More than 200 domestic and overseas experts and entrepreneurs attended the fifth International Shipping and Internet Summit Forum in Shanghai on May 28, to discuss the application of blockchain technology in the shipping industry.
Blockchain, invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, serves as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin. It has exploded in popularity in recent years and can be used as a payment system in a wide range of fields.
The topics discussed during the forum included amongst others the digital transformation of the shipping industry, big data, the prevention of internet risks in shipping, and the connection between blockchain and shipping.
Huang Jin, vice-president of an international accredited registrar and classification society named DNV GL, predicted that a new digital business model for the maritime industry will be formed when the industry integrates new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and cloud computing, which can improve the internal efficiency of shipping companies and reduce their dependence on intermediary agents.
Liang Min, founder of the world's first shipping blockchain company 300cubits, said that blockchain could be applied to solve problems about shipping booking deposits and breach of contracts, and the use of TEU cryptocurrency, which has been described as "bitcoin for the shipping industry", will alleviate some of the financial pressures on clients.
Capt Jonathan Foong, CEO of Marine-chain, shared the application of blockchain in vessel ownership and thought that blockchain could improve transparency and reduce costs for ship transactions.
Zhuang Wei, general manager of BIMCO Asia, urged to pay more attention to internet risks because he thought that software used on ships may have bugs and be attacked by hackers. Also, he suggested releasing certain technical guidebooks to ensure internet safety for ships.
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