UN Trade Body Examines Blockchain's Potential in Supply Chains

A United Nations body that facilitates global trade is examining blockchain and smart contracts to see if they could play a role in its mission.

To that end, the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) has just published a white paper – now available for public review – that studies the nascent technology to see if it offers benefits that could impact its work or that of businesses and organizations.

With developing standards for trade facilitation and supply chain automation already a core part of its remit, UN/CEFACT focuses on the “smart contract, electronic notary and decentralised process coordination” features of blockchain, rather than its role in powering cryptocurrencies.

It further eyes the tech as a possible means to further move away from traditional paper-based processes and also to remove the need for trust in systems such as those used to manage supply chains.