Blockchain or EDI?

EDI and blockchain share some important characteristics:

  1. Both technologies can incorporate multiple trading partners. For example, one company can have many vendors and many customers depending on whether the transactions represent the revenue or the expenditure cycle.
  2. Both technologies enable the communication of trans­action details.
  3. Companies can send and receive any type of documentation.
  4. Trading partners’ information systems don’t need to be compatible. EDI applications convert forms in various formats to a standard format before sending/receiving documents. Transaction hashes are sent/received; hence, the trading partner information systems don’t need to be compatible if using blockchain.
  5. Companies can limit and control access and portions of data that’s accessible to their trading partners.
  6. Both technologies enable an audit trail and maintain a detailed history of records centered on the entity.
  7. Adequate preventive controls need to be implemented and enforced. These include data-edit integrity controls, access controls, and general controls such as source document preparation, management policies, and user responsibilities.