Cubichain Technologies and CalRAM have announced the deployment of a decentralized and immutable blockchain network to facilitate the transfer and storage of data necessary to distribute 3D printed titanium aircraft parts.
Blockchain technology, the underlying technology of Bitcoin, is a chain of blocks which contain transactional data. Within this data set, financial information such as the amount of transactions, inputs and outputs, and recipient details are stored.
Multichain, an open source blockchain network being utilized by Cubichain Technologies and CalRAM, extends the Bitcoin protocol by allowing startups, developers and users to store more data within the transactional data structure apart from financial information. Essentially, users are embedding data of their preference onto each Bitcoin transaction.
More to that, Multichain allows a thorough customization of a blockchain network. The Multichain development tool’s capability of serving the needs of its clients and developers ultimately helps startups to control virtually every aspect of a blockchain protocol. Some of the customizable features include target time for blocks, maximum block size, metadata volume and segregation of users.
For commercial use cases, particularly for Cubichain and CalRAM, the block size and metadata capacity are crucial factors to consider. Metadata and block size establish the amount of data that can be stored on each transaction, which is then stored in a block connected in a chain. That means the block size and metadata capacity of Cubichain’s private blockchain network will justify the types of data and amount of information CalRAM is allowed to store and embed onto the blockchain.
One major merit and advantage of embedding information into a Bitcoin transaction within the protocol is that the decentralized nature of the Bitcoin network allows the data stored to be immutable and unalterable. Because data is stored in a public ledger or network of Bitcoin, it also demonstrates a significantly higher level of transparency, enabling anyone within the network to access the data.
For instance, the blockchain-based system of Cubichain Technologies, which is deployed on top of the Multichain blockchain network, allows CalRAM to store intellectual property of the aircraft parts the company creates onto the public and transparent of the Bitcoin blockchain protocol.
“Both additive manufacturing and Blockchain networks are disruptive technologies…combining the two will undoubtedly revolutionize the future of manufacturing. We see the greatest threats to additive manufacturing as cyber-physical hacking and counterfeiting…the deployment of a Blockchain can combat both. It’s very exciting technology,” stated Shane Collins, Director of Additive Manufacturing Programs for CalRAM.
While the potential of this technology and its synergy with the 3D printing industry is fairly evident, it is also necessary to note that the success of any cross-industry blockchain projects can be attributed to the resilience and security measures of the blockchain network.
Cubichain states that its blockchain is a private network. In the blockchain industry, experts describe this product as a “permissioned blockchain,” in that it grants network administrators to give permission to certain users for specific actions. This power of network administrators also means that users will have to trust Cubichain and its team to carry out legitimate operations, which contradicts the core principles of a cryptocurrency or a cryptographic network.
When a blockchain network is not completely decentralized, it also leaves it vulnerable to external attacks, bugs and transactional delays. Such inefficiency of the network could lead to catastrophic effect for CalRAM, if the confirmation of data is delayed.
Yet, because Cubichain’s blockchain is at least based on the Bitcoin protocol, it can be said that the security measures of the blockchain network is on par with industry standards. Thus, Kenneth Newell, co-founder of Cubichain Technologies, believes that the utilization of the blockchain technology within the 3D printing industry will lead to disruptive and innovative concepts and products in the near future.
“In the next few years, strategic deployment of additive manufactured parts is anticipated to increase exponentially while the ability to protect the digital stream will outstrip existing centralized cyber-security measures giving way to the scalability and unbreakable security of the Blockchain. Like Everledger for the Diamond industry, Cubichain wants to define an industry standard for manufacturing data security and elimination of counterfeit parts worldwide. What we accomplished today provides the proof-of-concept for a much larger closed-loop solution currently being developed,” said Newell.
The ultimate end goal of both CalRAM and Cubichain Technologies is to eliminate counterfeiting and stop the distribution of fake aircraft parts within the aerospace industry. The cross-industry adoption of the Cubichain solution will make it increasingly difficult for illegitimate manufacturers in distributing unregulated and verified aircraft parts, as anyone in the industry will be able to confirm the legitimacy of aircraft parts on the ledger of Cubichain Technologies’ blockchain protocol. Discuss in the Cubichain forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: CalRAM]