eco White Paper “Blockchain in SMEs” Published

From the secure exchange of data through to automated transport and delivery chains –blockchain technology offers many solutions and application possibilities which are also interesting for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). With the white paper “Blockchain in SMEs,” eco – Association of the Internet Industry has now published guidance for SMEs that wish to implement their own blockchain projects. Over 36 pages, experts provide an up-to-date overview of the possibilities of the technology and illustrate what conditions are necessary for SMEs to benefit from the technology.

“Blockchain is a cross-sectoral technology with a broad spectrum of application possibilities for many industries,” says Stephan Zimprich, Leader of the Competence Group Blockchain in the eco Association. The technology, he continues, makes transactions of values possible in digital space. Without intermediaries – in other words, dispensing of agents or brokers – the trade in securities, the supply of electricity, or the transfer of user rights can be documented transparently and in a tamper-proof manner.

Standardized interfaces and protocols enable interoperability

The eco white paper provides basic knowledge on distributed-ledger and blockchain technologies, as well as on Smart Contracts – programs which are stored within a blockchain. Especially for SMEs, it sheds light on the prerequisites and the challenges in the use of blockchain, and covers aspects relating to security and data protection.

One aspect of importance for the success of blockchain projects is interoperability with other systems. As is often the case with the introduction of new software or IT systems, adaptations of existing applications and systems may be necessary to ensure the seamless interaction of different systems, technologies, or organizations. SMEs working as part of value chain networks should take care not to invest too specifically in a special proprietary blockchain architecture, according to the authors of the white paper. The more that distributed-ledger technologies like blockchain are adopted into software architectures, the more important the standardization of shared interfaces and protocols becomes.

Practical examples from the automotive industry, banks, retail, and the energy sector

One challenge for SMEs is to determine which application scenarios are well suited to be implemented on the basis of blockchain. Therefore, the white paper advises SMEs to experiment, build prototypes, test, and improve or discard a less promising approach and build something new. In any case, with its “Security by Design” characteristics, blockchain technology is in principle suitable for many fields of application, according to the white paper – which presents practical examples from the automotive industry, banks, retail, and the energy sector.

The Competence Group Blockchain in eco – Association of the Internet Industry is accompanying this ongoing development and, together with its network of members, offers all interested parties a platform for the exchange of know-how and best practices: international.eco.de/topics/blockchain.

Request a free download of the white paper “Blockchain in SMEs”

eco Whitepaper „Die Blockchain im Mittelstand“ veröffentlicht