ShipChain’s Mainnet focuses on trust, transparency in supply chains

ShipChain's Mainnet focuses on trust, transparency in supply chains (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Blockchain-based logistics startup ShipChain has introduced its Mainnet, which promises to provide complete supply chain transparency and unprecedented security to users in its network. Mainnet is a blockchain protocol that is fully developed and deployed, and can handle transactions that are recorded on a distributed ledger.

“ShipChain’s public mainnet brings the trust of public blockchains with the throughput and scalability that enterprise supply chains require,” said John Monarch, the CEO of U.S.-based ShipChain. “The ability to certify and prove truth and origin of everything, from documentation to products themselves, acts as a base layer of trust for IoT, all in a fully auditable and immutable, yet private and secure, environment. It brings trust between parties that may never have had it before.”

With the inevitable digitalization of supply chain operations, the need for securing data streams that arise within workflows becomes paramount. Blockchain as a technology is attractive, as it provides remarkable security to data by decentralizing ownership within the network and making data immutable.

ShipChain provides a trustless end-to-end logistics platform that delivers full visibility to the global supply chain. The platform is powered by Ethereum, with a sidechain built on Loom for network scalability. 

Monarch explained that ShipChain used Ethereum, as it saw the decentralized platform to be “one of the most significant technological developments in the past decade.” ShipChain’s Mainnet acts as a sidechain to Ethereum, operating on a different “delegated proof of state” consensus, which dramatically speeds the network up. ShipChain can now process roughly 1,000 transactions per second that can be scaled once further advances come into use.

Monarch contended that it is critical for track-and-trace operations to certify that companies involved in the shipment process tell the truth. Apart from certifying trust, blockchain also acts as a springboard for new technologies that can improve efficiencies — in segments previously unheard of. For instance, digital original documentation can be easily transferred over the internet via a blockchain network, rather than being forced to use representative copies. 

“Proof of ownership of documentation is a critical piece in maritime shipping especially, and until now, it has been very difficult or even impossible to prove the originality of digital documents. Combined with our work on Baseline Protocol, you’ll also see blockchains like ShipChain help take things like EDI into the modern era,” said Monarch. 

ShipChain’s goal has been to keep the cost of using blockchain down while making it more accessible. The company’s mainnet has been received positively by its users, with it generating a lot of interest from other companies — especially after the mainnet release and ShipChain’s involvement with Baseline Protocol. 

COVID-19 has largely been a spoilsport to the supply chain ecosystem, but has taught logistics stakeholders the need to have high-end visibility into operations and trust between parties they work with — both upstream and downstream. Monarch said that more companies are reaching out to ShipChain due to broken supply chains since the pandemic, especially in the medical and food space. 


More from Vishnu Rajamanickam
TIRPORT ushers real-time visibility into trucking industry
Amazon now authorized to fly commercial delivery drones
Warehouse picking robot startup XYZ raises $17 million