Unfortunately for businesses across the globe, the counterfeit business is well and truly booming. In fact, it is believed that the counterfeit market could account for as much as 3.3 percent of all global trade, and cost the global economy more than half a trillion dollars each year.
Counterfeiting, as you will probably know, is not only bad for the economy but it can be extremely bad for business in more ways than one. For one thing, it takes away business than companies would otherwise have had, but more than that, it can cause lawsuits, injuries and bad PR, all of which can be devastating to the average business.
The good news is, modern technology is making it increasingly easier to foil would-be counterfeiters at the first hurdle, and blockchain is one of the most important technologies leading that fight.
What is blockchain?
Put simply, blockchain is a digital system of recording information. It does this in such a way that it is very difficult for anyone to hack into or change that information, which means they will find it much more difficult to cheat the system and produce counterfeit goods.
A digital ledger
If you think about it, blockchain is basically a digital ledger that keeps a record of all the transactions made by the people using the computer system or network on that individual blockchain, these are broken down into blocks.
Each block on the blockchain is made up of numerous transactions, so each time a new transaction occurs it is simply added to the digital ledger, and since there is no way of altering that ledger, it is very easy to see what has been happening and which transactions are genuine and which are not. All transitions are recorded using an unchangeable hash which prevents tampering, too.
How can blockchain be used against counterfeiting?
Anti counterfeit blockchain is increasingly being used by businesses who want to protect their products, but how does it work?
Basically, anti counterfeit blockchain enables companies to create and identify proof-of-origin, or provenance if you prefer, of their products by enabling them to track it at every step of the way through the supply chain. Since blockchain is practically tamper-proof, this makes it extremely easy for companies or the authorities, to determine if a product is genuine or not.
In order to make use of blockchain anti counterfeiting techniques, most businesses will use a smart tag that contains all of the relevant information. These can come n the form of:
- QR codes
- Near Field Communication tags and seal
- RFID chips
- Surface signatures
All of these things would be practically impossible to duplicate, but even if a criminal is able to do so, as soon as the tag was scanned, the fraud would be noticed immediately, which means customers would no longer be fooled by fakes and companies would stand to lose far less business to the black market in the future.