LINK TO THE WITHEPAPER: https://www.provenance.org/whitepaper
Provenance: White paper abstract
Prototype that uses block chain technology to enable secure traceability of certifications and other salient information in supply chains. Enables every physical product to come with a digital passport that proves authenticity and origin. Creates auditable records of the journey behind all physical products.
Transparency: Competitive advantage. Centralized systems can’t power transparency: “Relying in one party creates an inherent bias and weakness in the system”.
3 key differences between block chain and most existing computer designs:
- Non localization: Data on the block chain is determined by consensus. A user can unambiguously discover the state of the system.
- Auditability: By design is perfectly auditable.
Authentication provided in the form of an unforgeable digital signature.
Implementing supply chain certification on block chain:
Propose alternative approach to the certification and chain-of-custody challenge in suitable supply chains. A system to assign and verify certifications of certain properties of physical products.
Outline a model of the various materials and components from initial production through manufacture and assembly to the final customer.
At each point of time, 4 key properties concerning all materials and consumables it covers:
- The nature (what it is)
- The quality (how it is)
- The quantity (how much of it there is)
- The ownership (whose it is at any moment)
Information architecture for a certification and chain-of-custody system on the block chain
6 different types of actors:
- Producers (e.g. cotton growers)
- Manufacturers (e.g. makers of fabrics of jeans)
- Registrants (Organizations that provide credentials and unique identity to actors) (e.g. accreditation service)
- Standards organizations (Define the roles of a certain scheme) (e.g. Fair trade)
- Certifiers and auditors which are agents, usually separate agents, to maximize secure, that inspect producers and manufacturers and verify certain standards like annual production capacity.
- Buyers of product all along the supply chain, including the end consumer.
Consist of a number of modular programs.
- Registration program
It’s this program alone that form the fundamental trust relationship between customer and the system as a whole.
This program is initial deployed by the registrar that initially a process for registration of named participants (certifiers, auditors, producers, and manufacturers)
Such participants may request registration of their digital identity, which links their real world identity with their block chain based digital identity. (that way allow them to interact with the block chain using their real-world identity. Upon request, the registration authority verifies their identity and records the result in the block chain, available for all to inspect.
Important: The system could allow participants to remain anonymous, at the cost of opacity at the state of the supply chain, at which the actor operates.
The exception is certifiers, who need to register and identify themselves in order to make the system work.
- Standards programs.
These programs represent the implementation of schemas for proper recognition of a standard. Through these programs, standards organizations provide for the creation of compliant production of manufacturing programs, allowing instances or batches of goods and materials to be added to or processed on the block chain.
Such producers or manufacturers may require inspection by a certifier or auditor of their facilities and processes to be able to obtain and operate a certified program.
Successful verification results in the deployment of a production or manufacturing program that is both registered with the certification program and authenticated by an auditor, and allows a producer to create the digitally tradeable equivalent of a good.
- Production programs
These programs are used by producer to prove the creation of materials or primary goods. The program specifies and implements the parameters for each production facility, including:
- Certification of the production capacity for the production of the good (eg. Scoot of cotton per year)
- A taxonomical description of the good. Which would include a detailed description of the output, together with additional tags to help identify specific attributes. (e.g. for trade, for labor, organic).
- The production accounting, i.e. Registration of created produce up to the maximum annual capacity as well as their registration of their sales.
These parameters can be adjusted according to desire guidelines by certifiers or following the inspection by an auditor, and in case if unsuccessfully audit the program cam temporally revoke if necessary.
Producer: programs are the root for the traceability of finished goods.
- Manufacturing programs
These programs implement the transformation of input goods from production into output goods. Much as production programs once deployed by the certifier, the programs are operated by manufacturers, but with additional constraint: Input goods must be used for any output to be created just as in the physical world.
For example, the registration of a certain amount of organic cotton and after this usage the raw organic cotton should no longer be usable.
Tagging. Establishing secure links between the digital and the physical world.
Serial numbers, bar codes, digital tags like RFID and NFC, genetic tags linked this with secure hash to the block chain.