The Bitcoin Masterclass with Dr. Craig Wright

Real-Time stock monitoring and updates: The Bitcoin Masterclasses with Dr. Craig Wright

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“If we’re talking about a just-in-time industry, we don’t want to have too many things sitting around.” This session from Day 2 of The Bitcoin Masterclasses #5 looks at real-time stock monitoring—and as Dr. Craig Wright says, this isn’t about trading on the stock market; it’s about the actual stock you have in your storeroom.

The business world today is one of razor-thin profit margins and high volumes (hmm, sounds a bit like Bitcoin transactions), so it’s essential to track everything—exactly when and where an item or ingredient will arrive, how long it will last, and changes to its monetary value depending on time and circumstances.

We mentioned the perishability of certain goods in the previous session, the different time scales they exist on, and other events that may change the value of otherwise-identical items. This session continues on that theme with plenty of real-life examples.

Don’t like tracking small details? Small problems grow into bigger ones

Tracking items also has the potential to expose “little frauds.” Does a company reduce the price of mildly-damaged goods? Someone may be denting them on purpose. Where’s all that extra food in the restaurant going? Who’s been unreasonably raiding the stationery cabinet? If you can minimize this, you reduce your business’s overall number of problems.

“Sometimes this all sounds very petty,” Dr. Wright says. “But from a corporate point of view, letting people get away with small things sometimes grows into big things.”

Without technology that simplifies and automates these processes, it’s impossible (or at least unprofitable) to track the minutiae of large-scale, low-value inventory items. Large corporations often have this capability with finely-tuned SAP, Oracle, MySQL, or similar systems. Blockchain recording and RFID tags costing a fraction of a cent each, makes this level of tracking granularity possible for organizations of any size and make it easier to save money by minimizing everyday losses.

A universal blockchain record also allows competing applications to use the same data. There’s no need for anyone to be tied to a single application.

Dr. Wright mentions the problem of counterfeit goods again as well, saying there are knock-on effects that may lead to losses. One person buying a single counterfeit handbag may not be a lost sale. But supposing a handle on the counterfeit bag breaks and a thousand people see it in that condition, thinking it’s an original—it creates a negative image for that brand that may have a larger impact down the line.

There’s another breakout discussion in this session for the audience to come up with more examples. Not surprisingly, the first example is restaurants with high turnovers and various ingredients. Another interesting one is budget travel, a solo traveler trying to find the cheapest routes from points A to B with ride-share drivers (with the added bonus of tracking the travelers’ location for their family’s peace of mind). Another one looks at the textiles industry and the various ways materials may be wasted, over/under-ordered, transported, etc., and there’s a non-consumer industry example in hospitals monitoring supply and demand for medications (and possibly even staff!)

Dr. Wright also reminds us that everyone can share the same blockchain while keeping records as private as they need. There’s no need for proprietary blockchains; such blockchains only create disadvantages by preventing broader information sharing.

“There’s nothing saying you can’t build a permissioned system on an open blockchain,” he says. A public blockchain may contain real-time, detailed data on product movements, but that doesn’t mean everyone can see it. Complete records of sale and proofs of purchase can exist without any personally-identifying information appearing on them.

Again someone needs to go out and build all these systems before any business can profit from it. No matter what area or industry you’re interested in, there are potential blockchain benefits if you can design the system people want to use.

Watch the Bitcoin Masterclasses Topic Reviews: Here are the applications made possible by blockchain

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New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.