A large facet of ITAD enterprises is IT asset management. A smooth process requires adequate preparation and transparent communication with downstream vendors, which can sometimes prove difficult when some are not willing to share information. Stakeholders in the industry have begun developing a blockchain-based project in order to better track data and reduce the possibility of fraud in buying and selling devices, with nonprofit organization, the OBADA Foundation leading the efforts.
The project comes in the form of a software system that “allows different companies in the TIAD value chain to share one digital ledger, recording the chain of custody for material,” according to E-Scrap News. The system’s core is a decentralized registry, in other words, a digital registry that every participating company shares. Companies and individuals operate software packages called “nodes” that run on their own servers so they cannot be accessed on the internet by just anyone. ITAD companies will be able to update and access the registry exclusively through the nodes, and be able to offer access to the blockchain to their customers via their node.
Data security is typically a top priority, but when there is failure to communicate, gaps are created in tracking, which can result in data security concerns. Sharing a single digital ledger that cannot be later revised reduces the possibility of fraud, and reduces fear of distrust between trading partners. Rom Lembke, one of the leaders backing OBADA, and professor of supply chain management and business analytics at the University of Nevada explained, “It gives you confidence that nobody has tried to go back and change any transactions.”
Twenty-three member organizations have contributed $5,000 each for a total of $115,000, and OBADA is looking for additional companies to join the effort, specifically 78 more companies to contribute $5,000 each.
CEO and founder of Tradeloop, a wholesale marketplace for used electronics, Rohi Sukhia says they’ve had companies ask to put in more money to buy a larger share, but the goal is to ensure a large company doesn’t come in and take over the project.
According to Sukhia, “We want to make sure that this is an ITAD-run effort.”