Interpol estimates that up to one million lives are lost every year by counterfeit medications. That number could soon be reduced to zero, as new mandatory serialisation laws are introduced. Product serialisation will create a global pharmaceutical audit trail that can be used to confirm product authenticity at any stage of the supply chain.
Blockchain technology has the potential to take this sort of product tracking to the next level, by establishing a real time perpetual chain of custody.
How Secure is Blockchain Technology?
Each new block contains the previous blocks sequential security hash in its header information. The validity of this hash is checked by other stakeholders across the blockchain network before a new block is validated and registered on the blockchain. This means it would be almost impossible to introduce counterfeit goods or fraudulent entries.
Blockchain Exceeds Standard Serialisation
Validating supply chain integrity is just one of the significant benefits that blockchain technology will bring to logistics. Point of Sale integration would allow retailers to append verified data to the relevant serialised entry as a product is sold, facilitating fully automated stock control and even providing localised insight into consumer behaviour.
Why is Blockchain Technology Revolutionary?
The distributed nature of blockchain ledgers mean that data can be accessed by all authorised parties throughout the supply chain without the risk of fake entries being introduced.
How are New Blocks Created?
When a company creates a product, a smart tag is attached. This tag contains the products serial number. A new block is then created and verified at the products point of origin.
What Does This Mean?
Blockchain technology, combined with IoT sensors, will integrate supply chain networks, revolutionising the way you verify tracking data integrity, and share tracking information as a UK logistics company. It creates a near real time immutable chain of custody that is transparent yet private, more secure, simpler, and more efficient than any other global serialisation method.
Smart tags attached to containers are scanned by sealed smart devices at each stage of the supply chain. Smart thermometers could also be distributed throughout chilled consignments to provide near real time monitoring of temperature, ensuring that the goods remain within specified tolerances.
When Will Blockchain Become The Industry Standard?
Sooner than you think, the world’s largest Diamond company, De Beers, are already using blockchain technologies to track diamonds from their point of origin right up to the point they are sold to consumers. This provides immutable evidence that their stones are sourced ethically and that blood diamonds have not penetrated their supply chain.
BlockVerify are developing blockchain based anti-counterfeiting solutions for pharmaceutical products, diamonds, electronics and luxury items. Due to the open nature of blockchain ledgers, consumers will be able verify the authenticity of products by using a smartphone to scan the BlockVerify tag.
Kuovola Innovation are working on a more advanced IoT blockchain logistics solution called SmartLog. The project was funded by a grant from the European Union’s Interreg Central Baltic program.