KOSMoS Blockchain Toolkit: How to Use Hyperledger in an Industrial DLT Project

With this article, we provide a toolkit on how to use Hyperledger in industrial DLT projects. This toolkit has been developed with other IT companies and also together with machinery manufacturers. It also includes code snippets to showcase how machines can be connected to to DLT networks with Hyperledger such that new business models can be explored. See the PDF link to the document (60 pages) below. Authors: Martin Schäffner, Constantin Lichti, Jonas Gross, Philipp Sandner

Distributed ledger technology (DLT) has the potential to address industrial challenges, build trust, and unlock new value across businesses and industries via the use of smart contracts. Initially, DLT was mainly used for financial applications, such as Bitcoin as the first and most prominent application of DLT. However, today, DLT is more and more used for applications outside the financial context. Examples include use cases in trade or in the manufacturing industry. To showcase the benefits of DLT for the manufacturing industry, the KOSMoS research project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMF), builds a DLT-based infrastructure for the two industrial use cases, dynamic leasing and transparent maintenance:

  1. Dynamic leasing: Today, the leasing of machines in the manufacturing industry is often based on a static monthly leasing fee. Linking the leasing fee to both the degree of utilization of the machine and the degree of maintenance of the system will enable an automated and dynamic calculation of the leasing fee — a use case that is implemented in the KOSMoS project. This leads to a more efficient and fair calculation of the leasing fee of a machine. The documentation of leasing-relevant data to determine the respective fee is automated with the help of smart contracts.
  2. Transparent maintenance: Typically, the maintenance of industrial machines is carried out without digital support. By using a digital maintenance log as done in KOSMoS, principles of predictive maintenance could be leveraged to ensure a more effective maintenance process. A blockchain is used in this context to transparently and securely document the maintenance and error messages of the machine. The blockchain-enabled tamper resistance can guarantee that the entries in the maintenance log have not been modified. Hence, this use case aims to establish a blockchain-based maintenance log that verifies maintenance logs from the blockchain while allowing data sovereignty to remain with the customer.

In particular, the research project seeks to develop a DLT-based collaborative platform for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in the manufacturing industry. We summarized the KOSMoS approach, our key goals and our concrete technological implementations, alongside our primary “lessons learned”, in the “KOSMoS Blockchain Toolkit” — an > 60 pages English practically-oriented documentation — to disseminate our research results to the general public and showcase how the benefits of DLT can be leveraged for industrial use cases.

Download the KOSMos Blockchain Toolkit

Second, it is explained in detail how a DLT infrastructure can be set up for industrial use cases. For the KOSMoS project, we decided to use Hyperledger Fabric as the underlying DLT. This toolkit assists on how such a Hyperledger DLT platform can be set up in the context of the manufacturing industry, aiming to lower the threshold of market entry for DLT-interested companies. Therefore, the toolkit includes step-by-step guidance on how to use a DLT for our two use cases dynamic leasing and transparent maintenance.

Access the KOSMoS Blockchain Toolkit with its more than 60 pages of practically-oriented English documentation here (deeplink to PDF document).

As follows, here are some examples what is described in the toolkit: The KOSMoS systems architecture and various code snippets for implemenation:

KOSMoS systems architecture
Code snipped for connecting machines to DLT networks

Remarks

Martin Schäffner is a Blockchain Architect at Datarella GmbH, a Munich-based blockchain solution provider that is also a participant in the KOSMoS project. His fields of interest are designing, managing and creating enterprise blockchain solutions. Martin did his Master’s at the Technical University of Munich in information systems and wrote his Master’s Thesis about analyzing and evaluating the Self-Sovereign Identity ecosystem. You can contact him via mail (martin.schaeffner@datarella.com) or via LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/martinschaeffner/).

Constantin Lichti is a project manager and research associate at the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, and doctoral candidate (PhD) at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. His research area is the individual adoption of blockchain technology. You can contact him via LinkedIn and email (constantin.lichti@fs-blockchain.de).

Jonas Gross is a project manager and research assistant at the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center (FSBC) and also works for the KOSMoS research project. His fields of interests are primarily cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). You can contact him via mail (jonas.gross@fs-blockchain.de), LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonasgross94/) and via Twitter (@Jonas__Gross).

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sandner is head of the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center (FSBC) at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. In 2018, he was ranked as one of the “Top 30” economists by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), a major newspaper in Germany. Further, he belongs to the “Top 40 under 40” — a ranking by the German business magazine Capital. The expertise of Prof. Sandner, in particular, includes blockchain technology, crypto assets, distributed ledger technology (DLT), Euro-on-Ledger, initial coin offerings (ICOs), security tokens (STOs), digital transformation and entrepreneurship. You can contact him via mail (email@philipp-sandner.de) via LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/philippsandner/) or follow him on Twitter (@philippsandner).

Professor | Lecturer | Author | Investor | Frankfurt School Blockchain Center