Tamper-proof Track & Trace | Unleash the Blockchain
Last week we introduced Cryptowerk Horizon as a solution for the Blockchain trilemma, overcoming throughput issues, with the highest possible privacy without compromising ownership of data in complex modern supply-chain structures.
This week we want to finish this series by introducing you to our partner Acsis Inc. which was enabled to leverage the might of blockchains to create the Blockchain-empowered supply chain.
Exemplifying secure extended supply chains
To gain a better understanding of the issue it is helpful to look to case studies for help to illuminate this topic. The pharmaceutical supply chain right now is going through a series of changes or track and trace perspectives. One of the changes in what is known as the DSCSA, which is an all-encompassing track and trace solution for prescription drugs which will have gone through 2023. But one of the things that need to happen in 2019 is for companies to be able to verify the authenticity of the returned products so that it can be put back into the supply chain.
Different pharmaceutical stakeholders, between manufacturers and distributors, can put GTIN information or global trade identification number of pharmaceuticals out on the blockchain and then that information gets put out in consensus nodes, so we know whose GTIN it is. And then if somebody needs to look that up, when they do a lookup against that blockchain GTIN directory, it tells them the owner of that GTIN. It securely returns to them any information necessary to search the repository to get the pharmaceutical serial number.
The lookup directory is secure. When you look up, you’re going to get pointed to the right manufacturer; then you will request verification of an individual serial number against that manufacturer’s repository, and it will tell you whether or not that particular serial number is appropriate with low latency.
The immutable record of who owns the GTIN, where you need to go to get additional information for it is a key attribute of being able to assist in securing the supply chain from a centralized perspective. This allows companies to decide on what level they are going to share details of that product from their own repository. It’s really a great partnership that allows you to say: “I’m going to put a component of information out in a blockchain, in an immutable format and then from that, I can get additional pieces of information.” Not all information needs to be shared out on the blockchain, but maybe pieces of it that are appropriate for a particular function.
It’s not sharing the data itself. It’s really sharing the cryptographic fingerprint of the data that you can prove the original data existed in a particular format at a particular point in time.
Breaking it down to two big generic use cases. One is the anchoring or timestamping, of data of any size. Be it a smart sensor for moving pharmaceutical products in its supply chain; maybe it’s a cold chain saying the temperature, or maybe it’s a smart label where we’re moving from a particular geography to another geography.
Any of that data or the movement, the other big use cases, the metadata around the movement of a physical asset. Assets have digital twins, but we’re not actually storing anything that identifies the asset or where it’s located or who processed it on a public blockchain. Only cryptographic fingerprint for what we call the super hash is publicly viewable.
We’re providing proof on the blockchain, and it’s regulatory compliant because there’s no link back to the original data if you delete the SEAL. The SEAL is your mathematical proof or your link to the truth which then you can use to verify data throughout the supply chain.
Secure Track and Trace with Acsis
Blockchain projects are complex and hard to coordinate as many parties are involved. There are 4 or 5 actors at the beginning, ranging from infrastructure providers and carriers which are going to provide your connectivity to these smart or semi-smart devices, the IoT device centers and providers themselves. Organizations like Honeywell or the people that are doing packaging labels, environmental sensors and more.
Then you have the track and trace apps, like Acsis, that work with ERP systems. And then the regulators want visibility into what the vital inventory is throughout the supply chain, especially in an industry like pharmaceuticals.
Visibility and transparency are what’s driving these projects. And that can take a lot of time. The benefits, however, are huge. You get the speed of trust. This reduces counterfeiting. It is much more difficult to counterfeit if you know what happened wherein the supply chain, what geolocation and what time and it’s provable that a particular product or product component existed and was added to a finished good. So, again, protecting and reducing the risk of the manufacturers. And now really owning more and more of the customer experience. Increasing safety while increasing velocity as well.
You see this not only in pharmaceuticals but also for food and beverage. There are also huge use cases that are very well-published in consumer/packaged goods/retail area. Also, large bottling companies. But it’s not always about this multi-party supply chain gaining speed. There are tremendous advantages to be had there, but it can be something that’s inter- or intracompany related to data reconciliation.
The audit community is really trying to stay in front of the incredibly disruptive technology. You now have the ability to hash massive amounts of data and compare whether or not they’ve been manipulated. From an audit perspective and a data reconciliation perspective,s it saves time and it gets you out of data wars by definitively answering the question: Whose data was correct at what point in time?
Read the entire whitepaper “The Blockchain-Empowered Supply Chain” here.
Check out our partner Acsis!