3 Reasons International Trade is still resisting Blockchain, According to HadariOshri
Deep rooted culture creates barriers when it comes to modernizing the oldest industry in the world.
But just because technology is available, does not mean that it will be fully adopted. Take international trade for example. It would seem that blockchain would solve many of the legacy and manual processes in selling and shipping containers. To help us better explain why there is still resistance to this technology within international trade, we reached out to serial entrepreneur HadariOshri. With a background in buying and selling containers of fast fashion excess inventory, Hadari has pivoted to helping hospitals and other organizations source much-needed medical supplies and PPE from suppliers around the world.
Virtually sitting down with Hadari, I asked her some questions to better understand why there is still such resistance to adoption of blockchain technology. Hadari shares three factors that she says explains why.
- Cultural resistance
Hadari shared that part of the resistance to blockchain when it comes to import and exports is rooted in the culture of the shipping industry. “Sometimes the deals are closed just because the partners have been doing business together for many years,” she explained. “Many older players just don’t seem to be open to change.” She tries to talk with them about the benefits of blockchain, and how it can help support transactions by building trust. But most are not ready to listen, or simply stop the conversation saying that it’s just not going to happen.
The idea of digitization for some is a direct threat to the way that they have always done business. Some fear that it takes the personal elements out of the transactions. Hadari tries to explain how blockchain could help to build more trusted relationships through transparency.
“Digitalization is already happening in the industry, but mixed with older more traditional methods, the issue becomes how to ensure that the digitized data is not only highly secure, but also accessible throughout the whole process, allowing for existing relationships to strengthen not separate.”
- Imports and Exports is data driven, with manually inputted data
If you boil it down, there are two parts to global trade. There are the things that move and the tracking data about those things. Tracking these moving parts for containers that are shipped globally are traditionally maintained in ledgers. The primary method of maintaining these ledgers has been a manual process done by humans, documenting on paper, and more recently on computers.
“Blockchain is a digital decentralized ledger, where multiple transactions are put into a block and stored across multiple devices,” Hadari explains. “Hence the name blockchain. They are good at maintaining informational states and if used could help the shipping industry create ledgers that are more transparent and trustworthy. Over time, if ledger data is entered into the blockchain, it lessens the chance for human error, making it nearly impossible to create false information.”
“The biggest problem is that the current antiquated system of manually filling out multiple data points along the supply chain is that it creates a significant risk of human error,” said Hadari. “It does not have to be malicious, it could just be a mistake. But one mistake could cause a lot of problems that ripple through the supply chain. Imagine if a human error resulted in shipments being put on the wrong ships or containers with perishables that sit on a dock so long that they go rotten.” This is one of the core reasons that she believes that the adoption of blockchain will improve on existing processes in a number of ways. But even if she got the buyers and sellers to buy into the idea, there are still the banks to convince.
- Resistance from banks
Hadari told me that above all else, “This is a cash-in-hand industry.” She shared a story about a friend who is an independent broker who is bullish on using cryptocurrency, and he suggested using crypto in some of her trade transactions. She laughed and explained that the guys she deals with are very adverse to anything other than cash. She sees the lack of understanding in sellers, buyers, and brokers being a major hurdle to broad adoption of cryptocurrencies becoming mainstream as a means to pay for trade deals.
To try to get banks on board, Hadari looks for opportunities to point out how the blockchain can help improve speed of transactions. She talked about the fact that with larger deals, you are oftentimes transferring money between banks that take multiple days, which leaves the buyers
and sellers monies tied up and vulnerable to unfavourable changes in exchange rates. With the blockchain and verified transactions, money can be moved much quicker.
She explained that there are also a lot of issues around interbank trust. You can trust your buyer, but the sellers bank might have issues in completing the funds transfer. The use of blockchain enables a transparent repository of funds in escrow which can also help build trust.
Using blockchain technology in the imports and exports global industry leads to a higher level of confidence for all. But that is not enough to convince the industry to change. One of the challenges for anything driven by technology is to make that technology easy to understand and use. If it is going to work, Hadari says that blockchain will need to interface with how people are used to do business in a seamless way. And right now, that is not a reality, at least until there is a major cultural shift, an understanding how the technology can build trust, and banks that are willing to deal in cryptocurrency.
Top Road Trip Destinations in Canada
Did you know that 1.93 million Americans traveled to Canada in 2020? That number was down year-over-year due to COVID-related travel restrictions.
While some Americans visit the Great White North via plane, others prefer road trips. It can be fun to plan an itinerary, book a hotel, pack the luggage, load your family into the car, and head to the border. But if a road trip to Canada is in the plans for you and yours this summer, what Canadian destinations are worth the potentially thousands of miles of driving? Keep reading to learn about the top road trip destinations in Canada.
Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan
Grasslands National Park is one of Canada’s 44 national parks and park reserves. Whether you’re an earlier bird or a night owl, the national park in Southern Saskatchewan provides an ideal prairie landscape. It’s the perfect place to unwind, immerse yourself in nature, and recalibrate your life.
Enjoy the great outdoors on a campsite, or take part in hiking adventures by exploring trails. The solitude and breathtaking beauty of this national park will leave you in awe. Make time for the Ecotour Scenic Drive. It’s about 20 km (around 12.5 miles) long and will take one to three hours to complete depending on your pace.
Toronto to Stratford, Ontario
If there’s one Canadian city most Americans have heard of, it’s Toronto. Toronto, the capital of Ontario, is the fourth largest city on the continent. It’s also home to the only authentic castle in North America. Casa Loma, located in midtown Toronto, is worth the visit. So, too, is the CN Tower, which is the biggest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. The city also has citizens representing 200+ ethnic groups.
While there’s plenty to see and do in Toronto, why stop there? It’s a good idea to include a Toronto-to-Stratford excursion while on your road trip to Canada. You must travel 150 km (about 93 miles ) west to get to Stratford. You’ll see Victorian architecture and get to take in the live theater. Most Americans probably haven’t heard of Stratford before. But when you come for a visit, there’s a good possibility you won’t ever forget it.
North Cape Coastal Drive, Prince Edward Island
If you haven’t ever taken a road trip to Prince Edward Island, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s Canada’s smallest province, but it sure offers a boatload of fun. Are you a foodie or do you like to indulge in the local cuisine when traveling? Check out the western peninsula. You can delight your tastebuds with the range of food available.
Make time to visit the Canadian Potato Museum in the province. After taking in the sites and attractions at the museum, enjoy a meal at the onsite PEI Potato Country Kitchen. The menu has items like the chili topped baked potato, which features a baked potato, homemade chili, and cheese. Meanwhile, the pulled pork potato features a baked potato topped with pulled pork, cheese, and sour cream on the side. That’s just a sampling, and all baked potato dishes are served with fresh-cut, homemade chips.
If you’re intersted in a U.S. to Canada road trip this year, the options above will give you some ideas. The sky’s the limit since there’s so much to see and do.
You’ll want to ensure your vehicle is in good working order to avoid breakdowns. You’ll also want to stay alert on the road since you’ll be traveling a lot of miles and spending hours behind the wheel of your car.
If you get into an accident, you must know what to do. In addition to reporting the accident, calling your insurer, and possibly even booking a rental car to complete your road trip, you’ll want to contact a personal injury lawyer if anyone is injured.
No one wants to consider accidents or injuries when on a road trip. But it’s best to hope for the best while being prepared for the worst. You’ll enjoy the journey and the destination a lot more when you’ve done everything possible to prepare for any possible issues.
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