From Frauds to Fakes: Get Rid of Counterfeits with Blockchain

Mar 16, 2022


Counterfeit products are a worldwide issue. These products account for 3.3% of global trade and cost the US economy $600 billion per year. Companies have been fighting counterfeiters for years, investing significant time and resources to prevent defective and fake parts from entering the manufacturing system, as well as clever lookalikes and reverse-engineered products which steal their sales. Companies have been forced to operate in the dark for much of that time due to fragmented data, networks, and sourcing arrangements that make it difficult to trace and authenticate. Manufacturers and stakeholders can now use blockchain solutions to detect and report fraudulent activity. Blockchain technology provides visibility, tracing, and record provenance data from source to sale and beyond for counterfeit detection.

Counterfeit products in the world economy: Introduction

A significant challenge in preventing counterfeit products is keeping track of products throughout the supply chain. The rise of global supply chains without any anti-counterfeiting technology makes tracking products from the assembly line to the store shelf more difficult. According to a WHO pooled analysis of 100 studies covering over 48,000 samples, 10.5% of drugs in low and middle-income countries are counterfeit or substandard.

Up to 30% of all drugs in circulation are fake, resulting in a million deaths per year, including 450,000 malaria-related deaths that could have been avoided. With pharmaceutical sales in these countries totalling nearly $300 billion per year, counterfeit medicine is a $30 billion industry. The global food industry is estimated to lose $10 billion to $15 billion per year due to counterfeit products in the food industry. Supply chains currently involve a complex network of players, each operating its own system. This complicates coordination and gives brand owners a skewed view of their operations.

Anticounterfeit Infographic

Advantages of Implementing Blockchain

Because blockchain technology provides a secure and trusted tracking system from the start of the supply chain to the end. Blockchain anti-counterfeit solution supports the initiative against counterfeiting by identifying the provenance (i.e., proof-of-origin) of a product. When integrated with IoT, it can be the best possible anti-counterfeiting technology in this age. Thanks to Blockchain’s ability to identify provenance, Legal enforcement agencies can now establish the counterfeit nature of products.

Companies use smart tags to implement a blockchain solution- provenance identification, which identify a product’s place of manufacture, track its location, and assign other relevant information to it at each stage of the supply chain. QR Codes, RFID Tags, and Signatures on Metallic or Ceramic Surfaces are all examples of smart tags. When a user attaches a smart tag to a product, the smart tag sends data to the Blockchain for each new transaction, along with immutable time stamps. As a result, a supply chain partner can trace a product back through the supply chain to see where and when it was created at any point along the way. Some of the ways in which the Blockchain can be implemented as an anti-counterfeiting technology are:

  • Counterfeit Prevention:

A blockchain platform combined with innovative packaging technologies improves supply chain control and empowers customers to verify products before consumption, thereby acting as a robust anti-counterfeiting technology.

  • Customer Retention

Because the brand can provide data granularity that would otherwise be impossible to achieve, customer relationships improve and become more valuable.

  • Customer Experience

Customers expect transparent, verifiable provenance information about the brand and the specific contents of the item they are considering purchasing, which improves customer satisfaction. The brand’s quality, unique characteristics, and long-term viability can be documented and improved (i.e., evidence-based provenance). The Blockchain allows for unmistakable proof of provenance.

  • Increasing Sales

Brand owners have only a limited view of consumption and consumer data in most cases. Creating a platform for consumers to provide information to brands about consumption and consumer information is necessary. Other data sets, such as shopping center locations and weather, can be overlaid on top of this data.

  • Supply Chain Collaboration

The establishment of shared, secure information flow records across networks of relevant supply chain transactions, processes, and partners is a crucial benefit of blockchain solutions for supply chain networks. When exceptions or disputes arise, this shared version of events allows for improved supply chain efficiencies, improved multi-party collaboration, and streamlined resolution processes.

  • Inventory Control

Because most countries’ distributor networks are opaque, there’s a chance that unsold items will be stockpiled, lowering prices. Blockchain technology provides additional information to businesses that enable “real-time” audits.

Influence of Blockchain Implementation in various sectors

Following are the examples of multiple industries are implementing blockchain technology for preventing counterfeit products:

  • The fashion, electronics, and pharmaceutical industries have all been hit hard by counterfeit products. Leading companies are turning to Blockchain anti-counterfeit solutions to identify product provenance, recognizing the importance of reducing counterfeit products in the marketplace.
  • In April of this year, the LVMH group announced a collaboration with Prada and Cartier to create the Aura Blockchain Consortium. It is described as the world’s first global luxury blockchain to allow consumers to track a luxury product throughout its life cycle.
  • Two dozen pharmaceutical companies, ranging from drugmakers to distributors and retailers, developed a blockchain platform to track prescription drugs worldwide in response to the FDA’s call in 2019 for companies to create pilot projects to test electronic inter-operable systems.
  • Honeywell is implementing blockchain technology to improve the security of its aerospace parts e-commerce market.
  • According to BCG, a business strategy consulting firm, businesses could reap financial benefits ranging from 2% to 5% of revenues by implementing blockchain-enabled product authentication in 2019.

Capabilities of MSRvantage in Blockchain

Track and Trace from MSRvantage helps businesses to eliminate counterfeit products and fraud by offering a complete picture of the product’s journey. Customers can be given access to data related to track and trace. Consequently the customers will gain trust, and be able to verify the product’s authenticity. MSRvantage’s Track and Trace solutions can be relied on by industries and organizations in various sectors for speed, transparency, traceability, efficiency, and accuracy.

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