NEWS: Blockchain ecosystem to ‘revolutionize’ supply chains

19-02-2019

A breakthrough blockchain-powered technology from an Australian company could revolutionise track and trace in supply chains, it claims. Provenance and, the ability to prove it, is becoming essential, not only as a selling tool but also as a means of brand IP protection against counterfeiting. John Baird, CEO of Ultimo Digital Technologies is driving the development and distribution of its new Ubique Chain of Things (UCOT) ecosystem, according to an article which appeared in PKN.

“Currently we are building provenance systems that go all the way to the container, but nothing that goes to the product,” he says. “We think a security code or tag on a lid proves provenance, but there is nothing to stop someone from purchasing the packaging and changing the contents, even accessing the security lid and copying the security features.”

Baird believes the solution lies in the UCOT smart Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem powered by blockchain. The system is currently under development in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney, and is designed to enable secure data acquisition, tamper resistant storage and trusted data sharing throughout supply chains.

Using a bottle of wine as an example, Baird explains the technology is a transmitting device integrally attached to the closure that can tell the temperature of the contents of the bottle, whether it’s been opened or not and when and where this happened. The device reports back periodically (at a time interval determined by the manufacturer) to the IoT and then to the UCOT system, which uses blockchain to record all the data.

“So, when a record from the wine bottle is written on the blockchain, it can never be reversed. You can write new records as you go along, but you can never go back and edit it,“  he added. The UCOT system will work across supply chains in any vertical. The company is currently building use case sensors for key markets, namely meat, wine, infant formula and cold chain shipping.

The network uses secure machine-to-machine communications to reduce costs, automatically authenticate records and update smart contracts, as well as serving as the foundation for future AI integration into supply chains.

Baird explains that UCOT is underpinned by the use of its cryptotoken, UBI. “UBI will be used by supply chains to pay for the running of the new UCOT system. Where traditional systems would be unsuitable and too expensive for processing millions of micro-transactions, using UBI will make the process fast, efficient and predictable.”