By Steve Kuh, Bonafi
Blockchain technology can be used to build an online platform where manufacturers, retailers, and consumers can come together to authenticate goods that we buy every day. A startup company plans to scale up by working with its manufacturing and retailing partners and building up the platform to fight counterfeit issues and show authentic supply chain information on the blockchain. This would ultimately drive out the counterfeits in the retail supply chain and afford a satisfying shopping experience.
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain technology is an immutable public ledger system. Present data is related and encrypted based on all of the previous data. This data is shared by millions of computers worldwide. Thus, altering data on any one computer shows up immediately as fake since all computers check each other’s results. Thus, by utilizing this security feature of blockchain technology, a platform is born to bring manufacturers, retailers, and consumers together to authenticate goods that we buy every day.
How Does It Work?
- each product is attached with a Crypto-Tag (a Cryptography Enabled NFC tag)
- the supply chain information is recorded on blockchain as goods are shipped across the supply chain
- consumers can then authenticate using Bonafi’s Phone App
Rewards On The Platform
To scale up the platform, an easy user interface is needed so that everyone can utilize the platform. Using a phone app, users scan products for the Crypto-Tag and leave user feedback upon successful authenticated scans. Manufacturers can elect to set that each scan would require a small amount of rewards to be spent. For example, a pair of jeans would cost $0.10 to scan, and an iPhone would require $0.50 to scan. It would also be possible to make it a free scan as well.
Consumer demographics data with purchasing decision is at a premium today. Manufacturers are motivated to be engaged with its authentic consumers and be connected. Here, manufacturers would send the rewards tokens on the platform. This will encourage the consumer to monetize their data, become satisfied with the rewards, and help the manufacturer or retailers to understand the demographics and preferences of the consumers’ buying decisions.
Other Use Cases: Real-Time Tracking For Assets
Using the blockchain, it is possible that a real-time asset tracking is implemented for improved efficiency of retailing businesses. Since blockchain is built on the internet, and because each tag is unique and cryptographically encrypted, each item can be logged and tracked as it moves across the supply chain, the inventory, and the shelf life. Once the platform is in place, companies will be able to determine the location of their items at any given moment. They will know when an item is in the warehouse, when it has reached a retailer, and when a customer has received it in his/her hands. It also will help companies to identify that the correct order has reached its proper destination.
Affordable And Quick Recalls
Recalls can be a costly issue for the original manufacturers of items. When there is a safety defect in a product, the company may now be able to recall it and notify customers instantly with the implementation of the Platform. In the past, these companies would identify the model number and recall every item associated with that number. Not every element of that model is defective, but the company ends up recalling all the items. This is costly for the company and wastes a lot of time, especially for customers who have not received the recall items. With the blockchain platform implemented, companies would be able to identify the exact item that has a defect. They can recall only the specific item and save costs on massive recalls.
Blockchain technology can be used to build an online platform for consumers to authenticate goods, give the power of data monetization back to the consumers with the Rewards, and provide a means for large companies to track assets on the blockchain. As a result, they will be able to improve customer satisfaction, improve their brand image, and improve their bottom line.
About The Author
Steve Kuh, CEO of Bonafi, (www.bonafi.io) earned a MSEE degree from the University of Southern California and has been a CEO for 20+ years.