TrustChain: Trust Management in Blockchain and IoT supported Supply Chains

Sidra Malik, Volkan Dedeoglu, Salil S. Kanhere, Raja Jurdak

Traceability and integrity are major challenges for the increasingly complex supply chains of today's world. Although blockchain technology has the potential to address these challenges through providing a tamper-proof audit trail of supply chain events and data associated with a product life-cycle, it does not solve the trust problem associated with the data itself. Reputation systems are an effective approach to solve this trust problem. However, current reputation systems are not suited to the blockchain based supply chain applications as they are based on limited observations, they lack granularity and automation, and their overhead has not been explored. In this work, we propose TrustChain, as a three-layered trust management framework which uses a consortium blockchain to track interactions among supply chain participants and to dynamically assign trust and reputation scores based on these interactions. The novelty of TrustChain stems from: (a) the reputation model that evaluates the quality of commodities, and the trustworthiness of entities based on multiple observations of supply chain events, (b) its support for reputation scores that separate between a supply chain participant and products, enabling the assignment of product-specific reputations for the same participant, (c) the use of smart contracts for transparent, efficient, secure, and automated calculation of reputation scores, and (d) its minimal overhead in terms of latency and throughput when compared to a simple blockchain based supply chain model.

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