The IOTA Foundation, known for its open-source distributed ledger technology (DLT), is tackling a major challenge: digitizing the global supply chain. In collaboration with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), they’re streamlining the export process for East African businesses, making them more competitive globally.

The Problem:

  • African entrepreneurs were completing an average of 200 communications, including 96 paper documents, for a single transaction.
  • This inefficiency hindered their ability to compete in the global market.

The Solution:

  • The IOTA Foundation and TMEA developed a system that anchors key trade documents on the Tangle, IOTA’s unique DLT, and shares them with customs in destination countries.
  • This expedites the export process and increases transparency.

The Technology:

  • EPCIS 2.0: Enables data interoperability across different systems and actors.
  • IOTA Distributed Ledgers: Records every event within the supply chain, ensuring traceability and immutability.
  • ScyllaDB NoSQL: Provides scalable and resilient storage for the massive amount of data generated.

Use Cases:

  • Cross-Border Trade: Streamlines document sharing and verification between different actors, including government agencies and private traders.
  • End-to-End Traceability: Tracks the provenance of trade items, allowing for verification of claims about sustainability, safety, and other factors.

Key Challenges Addressed:

  • Multiple Actors and Systems: IOTA enables secure data exchange and verification between various stakeholders.
  • Complex Relationships: The DLT provides a single source of truth for all actors, regardless of their location or relationship.
  • Verifiable Data: Traceability ensures trust and transparency throughout the supply chain.

IOTA’s Approach:

  • Data Interoperability: Leverages standards like EPCIS 2.0 and UN/CEFACT to ensure compatibility across different industries.
  • Scalable Data Stores: Utilizes ScyllaDB NoSQL to handle the immense volume of data generated by every supply chain event.
  • Permissionless DLT: IOTA’s public, feeless DLT provides a decentralized platform for data storage and verification.


IOTA’s innovative use of DLT and ScyllaDB offers a powerful solution for digitizing the supply chain. By addressing complex technical challenges and ensuring interoperability, scalability, and trust, IOTA is paving the way for a more efficient and transparent global trade ecosystem.

By Alex Wheeler

Alex is a lead writer at AltcoinsAnalysis, bringing the audience all leading developments in the blockchain industry and the latest trends in the cryptocurrency market.