Danish shipping giant Maersk and multinational technology company IBM have announced they are winding up TradeLens, their joint project citing the lack of the mettle to operate as an independent business.
TradeLens was a collaborative venture by both entities seeking to use blockchain to improve the supply chain industry. Founded in 2018, the project scored several wins by accumulating a number of high-profile clientele, but four years on, TradeLens appears to have run out of steam.
According to a statement by the TradeLens team, the entire platform is scheduled to go offline before the end of the first quarter. However, during the days leading to the close of operations, customers have been assured that they will be “attended to without disruptions to their businesses.”
Rotem Hershko, Head of Business Platforms at Maersk, noted that TradeLens was founded on the vision to change the scope of global supply chain digitization by creating a transparent platform.
“Unfortunately, while we successfully developed a viable platform, the need for full global industry collaboration has not been achieved,” said Hershko. “As a result, TradeLens has not reached the level of commercial viability necessary to continue work and meet the financial expectations as an independent business.”
Although the curtain has fallen on TradeLens, both parties remain optimistic for the future, saying that distributed ledgers will improve processes in the industry. Maersk stated that it will continue its quest to trigger innovation in a bid to “reduce trade friction.”
“We will leverage the work of TradeLens as a stepping stone to further push our digitization agenda and look forward to harnessing the energy and ability of our technology talent in new ways,” said Hershko on behalf of Maersk.
Distributed ledgers are permeating every industry
Blockchain has made a foray into virtually every industry, and proponents argue that the revolutionary features of transparency and decentralization are game changers. In gaming, popular companies like Konami and Sega are looking to incorporate the technology in their upcoming titles to compete with new Web3 game developers.
Blockchain is being explored by central banks and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) for its potential in cross-border payments, while research labs believe that the tech could be key in securing energy grids from bad actors.
Meanwhile, national governments are also increasingly relying on blockchain, with India, the Philippines, and Thailand looking to increase adoption levels for the technology. Other uses of blockchain include its deployment in electioneering processes, issuing digital identities, and storing the educational records of individuals.
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