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Buffett's BNSF Joins Group Aiming to Use Blockchain in Freight

Bitcoin: What’s Coming in the Year Ahead

Warren Buffett’s railroad is jumping into the blockchain game.

BNSF Railway, which is owned by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said Monday that it has joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance, a group of more than 200 freight and logistics companies that are exploring how to use the digital-ledger technology in their industry.

The effort is still in its early stages, but the group has already attracted companies including United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp., as well as trucking firms like Schneider National Inc. BNSF, one of seven major railroads in the U.S. and Canada, is the first of its peers to join the alliance.

While blockchain has gotten most attention as the technology underlying cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, several industries have been studying other potential uses. The transportation alliance sees it being used for everything from vehicle maintenance to fraud detection, according to a slide presentation on the group’s website.

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— With assistance by Thomas Black

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