Blockchain and Custody Transfer

Blockchain technology is still growing, and it's evident that all implications will take time to be fully understood. 

Every day, I read 2-3 articles about the possible applications, and it surprises me to discover daily new huge potentials. One that I found very intersting is about Custody Transfer.

A Custody Transfer happens when a product is exchanged by two parties, and often it also includes taxation. There are several regulations, from local to World Areas (an example is the so-called "MID" in Europe, that identifies rules and roles for custody transfer), and each must be applied in its areas of application.

Just to make an example, since I'm in Europe, if I want to buy petrol for my car, when I go to the filling station the filling machine must be certified for the use of "MID-005: liquids different than water", that includes petrol. To keep it simple, the certification is made by design documentation, calibration tests at production site and verification in the field. For the end-user, it is important to know that the meter must have a certain value of accuracy.

So far, the chain of events is not logged, and in any case not available to the user.

What if it should be possible to use blockchain technology? All past events, that include: design of the meter, testing, documentation, calibrations, verification and all former transactions - including the names of users - price of the petrol, quantities, and any variable is considered interesting for the user or for the seller can be logged in a block of the blockchain using cryptography. Each next event will be part of the future blocks.

Even if some data could be not made available to the user (example: the names of previous users, those who did buy before him the petrol), the blockchain should be used to guarantee the transactions in terms of quality, quantity, accuracy, cost, etc. Each transaction requiring to pay taxes can be easily logged and taxes can be consequently quantified and paid to the State in the easiest way.

Blockchain could be not only limited to the sales event itself, but could be extended to the production of the petrol, so granting the quality of the petrol. Any event happening during the full life of the transferred product can be included in its history.

Results, further to pay the right amount of money for the petrol and the right amount of taxes to the State, are in terms of quality of the product, and in case of any dispute, there is no longer need of witness or of any strange data to find: everything is in the blockchain.

But... what if the blockchain is hit by sabotage? This is impossible because Blockchain is based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), a consensus of replicated, shared, and synchronized digital data geographically spread across multiple sites, countries, or institutions. There is no central administrator or centralized data storage, and larger is the number of nodes, higher is the safety of the data storage.

I think this is a true indication of the future custody transfer transactions, that will integrate IIoT and will empower all users with new possibilities. Anyway, this is my personal opinion, and it would be interesting to know from anyone who participates to Emerson Exchange 365 their suggestions, thoughts and opinions.

Maurizio De Francesco