Nil or close to nil transaction costs
§ 24x7 Accessibility
§ Strong Privacy
§ Transparency through distributed public ledger
§ Inflation protection

What are the challenges organizations should clear before leveraging the potential or benefits of block chain?
Blockchain technology is a growing area of study. Although blockchain technology is used extensively in the financial field, it is now being applied to public services, IoT, reputation systems, and security services. The pharmaceutical industry is the latest field to leverage blockchain technology, where one of the most prominent application areas is the counterfeit problem. Some of these challenges, focusing in particular on those associated with blockchain applications are:
§ Blockchain Security
§ Standardization
§ Data Governance around complexity of big data, storage & quality of data
§ Interoperability
§ Scalability
§ Social Acceptance

I personally believe that the future direction and the need for adaptive blockchain architectures should be able to cope with the computational complexity of big data and cloud computing

What would you suggest to companies investing in the use cases of block chain?
Most enterprise data nowadays is big data, which has properties such as variability, volume, and complexity. Hence, data processing systems require greater computational capabilities. As we also know, decentralized distributed ledgers and blockchains require substantial computational power to provide better security, immutability, and increased transparency. For this reason, blockchain systems often suffer from computational complexity issues. Therefore, adaptive blockchain architectures should be designed that can provide better and faster services. With the advent of 5G, an exponential increase has occurred in the number of edge and smart devices. This has made the implementation of blockchains more difficult, particularly given the diverse technological environment of 5G. Hence, there is a need for more decentralized, secure, private, transparent, interoperable, and immutable blockchain technology for the 5G landscape. Blockchain architectures must integrate with platforms and technologies such as software-defined networks, cloud computing, and mobile edge computing.

How do you perceive the future of block chain?
Blockchain is an emerging technology that is expected to open up a promising future for various industries. The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the growth projections of numerous sectors and businesses in which Blockchain is one of the primary contenders. The upfront cost and time to implement new blockchain solutions is not insignificant. In addition, the pharmaceutical industry is conservative by nature, and there is a hesitancy to make major changes to how data is stored and managed, despite the potential benefits. When it comes to patient data, companies may be slow to adopt blockchain technologies simply because of concerns around meeting regulatory requirements regarding the protection of patient privacy. I personally believe that the future direction and the need for adaptive blockchain architectures should be able to cope with the computational complexity of big data and cloud computing.

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