Frequently Asked Questions

We know our technology raises a lot of questions, we provided an answer to the ones we get the most below. Don’t see your question in here? Please do not hesitate to

contact us.
What is the circular economy?

A circular economy is a systemic approach to economic development designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment. In contrast to the ‘take-make-waste’ linear model, a circular economy is regenerative by design and aims to gradually decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources. Learn more about the circular economy from these resources.

How does Circularise enable the circular economy?

Circular economy requires an unprecedented level of collaboration, trust and transparency among all industry players. An open standardised protocol for supply chain transparency is the foundation that companies need to build trust and move away from linear production to a circular one.

Why are you pursuing an open protocol for sustainability and transparency?

We need to think about how we manage and transfer data to trace materials and impacts across supply chains. The decisions we take today and the way we design our digital systems will have long-held implications for how data can be transferred across systems and how it can be used.
An open protocol will ensure a level playing field and prevent a "winner-takes-it-all" market.

What technologies are you using? 

Circularise utilises a combination of blockchain, peer-to-peer technology and cryptography like Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs) in a decentralised information storage and communication platform. It allows information exchange between participants in value chains while retaining the ability to fine-tune the amount of information disclosed. 

How do you protect the privacy of sensitive information?

When addressing data security, usually, solutions rely on encryption which is the process of encoding a message or information in such a way that only authorised parties can access it and those who are not authorised cannot. 

With traditional encryption, your data would take many years for modern computers to brute-force. The truth is however that this encryption can always be broken, we say the data is computationally hidden. For the majority of data it does not really matter. However, in the Circularise system we are dealing with sensitive data that is required to remain a secret indefinitely, i.e. it should be perfectly hiding. Think about trade secrets on process steps, business deals or secret material recipes. Traditional encryption methods are therefore not sufficient for this type of data, because the information remains valuable even after many many years. Instead we opt for an implementation of zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) – a patent pending technology we call “Smart Questioning” that allows stakeholders to ask critical questions (e.g. “Does this plastic part contain hazardous materials?”) to a secret dataset (e.g. the bill of materials).

How is Circularise different from other supply chain transparency solutions? 

While other solutions have to compromise decentralization for privacy protection or vice versa, we believe transparency should not come at the cost of reduced privacy and confidentiality nor should it appoint a central authority. That is why we developed our patent pending Smart Questioning technology for creating verified statements on public blockchains without revealing any underlying sensitive data.

Can Circularise's software be integrated into a customer's ERP / logistics management software? If so, are there any restrictions? 

Yes, this is possible. As long as your internal system can be connected to an API. We work actively with our customers to make sure that this API fits all their needs.

How do you make sure data entered in your system is correct?  

New data that enters our system is accompanied with attestation(s) of trusted third parties, such as certification bodies. Trusted third parties can even attest to digital assets on the blockchain directly.

Is it possible to handle not just the product but also production characteristics?

Yes. We distinguish production characteristics (e.g. sustainable production of the material; the absence of child labour; particular human rights standards or the identity of the primary processor) and product characteristics (e.g. flammability, chemical composition, tensile stress resistance). Production data is usually added by using a scope certificate of a given site that certifies the correctness of the production for a certain duration of time. Certification of product characteristics is linked to the actual mass of the product itself.

What are the benefits of using blockchain for supply chain transparency?

Blockchain offers immutable and trustless storage for a number of important items in our system, including the quantity of digital assets, ownership, (references to) product and production characteristics. As we are aiming for an industry standard, a monopoly should be avoided as much as possible and we are convinced that a public, permissionless blockchain is the right technology for this. After all, nobody will benefit from a central authority that acts as a powerful middleman, i.e. where trust is put in the hands of a few.

I have heard that blockchains consume a high amount of energy, how does this relate to your sustainability message?

Ethereum initially used an energy-intensive security mechanism, but this is no longer the case since it was moved to an equally secure but much more efficient one, resulting in a reduction of around 99.95% of the chain’s energy consumption. Read more about it here.

Furthermore, Circularise is set up to be blockchain agnostic so that if a better suited blockchain becomes available we could switch.

You have a vision, we have a way to get you there

We know how complex supply chains can be and that it's easy to get overwhelmed. Let us help you set the first steps towards traceability and create a roadmap that meets your goals.
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