2017 has been an exciting year for technology, with blockchain and AI at the forefront and in the news. Let’s look at these technologies from a business perspective and see why they will smash old business assumptions that are currently barriers in B2B transactions.
When you hear blockchain you can be forgiven for associating it with bitcoin. Bitcoin and other crypto currencies are very much in the news these days as their prices skyrocket. Regardless, bitcoin is not blockchain; it is just the first “killer app” for blockchain. Similarly, in the 90’s for many people the internet was AOL email – personified by the familiar “you’ve got mail” notification. Most people at that time could not imagine the profound changes that the internet would ultimately bring about in how business was conducted. Likewise, a permissioned blockchain (see ), by providing a distributed ledger in which transactions are immutably recorded by consensus and pre-determined rules, creates the capability of seamless end-to-end B2B transactions that were not possible before.
AI or artificial intelligence is also a hot topic, with one recent example being AlphaZero – a “reinforcement learning” computer that went from no knowledge of chess strategy to becoming the world champion chess player in 4 hours. (See . The applications of AI beyond chess are staggering, particularly when the expertise that humans take years to acquire can be self-taught by a computer in a short period of time.
So, what does all this mean for business in 2018? At Sparcblock, by applying these and other technologies to longstanding business problems we will eliminate friction in B2B transactions and dramatically reduce costs while accelerating the speed of business. Imagine the impact of using smart payables and receivables contracts to have transactions conducted directly point-to-point between accounting or ERP systems. No more AP and AR data entry, and no more need for reconciliation. This automates the “clean” AP and AR transactions, and then incorporating AI helps to deal with the remaining exceptions with little or no human intervention.
And that is how you smash business barriers… more to come in the New Year. In the meantime, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Sparcblock!

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