Tops in Tech
Forbes recognizes Aramco’s early blockchain success
Company’s investments in distributed database technology part of digital transformation strategy.
Aramco’s activities as an early adopter of blockchain has been highlighted in Forbes’ Blockchain top 50 list for 2021.
In the past two years, Aramco has successfully invested $4.77 million in the distributed database technology as part of the company’s accelerated digital transformation strategy.
Forbes reported that Aramco in 2019 invested in Data Gumbo — a Texas-based startup — which has built a blockchain platform that integrates thousands of sensors at oil fields and refineries to verify asset performance and reconcile smart contracts with the company’s vendors.
The magazine also reported that Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) in 2020 invested in Vakt, a blockchain platform for trading cargoes of oil and petroleum products. The company is based in London and Lisbon.
The Forbes list “features companies that lead in employing distributed ledger technology and have revenue or a valuation of at least $1 billion.”
The list includes major players such as tech giants Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle; Korean conglomerate Samsung; aerospace company Boeing; financial services providers JP Morgan, HSBC, Visa, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China; and energy company Equinor.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is an encrypted, decentralized database of information that is controlled by members in a network. The real-time digital records are called “blocks,” and once each is completed, they are linked together in virtual chains. For any change to be accepted, a majority of the “nodes” in the chain have to authenticate the transaction.
Blockchain still in its early days
Mahdi Aladel, the CEO of SAEV, the company’s strategic technology investment program, said blockchain is still in its early days.
“Over the next decade we believe it has the potential to become an important part of next-generation internet infrastructure, effectively providing a trusted and secure method of managing information and assets,” he said.
“We are delighted that Aramco has been recognized for its work in exploring the early applications for this exciting technology in the oil and gas industry.”
Early last year, Aramco deployed the corporate blockchain platform. This private permission network enables the company to build enterprise scale blockchain solutions and collaborate with partners. Aramco has also completed a number of successful blockchain implementations. One of its successes, automated credential certificate verification, was recognized by the World Economic Forum.
Aramco continues to capitalize on blockchain technology and is planning to implement four new scenarios in 2021, including:
- Automating invoice verification
- Tracking hydrocarbon custody transfer
- Securing records and document exchanges
- Expanding its role as co-founder of Trust Your Supplier, a supply chain consortium.