I am trying to understand how blockchain would be helpful in provenance tracking of goods.

Example: Company X is using blockchain technology to import pork into USA. Let us assume there are many agents in between who transfer porks and finally reaches USA.

My understanding is a every agent who is sending pork would generate a public key + private key combination and add it into blockchain. By doing this way, one can track who the origin.

If my understand is right, why can’t this be done with a normal database ?


I'll try an admittedly over-simplified summary and see if it helps.

Just as a database isn't merely a better spreadsheet, blockchain isn't merely a better database. In fact, in many respects, database has considerable strength relative to blockchain. Blockchain excels in one area in particular.

The key difference is the inarguable nature of data contained on a blockchain and/or well-designed system of Smart Contracts.

Two parties lacking trust may have irreconcilable differences in their spreadsheets and databases; honest actors having an honest disagreement.

Blockchain offers an authoritative record that both can agree is inarguable and incorruptible.

Hope it helps.

  • In the case of a blockchain what would actually be stored and/or done within a smart contract?
    – Emilio
    Jul 24 '18 at 22:43

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