In the last century, the forgery of someone’s identity was solved by introducing modern passports, which include all necessary information about the person. Countries have created special standards for the issuance and circulation of passports, which made it possible to understand what kind of person stands behind this document, as well as to regulate the movement of people around the world. Later we started to introduce biometrical data to uncover people with multiple passports.
Thus, the informatization of the community in the 21st century is changing technological basis aimed to fight with the identities’ forgery and hit the problem of illegal migration hard. Similar technologies we can use to fight against the counterfeited products.
All of us understand the importance of the struggle against counterfeit, and the only possible effective way is to create products' digital passports.
As early as five years ago no one wondered if the website had a digital security certificate, however today we ignore sites without them.
Blockchain, Big Data, IoT, AI – these are the technologies we can apply in the automated mode, controlling a turnover of products digital passports 24/7, allowing the consumer to receive goods with specific features, stated in their digital passports. The synergetic effect from the application of these technologies alongside smartphones’ technologies is huge.
Modern smartphones, which the customers have, give the opportunity to quickly and effectively interact with the digital certificates, providing full information about the product and automatically transferring the certificate at the time of payment for the goods. Digital assistants in smartphones based on AI principles can search the Internet prioritizing products based on preference filters, ignoring, for example, products containing a specific allergen. 6 billion smartphones are owned by customers and they make it possible to quickly introduce digital passports of goods into circulation.
Taking this into consideration we decided that blockchain and IoT are exactly those technologies that will help us to implement everything mentioned above. As I don’t know to what extent our audience knows the technological side of this matter, I will start with the basics. I’ll do my best to make it as interesting and understandable as possible
The whole idea of blockchain can be seen in its name. Imagine some ordinary iron chain. Heavy and rusty. The one used in docks for example. In this example, one chain link is a block with data, and each link is connected with the other one on both sides. The links of this chain are distributed among the users, remaining publicly aссessible. Due to this and special encryption keys, it’s impossible to hack blockchain projects.
Besides that, when we talk about blockchain, everyone keeps talking about decentralization. But what does it really mean?
In a few words, it means that all data is kept not on one server, but hundreds or thousands of them. Accordingly, if a meteorite falls on the server room or another totalitarian regime wants to disconnect the entire country from the global Internet, the network will not even notice it. Moreover, the distribution of the network all over the world will make it possible to get almost instant access to data.
Besides some obvious benefits, decentralization has also a few hidden ones. On a technical level, the entire community is the network administrator. Consequently, the company which created the network won’t be able to make changes to it to obtain some kind of outputs or for other reasons. Broadly speaking, decentralization based on blockchain is a pure democracy.
The most important thing is that in comparison with all other tools used to protect the products, digital certificates are almost free. It’s the cheapest tool to protect the brand, from everything we've seen. The only peculiarity is that it starts working only when it’s widely known.
Based on all of the above, we can highlight several main actions that we must take to defeat counterfeit.
We should use modern technologies to their fullest extent. We are convinced that digital certificates are our future. They are impossible to fake, accessible from anywhere in the world, they can be received at the outlet, or while shopping online. Moreover, they include all information about the product, which is transferred from the manufacturer to the customer. If you want, you can even add the name of the production shift manager there.
The integration of payment systems and electronic certificates is needed When we’ll be able to automate the process for obtaining digital certificates the way we automated payment systems, it will be a crushing blow to the counterfeit market.
Brands have to evolve When the decentralized network starts to work, each member of this network will get a chance to launch their solutions based on this network. Blockchain networks almost don’t have technical limitations. It all depends only on the level of imagination of the brand and the resources they are willing to invest in their own solutions.
We need to unite to solve a common problem We consider this point to be the most difficult, as each brand protects its own interests. Regardless of having one common problem, not everyone wants to coordinate actions with the rivals. But we must understand that no one will solve our problems for us. Of course, some states are trying to, if we look at how counterfeit statistics are growing every year, we can only draw one conclusion - this effort is not enough.
To conclude, I would like to thank all of you for your time and ask you for feedback. You can see my contact information on this slide. If you don't agree with what I said today, you have any questions, or you are interested and want to know about the technical implementation, contact me in any way you find convenient. Feedback matters to us and those aren't empty words. We really want to turn the industry on its head and create a functioning tool to ensure protection from counterfeit. But we cannot do this alone. If you are not ready to become our partners and our ideas don't seem appealing to you, at least tell us why. Problem identification at the early stages certainly helps save time and effort.