Why Blockchain Could Have Mitigated the Colonial Pipeline Shutdown
Had the company been using blockchain-backed smart contracts to automate its commercial transactions, such as billing, each transaction would have been stored in a distributed ledger that was shared among trading partners. If any single part of the network went down, it could have been reconstituted from other parts of the network to create a self-healing infrastructure to be back up-and-running in under 24 hours, avoiding the need for a prolonged shutdown.
With distributed ledgers, a cyberattacker must compromise every copy of the ledger in multiple company’s environments in order to hold any particular piece of data ransom, greatly increasing the effort required by a hacker and mitigating the risk of one or two participants being compromised. While many details are still to come in regards to this particular hacking event, it will catalyze more companies to take a hard look at their current business systems and undertake stronger risk mitigation strategies to combat the ploys of sophisticated cybercriminals.
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Blockchain is the Panacea for ESG Data Woes
An oft noted major challenge lies in consistent ESG reporting or score uniformity across variegated frameworks and standards such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) — with others still being formed. Talk of a uniform set of standards to garner “apples to apples” comparisons is increasing in focus. Yet this obstacle is a bit of a red herring: disparate score cards.
Instead of such hefty focus on frameworks, bandwidth needs to go toward companies’ ability to capture real-time sustainability data to then power environmental performance strategies. Proving traction against carbon-neutrality goals will require an external metric, yes, but most importantly will be reliant on technology that can generate accurate, auditable and accountable sustainability measurements, reporting and, thus, records to track against. The technology that will fulfill this pivotal role is blockchain.
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