What is a Chain of Custody?
Chain of Custody is an application on our 4Trust platform.
Who uses Chain of Custody? Enterprises and public organizations with high value or mission-critical operations which for reasons of integrity, regulation and performance depend on trust, transparency and real-time accountability of data points from multiple sources.
What business problem does Chain of Custody resolve? Scalable, easy-to-use platform to authenticate chains comprising physical assets, processes and logical records, creating a record in an immutable blockchain archive.
Why is Chain of Custody unique? Uses blockchain to enable a consensus approach in which all trusted parties can have confidence in the data and unlike existing solutions, uses encrypted Artifacts to authenticate physical assets alongside logical data.
4Trust is easily deployed and scalable into existing enterprise infrastructure
4Trust users harvest data from disparate silos to support and optimise their self-defined management processes. Enterprises are rich in process-based infrastructure (ERP, BPI, SCM, CRM). Chains of Custody extract data from any defined source for a defined business performance, regulatory or customer relationship process. Chains of Custody share defined data with defined stakeholders, who can also be authenticated using multimodal biometrics.
4Trust provides an encrypted distributed platform that:
has no single point of failure in the event of subversion or attack;
is auditable, traceable, private and secure;
provides the ownership and provenance of transaction profiles of physical objects and logical processes;
allows users to define business performance criteria, track results and authenticate relevant data elements and personal identities that support the process in real time.
This immutable record can form the basis of validating the exchange of valued goods and services between parties without needing a mechanism of trust. Computational trust is a prerequisite in today’s fast-paced, high-volume, peer-to-peer markets.
Disruptive technology applied in a rapidly changing business environment
Our current Technology connecting physical and virtual worlds employs NXP EV2-enabled smart artifacts, which when scanned with an appropriate scanning device such as an Android or iOS smart phone and mobile interfaces allow private access (after multifactor authentication) to an encrypted distributed ledger framework holding the historical transaction profile of the artifact and related events.
Distributed Ledger holds hashed information pointing to the location or owner of an artifact and also hashes of the temporal historical transaction records. We use industry-standard SHA-256 encryption in the current release version. Design Framework is blockchain-agnostic, and can be tailored to customer preferences, though for logistic reasons our first production frameworks are using Hyperledger Fabric. User Interface is designed to be domain specific, and can be through smartphone, tablet or NFC-reader enabled computers.
We are currently deploying the Docuchain Framework using the permissioned blockchain, Hyperledger Fabric, and other variants such as Sawtooth for handling smart contracts cryptographically, which is designed for enterprise private networks and supported by many international major players. Since the nodes are permissioned, the speed and latency of transaction confirmations are much faster than public, permissionless, decentralised ledgers, running at over 1000 transactions per second.
Where we go from here
The future evolution of Docuchain includes:
the expansion to a choice of biometric supplementary verifications of the individual accessing the distributed ledger;
internal development of a super-fast consensus for distributed ledgers;
the use of Docker/Moby containers, sharding and streams to assist with scaling;
the deployment of cross-chain interactions and modified hashing functions;
embedded machine learning analytics.
Current in-house research is exploring consensus algorithms allowing 100k-500k transactions per second for future application requirements. The standard Fabric configuration is adequate to service our current application streams and has the benefit of community support and development, a focus on privacy, confidentiality and integrity, and can be deployed across multiple platforms.