Supply Chain Solution
Followers of enterprise blockchain solutions are aware that supply chain management is probably the most talked about use-case for distributed ledger systems in the corporate world. Many companies and enterprise consortiums have announced blockchain-based supply chain pilots and proofs-of-concept, but, as with many real-world enterprise applications, full-scale production systems are currently works in progress at best.
Supply Chain as a Service
SUKU positions itself as an industry-agnostic, supply chain as-a-service offering. This promise is unique amongst blockchain-based supply chain solutions, as supply chains vary greatly between industries, and solutions are usually custom-built, constituting one of many income sources for large consulting companies. In fact, the founders of Citizens Reserve include several former Deloitte blockchain executives.
Advantages to trading partners provided by the SUKU ecosystem include access to real-time, transparent data on the precise location of goods, privacy of partners, a bid and order marketplace, auditability of activities, and the automation of contractual agreements.
Citizens Reserve CEO Eric Piscini said, “The current supply chain environment is complex and difficult to navigate. Almost all enterprises require a supply chain to some extent, but the technology supporting them remains expensive, inefficient and fragmented. With SUKU, we’re planning to build the decentralized supply chain as-a-service platform that can span across industries, enabling our trading partners to interact in a way that’s been all but impossible up until now.”
He also cites recent incidents, such as Chinese pharmaceutical scandals, as examples demonstrating the need for transparent traceability across supply chains.
While the objectives of SUKU are clearly very ambitious, the proposed architecture is also interesting. SUKU will combine two blockchains: the public Ethereum network and a permissioned blockchain based on J.P. Morgan’s Quorum.
Quorum is an Ethereum implementation specifically designed to set up consortium blockchains where data privacy and confidentiality can be maintained. Thus, Ethereum will be used for payments, whereas Quorum will implement the more privacy-reliant parts of the platform, such as smart contract support for bids and offers.
The announcement of the SUKU platform is clearly a promising step towards off-the-shelf blockchain-based supply chain solutions. As usual with these projects, it remains to be seen if the creators of the platform can achieve their high goals. According to the SUKU roadmap, development is ongoing and v0.1 of the platform will be released in the fourth quarter of 2018.