Using NFTs for ownership management of digital twins and for proof of delivery of their physical assets

Haya R. Hasan, Mohammad Madine, Ibrar Yaqoob, Khaled Salah, Raja Jayaraman, Dragan Boscovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A digital twin (DT) is an exact digital replica of a physical world object or asset that aids in managing, controlling, or monitoring the real object. The current systems used for managing DTs are centralized and not easily accessible. Typically, a DT is built by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and becomes hard to access and manage once its physical asset is transported or sold to a new owner. Moreover, a physical asset or object is typically comprised of many other physical sub-components. This translates to having one DT comprised of other sub-DTs. In this paper, we show how non-fungible tokens (NFTs) can be used to manage ownership of DTs and to provide proof of delivery (PoD) of their associated physical assets in a decentralized, secure, traceable, and transparent manner. Specifically, we propose, implement, and evaluate a solution to manage DTs and their sub-DTs using NFTs and sub-NFTs. The DTs and their sub-DTs are represented in a hierarchical way, whereby a sub-NFT maps to a sub-DT along with its physical object. We present the system architecture and design, as well as the implementation of algorithms and smart contracts along with thorough testing and validation details. We present the security analysis as well as discuss the generalization aspect of the proposed solution. All developed smart contract codes are made publicly available on GitHub.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Blockchain
  • Digital twins
  • NFTs
  • Ownership management
  • Proof of delivery
  • Smart contracts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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