The physical world is in need of an effective, decentralized asset and transaction management solution for supply chain management, physical asset tracking, proof of ownership and use authorization. Some industries also need to track resource utilization and provide full product lifecycle management from production through eventual recycling. Other areas that can be improved include Product Certifications, Compliance, Government Oversight and Regulation. metaLINXX patent-pending Linked Control Tokens (LCTs) provide unique opportunities to address all of these needs.
How Do LCTs Help Manufacturers?
Linked Control Tokens enable physical devices to be securely associated with blockchain tokens. LCTs employ a multi-factor authentication protocol for both the device and token. LCTs are the building block to address many supply chain needs through a combination of public and private blockchains, proprietary APIs and device firmware. Devices that are internet-enabled, even rarely or intermittently connected, can benefit from the metaLINXX Authentication Controller software layer to implement product use authorization, enable/disable product features, and track resource utilization where appropriate.
Use Case: Modular Electric Vehicle Battery Manufacturer
Modular Battery Technologies (ModBatt), is developing a modular, extendable battery standard for use in EVs to enable right-sizing of vehicle batteries for the vehicle’s intended use. This approach will allow OEM vehicle manufacturers to decouple vehicle production from battery supply. Decoupling battery manufacturing from vehicle manufacturing will enable efficiencies and economic benefits that do not currently exist in the EV manufacturing space. Moving towards a modular, swappable open standard battery system introduces new technical challenges for product certifications and use. metaLINXX is developing the Safe Battery Alliance™ (SBA) blockchain ecosystem for ModBatt.
The SBA ecosystem is a multi-domain combination of private and public blockchains that use Linked Control Tokens and a proprietary authentication controller software layer to track ownership, component compliance, use authorization, and product lifecycle management from manufacturing through repurposing or recycling.
The Authorization Domain is a combination of private blockchains and traditional databases that track component certifications and registrations. Vehicle manufacturers require a means to certify and authorize battery modules for use with their vehicles. Not all battery modules are suitable to all applications. The certification blockchain enables participating manufacturers to authorize/de-authorize components for use in their vehicles using LCTs. Manufacturers also can specify additional operating parameters for product features and use. The registration component of the authorization domain allows for component-specific use (e.g. as granular as specific product serial numbers) within a electric vehicle. If a component is not registered for use in a vehicle or vehicle subsystem its associated functionality may be disabled or limited.
This is where digital representations of physical items are “born”. Each component, subsystem or completed vehicle participating in the SBA ecosystem has a corresponding unique record that is “minted” as part of the manufacturing process and stored within a private blockchain. LCTs within the Manufacture Domain represent pairs of functional components.
The Use Domain consists of a variety of blockchains, both public and private that store Linked Control Tokens. LCTs are a building block for secure control of systems. As an example, LCTs in the Vehicle Operator chain can be used to validate ownership, authorization and functionality. System and/or component features are implemented and controlled within the Use Domain and are derived in part from records stored in the Authorization Domain and Manufacture Domain.
The Use Domain is the data repository for the Authentication Controller software layer. Some of the repository is stored on-chain, while frequently-updated data is stored off-chain in application-specific databases and linked to unique on-chain records. The Authentication Controller software layer communicates with the Use Domain blockchains through a system of proprietary APIs optimized for embedded controller environments.
Product usage data can be collected from within the Use Domain. In the Modbatt system module-level charge and discharge data is recorded for lifecycle management.
Forbes covered the Modbatt approach in the article: Are The Batteries In This Hypercar The Future Of Electric Vehicle