Build an IoT Blockchain Network for a Supply Chain


Learn how to use a an IoT Asset Tracking device, build a blockchain network, and configure a Node-RED dashboard to monitor a perishable network supply chain. You can also use a simulated tracker if you don’t want to purchase and set up the hardware.
Intro Video:

About This Course

When multiple participants, such as farms, manufacturers, processing plants, trucks, ports, ships, distribution centers, and consumer retail outlets, are involved in the safe shipment and payment of cargo, you can use a blockchain network to record immutable transactions as the cargo shipment progresses through its delivery journey.

In this course, you’ll do the following main tasks:

  • Configure an asset tracker IoT device (or use the simulator)
  • Build a blockchain business network in Hyperledger Composer
  • Build an IoT application to visualize and analyze the data from the asset tracker:
    • Create an IoT starter app in IBM Cloud
    • Create Node-RED flows to control and receive events from, write events to the blockchain network, and load blockchain transaction history
    • Use Node-RED to build an asset tracking dashboard

Course syllabus

  • Set up the Particle Electron tracker device (or use the simulator)
    • Set up the Particle Electron Asset Tracker
    • Enable cloud applications to intercept Particle Function callbacks
    • Watson IoT Asset Tracker application
      Lab 1: Build a blockchain network

      • 1. Set up the sample network in Hyperledger Composer Playground
      • 2. Customize the network for IoT tracking
      • 3. Install Hyperledger Composer locally
      • 4. Prepare your code for deployment
      • 5. Verify deployment
      • 6. Create the REST API
      • Graded quiz 1
        Lab 2: Set up the asset tracker application in Node-RED

        • 1. Create an Internet of Things Starter application
        • 2. Start the Node-RED flow editor
        • 3. Install additional Node-RED nodes
        • 4. Import Node-RED flows and initialize the blockchain network
        • Understand the imported Node-RED flows
          • Start Particle Electron flow
          • Particle Receiver flow
          • Blockchain REST API flow
          • Load Blockchain flow
          • IoT Asset Dashboard flow
          • Track Asset History flow
          • Graded quiz 2
            Optional: Set up and run the Asset Tracker simulator

            • Asset Tracker simulator overview
            • Import and deploy the simulator flow
            • Track your asset in the dashboard
            • Optional: Build your own routes
            • Final exam


You must have experience working with Node-RED, IBM Cloud, and Hyperledger Composer. You should also understand basic blockchain concepts and object-oriented programming. If you’ve never worked with blockchain business networks, take the course “Blockchain Essentials.”

To complete this course, you need the following items:

IBM Cloud account

Important: You will need to create an instance of the IBM Blockchain service on IBM Cloud. Learners in this course will be provided a limited time, no-charge access to the IBM Blockchain Starter Plan.

Follow these steps to create your instance of the IBM Blockchain service:

  1. Sign up for an IBM Cloud account.
  2. Go to your Cognitive Class dashboard to get your IBM Cloud promo code.
  3. Go to the Cognitive Class promo page and follow the instructions to apply your promo code.
  4. Create an instance of the IBM Blockchain Platform Starter Plan.

Additional accounts

Operating systems

Mac or Linux operating system is preferred on a sufficiently modern computer.

You can use Windows; however, due to limitations in Hyperledger Composer, installing Composer locally is more difficult. See Install Hyperledger Composer locally for more information.

Optional hardware

Particle Electron Asset Tracker Kit V2  (cost is approximately $USD 130.00)

You can complete this course by using either the Particle Electron Asset Tracker device or by using a simulator. This course shows you how configure the hardware or how to use the simulator, but using the hardware is more fun!

Course instructors

John Walicki

John Walicki is a IBM Developer Advocate and inspires developers to build their solutions with the powerful Watson IoT capabilities, Watson AI APIs, and IBM Cloud. He helps developers create custom IoT and embedded Linux solutions for their industrial and educational use cases.

Twitter: @johnwalicki


Jenn Foley

Jenn is an IBM Integration Architect and North American Blockchain Leader for IBM Systems.

Course staff

Michelle Carey

IBM Courseware Developer

Frequently Asked Questions

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See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.

Course Content

Total learning: 1 lesson Time: 4 hours

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