WaltonChain looks to combine blockchain technology with RFID hardware. Their goal is to create a more efficient and ergonomic storage, tracking and distribution system and implement this on a global stage to large manufacturers, retailers and distribution centers. Putting the supply chain on the blockchain brings greater transparency to all involved parties.
The WaltonChain project refers to this system as the “Value Internet of Things”, not to be confused with the “Internet of Things” (IoT), which refers to the exchange of information between physical devices that are connected via the internet. As stated by the developers of WaltonChain, the drawback of the current IoT models is that the physical devices connected to the network must be verified under the same IoT service provider. Simply put, this can result in centralization which will limit the autonomous cooperation between everything on the network. The new concept of VIoT (Value Internet of Things) puts the previous model directly on the blockchain. The need for trust disappears and a decentralized network takes place.
RFID stands for “Radio Frequency Identification”. It’s a little hardware device that has a small antenna which can be built into products like shirts, food shipping containers, or clothes hangers. RFIDs typically work by collecting data from the physical world and storing that information using an API as a middleman to add it to the blockchain. All this data is first passed through a centralized party. A truly decentralized system is not possible with that model.
WaltonChain’s custom developed RFID chips aim to solve this problem. Their RFID chips add all the data directly to the blockchain without any centralized party intervention. This technology is patented, which may not be looked highly upon by the open-source blockchain community, but it positions WaltonChain as the leader in this new VIoT space by creating reliable data, free from censorship and counterfeiting. From the teams recent update:
“We obtained a series of core patents for solution design based on a combination of RFID chips and blockchain with independent intellectual property rights. We also received invitations to start partnership with famous companies from Britain, Sweden, France and other countries.”
The Walton network consists of the parent chain (WaltonChain), sub-chains, and a token that’s used as payment (Waltoncoin). The Walton parent chain ensures the management of all sub-chains in the ecosystem. A user can create and customize their own sub-chains. Some customizable features include allowing for developers to create their own unique tokens that are native to their own sub-chain. Acting as almost a decentralized exchange with Waltoncoin being the intermediary currency, sub-chain tokens can be traded between chains.
An example of the parent and sub-chain relationship could be a clothing company adopting this technology. The company may create a new style of clothing and introduce this new line to five different store locations. Each store could have it’s own private sub-chain. The stores are lines with RFID readers, from the dressing rooms to the shelves. The stores can track how often an article of clothing was picked up and looked at, how many times it was brought into the dressing room and of course the purchase amount. Analyzing this data could assist the store in making key business decisions to increase profits, while simultaneously reducing counterfeiting and theft. In a business example like this, the user data may want to be kept private. Sub-chains can be customized in a way that doesn’t disclose information. Again, this is just a simple use case of how this large ecosystem could function.
The parent chain keeps order of the sub-chains using a Proof of Stake and Trust (PoST) consensus mechanism, an updated version of PoS. This is Proof of Stake with an adjustable difficulty for each node. Walton’s goal is to choose more honest nodes that can improve network security. Think about this as the importance of keeping good credit in your personal life. Sub-chains do have the flexibility, however, to choose their own consensus mechanism to fit their unique scenarios.
The Token (WTC)
The value proposition of the token WTC consists of the need for an underlying tradable asset between the many sub-chains and the parent chain. Each company will require its own sub-chain with a possible unique consensus model, whether that is Proof of Work or Proof of Stake, the need for a method of chain security is needed. As more companies wish to interact with the parent chain, the demand for WTC should theoretically rise.
As of now, WTC is built on the Ethereum network (ERC-20 token), but when the Genesis block of Walton’s main net has already been mined (their own custom blockchain network), the current token based on Ethereum will be replaced by the new Waltoncoin with the exchange rate of 1:1. You can either leave your coins on the exchange, they have stated, and the switch will be taken care of for you, or the team will also snapshot your wallet and create a new one with the same address with the new coins (if you are using MyEtherWallet or MyCrypto).
The WaltonChain team is expansive and experienced with individuals specializing in the appropriate supply chain industry. One of the co-founders, Xu Fangcheng, was the Supply Chain Management Director of Septwolves Group Ltd while another co-founder, Do Sanghyuk, was previously the Director of the Korean Standard Products Association.
WaltonChain has a large foundation in China. Listing the current partnerships would be an article by itself with new ones being added often. To name a few, they are working with the Taiwan Cloud and Fujian Provincial Government in building “Blockchain Silicon Valley” along with creating “Smart Oceans” with Blockchain R&D alongside the Fujian Provincial Government. From their twitter, another was recently announced.
“For clarification, Waltonchain and the China Mobile IoT Alliance agreed to work together and are finalizing the details of the official partnership. We are very excited for this opportunity. Stay tuned for more to come!”
The project has also been recognized in multiple competitions. Recently winning the “Outstanding Blockchain Company” at the 1st Summit Forum of Blockchain in Southeast Asia. WaltonChain was also awarded the “Outstanding Blockchain Technology Service Provider in 2017” in China BTAS 2017.