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it - Information Technology

Methods and Applications of Informatics and Information Technology

Editor-in-Chief: Conrad, Stefan / Molitor, Paul

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Volume 60, Issue 5-6


On-chain vs. off-chain storage for supply- and blockchain integration

Thomas HeppORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7671-0602 / Matthew Sharinghousen / Philip Ehret / Alexander Schoenhals / Bela Gipp
Published Online: 2018-11-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2018-0019


Supply chains are the basis of most everyday life products. Both data integrity and authenticity of related information have severe implications for quality and safety of end-products. Hence, tamper-proof storage is necessary that prevents unauthorized modifications. We examine peer-reviewed blockchain technologies according to four criteria relevant to supply chains: On-chain storage, off-chain storage, verification cost and secure data sharing. Our evaluation yields an overview of concepts for modeling supply chain processes and points out that on-chain storage is currently not practical.

Keywords: decentralized storage system; blockchain; supply chain

ACM CCS: Information systemsInformation storage systems


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About the article

Thomas Hepp

Thomas Hepp has been a PhD student in the Information Science group at the University of Constance since 2016. His research focuses on blockchain technology and how it can be used to increase transparency and reproducibility in supply chains. In addition to theoretical knowledge, Thomas is passionate about transferring these research results into an innovative product, which is why he is co-founder and CTO of OriginStamp.

Matthew Sharinghousen

Matthew Sharinghousen is a Master student with the Distributed Systems Laboratory at the University of Konstanz. His area of specialization is in secure network communication on the transport and socket layers. Previously, he researched visualization techniques of network log provenance for expert analysis.

Philip Ehret

Philip Ehret is a PhD student in the Information Science Group at the University of Konstanz. His work is mainly focusing on blockchain technology and data science with special personal interest in mobile and web technologies. The combination of technologies allows Philip to address challenges in society and industry to solve real-world problems.

Alexander Schoenhals

Alexander Schoenhals is a PhD candidate at Daimler AG, supervised at the University of Konstanz. In the past, he has implemented several interactive systems in VR/AR with the main emphasis on haptic feedback. His current research focuses on interactive methods to recognize, track and protect intellectual property in the very first stage of the innovation cycle with novel technologies. This plan requires an interdisciplinary exchange, therefore he maintains a lively exchange with business representatives, legal experts and also representatives of his area of expertise - computer science.

Bela Gipp

Prof. Dr. Bela Gipp leads the Information Science Group at the University of Konstanz, Germany. His research lies at the intersection of information science and data science, where he focuses on the retrieval, analysis, and visualization of large volumes of data. The implications of blockchain technology – for the benefit of both industry and society – is another research domain Bela is passionate about. Currently, he serves as a juror and the university partner for the worlds largest Blockchain Competition.

Received: 2018-07-14

Accepted: 2018-11-12

Published Online: 2018-11-24

Published in Print: 2018-12-19

Citation Information: it - Information Technology, Volume 60, Issue 5-6, Pages 283–291, ISSN (Online) 2196-7032, ISSN (Print) 1611-2776, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2018-0019.

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