Eusebio Felguera Garrido
Public Policy Manager, Telefónica S.A.
Blockchain, or in a broader sense, Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) allow us to add a layer of trust to inter-company relationships, simplifying third-party verification of transactions, significantly reducing potential disputes, and generating efficiencies in conciliation processes. This is especially useful for industrial applications, manufacturing systems, logistics and supply management solutions or simply document management and information exchange between parties.
Distributed register technologies prior to Blockchain lack the reliability needed to have the same information permanently synchronised in different databases. Therefore, the shortcomings of previous technologies generated inconsistencies between databases that prevented the creation or implementation of certain types of services. In some cases, it was possible to reach fairly good approximations, but this required compromises on the level of tolerance to inaccuracy of these databases and to negotiate in advance the rules applicable to reconcile these databases and synchronise them from time to time.
Thanks to Blockchain, this problem of synchronisation is solved automatically, as it is the technology itself that builds consensus between the parties and ensures the consistency of the different versions of the same data in the information systems of different companies. This makes it possible to develop applications and uses that were previously unfeasible or inefficient.
Telefónica has extensive experience in the use of this technology, both in concept tests and in its application to improve business in combination with other emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things or Artificial Intelligence. In this field, we have more than a year of real experience in Brazil. Vicky, the new supply chain management system for our external equipment (routers, set-top-boxes, mobiles, etc.) allows us to see the real status of our plant (of our network), our warehouses or repair shops. This has allowed us to reduce our Lead Time (the time it takes for a piece of equipment to reach our warehouses from the time we place the order) and increase the visibility of our stock of equipment. In short, we have increased our efficiency.
Our commitment to Blockchain is firm. Telefónica is committed to the development of Hyperlegder technology, the Blockchain technology that we consider most suitable for industrial environments, through our participation in the Linux Foundation where we have released for laboratory use, a patent of our identity that provides the necessary security in industrial digital environments (TrustID) and which forms part of our family of applications that make up TrustOS.
This trusted operating system (TrustOS) allows any company, regardless of its size, to include Blockchain technology in its business. In this way, they can improve their competitiveness and take advantage of economies of scale that they cannot normally access on their own. TrustOS integrates with any industrial software through simple APIS.
Similarly, Telefónica is working in favour of the development of the global Blockchain ecosystem in standardisation groups (for example, in ETSI) or through participation in European forums such as INATBA which, with a global vocation, brings together legislators and regulators with companies and academia to advance the use of this technology.
Telefónica is also a founding member of ALASTRIA in Spain, a non-profit consortium, unique in the world, which brings together more than five hundred companies interested in the use of Blockchain. It includes relevant developments such as Alastria ID, which has recently been approved by the Spanish Association for Standardisation (UNE) as a Spanish standard and has now been submitted for European adoption to the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CEN/CENELEC).