Thumbnail Image

Blockchain-based Supply Chain Traceability: Token Recipes model Manufacturing Processes

Westerkamp, Martin; Victor, Friedhelm; Küpper, Axel

Growing consumer awareness as well as manufacturers’ internal quality requirements lead to novel demands on supply chain traceability. Existing centralized solutions suffer from isolated data storage and lacking trust when multiple parties are involved. Decentralized blockchain-based approaches attempt to overcome these shortcomings by creating digital representations of physical goods to facilitate tracking across multiple entities. However, they currently do not capture the transformation of goods in manufacturing processes. Therefore, the relation between ingredients and product is lost, limiting the ability to trace a product’s provenance. We propose a blockchain-based supply chain traceability system using smart contracts. In such contracts, manufacturers define the composition of products in the form of recipes. Each ingredient of the recipe is a non- fungible token that corresponds to a batch of physical goods. When the recipe is applied, its ingredients are consumed and a new token is produced. This mechanism preserves the traceability of product transformations. The system is implemented for the Ethereum Virtual Machine and is applicable to any blockchain configuration that supports it. Our evaluation reveals that the gas costs scale linearly with the number of products considered in the system. This leads to the conclusion that the solution can handle complex use cases.
Published in: 2018 IEEE International Conference on Blockchain, 10.1109/Cybermatics_2018.2018.00267, IEEE