[Project Description] Producing Supply Chain Traceability with Blockchain Related Technology: Reference Implementation

[Project Description] Producing Supply Chain Traceability with Blockchain Related Technology: Reference Implementation

Date published: 14 April 2023
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Michael Pease (NIST), Keith Stouffer (NIST), Evan Wallace (NIST), Harvey Reed (MITRE), Steve Granata (MITRE)


This project introduces the concept of a “chain of traceability” in the manufacturing supply chain, which consists of a series of manufacturing traceability records written to industry-specific ecosystem-related blockchain technologies. After product delivery to a critical infrastructure, national security or other end user with strict traceability requirements, the traceability chain can be read in reverse, through intermediate steps, to the original components, such as microelectronics and software. The traceability chain gives the supply chain visibility from the end user to original components.

The project description describes an open source Traceability Chain MVP (Minimum Viable Product) reference implementation using open source technologies for blockchain related technologies and scripting automation to enable illustrative scenarios.

The traceability chain MVP is intended to be a starting point for further research and refinement by industry sectors to add specificity in traceability records to support their traceability needs. Furthermore, standards organizations are also encouraged to explore opportunities for standardization of how traceability records are written and later read, including mechanisms for how records are crossed.

The industry is invited to comment on the project description during the comment period.

Manufacturing supply chains are increasingly critical to maintaining the health, safety and economic strength of the United States. As supply chains supporting critical infrastructure become more complex and the origins of products become more difficult to discern, efforts are emerging to improve the traceability of goods by exchanging traceability data using blockchain-related technologies. Recent events and current economic conditions revealed the impact of disruptions to the security and continuity of the US national supply chain. This in turn drew critical attention to the need to illuminate and secure the supply chain from a range of hazards and risks. Furthermore, the US manufacturing supply chain is vulnerable to logistical disruptions, in addition to the effects of malicious actors seeking fraudulent gain or attempting to sabotage or corrupt manufactured products. Improving the traceability of goods and materials flowing through the production chain can help reduce these risks. This project will continue to build on ongoing NCCoE efforts to demonstrate the role that blockchain-related technologies can play in improving manufacturing supply chain traceability and integrity by exploring multiple use cases and the issues around implementing supply chain traceability, and will result in a freely available NIST Cybersecurity – publication.


anti-counterfeiting; anti-tampering; blockchain, distributed permissioned ledger; ecosystem; identity; pedigree; provenance; traceability in the supply chain

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