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Blockchain Technology - Any examples of practical application?

Sidney Vianna

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#11
Uses for blockchain outside of the finance industry
Each certificate is digitally tagged, traceable and stored in a private blockchain, with counterfeit certificates blocked. This allows companies to communicate their certification in a secure manner.

Partner at Deloitte, Martin Bryn, said: "This is one of the first blockchain applications created outside the finance industry, and it shows the limitless possibilities this technology provides. Soon there will be concepts, prototypes and investments emerging in every major industry”
Read the whole thing @ Deloitte and DNV GL bring blockchain to the certification industry
 

Sidney Vianna

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#12
DNV GL partners with blockchain expert VeChain

DNV GL and VeChain partnership to create a Digital Assurance Concept with new blockchain application Collaboration will increase transparency and efficiency across the whole supply chain Manufacturers and consumers can have greater confidence in the quality of the final product

Høvik, Norway - DNV GL and VeChain have agreed on a partnership to use blockchain to improve the transparency of product and supplier information, significantly increasing the efficiency of supply chains. DNV GL is a global provider of assurance services and one of the world’s leading certification bodies, assisting companies in a range of industries to improve their business performance. Going forward, DNV GL will progressively adopt blockchain to help companies boost the transparency and traceability of their products from the factory to the consumer. As one of the early movers in utilizing the technology outside fintech, VeChain is a pioneer in the blockchain industry and controls the leading public blockchain platform for products and information.
The rest of the article...
 
#13
Somewhat along similar lines (as far as I can interpret), the surfacing of "Quality 4.0" is being floated to go along with "Industry 4.0" and so on. Since it comes from a sector which doesn't have any longevity in what we folks understand as "Quality", I'm reading what I see (mainly on Linkedin) with a good deal of salt...
 

Marc

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#14
I don't understand why. All you need is a database of current legitimate certificates issued by your company.

The issue is this (whether it's an online database or "blockchain"):

  • You need someone to input new certificates and related information.
  • You need someone to input when a certificate expires, is revoked, or is not renewed (and related information).

No offense intended, but saying "...to create a Digital Assurance Concept with new blockchain application Collaboration will increase transparency and efficiency across the whole supply chain Manufacturers and consumers can have greater confidence in the quality of the final product..." is advertising words - No more, no less.

Personally, I would think every registrar would have an online database of all currently valid certificates. None that I am aware of do - I suggest it is because they're just too cheap to have data entered and updated at least monthly. But now they are ready to spend mega-bucks to "implement blockchain".

I read about one company that added "Blockchain" to their company name and the stock price went up close to 50% in a couple of days.

What I suspect will happen is companies will see this as a selling point and will adopt it, but it won't really change things. What you may find, down the road, is that this "new chain of custody technological advance" will end up with a fatal flaw surfacing, possibly years from now...

Intel halts some chip patches as fixes cause problems - CNET

The cheapest way, and just as effective: An online database.
A more expensive way: Use "blockchain technology".
 

Marc

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#16
Somewhat along similar lines (as far as I can interpret), the surfacing of "Quality 4.0" is being floated to go along with "Industry 4.0" and so on. Since it comes from a sector which doesn't have any longevity in what we folks understand as "Quality", I'm reading what I see (mainly on Linkedin) with a good deal of salt...
I did find this, and I agree with you: Quality 4.0 | Quality Digest - Sounds like another "latest and greatest" for consultants (like me) to make a few bucks from. Reading the article, it (to me) says "Quality 4.0" is "Are you keeping up with technology?" Nothing more and nothing less. Nor it it new. Try starting with the history of the industrial revolution (early 1700's and continuing today). Companies which keep up with, and utilize, the latest technologies are the ones that stay alive. The ones that don't eventually fade away/fail.

Some companies that made wagon wheels evolved to make automotive rims and/or tires. Ones that didn't faded away.
 

Marc

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#18
Don't the crypto currency hacks prove its NOT secure?

It seems like block chain is no safer than any other networked software.
I admit I'm rarely on Linkedin for anything these days, though a few groups have some discussions such as we have here. I do read a lot on Ars Technica and The Register. I'm not a programmer but have been a bit of a computer nut for many years. Your stating that "block chain is no safer than any other networked software" is right on in my opinion and the opinion of many others in the tech field.

If you want to keep up on this stuff, join the Linkedin "Information Security Community" group.
 

Sidney Vianna

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#19
I don't understand why. All you need is a database of current legitimate certificates issued by your company.
Marc, the issue is MUCH, MUCH broader than management system certificates. On a daily basis, counterfeit certificates, reports, records, etc. create huge problems for the business world.

Like, for example, a distributor of metal alloys sell bars of stainless steel and titanium and uses counterfeit certificates in the process. If there was no possible way of falsifying the certificates issued by the original mill and such certificates would be available to any interested stakeholder, that would be a huge benefit to the business world. Ditto for food safety data, healthcare/patient data, any critical data where integrity and security is paramount.

As we progress towards a highly digital world, confidence in data integrity is critical; so is speed and lower costs. A recent example of a friend of mine which could be revolutionized by blockchain technology: She lives in Portugal and once a year she has to send an official certificate to an agency in Brazil for her social security payment. The process she currently has to follow:
1. go to the Brazilian consulate in Lisbon for an interview.
2. attain the certificate in a sealed envelope.
3. have the certificate shipped to Brazil using a traceable courier, such as DHL, paying over 45 Euros for the delivery.
4. hope and pray the document doesn't get lost along the way

It takes about 7 business days for the document to be received.

Now, let's imagine a fully digital process which by the same document could be emailed in a way that no unauthorized alteration happens (such as via blockchain), the process could be done in minutes and cost pennies.

This issue is much, much, much broader than management system certificates.
 
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Marc

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#20
Marc, the issue is MUCH, MUCH broader than management system certificates. On a daily basis, counterfeit certificates, reports, records, etc. create huge problems for the business world. <snip>
Here is my situation in looking at this...

First of all, in the 1980's I worked in a lot of DoD companies, some of which I can't put on my resume (confidentially aspects). Around 1989 I was in a company and two DIA fellows came to the door and asked for me. I came up front and they asked for a conference room where "we can talk". Did that and they stayed and questioned me until 5PM and said they would be back the next morning, which they were. We spent the best part of the next day "talking" about the company. Finally they left and I didn't hear from them again. Personally I thought it was hilarious because I knew I did nothing wrong and I knew the company did nothing wrong - But these guys were playing "good cop, bad cop" just like in the movies (and, I would guess, happens in real life more than we know).

Then, about (hard to remember the exact time/date) maybe a year later I saw an article in the local paper about a company which was surrounded by DIA personnel and vehicles, including trucks (yup, guns and the whole bit). The DIA folks told everyone to stay at thwir desk or work station until they were called for would not let anyone leave until they were "interviewed", and... They carted out every file cabinet, boxed up practically everything paper, the few computers the place had (including the engineering department's drafting computer) and drove off with everything. They quite literally closed the company down.

My involvement? I did some work for them in verifying the laboratory records, outside testing (I had a lot done at Wyle), materials certs and all that jazz. And yes - Metals to the mill, and a few times to the ore mine(!). Their accusation was that I, or someone working there, falsified test or other records. None ever were, but... They they smelled a conspiracy to defraud and pressed on.

I won't name the company, but I will say that they were involved in glass sealed bulkhead electrical (mainly for systems such as data transfer, sensor communications/data, controls systems, etc.) connectors for use in nuclear submarines, jets (both commercial and US services aircraft) and a few other "high reliability" applications. Most of their products were DoD related, so scrutiny was serious and "heavy duty" (for lack of a better word). A DCAS rep was always looking over my/our shoulder.

How did this come up? The company hired a lab guy to take on the job full time as I had other more profitable things to do (and they seriously needed a full time person). I probably screwed up because as I transferred to him what his job duties were at one point I remember I did say something like "Don't let sales talk you into trying to get testing done quicker than is realistic, as they will pressure you for test results so they can get the product on the QPL list." When you're involved with testing at places like Wyle, you get to understand that if you're scheduled for time/date on a shaker, for example, or in a chamber, you might actually get in a week, 2 weeks or so later than they originally promised. I would figure out a schedule, double the time, and submit it to management so I was always "on time" or early. Sales did not like a drawn out schedule which, if you let them, they sort of brow beat you into promising all the testing in a shorter time (something I refused to to - I gave them "worst case" schedules without saying they were "worst case". I just said - Here is my timeline). "Well, if we ship it FedEx..." which I was already doing was a common "we can do this faster" talking point they would throw out.

Well, the guy they hired was pressured by sales. He was a young fellow and not (in my opinion then and now) qualified to do the job, and was definitely without any manufacturing experience, much less experience in DoD work. So - Sales pressured him, he freaked out and contacted the DIA as a "whistle blower" (which he eventually got something like US$75K for...). He was convinced I, or someone in the company had falsified test data.

So - What happened? I didn't find out until some years later. I was doing supplier audits for a very large company in the mid-2000's. One day it came up on my schedule to audit that company. It was back up and running, and in fact was quite nice compared to when I did some work there years before. When I arrived it was the "same old crew" that worked there when I did work there (relatively small local company). They all knew me from when I walked in the door, and I knew almost everyone there. During a lunch with one of them I asked what ended up happening. He told me that it took something like 9 months(?) (during which the company was essentially out of business) before the DIA brought everything back. The DIA screwed around with threats of various charges during that time. In the end the company was fined for "promoting QPL products" when, in fact, the test results were not in. Sales had pushed for "quick" test results, didn't get them, but pushed out a sales pamphlet announcing some items for sale "in the near future" that were not on the QPL list - Yet. So, no orders were taken prior to the actual QPL listing was approved and entered. The DIA had to save face, as it were, so they sort of had to charge them with something to justify their actions. I think there was a small fine, but no data or tests were falsified so the DIA was sitting there looking like asses. The company (sales) had done no more than say, in so many words: "Coming soon!" The DIA asshats cost that company one heck of a lot of $$$$. They saw a conspiracy where there simply wasn't one.

Now - Why the long response... In some ways I admit some of my posts here are, in a way, a part of the diary of my life. In this case I am also wanting you to understand that I know, and have lived through, "traceability". In this case, I was, when I was there (not to mention a number of times in subsequent work) seriously involved in "traceability". I have a special place in my heart for that necessity and all that it encompasses. In automotive I was involved in airbag design and development, from components to completed assemblies where again, traceability requirements are serious, complex and highly regulated. As you may (or may not) know, I have also worked in product and process design of explosives in two places. I can't tell about my work with Boeing and a few other companies, and I'm sure you understand why...

Anyway - At the company which was "raided and frozen", part of my job at the time I was involved was verification of metals. Not just CoC or CofA's, but traceability of metal which reached back to practically the mine the metal ore came from. In short, I fully understand traceability of (in this case) metals, not just to the mill.

Now - On to counterfeit parts. They existed in the 1980's when I was in DoD aerospace and marine applications, and have existed for hundreds of years. You can easily go back to the US's civil war (and the second world war, the Vietnam war and the Iraq war, for that matter) where unscrupulous profit seekers sold everything from rifle shells filled with sand (or totally empty) to shells which were "expired". Tank repair parts, aerospace parts, you name it - Fraud and greed are not new.

Blockchain - I have no idea where "blockchain" will end up. At this point I believe it is a good idea - If it works. But I don't believe it's a proven technology and I am not convinced it won't be compromised just as "hologram" labels and so many other traceability/verification methods have. The US has designed some $$ bills. An example is the US100 bill. I'm looking at one of the "new" ones right now - Blue "streak" down the middle, colors and I guess it's a watermark. Of course, no one counterfeits these any more with the possible exception of nation-states (North Korea has been accused of it). This isn't the old movies "bunch of guys in the back" printing off bills. My position at this point is blockchain has potential, but it is not a proven technology. Does it have great promise? Well, yes, but like Edison's concrete houses (and all computer CPU chips going back 10+ {15+???} years) sometimes a "great idea/technology" simply doesn't work out or an exploit is discovered.

*** For those of you who are interested, it's a complex story which includes a couple of mines Edison bought which failed, his need to sell concrete, and some other interesting stuff.

Read (for starters): 4: Concrete House - 10 Inventions by Thomas Edison (That You've Never Heard Of) | HowStuffWorks

and

Thomas Edison: The inventor's patent for the construction of all-concrete houses.

and

Edison&apos;s System of Concrete Houses - Scientific American

But note that there are some errors in one link which states Edison envisioned wooden molds. In actual fact, he didn't (his patent was for metal moulds), but a fellow investor in the mines (if I remember correctly) did successfully try wooden molds about 10 years later (circa 1917) and successfully built (poured to be more precise) several "blocks" of the flat roofed homes. Needless to say, they just never caught on.

But back to my story...

Admittedly, it would be nice if actually there was no possible way of falsifying the certificates issued by the original mill, for example. Sounds good theoretically, but again - So did Edison's concrete house patent. It took a number of years, and millions of dollars Edison lost, before Edison finally gave it up as a failed idea.

Blockchain is a bit new for me to trust what it will do what theoretically it claims it will. I'm admittedly pessimistic at this point. My iMac is still on El Capitan. I don't for a minute trust High Sierra. I want to see it run for at least a year before I would consider upgrading. Even my iPhone 6S+ is still on iOS 10.3. Everything works. I don't need or want the "new stuff" (e.g.: more "emojis") iOS 11 offers. I may upgrade the OS next year.

Admittedly, and obviously, I'm not a gambler. And I have often times in posts in this forum said I'm not a businessman.

Now, let's imagine a fully digital process which by the same document could be emailed in a way that no unauthorized alteration happens (such as via blockchain), the process could be done in minutes and cost pennies.
Well, time will tell. Same with:
Like, for example, a distributor of metal alloys sell bars of stainless steel and titanium and uses counterfeit certificates in the process. If there was no possible way of falsifying the certificates issued by the original mill and such certificates would be available to any interested stakeholder, that would be a huge benefit to the business world. Ditto for food safety data, healthcare/patient data, any critical data where integrity and security is paramount.
Sounds ideal. Will it work?

And also, admittedly, I know nothing about VeChain - But they'll get their share of $$$. They have a theory to sell and DNV has bought in. I do hope all the hype turns out to be true and it actually actually works. We won't know for a number of years whether it really does or not.

Think back to all the promises of technology advances at the 1962 Seattle Worlds Fair, and GM's 1939 "This is the future"

Blockchain? We'll see.
 
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