BlockTac Podcast #3 – Digital Seals: 1. What are they?
This is Francisco Guillén, BlockTac CEO, and I welcome you to a new podcast of this series in which we will introduce you to the different developments we carry out at BlockTac.
Today we are going to start a series of podcasts dedicated to explaining what our digital seals registered with Blockchain technology are and how they work.
These digital seals are the technological solution that we, at BlockTac, have developed to solve various problems that our clients in the food and consumer industries have told us about.
For many of them, the main problem is counterfeiting. This, in turn, corresponds to another and more serious problem that affects all consumers, which is the inability to know whether the product we buy and consume is original or fraudulent.
I must say that, when we established BlockTac as a company, we could not imagine the extent of this problem, much less its economic and social impact. The reports from international organizations estimate that fraud in food and consumer products has an extraordinary and growing extent, representing 3.3% of world trade and with an economic impact that exceeds 500 billion dollars.
This fraud affects food products, such as wine, olive oil, or meat products, strong liquors and beers, perfumes, fashion garments and accessories, luxury items, and artworks …, to name just a few economic industries.
But, in the case of pharmaceutical products, the effects of this fraud are much more serious. It has been published that 1 million people, 300 thousand of them children, in 90 countries, die every year due only to the effects of three types of counterfeit drugs: antimalarial drugs, anti-tuberculosis, and antibiotics. On average, 10% of medicines in the world are fakes, but in Latin America, the figure is one in three, and in some African countries, it reaches 60%.
What have we done at BlockTac to end this problem? Well, what we have called the single-use digital seals registered with Blockchain technology. These are unique identifiers characterized by:
- being different and unique for each product unit,
- easily accessible to the buyer,
- that allow to immediate verification of the authenticity of the product at no cost,
- also providing abundant technical and commercial information about the purchased product and on the manufacturing company,
- and what is most decisive for its functionality: they cannot be copied, a feature that derives from the use we make of Blockchain technology.
The unique identifier of each seal is shown, in most cases, in the form of a two-dimensional QR code, but also on RFID media, in a simultaneous or complementary way.
The consumers only need to use the camera of their mobile phones to scan the QR of the seal. Its reading takes them directly to the manufacturer verification page where they will find a button to immediately verify the authenticity of the product.
In the unlikely event that someone intends to counterfeit such a product, they would also be forced to copy the identifier. But since these seals in most of our applications are for a single-use, when the buyer of the fake product tries to activate that identifier, he will find an unexpected response: will receive an alert warning that the seal has already been opened and the date when it was activated. Therefore, someone faced with a fraudulent copy can immediately report it by activating a denounce button on the verification page. It will launch a pre-established email that will go directly to the manufacturer.
As can be expected, copying the seal is useless for any counterfeiter, since all the copies will be identified as fakes by the buyers. In this way, the financial incentive for fraud ends, since no copy can be sold as an original one.
And that’s all for today. In a future podcast, we will review the implementation of these seals that our clients make in different industries.
Thank you for your attention.