Seagate, a U.S.-based computer hardware manufacturer well known for its data storage products, will use IBM’s hyperledger blockchain in an effort to reduce the amount of counterfeit hardware infiltrating its supply chain, Forbes reported last week.
To this end, the hardware company, taking in over $10 billion in revenue last year, is experimenting with building blockchain-identified credentials directly into their hardware during the manufacturing phase. These credentials, akin to cryptographic “fingerprints,” may allow verification of genuine hardware at each point in the supply chain.
We found a unique way of tying the physical product to the virtual world, through the blockchain [...] [w]e think that’s where some of the novelty is, where we really can go from a physical product to the virtual blockchain world.
As hardware units occasionally fail, Seagate is having problems on both sides of its supply chain, as fake hardware can be substituted both for retail delivery and product returns to the manufacturer for defects. The company hopes to solve both issues with the new measures.
IBM, itself uses Seagate’s hardware in its own servers, and could potentially be the first real beneficiary of the venture.
Hyperledger is “an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies,” and is hosted by the Linux Foundation. IBM offers services built atop the basic platform utilizing the Hyperledger Fabric version of the software, an enterprise-focused iteration that has lately been integrated with other enterprise ledgers.
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, an organization endeavouring to make the Ethereum blockchain accessible to businesses, recently announced a partnership with Hyperledger.