Lest you think blockchain technology is still in the far future of commercial communications and commerce, keep in mind that the venerable Dun & Bradstreet is busily kicking the technology’s tires.
The company — whose origins stretch back to the middle of the 19th century — is currently testing a pilot project that allows clients to verify the identity of a potential business partner through a unique blockchain identifying number that corresponds to the traditional Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S Number.
The nine digit D-U-N-S Number is a widely accepted way of identifying a business entity. Blockchain is a new kind of online distributed software ledger that forms the technological underpinning for a variety of applications, the most famous of which is the bitcoin digital currency. Dun & Bradstreet says it has the world’s largest commercial database, providing basic information and reputational assessments of companies around the globe.
Several firms that use its data are involved in testing this project, which launched last fall. One firm, the company said, wants to see if it can dramatically reduce the cost of onboarding new suppliers.
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