Fishing For Blockchain

Transcript Summary:

Blockchain has gained a lot of attention in the popular press over the past few years, with its value climbing and dropping — sometimes even within the same day. With every- one jumping on the Blockchain bandwagon, it’s important to better understand the actual use case to truly know whether or not Blockchain can be effective. The effectiveness for Blockchain to secure virtual items (such as crypto currency), and to track movement & ownership of prod- ucts is clear. However, it’s effectiveness in ensuring the AUTHENTICITY of physical items or cur- rency is a question that still needs to be fully explored.  

1) Blockchain has proven that it can be used to track the distribution of virtual currency or track the various transactions of physical products through a supply chain. Requiring each party at every step along the supply chain to be willing to record these transactions. 
2) However, Blockchain does not appear to be well suited for ensuring the authenticity of a phys- ical products or currency. There is nothing in the Blockchain process to ensure product packag- ing or printed currency has not been tampered with or counterfeited. A creative counterfeiter could easily find innovative ways to work around the Blockchain process resulting in, Blockchain simply and unknowingly tracking the movement of the fake product or currency.  

Similar to virtual data such a bitcoin, many physical items do have a unique serial number which can be recorded into Blockchain for tracking. However, the process of capturing this unique serial number has proven to be difficult and time consuming for distribution networks due to the large volume of physical products. In addition, there is nothing in Blockchain that prohibits counterfeit or tampering. Therefore, tracking these serial numbers in Blockchain is of little bene- fit to from a counterfeit protection perspective.  


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