Blockchain is becoming more and more popular, tempting companies to replace their current anti-counterfeit solutions by a blockchain anti-counterfeit solution. Although blockchain has many advantages, including perfect traceability and tamper-proof data, one must be cautious about compromising the security of physical products. While blockchain alone cannot replace anti-counterfeit solutions, it can be an extremely valuable add-on.

In this article, I will decrypt the advantages and disadvantages of blockchain anti counterfeit solutions.

Is blockchain new?

Blockchain has been used for many years to provide a financial ecosystem and is more and more widely used for traceability. Up to the present, although tested,  it has been unsuccessful  for medical data and voting.

What is a blockchain?

The blockchain is a technology to store and transmit information. It’s like a book on which everyone can write and which everyone can read but that which no one can either erase or destroy.

Transactions are grouped by blocks which are validated by miners. A validated block is added to the chain and the transaction can be read. Therefore, one cannot change a block without modifying the whole chain.

Use of blockchain anti-counterfeit solutions

Some companies are now claiming that they could use blockchains as anti-counterfeit solutions. In my view, the biggest advantage for blockchain anti-counterfeit solutions is that its data cannot be tampered with or altered.

Now let’s analyze how blockchain anti-counterfeit solutions are working for a physical object that needs to be protected, for instance a high value watch.

  1. A serial number is added to a valuable object (such as a watch for example)
  2. This serial number is entered into the blockchain together with other useful information about this precious object (such as the provenance information, previous owner,…)
  3. All the important steps in this watch life are recorded into the blockchain.

 

In summary, this blockchain anti counterfeit solution is working as an improved certificate of authenticity. And thanks to the blockchain, you can be certain that the certificate of authenticity is genuine.

This is valuable information if you are certain that the object you have in hand is authentic. For example, you could not resell the watch, claiming to be its owner were that not true.

Therefore, some pioneers, especially in the luxury industry, are using the blockchain in addition to other anti-counterfeit solutions.

Use of blockchain as unique anti-counterfeit solution

Now imagine you solely rely on the blockchain as an anti-counterfeit solution. If you have a watch featuring a certain serial number in your hands, you would be able to retrace the entire life of the watch featuring this specific serial number.

However, you would never know whether this is the authentic watch or a replica featuring the same serial number. Therefore, this kind of anti-counterfeit solution would probably be rejected in a court case.

Furthermore, a perverse effect of blockchain anti-counterfeit solutions, when used alone, is the same as was the case for serial numbers years ago. End users feel more confident and less cautious, eventually leading to an increase in the number of circulating counterfeits.

AlpVision provides Forbes 2000 companies with anti-counterfeit solutions that are perfectly compatible with blockchain and in some cases already integrated into the blockchain. This has the advantage that the object still can be authenticated, even if the serial number is scratched and no longer readable.

For example, AlpVision Fingerprint technology in combination with the blockchain creates one of the most effective blockchain anti-counterfeit solutions possible.

Do you need more information on how to implement a secure blockchain anti-counterfeit solution? Please contact-us or visit our brand protection web page, we will be happy to answer any question you may have.

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