- Saudi Aramco is moving forward with plans to become the world’s most efficient energy company by embracing blockchain technology.
- In furtherance of its objectives, Saudi Aramco has invested in blockchain startups Data Gumbo and VAKT.
- Aramco was the only Middle Eastern company included in the Forbes magazine list of 2021’s top 50 blockchain companies.
A state-owned enterprise, Saudi Aramco has taken positive steps to incorporate blockchain technology into its modus operandi.
The company’s recent investments in Data Gumbo and VAKT are clear statements of the firm’s resolve to use revolutionary blockchain technology to remain the leading player in the global commodities market.
These giant strides have not gone unnoticed, and Saudi Aramco is receiving plaudits for being a progressive company in the digital age. The energy behemoth is now ranked as the most valuable brand in the Middle East, with a brand value of over $37.50 billion.
Increasing Efficiency Through Blockchain
Saudi Aramco, founded 88 years ago, has grown to become the world’s largest oil producer, with more daily capacity than any other firm on earth. The key to the company’s growth and longevity lies in its flexibility in adapting to new technology, most recently blockchain technology.
In-house, Saudi Aramco is using blockchain technology to standardize business processes, increase efficiency and reduce costs in the fields of cybersecurity, data storage and fraud detection.
A company spokesperson recently announced:
Aramco is investing significant amounts in blockchain technology and is working closely with its business partners to encourage and prepare them for adopting the technology. Aramco deployed its corporate blockchain platform in partnership with IBM, which enables Aramco to scale up its blockchain solutions.
Saudi Aramco has also used blockchain technology to verify the credentials of its employees and run background checks on independent contractors, previously tedious processes for a firm that employs thousands of staff and hundreds of independent contractors. Blockchain simplifies these processes and greatly reduces the opportunities for fraud.
“Since its deployment in June 2020, the Blockchain Certificate Verifier has introduced an efficient and secure verification environment and cut verification time by more than 90 percent for heavy equipment operator certificates,” the company said.
On the Flipside
- Non-fungible tokens on the wrong blockchain could leave you with a worthless collectable.
- According to Sam Kazemian, co-founder and president of Everipedia, for NGT collectables to have worth, their underlying blockchain must be secure.
- However, the NFT market has been growing in popularity, even finding use in the luxury sector.
Investing in Data Gumbo and VAKT
As part of the company’s drive to digitalisation, Saudi Aramco invested $5 million in blockchain platform VAKT.
VAKT uses blockchain technology to digitalise the current paper-based post-trade delivery of commodities, aiming to reduce time spent on documentary reconciliation processes and prevent fraud.
“This company (Aramco) – part of the most profitable business in the world – has a strong track record of investing in industry innovation,” said VAKT CFO Richard James.
While he noted that VAKT was not proactively seeking investors, they could not miss the chance to bring a partner like Saudi Aramco on board.
Saudi Aramco and Equinor Technology Ventures also invested $6 million in the US-based startup Data Gumbo. The partnership will place Data Gumbo in a better position to achieve its goal to greatly improve global supply chains, including in the oil and gas industry.
The company hopes to erase measurement interpretation discrepancies related to things like weight, volume, height and delivery time in the shipping industry, which cause delays and disputes.