Counterfeiting has always been a major thorn in the sides of multinational corporations and manufacturers – for as long as anyone can remember. Various anti-counterfeiting measures such as 3D hologram verification technology and various tracking systems – have been only partially effective at stopping sophisticated forgeries. According to Intellectual Property Rights Seizure figures compiled by the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC), “While the People’s Republic of China remains the primary source economy for counterfeit and pirated goods seized by DHS, with a total value of $1.1 billion, representing 68% of all IPR seizures by MSR in FY 2013, DHS also made seizures from 73 additional economies during FY 2013.” According to the report – handbags; wallets; watches; jewelry represented 69% of all seizures.
While those items do cause plenty of monetary damage to consumers, counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs can be deadly. Block Verify (BV), a London-based company founded by Pavlo Tanasyuk: is attempting to use Bitcoin’s blockchain technology to stop counterfeiting once and for all. In an article by Cointelegraph, Tanasyuk was quoted saying, “We decided to start with pharma as it is one of the sectors where people are directly affected by using counterfeit products. That can lead to various complications and even death of the consumer. It is also one of the most challenging environments.”
Some very disturbing figures were quoted in a Forbes article on the counterfeit drug epidemic, “According to the World Health Organization’s estimates, it is thought that 10-15% of the world’s drug supply (and probably on the order of 1% in the United States) is counterfeit.” Those estimates were from 2012, by now the figures are most likely much worse.
Block Verify’s system relies on two blockchains working together. An internal blockchain will be maintained by Block Verify, that will store pertinent information on licensed products. Bitcoin’s blockchain will be utilized for confirmation of events and actions related to the internal chain maintained by BV. Block Verify plans to expand their system to all industries suffering from counterfeiting, and even help with forgeries and thefts.
“We are not hashing the full history of ownership into bitcoin blockchain, but using our own private blockchain. We use bitcoin as a trustless environment to confirm important events within our own chain.”
If Block Verify’s system functions as advertised, blockcahin technology and Bitcoin will cement their status – as one of the most groundbreaking inventions in the history of the world.
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Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2012/07/25/fake-and-flawed-medicines-threaten-us-all/ , http://www.iacc.org/2013%20DHS%20IPR%20Seizure%20Stats.pdf , http://www.iacc.org/counterfeiting-statistics , http://cointelegraph.com/news/113695/block-verify-uses-blockchains-to-end-counterfeiting-and-make-world-more-honest