Antwerp moves further down blockchain path

A diagram showing how all involved stakeholders will use blockchain to transfer phytosanitary certificates Photo: Port of Antwerp and T-Mining A diagram showing how all involved stakeholders will use blockchain to transfer phytosanitary certificates Photo: Port of Antwerp and T-Mining
Industry Database

Belgium’s Antwerp Port Authority and software startup T-Mining have developed a solution to transfer documents with blockchain technology and automate (through “‘Smart Contracts’”) the document-flow.

In a joint release, the Port of Antwerp and T-Mining said regarding the port authority and the startup that together with PortApp, 1-Stop, T&G Global, Belfruco and Enzafruit, a specific solution had been developed for phytosanitary certificates — which guarantee fruit and vegetable safety.

T-Mining, which is headquartered in Antwerp, and Antwerp Port Authority developed the tool “to make document flows safer and more efficient”, according to the release.

Explaining blockchain, Filip Heremans, chief product officer at T-Mining, said: “Blockchain technology allows [users] to transfer documents without duplicating them, so there is only one party that owns the original document at any time.

“[On top of this], the blockchain guarantees the authenticity of the document — as no one can change or delete anything unnoticed.”

Mr Heremans added: “So-called ‘Smart Contracts’ automate and secure the flow of documents between the various parties so that certain access rules can be enforced and new information is shared with the parties involved without delay and in a secure manner.”

Erwin Verstraelen, chief digital and information officer of Antwerp Port Authority, said: "In 2017, we were the first port in the world to test blockchain in real life.

“Today, we once again illustrate our ambition to be an open innovation hub that introduces new technologies, since innovation and digitisation are crucial in the long term.”

The solution is currently being trialled on a small sale with a limited number of parties.

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