• Madani Sahari

Blockchain technology as enabler to industry 4.0 implementation

In the new age of big data and cloud computing, the narrative for data management is rapidly changing – demanding a higher degree of transparency, independence and security. The age-old norms in regulating data transactions are continuously being challenged, as the world moves towards innovation in economic thinking and approaches.

At the same time, we hear different forms of the word “social” attached to many aspects of our daily lives.

Not to be confused with socialism, the most common is social media – however, terms such as social enterprise, social learning and crowdfunding have begun to dominate the landscape as new innovations in the way business models are structured to deliver better products and services to the consumer.

The very essence of these new models is the increased participation of stakeholders throughout the process of governance of information, perception and deliverable standards of our daily activities, ranging from purchase decisions to financial transactions.

This means that the governance of data, as massive as the scale can be, is starting to lean towards a high degree of social participation and administration. Once such technology that has been heavily discussed today is blockchain technology. In a nutshell, blockchain technology is a digital ledger (called blocks) which is shared through peer-to-peer networks over the cloud. Using cryptography technology, these “blocks” cannot be contaminated, and users are able to update or store records of any value along the peer-to-peer network chain.

The key feature in blockchain technology is the “decentralisation” of ownership, which differentiates blockchains from common data systems. This means that there is no central authority owning these blocks of data, but rather is maintained by a community of peers to preserve the value and integrity of the said data.

Perhaps the most sensational and often controversial product based on blockchain technology is Bitcoin.

However, while governments and financial institutions familiarise themselves with cryptocurrencies and decide a trustworthy solution to the Bitcoin mystery, the potentials offered by blockchain technology should not be ignored.

Naturally, the decentralisation of data is highly dependent on trustworthiness within the system. While we work forward towards reducing risks associated with blockchain technology, it remains highly strategic to take first mover advantage in blockchain technology, particularly in areas within the automotive industry in which the rewards and benefits of blockchain technology outweigh the associated risks.

This week, the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Cryptovalley Malaysia, an independent organization located in Cyberjaya aiming to build Asia’s leading ecosystem for blockchain and cryptographic technologies in the country and the region.

This alignment of will begin with the development of four immediate initiatives to benefit the consumers, entrepreneurs and the environment.

The first initiative would be the creation of digital identities to ensure genuine spare parts are properly circulated within the market, and conform to proper standards - ensuring safety and protection of consumer interests.

Secondly, blockchain technology will be used to benefit taxi and ride-sharing markets in the area of security, transparency and dispute resolutions. Consumers stand to benefit through the wider driver networks, receive tokens through consumer-based recommendations.

Thirdly, the technology aims to create an aftersales ecosystem based on decentralized online ratings by end users. These ratings enhance the customer experience through better quality comparisons and rankings, through a user-driven database structure.

Fourthly, is the creation of unique carbon digital profiling for vehicles, allowing enhanced carbon footprint calculations through the application of blockchain technology to allow for accurate environmental policies, regulations and solutions.

These programmes will enable real-time monitoring, auditability and scalability for the aforementioned sectors in applications such as connected vehicles, cybersecurity, smart manufacturing and autonomous driving.

Most importantly, the above initiatives are designed to increase participation of Malaysians in the new age of Reputation Economics – spurring the development of social enterprises and a critical mass of cryptography experts within the Malaysian industry in line with the Industry 4.0 implementation.

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