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Blockchain: Transforming Global Supply Chain Security A BTI Institute Lunch and Learn

Weidong "Larry" Shi, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Houston, spoke during the Borders, Trade, and Immigration Institute Brown Bag at the University of Houston on February 27, 2019. Shi currently focuses on enabling system technologies for services. The blockchain is one such system technology that has the capability to enable a wide range of services. 

Blockchain is a distributed ledger system multi-managed by numerous brokers, said Shi.

Blockchain rose to prominence as the technology that backed Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency developed in 2008. Today blockchain technology has a life of its own, either already having been implemented or being implemented across multiple industries including banking. 

Of primary interest to the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection is the use of the blockchain to secure and facilitate legitimate trade and travel. 

"Current container logistics processes are still very labor-intensive and lacking an integrated information flow," said Shi. "Blockchain can streamline this process."

Shi noted that up to %50 of the cost of moving a container is related to paperwork alone. There is a large number of documents required to trade across borders. This includes multiple documents from exporters, importers, freight forwarder, clearing agents, shipping lines, haulage companies, intermodal operators, surveyors, freight shipment banks, and insurance brokers. 

"The problem of this is multiple versions of reality," said Shi. "How do you know the information you receive as part of this whole chain of the same or consistent information with other copies of the same data within the ecosystem?"

For more on Shi's presentation, see the videos below or download his presentation. For more on the BTI Institute, visit

View the recordings below (two parts):


Click here to view the original announcement and speaker biography.