Securing Goods Distribution with Smart Contracts and Sensors

State: completed by Tim Strasser, Andreas Knecht

Although the term "smart contracts" has been around since the '90s, it has gained recently attention with the rise of the Bitcoin system and its underlying blockchain technology. Smart contracts and blockchain are frequently mentioned in popular financial articles such as Economist, Forbes, Financial Times). While some see smart contracts as the next revolution with the potential to save administrative costs and to reduce lots of paperwork, others are more sceptical. The idea of a smart contract is to automate the executing and enforcing of contracts. The Bitcoin system supports scripts that allows smart contracts, however, the Bitcoin system was not primarly built with smart contracts in mind. Other cryptocurrency networks, such as Ethereum have been built with the idea of smart contracts as a foundation.

The Goods Distribution Practice by the European Union mandates that on medical shipments temperature never exceed defined thresholds and that records are kept that verify this. Thus, devices that record temperature and humidity are placed in shipments used for medical shipments. Blockchain technology in combination with cheap recording devices offer a cheap and safe way to record and verify the measured data since very little infrastructure has to be provided by the affected parties (shipping company / drug company / shipment receiver) and the data in the blockchain is safe from alteration. Although new smart contracts in distributed applications are being created (e.g. Dapps), such a solution for transportation in combination with sensor data does not exist.

70% Implementation, 30% Documentation
Solidity, Ethereum, Advanced programming skills in various languages

Supervisors: Dr. Thomas Bocek

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