It seems like every day another major corporation is finding new use cases for blockchain technology. And investors, intrigued by the industry's tremendous growth potential, are pouring capital into blockchain start-ups.
The following developments help to illuminate both of these global trends.
Nestle wants you to know where your food comes from
Food titan Nestle (OTC:NSRGY) announced a partnership with blockchain platform OpenSC that could help it better track its supply chain.
"Through this collaboration, Nestle becomes the first major food and beverage company to announce that it will pilot open blockchain technology in this way," the company said in a press release. "This is part of Nestle's journey toward full transparency."
OpenSC says its blockchain platform gives "anyone, anywhere access to independently verifiable sustainability and supply chain data."
The initial pilot program will trace milk from farms in New Zealand to Nestle's facilities in the Middle East. Nestle will then extend the program to other products in order to test the scalability of the new tracking system.
Nestle first began testing blockchain technology in 2017, when it joined International Business Machines' (NYSE:IBM) food-safety blockchain project Food Trust as a founding member. With ever more consumers demanding to know where their food is produced, it appears that Nestle is doubling down on its blockchain-based food-tracking efforts. And given its status as an industry leader, Nestle's foray into blockchain technology could spur industrywide adoption in the coming years.
"This open blockchain technology will allow anyone anywhere in the world to assess our responsible sourcing facts and figures," Nestle executive Benjamin Ware said. "We believe it is another important step toward the full disclosure of our supply chains ... raising the bar for transparency and responsible production globally."
Capital continues to flow into the industry
Nestle isn't the only company investing in blockchain tech. Blockchain start-ups raised a combined $822 million in the first half of 2019, according to a report by Outlier Ventures.
The venture capital firm said that out of 279 projects that received funding during this time period, 159 were seed-stage deals, "indicating that new entrepreneurial talent is still flowing into the space." And while the total amount of capital invested to date has declined compared with 2018's levels, Outlier Ventures noted that "the ecosystem is more robust and becoming increasingly professionalized."
"Unlike the hubris of 2017, the nature of tokens that are seeing traction today have better-defined ecosystems associated with them, trading infrastructure has evolved substantially, and regulatory compliance has become easier for institutional giants," the company said.
As such, blockchain-based businesses are likely to remain a key area of focus for venture capital investors in the years ahead.