Coca Cola sees Blockchain as the ‘real thing’!

Howe Coke is using Blockchain technology to improve efficiency and rive down costs


Jonny Fry

3 years ago | 2 min read

Historically, public Blockchain’s have not been seen as an attractive proposition to corporations as they often need to keep certain data confidential — hence private or permissioned Blockchains have tended to be favoured. Indeed, this was the initial route that the Coca-Cola bottlers-owned firm Coke One North America Services (CONA) took when it looked at using Blockchain technology to help improve the efficiency of its supply chains.

Hyperledger was selected thus allowing different bottling companies to share information e.g. one of the bottlers could have insufficient stock ready for delivery, so another bottler would be able to make up the shortfall.

Previously this had required the bottlers to reconcile their paperwork, which unsurprisingly took time as well as producing the inevitable queries. The use of Hyperledger has sped this mechanism up and made the whole process of lengthy reconciliations and calculating ‘who owns what?’ considerably more efficient.

Given the experience of using a Blockchain-powered platform, CONA is now looking to include external suppliers, such as the manufacturers of cans and bottles, and has decided to use Baseline which is built on the Ethereum public Blockchain.

Baseline is described by ConsenSys’s John Wolpert as, “A way of using the main net (public Ethereum) that will be acceptable, we think, to very conservative corporate CSOs (chief security officers), CIO, CTOs, where they can finally say, yep, it’s okay to use the main net in this way.”

Baseline allows companies to use the Ethereum Blockchain for complex and confidential processes, but private, sensitive data is not held on the Blockchain. By using Baseline, it will enable transactions to be reconciled along CONA’s supply chain between internal departments and external suppliers.

One cannot help but wonder if CONA has visibility of the whole supply chain, should a supplier run into cash flow challenges, it ought to be very easy and relatively low risk for such a supplier to be able to borrow money from CONA or maybe even Coca-Cola itself.

Who knows, could this be financed by a ‘Coke coin’ i.e. a Digital Currency backed by Coca-Cola? And why not? After all, as at 30th June 2020, it had net assets of $94 billion. As an additional idea, potentially Coca-Cola could also use a Coke coin in some form of digital engagement program i.e. as rewards, or even as a way to achieve promote climate change and/or social responsibility targets thus giving a new meaning to an old Coke advertising slogan, ‘Share Coke”.

Indeed, were the use of a corporate coin proven to act as way to help finance Coca-Cola’s operations, move money more efficiently around global operations and/or act as a more convenient digital loyalty/rewards mechanism, would this act as a catalyst for other multinationals to follow with their coin?

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Jonny Fry







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