Frequently Asked Questions


What is Chronicled?

Chronicled is a blockchain and IoT technology company based in San Francisco. We are developing turnkey solutions enabling physical property to be securely linked to a blockchain for authentication, e-commerce, provenance, supply chain, and finance related use cases. Chronicled’s proprietary platform, comprising of hardware and software components, enables development of consumer and enterprise applications for physical goods, devices, machines, and product packaging.

We have published an open source protocol for the Internet of Everything (IoE) at chronicled.org.

What is the big idea behind Chronicled?

We believe that by providing secure chips with unique identities and giving them the ability to write immutable, time-stamped transactions, both registered on the blockchain, we transform such chips into incorruptible agents that write facts on a ledger. Solutions requiring authenticity verification, item and provenance tracking, proof of proximity, and payments can be implemented are implemented by using our secure chips and blockchain technology, whereas, in conventional IoT platforms, doing so is difficult or expensive, at best, and impossible, at worst.

How does it work?

Chronicled adds identity inlays and tamper-evident cryptographic seals to physical products and packaging. The cryptographic chip in the seal is then registered on the blockchain, creating an immutable digital record for each physical product or unit of packaging on the blockchain. The microchip can sign messages and transactions to create a time-stamped history of proximity, possession, and provenance.

What are the most common use cases?

Luxury product authentication, pharmaceuticals tracking, supply chain provenance tracking, proximity-based commerce, physical product affiliate models, IoT interoperability, per-item insurance, military applications, and fine art, to name a few.

How does Chronicled make money?

Through our hardware (identity inlays and crypto CryptoSeals) and software solutions and cloud services. We also work with enterprises to provide PoCs (Proof-of-Concept) and customized solutions.

Technology

What technologies are you working with?

We primarily work with UHF, NFC, and BLE microchips; public/private key encryption; blockchain; and mobile application development.

I see the terms cryptographic chip, smart tag, crypto seal strip, and identity inlay on your website. Are all of these different products?

The basic building block of our technology is the cryptographic microchip, which contains a private key protected by a secure element. Smart tags, CryptoSeal strips, and identify inlays all contain a cryptographic chip. A smart tag contains a cryptographic chip inside of a tag form factor. A CryptoSeal strip contains a cryptographic chip inside of a tamper-evident adhesive sticker form factor. An identity inlay contains a cryptographic chip inside of a thin, flexible form factor for insertion into the product itself.

Which blockchains do you support?

Chronicled is blockchain agnostic and will support multiple blockchain implementations, as clients request them. Currently, we are building with Ethereum and intend to expand support to Bitcoin, Z Cash, Hyperledger, and Symbiont.

What does a consumer have to do to verify authenticity and identity?

Scan the product, package, or item with a smart phone.

How does this improve upon serial numbers, UPC codes, bar codes, and QR codes?

Serial numbers, UPC codes, bar codes, and QR codes provide “weak” identity systems, as they are not tamper-evident and can be easily cloned or copied for counterfeit products and packages.

Why can't a forger create fake crypto seals or identity inlays?

Our cryptographic microchips offer the same level of security used in passports and access badges for secure government facilities. The private key in the chip is protected by a secure element and cannot be extracted, while the form factors are physically tamper-evident. Thus, a forger cannot create a duplicate chip with an identical private key and cannot move a chip from one product to another without destroying it.

How is customer information stored? What about privacy?

Only cryptographic chips, as well as associated product metadata, is registered to the blockchain. No user information is stored on the blockchain.

Authenticity

How does an identity inlay or CryptoSeal get added to a product?

For new products, identity inlays are added in the factory. In aftermarket products, such as wine, artwork, or sneakers - products that have vibrant secondary markets and entire professions built around secondary market product authentication - authenticators can purchase CryptoSeals and tag and register products to the blockchain using the Chronicled App.

I am a product authenticator, how can I learn more?

Reach out to us! We’ll walk you through how our technology can help you build your online reputation as a product authenticator.

In simple terms, how does authenticity verification work?

A physical product contains a cryptographic chip (NFC or BLE), which hosts a private identity marker, called a private key. Each private key has a corresponding public key, or a public identity marker. The public of the chip is stored on the blockchain.

Verification occurs when a device, like your cell phone, scans the chip and, using NFC or BLE protocols, sends a random string to the chip. This random string is signed by the chip. The signed string is sent back to your device, which validates it against the public key on the blockchain.

Brands & Showrooms

I work at a brand, can I include identity inlays in my upcoming product release?

Yes! You can use our identity inlays to create limited edition product runs and create engaging consumer experiences for all of your physical products. We have a configurable widget-based framework to rapidly configure a mobile app experience that can support your needs as a brand, especially an optimal consumer engagement experience.

I work at a furniture store, can we add the identity inlays to our furniture and allow consumers to learn more about and buy items from the app? Even after they’ve returned home?

Yes.

How much do the identity inlays and CryptoSeals cost?

We're on track to provide the lowest cost secure consumer product identity solution on the market. Pricing depends on volumes, so contact us to discuss your application.

Do cryptographic microchips work with both iPhone and Android?

The BLE identity inlays work with both iPhone and Android. The NFC identity inlays and CryptoSeals currently work with Android only.

IoT Protocol & Blockchain

What is the role of Chronicled Open Source (chronicled.org)?

Our blockchain interface is created with smart contracts. We hold the view that smart contracts will become more trustworthy if they are open source. Chronicled Open Source is where we publish our smart contract code, along with a Registration SDK and Open Registry Explorer for IoT.

In the future, we expect to expand our blockchain-supported functions for the IoT protocol in cooperation with industry partners in order to create a common framework for registering physical property on the blockchain.

Our vision is to contribute to the development of an open protocol to support the interface of trillions of dollars of physical goods, assets, and machines with the blockchain. We expect that, eventually, Chronicled Open Source (or something like it) will be need to be administered by a public foundation with wider industry support.

Why is Chronicled pioneering an IoT protocol on the blockchain?

We are developing an IoT protocol in order to encourage the rapid establishment of a generally accepted standard for interfacing physical property and the Internet in a secure way. Blockchain technology can complement conventional IoT systems, which are currently weak on dimensions of security and interoperability. Additional information is available at chronicled.org.

Who benefits from the IoT protocol?

Everyone! Chip companies can register and authenticate their chips and brands can create a secure identity for their products, which supports supply chain, point-of-sale, and consumer engagement. Moreover, consumers can own the digital embodiment of their products and transfer this record upon resale. Technology companies can compete and collaborate to create new services for the consumer. We want the IoT protocol to thrive and we welcome the involvement of partners who share our vision.

Chips & Form Factor

Can you add other sensors to cryptographic chips?

Yes, microchips can be enhanced with sensors for temperature, light, gyroscopic motion, acceleration, and humidity.

Do you have UHF chips available?

Yes, we also offer UHF tags. These typically range from 5 to 10 cents per chip, depending on volume and scanning range required. Since UHF does not work with a smart phone and the content of a chip can be easily extracted, it is not a strong identity solution. However, UHF is useful for inventory tracking.

Does it make sense to combine chip types?

Yes. In many cases, to optimize cost, provenance tracking, and security, it works best to combine chip types to create a custom client solution. For example, we can put UHF chips on every salable unit of coffee or pharmaceuticals and seal a box of 50 salable units with a crypto seal for authenticity verification at the distributor-level (i.e., coffee shop or hospital, respectively). Then, we can add a GSM tracker chip to a palette of 100 boxes with sensors for temperature and humidity. Artificial intelligence can be linked at the level of blockchain registration. The possibilities are truly endless.

Can you customize form factors?

Yes. We are currently pioneering new physically tamper-proof designs with our industrial manufacturing partners and we can work with you to match your requirements.