If you haven't already heard about blockchain technology you're about to very soon as this Google trends graph shows. Without going into the nitty-gritty details of Bitcoins, miners and ledgers the overall concept of blockchain technology appears to offer the electronics supply chain some major advantages when it comes to traceability.
The article below from The Manufacturer provides an overview of how blockchain works, some of the benefits and pitfalls associated with using the technology within a supply chain environment along with the details of current supply chain projects that are underway at the moment.
Whether or not this technology is adopted globally remains to be seen. But proving the provenance of electronic components entering the supply chain and then tracking their journey thereafter certainly has its merits and could help eradicate counterfeit components once and for all.
For a more general overview of blockchain in a simplified format, this TEDx video by Richie Etwaru might help.
In this example, purchasers can scan a QR code on packaging to access details on the production batch and supply chain journey. Yet this level of detail is not routinely available. Enter, the world of blockchain. In theory, at least, blockchain provides a panacea to the recognised headache of supply chain security. Not only does it have the potential to track product journeys to the most granular level, providing visibility to all who need it, but also it offers opportunities to automate many largely manual processes, reducing the administrative bill into the bargain.