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New alliance for blockchain and supply chain

The Trusted IoT Alliance is designed to bring companies together to develop an open source blockchain protocol that will support IoT technology across all industrial sectors. Those pledging support for the initiative are Bosch, BNY Mellon, Cisco, Gemalto, and many other companies. The alliance partners have agreed to support pilot schemes, to publish open source code, and to coordinate standards and reference architecture.

The long-term aim is to develop a trusted IoT ecosystem that connects cryptographic and registrant identities, plus metadata, to give any Internet-connected device a digital, transferable certificate that can be inventoried and managed across any blockchain networks, to be accessed by any company with appropriate security clearance.

According to Zaki Manian, who is the Executive Director of the Trusted IoT Alliance: “The Alliance’s vision is to support the creation of a secure, scalable, interoperable, and trusted IoT ecosystem and to become a key forum for enabling rapid development of mature IoT enabled blockchain use cases and specifications.”

Outside of the alliance, other initiatives are underway. IBM (Armonk, New York, U.S.) has entered into a partnership with shipping giant Maersk (Copenhagen, Denmark). This is designed to provide efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade based on blockchain technology.

One motivation with the initiative is to reduce costs. It is estimated that $4 trillion in goods are shipped each year. However, one fifth of trade is ‘lost’ to physical transportation costs. One area that is expensive is the documentation associated with tracking and recording the movement of goods. Blockchain offers a solution to lower these costs. Part of the plan will involve the digitization and automation of paperwork filings, allowing users to submit, validate, and approve documents across organizational boundaries in a secure fashion.

The two companies have produced a video about their plans and the IBM Blockchain Platform:

In a different scheme, Blockchain platform provider Skuchain (based in California, U.S.) and IT services provider NTT DATA (based in Tokyo, Japan) are to partner together within the intention bring blockchain and IoT technology to enterprise supply chains. This will be based on radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, which uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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