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IBM and Seagate to Create Blockchain-Based Tracking Solution for Hard Drives


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The leading technology firm will work with the data storage company to put hard drive information on the blockchain to fight the counterfeit market.

IBM and Seagate Join Hands

The US-based IT giant, International Business Machines (IBM), has announced a partnership with Seagate, a leading data storage company to build a blockchain-powered system that will help identify counterfeit hard drives.

The development which was reported by ZDNet will help Seagate in traceability and authentication of hard drives.

IBM’s existing blockchain platform and the security technology from Seagate will be used to build a solution that will help in addressing the issue of counterfeit devices.

The solution will also improve security and compliance for the firm’s customer organizations that use the hard drives.

The Issue

As pointed out by both firms, a critical problem that electronics manufacturers face is the threat of fake components in the supply chain. Identifying counterfeit parts, it is reported, is difficult due to lack of information from OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).

Apparently, OEMs are reluctant to share data about the supplied parts. Blockchains can record transaction details which cannot be tampered with on their distributed ledgers and potentially improve the transparency and traceability in the supply chain.

System Architecture

IBM’s blockchain platform and Seagate’s advanced electronic fingerprinting and product tracking will be applied to the hard drive lifecycle.

Data generated at the point of manufacture by Seagate Secure Electronic ID (eID) will be recorded on the IBM’s blockchain platform.

Also, a digital certificate of data purge which is electronically signed by the device under Seagate’s public key infrastructure will be stored on the blockchain. The firm’s cryptographic erasure technology will be used to generate digital certificates.

“The ability to work with Seagate to combine blockchain with advanced cryptographic product identification technology is what sets this work apart, and signals blockchain’s potential to reimagine the electronics product lifecycle management processes,” said Bruce Anderson, global managing director, electronics industry, IBM.

Anderson added:

Counterfeit electronics components are a global issue that requires an ecosystem-wide effort to address.

IBM is working with multiple clients in sectors like shipping, food, and banking to apply blockchain technology in their supply chain scenarios. Live Bitcoin News had earlier reported about Walmart’s decision to use IBM’s blockchain solution for food traceability.

What are your thoughts on the use of blockchains for supply chain tracking in the electronics industry? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of ShutterStock and AdobeStock


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