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Digital Industry

DCoT: Digital Chain of Trust

A research project enabling new paradigms for the traceability of transactions leveraging Blockchain technology.

Approach & Solution



In business processes where multiple parties are involved, one at a time, in the handling of the same asset, it is of paramount importance that all the parties are held accountable of their actions.
The adoption of a ”chain-of-custody” could be helpful for this purpose. It is a documented sequence of responsibility transfers related to physical assets.

However, it may be difficult to adopt such solution in open business ecosystems, where all participants are peers and there is no single authority in charge.
In such context, the challenge is to ensure that transactions are trustworthy and trackable without a centralized system of record. Our solution to this challenge is “DCoT - Digital Chain of Trust”.
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DCoT is a decentralized system based on Blockchain technology that allows groups of fully autonomous business entities to collaboratively maintain a common log of events related to chain-of-custody processes. Such log is verifiable, tamper-resistant and highly-available, so that it is an enabler of trust between parties.

Each chain-of-custody event in the Blockchain ledger is digitally signed, timestamped and linked to the digital identities of the entities involved in the transaction and of the transferred asset. While the information on the former is also maintained on the public ledger, data related to the latter may be confidential and/or subject to GDPR constraints: to address privacy and confidentiality concerns in the proper way, the DCoT system keeps asset-related data in a separate, cloud-based repository where it is protected through attribute-based encryption.

The project has been co-funded by EIT DIGITAL - action line Digital Infrastructures.


Reduced costs

Higher security

Higher reliability

Peer-to-peer ecosystems without a super partes authority

Project value

Cost cutting
Process performance

Enabling Technologies


Project Team

Research & Innovation