QR-codes do not enable innate trust in monitoring the supply chain. They are too easily snapped and pushed forward, facilitating potential fraud. Integrity of the supply chain is critical to many industries ( Pharmaceuticals).
Both the supplies and buyers need transactions documented in a distributed ledger using a point-to-point exchange of tokens during each step of the supply chain.
What it does
Captures transactions that occur in the field and independently submits to a distributed ledger with information that includes the GPS coordinates of the respective parties.
How we built it
With Near Field Communication ( the same technology used with applePay), multiple micro-computers ( RaspberryPis) each running a connected, yet private (for testing) blockchain using Ethereum. The exchange of tokens was used to sign an ethereum contract using a node.js app that communicated with the independent yet interconnected geth nodes. GPS coordinates, are also optionally exchanged and included in either ipfs or ethereum for future reference.
Challenges we ran into
many.... compiler errors, soldering difficulties, parsing of hexadecimal strings, poorly documented api for ethereum.
We wasted too many hours attempting 3rd party API to work with ethereum. In the end we were able to create our own private development distributed node using geth with -rpc.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Hackathons are a great way to focus efforts and really learn the technology and flush out use-cases. We feel that our app fills an import use-case using a novel approach of existing technologies. And, it 'mostly' works! Distribution of the code can be facilitated using Resin.IO to a fleet of devices. Variables stored in memory on device.
What we learned
- focused teamwork
- The basics of distributed ledgers and contracts
- don't blindly use the API, understand the API and leverage them
- be as close to the binary as possible.
What's next for https://github.com/jonnycrunch-trex/supply-chain.git
- improve the parsing of the peer-to-peer communication protocol for NFC
- add real-time GPS and/or GSM data with map ui
- multi-sign certificates, which documents the entire supply-chain
- add additional parties/stakeholders to the contract ( shipping provider, such as FedEx)
- improved user-interface with query real-time transactions
- fulfillment rating 100% = 5 star, 80% 4 star ...
- SMS notification