Reducing possible lost sales and revenues due to fake products.

Arzneimittelfälschungen-Coronavirus

Coronavirus prognosis 2020: From fake news to counterfeit drugs

Fake news about the coronavirus is circulating as well as fake food supplements and the first counterfeit pharmaceuticals, which for example make claims of the sudden discovery of a miracle cure for the novel COVID-19 virus. They brazenly exploit the uncertainty and fear of many people in the current situation. But a much greater danger awaits us…

This forecast deals with the global problem of trade in counterfeit drugs: The marketability of the first coronavirus cures and vaccines, on which researchers and doctors are working intensively, will not only bring hope and healing, but will also open up an extremely profitable niche in the counterfeiting market.

Counterfeiters will soon find ways to imitate original coronavirus medicine and sell counterfeits both online and through the legal distribution chain. The following 3 facts support this forecast and more than clearly demonstrate the danger:

  1. Trade in counterfeit drugs has long been an established and highly professionalized organized crime, responsible for billions in losses and deaths.
  2. The fear and insecurity of people caused by the coronavirus pandemic is already being exploited by dubious online sellers.
  3. The first coronavirus-related counterfeits already became known: Counterfeit medical equipment is now among the top sellers online!

 

Arzneimittelfälschungen-Coronavirus

Coronavirus cure or coronavirus vaccine – when will they be ready for the market? And when will the first counterfeit drugs appear?

 

1. Trade in counterfeit drugs has long been an established and highly professionalized organized crime, responsible for billions in losses and deaths.

 

Trade in counterfeit drugs has become one of the biggest global problems: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 15 percent of all drugs worldwide are suspected to be fake, in Asia and Africa the figure is as high as 30 to 50 %. In German pharmacies and clinics, it is estimated that almost every 100th drug could be counterfeit.

In the EU member states, a considerable increase in trade in counterfeit drugs has been observed in recent years – despite strict regulations. In Europe alone, the pharmaceutical industry loses more than 10 billion euros a year, according to Europol and EUIPO (losses of retailers such as pharmacies not included):

EUIPO – The economic cost of IPR infringement in the pharmaceutical industry

Die EUIPO veröffentlichte diese Statistik:Die EUIPO veröffentlichte diese Statistik: Für die EU als Ganzes wird die Gesamtwirkung von Fälschungen auf 4,4% des Umsatzes oder 10,2 Milliarden Euro geschätzt. Dies ist eine direkte Schätzung der Umsatzverluste, die den rechtmäßigen Herstellern und Großhändlern von Arzneimitteln in der EU jedes Jahr aufgrund von Fälschungen entstehen.

EUIPO published these figures: For the EU, the total impact of counterfeit drugs is estimated at 4.4 % of sales or 10.2 billion euros.

 

For the criminals profits are much higher than in common drug trafficking. However, theft and resale of drugs and counterfeiting drugs are no longer the exclusive domain of dubious online providers. In German pharmacies, too, more and more stolen drugs, decanted, diluted and manipulated, are reappearing. In particular, more and more drugs are being stolen from Italian hospitals, such as the cancer drug Herceptin from Roche in 2014.

The manipulated Herceptin ampoules eventually turned up in German pharmacies. Counterfeiters were also able to smuggle these counterfeit drugs into Finland’s and Great Britain’s legal distribution channels seemingly without any difficulty. And this means huge sums were falling into the counterfeiters’ hands: 150 mg of the complex preparation against breast cancer is worth about 850 €!

The cancer drug has a biological half-life of 2-12 days and must be transported at a temperature of -20°C. It is rather inconceivable that the counterfeiters have paid attention to the correct storage temperature and corresponding transport conditions, so that the active ingredient contained will have lost most of its potency.

The counterfeiters have already built up a highly “professional” network – not only online – which seems to function smoothly. They also seem to be far ahead of the current, sometimes frighteningly outdated security systems of manufacturers and legal sellers. These experts will certainly not hold back in selling counterfeit coronavirus pharmaceuticals, because the estimated profit could exceed all previous prospects.

There is an enormous need for action at this point and it is precisely in relation to the coronavirus crisis that action must be taken NOW. Appropriate precautions must be taken as a matter of urgency even before the first drugs and vaccines against coronavirus will leave production, so that the counterfeiters cannot shamelessly exploit this situation and – in the worst case – lead to more fatal incidences.

In addition to the billions lost and the enrichment of the criminals at the expense of the health or even lives of victims, the companies’ reputation is affected as well. In the past, doctors and pharmacists often switched to preparations from other manufacturers as soon as cases of counterfeit drugs became known. The image damage caused by counterfeiters’ activity is clearly not the fault of these companies, but it takes years, perhaps decades, to rebuild their reputation usually with more investments in marketing and advertisements.

But in the meantime the counterfeiters do not sleep.

 

They will take one drug after the other for counterfeiting purposes and obviously it can hit the same company several times (and more certainly, it will, since counterfeiters will target them again and again thanks to their knowledge about how to steal products and reenter a company’s supply chain). Just take a look at the websites and landing pages of the big pharmaceutical companies (31.03.2020):

  • Bayer is warning of possible medical counterfeits in the legal distribution chain (in addition to counterfeit drugs sold through unauthorised distribution channels): 

“Warning about counterfeiting in the legal distribution chain:
Xarelto® 20 mg film-coated tablets in pack size N2 (28 tablets), lot BXHVHC3 in the Polish-Slovak style, are most likely counterfeit. If you have such a package, please contact us immediately.”

  • Pfizer does not provide information on counterfeit drugs on its German website. But it is no secret that the popular blue Viagra pill – Pfizer’s successful recipe for treatment of erectile dysfunction – is the most faked drug to date. Or at least one of them… The German newspaper BILD expresses it – as always – in a particularly radically way: “Rat excrements and lead paint in fake Viagra pills! That’s how dangerous the plagiarisms are.” Unfortunately, in many people’s minds, Pfizer has become the one big pharmaceutical company that represents the negative side of the pharmaceutical industry as a whole… The well-known company is struggling with massive reputation damage. Therefore, it is sometimes completely overlooked when the company is doing something good.
  • More current examples you will find among the Food and Drug Administration’s list: FDA alerts.

Both Bayer and Pfizer are on the front lines in the fight against the coronavirus. Bayer is already warning about criminals who are taking advantage of the current situation and the fear of the public on its landing page for counterfeit drug warnings. Pfizer outlines a five-point plan to battle COVID-19, calling on the entire pharmaceutical industry to cooperate in battling coronavirus instead of continuing to compete with each other. Together with BioNTech, they are also developing a vaccine against COVID-19.

The counterfeiters are unlikely to hesitate to take advantage of this… They have already had great success with Pfizer products and can easily go for it again!

2. The fear and insecurity of people caused by the coronavirus pandemic is already being exploited by dubious online sellers.

 

Apart from false reports on the coronavirus pandemic, that are based on political or religious interests, fake news have one intention in particular: to promote sales. Warnings of dubious health promises are also prominent online but these are few compared to the vast amount of sellers that are trying to take advantage of people’s fears.

Among others there is the false claim, that the “active ingredient chlorine dioxide” helps against coronavirus. This is a conventional bleaching agent, the oral intake of which can be very dangerous and harmful to human health.

The coronavirus market is booming for food supplements as well, as people are insecure and are looking for complementary preparations to support their immune system in its defence against the virus. Vitamin preparations and other products are being counterfeited. The new Golisan blog entry is mainly about dietary supplements that are aggressively advertised with the keyword corona.

“Other products are also aggressively advertised with corona hashtags
… from sweaters and socks to handmade Disney articles on Etsy – on this platform, for example, products relating to coronavirus have already been removed. The major marketplaces Amazon and Ebay are taking action against the corona traders as well. Amazon has already blocked and deleted tens of thousands of corona articles and sellers, that are trying to make a profit out of the uncertainty of customers by advertising their products with usurious prices.”

But the petty criminals, from food supplement counterfeiters to sellers on Social Media, Etsy and others, are far from being the real danger. These examples only show that all over the world there is a great willingness to engage in dubious online trading and turn a profit out of the crisis.

The real danger, however, is that the big counterfeiters will soon take the initiative. And this is only half a prognosis, because it’s a fact, that they are already doing so:

@europol.eu is posting about the current situation: thousands of online sellers and counterfeiters are trying to exploit people fears of coronavirus

Europol is posting about the current situation: thousands of online sellers and counterfeiters are trying to exploit people’s fears of getting sick and infecting loved ones. Unfortunately, there a only few such posts that are almost completely drowned in fake news and exploitative advertisements of face masks, disinfectants and a few weeks ago even pasta, that has been traded with like it was cocaine.

 

3. The first coronavirus-related counterfeits already became known: Counterfeit medical equipment is now a top seller online!

 

Coronavirus has already opened up this very profitable niche in the counterfeiting market: Criminals use the high demand in hygiene products driven by the coronavirus outbreak as a new business opportunity. The trade in counterfeit protective masks and other medical accessories has taken on radical, hardly scalable proportions in the past few weeks. According to Europol, about 34,000 counterfeit surgical masks were recently seized during a worldwide police operation.

The counterfeiters also fake antiviral drugs, for which, however, no effect against coronavirus has been proven so far. Europol has already seized 4.4 million units of illicit pharmaceuticals worldwide and 2.500 links have been taken down (including websites,  online marketplaces, adverts and social media).

But cybercrime doesn’t stop there. Many employees of large companies currently work on their less well-secured home computers and access employers’ networks from there. The lack of cybersecurity makes it much easier for counterfeiters to gain access to confidential data and valuable internal information during the coronavirus crisis, which can be misused in every conceivable way. This can be as easy as stealing the graphic designers’ coronavirus pharmaceutical packaging design.

The trade in counterfeit medical equipment not only demonstrates how fast counterfeiters can act, but also demonstrates the real danger: How many doctors in hospitals are unknowingly working with counterfeit masks that are permeable to the virus, at this very moment? How many medical assistants will infect themselves and others through fake equipment?

How many human lives are at stake?

Conclusion

 

What we need is a revolution in the fight against counterfeiting and an efficient solution that will enable us to detect counterfeit products such as counterfeit drugs, and, on the other hand, to verify the authenticity of original drugs and prevent major damage.

Arman Sarhaddar, CEO and Founder of Vault Security Systems AG and the new brand ivault, is sure that with the innovative application of blockchain we can drastically reduce the frightening numbers of counterfeit drugs. Many pharmaceutical companies already have QR codes on their packaging, but what is missing is the registration of their products in the blockchain, which offers the highest possible product safety and data security.

If Europe wants to be a blockchain pioneer, now is the time to implement a blockchain solution to solve this problem, because Blockchain technology does indeed provide the optimal solution.

 

iVault verified: Protect products against counterfeit

What are the consequences of piracy and trade in counterfeit products?

Counterfeit products: Here are some more insights from the event at Park Hyatt Hotel in Zurich following the question: Why do we need a product like ivault, that provides an even higher level of cybersecurity than any other technology can provide?

Our B2B product helps businesses secure their supply chain and protect their products from counterfeit and plagiarism. In addition, companies can track and manage their complete product life cycles easily through our application. In his presentation, CEO Arman takes a closer look at the counterfeiting market and the counterfeiters to assess today’s situation.

iVault verified: Protect products against counterfeit

ivault verified: Protect products against counterfeit and piracy.

Counterfeit products: the counterfeiting market is booming

 

Trade in counterfeit and pirated goods is an extremely dynamic and constantly changing phenomenon, as the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) states. A study was conducted based on half a million seizures of pirated products, that shows: In 2016, 3.3% of world trade falls into the counterfeiting market, and almost 6.8% of EU imports. These figures emphasize once again the need for coordinated global action against piracy and trade in counterfeits.

In his presentation, CTO Martin Beyer explained how companies like Golisan can protect their products with ivault. The ivault blockchain makes it easy to detect counterfeit products that entered the supply chain before major damage may be done to costumers or companies’ reputations. The ivault verified label will thereby serve as an effective deterrent to counterfeiting and fraud (and then, of course, to theft as well, concerning our B2C platform to register and search for lost and stolen items via ivault.app).

So with growing brand awareness of ivault, more and more counterfeiters will avoid messing with companies that have their products labeled as verified by ivault, because – thanks to the benefits of blockchain technology – it can expose their criminal activity pretty quickly. For further information on how ivault works, you can read this article here.

But, returning to the figures mentioned above, how can it be that pirated products and fakes amount to that much of world trade and EU imports? In this video Arman explains not only why the counterfeiters’ market is growing so fast but who they are and what they do. Don’t forget to change the settings in the bottom right corner of the YouTube video to turn on English subtitles:

How can we take action against counterfeiters and prevent at the same time?

 

To summarize what Arman says, the counterfeiters do not pay taxes nor invest in research and development. That is what the big companies do. So, one can easily conclude, how the counterfeiters display more growth than Belgium or Switzerland. As a consequence, this will cause job losses and an increase in government social expenditure.

From producer to end consumer the supply chain usually comprises wholesalers and retailers. But there can be many parallel imports and traders as well as several other distributors in the network. Somewhere in between a counterfeiter can infiltrate this system and channel counterfeit products into the process. In the internet there are more and more sneaky methods used to sell fake products. In both cases, these products usually do not comply with safety standards or limit values for ingredients (of medicine for example) leading to fatal incidences at worst.

But how can we avoid this with the ivault blockchain? The solution is simple: The producer prints a QR code onto the package of his product. Wholesalers, retailers, parallel distributors and traders have to scan this code with the ivault app in order to check if it is the original product. The information, that the product has arrived and has been scanned will be stored in the blockchain. The producer is able to check for example whether the product has been successfully shipped to and scanned by the wholesaler.

Thus the supply chain is completely transparent and data, once registered on the blockchain, cannot be manipulated or tampered with anymore. If suspicion arises, for example when a product is scanned but there is no information about it on the blockchain, you can easily narrow down the search for where the error occurred.

Arman is convinced that ivault will already achieve something outstanding by gaining control of 10% of the counterfeiting market. Would you like to know more about how ivault.app works? Leave a comment in the comment section below. We are looking forward to answering your questions.

If you have not yet subscribed to our ivault YouTube channel, you can click here to find Vault Security Systems AG on YouTube. We will soon be uploading more video content of CEO Arman Sarhaddar. You can also subscribe to the ivault newsletter here.

Martin Beyer CTO Vault Security Systems AG ivault management

Martin Beyer about the ivault application and Golisan

In short: This blog entry is the second part of the 3-part blog series on the information event at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Zurich which was held to demonstrate the current status of the ivault product development. In the first article we gave you information about the lost and found patent and how the B2C and B2B platform connected. This part also serves as the continuation of the article about the Swiss company Golisan, which you can quickly read here.

Martin Beyer CTO Vault Security Systems AG ivault management

Martin Beyer CTO, Vault Security Systems AG.

CTO Martin Beyer about the use case Golisan

 

Chief Technology Officer Martin Beyer has more than 20 years of experience in leadership of multi-cultural technology and development teams realizing award winning products in the field of mobile apps, color and appearance, virtualization, cloud services and many more. As he says in the video below, he is the one to look after the technological realization and implementation of CEO Arman Sarhaddar’s ideas about the ivault blockchain.

He demonstrated in his presentation how the application ivault.app works. The first custom-made B2C-solution to protect a business’s supply chain against counterfeit products was designed for the Swiss company Golisan. In this video you will be able to be part of the first view minutes of his power point which we had to shorten for privacy and data protection reasons. Don’t forget to change the settings in the bottom right corner of the YouTube video to turn on English subtitles, if you do not understand German:

As we mentioned in the first blog entry, the B2C platform is largely based on the B2B model. So, what are the advantages of what Martin is telling us here for the individual consumer?

Product safety

 

Product safety and cybersecurity concerns both companies and individual users of products, that is the B2B and B2C sector. In the end, the consumer – in this case: the buyer of the Golisan saffron extract drops – with the ivault app on his smartphone can scan the QR code that was printed on the package. He will be given all the information about the product and most important, as you can see in the screenshots from Martin’s presentation below, the comments:

  • “Product is genuine.” – It is with 100% certainty the trustworthy original. The customer got what he bought.
    or
  • “There is a high risk, that this product is fake.” –  It could be a fake, for example when the QR code of a company’s product using ivault.app is fake and the app says: No information found.
Product safety with ivault.app – Product is genuine. 

Product safety with ivault.app – “Product is genuine.”

This is how any information about any product can be provided, e.g. origin of the components and further instructions on how to apply the product. Thanks to the distributed ledger technology the information once added in the blockchain cannot be changed or tempered with anymore. And if someone tries to forge a QR code – a vain endeavor since it is not possible – the ivault app cannot find information about the scanned product. That’s how the individual user knows that there is a high risk, that the product is fake.

Product safety with ivault.app: There is a high risk, that this product is fake.

Product safety with ivault.app – “There is a high risk, that this product is fake.”

Would you like to know more about how ivault.app works? Leave a comment in the comment section below. We are looking forward to answering your questions.

If you have not yet subscribed to our ivault YouTube channel, you should do so: Click here to go to ivault on YouTube. We will soon be uploading more video content of CEO Arman Sarhaddar and more interesting information about the ivault concept. And if you want to get more information on this, you can subscribe to the ivault newsletter here.

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Exclusive event in Zurich: ivault vision & mission

On Thursday, November 7, 2019, the management team of Vault Security Systems AG invited investors, friends and partners to an information event at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Zurich to demonstrate the current status of the ivault product development.

This blog post is part of a 3-part series that will provide an overview of the 3 informative presentations by CEO and founder Arman Sarhaddar, CMO Lothar Rentschler, CTO Martin Beyer and the concluding discussion round. This part deals with the company’s focus on B2C and B2B.

iVAULT Protect what's your's

ivault – Protect what’s your’s.

B2C: lost and found patent

 

At the beginning of this exciting event, Chief Executive Officer Arman Sarhaddar told his own personal story: He himself was robbed a few years ago and not only suffered enormous financial damage. It was mainly personal possessions of great sentimental value – a complete music studio, expensive art objects and Persian carpets that he lost forever. In an earlier video, the CEO already told about this loss, which inspired him to start Vault Security Systems AG – together with a team that believes in the idea of protecting assets with the Blockchain and passionately (and from the beginning free of charge) supports the revolutionary product ivault.

So, in 2018, in addition to the idea of developing the ivault product for the B2C sector, a patent application was filed in the USA. The lost and found patent refers to the use of blockchain technology by each individual private user who wants to protect his material possessions and find them again if they are lost or stolen. Anonymity is an important aspect here: if a user places jewellery, his mobile phone or his sports car in the decentralised database, which is accessible to everyone, via ivault App or alternatively via the website, he remains anonymous. Neither the neighbour nor ivault can see which valuables the user has registered. Only in the event of a reported loss or theft is this information transferred to the centralized server and can it be viewed publicly in order to retrieve the item in question.

Arman Sarhaddar über die ivault Blockchain im B2C-Bereich, Park Hyatt Zürich

Arman Sarhaddar on the ivault blockchain in the B2C area, Park Hyatt Zurich.

After one year, the lost and found patent also became an international patent. Distributed ledger technology provides the population with a higher level of security for their property than ever before. If you look at some figures, you can see immediately and easily that there is no doubt about the need for this product:

  • Every week, 15,000 laptops are lost at airports – an absolute nightmare for business people, not because of the financial damage, but because of the loss of important data and work that has not yet been backed up. The family father and hobby photographer in this situation is likely to be upset by the loss of his children’s pictures.
  • Approximately 5 bicycles are stolen per minute worldwide – that is 2.9 million bicycles per year. In the case of motor vehicles, the figure is as high as 5.5 million, i.e. 13 per minute. If these bicycles are resold by the perpetrators, they can be easily identified and found by the previous registration on ivault. This will drastically reduce the currently extremely high numbers, because ivault makes the criminal business of the perpetrators riskier and much less lucrative.
  • In Germany alone, 100 million lost (or stolen) items are reported every year – in the USA the figure is as high as 400 million. You may have a good insurance policy that reimburses you for the current value of your racing bike or motor vehicle if the situation is clear. With stored data such as family photos or important, perhaps confidential business data, the situation is quite different. How much do you think ivault can reduce these dizzying numbers in the next 10-15 years? Leave us a comment below.

B2B: ivault for companies as the foundation for the B2C platform

 

In the past, we have reported many times on the supply chain solution that ivault offers in the B2B sector to protect companies’ value chains and make their products counterfeit-proof.

The B2B area is the foundation for the B2C platform. The business model is therefore two-pronged and includes both the B2C and the B2B platform and offers different functionalities for companies and end users. The problems ivault addresses – the rapidly growing counterfeiting market, loss and theft, financial loss and fatalities, and ruined reputation – affect both individual consumers and large businesses. With the current state of development, ivault has already created 70% of the basis for all further areas of application and use cases.

 

Das ivault Geschäftsmodell: Funktionalität der B2C- und B2B-Plattform im Überblick.

The ivault business model: overview of the functionality of the B2C und B2B platform.

ivault has developed a product with a user-friendly interface that allows users to register valuables easily and uncomplicatedly using the app or a website. The Asset Management Dashboard is based on distributed ledger technology. The standard ivault solution is practical and easy to use for both individual private users and small businesses. The system can be adapted to individual customer requirements. Here ivault offers numerous flexible solutions. 

This concept focuses on customer happiness and customer centricity. After all, it is important to first listen to your users and customers and then offer the relevant solutions. This is what Chief Marketing Officer Lothar Rentschler refers to in his presentation on marketing. Watch a video recording of his presentation here: Change the settings in the bottom right corner of the YouTube video to turn on English subtitles, if you don’t speak German.

If you have not yet subscribed to our ivault YouTube channel, you should do so later: Click here to go to ivault on YouTube. We will soon be uploading more video content from the event at Park Hyatt – including some exciting answers from Arman Sarhaddar to critical questions from investors and business partners present and a presentation by Chief Technology Officer Martin Beyer. The next blog post will focus on the implementation of the revolutionary idea, which the CTO will demonstrate in detail on the pilot case for the Swiss food supplement manufacturer Golisan. In an earlier blog post we have already given some insights into this first supply chain solution from ivault, which you can read here again.

Have you already subscribed to the ivault newsletter? If not, you can register here.

The ivault web application can be found here: ivault.app. Please help us to reach more people and share this article on your social media channels – with just one click below ↓ ↓

Mit dem privaten und dem öffentlichen Schlüssel Transaktionen sichern.

Arman Sarhaddar talks about counterfeiting

Arman Sarhaddar, the CEO and founder of Vault Security Systems AG was invited to write guest articles for Industry of Things, a German online platform for expert insights on topics we are all interested in like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain technologies.

This blog entry is giving you a translation of what Arman is talking about in his first guest article which is available in German here.

In short, Arman explains, that Amazon’s transparency program is still not the ultimate answer to the problem of counterfeit products. But the fact that one of the world’s largest online retailers is announcing that it will provide more transparency when it comes to product authenticity shows the urgent need for action.

Mit dem privaten und dem öffentlichen Schlüssel Transaktionen sichern.

The struggle with counterfeit products

 

A few weeks ago, the e-commerce giant Amazon announced that it was rolling out its transparency program in Europe. Manufacturers can then provide their authentic products with a QR code that provides retailers and customers with unambiguous proof of authenticity. In this way Amazon wants to counteract the flood of fake products and create more trust among its customers. The approach is basically welcome – but Amazon Transparency has limitations especially when it comes to some special groups of products.

With the Transparency program, Amazon is primarily concerned with improving its own image. The reputation of the US company has suffered from fraud, falsified valuations and product imitations, particularly among retailers. But Transparency is not equally suitable for all products. It is a form of labelling that works for goods that are actually primarily about authenticity, such as clothing and bags. However, this is not enough for products with an elaborate supply chain where claims for damages play a role. Examples include medical products. Customers in this sector have to be sure that they have not purchased a counterfeit, that could in the worst case be harmful to health. This is why tracking ingredients is critical in the medical sector in particular.

3 reasons why blockchain can help

 

First, once fed in data is unchangeable, subsequent manipulation is excluded. Another blockchain characteristic is that all available information is stored and verified decentrally on all computers connected to the network.

Secondly, the blockchain is virtually unhackable, since changes always have to be made in the majority of nodes.

Thirdly, transaction costs can be significantly reduced by skipping middlemen. In particular, the use of Smart Contracts simplifies data management and automation.

An example of how tracking can be implemented on the blockchain is the ivault pilot case with the Swiss company Golisan GmbH. Golisan produces herbal extracts which are sold online – mostly via Amazon. In view of counterfeit products and in terms of quality assurance, it is important to the manufacturer on the one hand to guarantee the authenticity to the customer and on the other hand to be able to trace the origin of the ingredients completely. Counterfeit food supplements are a lucrative business because they are less strictly monitored than prescription drugs. Fake products are sold via Amazon in particular, so the online giant recently sent a warning to affected customers.

Apart from the potentially serious consequences of taking counterfeit dietary supplements, the counterfeits have a negative impact on the business balance and reputation of the actual manufacturers. Beyond the authenticity guarantee, the manufacturer’s goal is to monitor the entire supply chain to provide maximum security for its customers. For this reason, all suppliers have access to the blockchain and can store information on the ingredients: from the harvest of the plant raw materials to their further processing and the container in which the product is sold. For this application, it is advisable to use software that has been developed for this kind of collaboration so that data can be exchanged with other areas of technology. This also facilitates the integration of the blockchain into the existing supply chain management.

Blockchain solutions can be implemented in a resource-saving way

One of the biggest points of criticisms frequently voiced about blockchain technology is its comparatively high energy consumption. However, a distinction must be made between mining activities, which are necessary for crypto currencies and are actually very energy-intensive, and applications for companies, such as securing the supply chain. The latter takes place in a private blockchain and without the computationally expensive proof of work. So the energy requirement is no higher than that for common web apps. Additionally, since fewer nodes are involved, the transaction speed can be increased.

Examples such as Amazon’s Transparency show that companies are concerned with the security of their goods against counterfeiting, but they are not yet exploiting the full potential that would be possible with blockchains. The technology has long since arrived in practice and simplifies processes beyond crypto currencies that were previously cumbersome or even impossible to carry out. When selecting a technology partner, companies should consider whether the solution can be well integrated into the existing IT. This will lay the foundation for more transparent supply chain security and valid proof of authenticity.

What do you think?

 

Industry of Things brings together experts from IT and industry to facilitate interdisciplinary exchange across boundaries. Not only more than 40 editors report on current developments in the Internet of Things and industry, but also experts whose proximity to practice offers a new perspective on applications, technologies or IT security as well as political and current topics. Arman Sarhaddar is from now on sharing his expert knowledge on blockchain and InfoSec on this high-ranking platform as well. We will keep you updated on a regular basis.

Have you already signed up for your copy of the ivault newsletter? If not, you can quickly subscribe here.

Join in the discussion and leave a comment. We will respond as soon as possible.

  • What do you think of Amazon Transparency and the potential of the ivault blockchain in this sector?
  • Soon you will be able to take ivault.app for a test drive… what do you think of it?
  • What other issues would you like to see discussed on our blog? Would you like more facts about blockchain, like we provide on FinTech, MedTech or luxury goods? Let us know in a comment below.

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ivault at malta ai & blockchain summit 2019

ivault at Malta AI & Blockchain Summit 2019

In short, part of Vault Security Systems AG’s management team represented the new brand ivault at the 2019 Malta AI & Blockchain Summit. We were excited to have the chance to get to know some of the 100 Startups, 700 Investors, 5500 delegates, and 150 exhibitors.

As you might guess, it was a great opportunity to network with other companies and professionals in the fields of blockchain, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and quantum technologies.

ivault at malta ai & blockchain summit 2019

ivault is growing by the minute

 

As you can see in the list provided above, this year we have already been to the World Economic Forum in Davos, and the Global InsurTech Summit in Istanbul. The Malta AI & Blockchain Summit is such a huge event that the island, which is a country of its own, has truly become the “The Blockchain Island”, if not “The Blockchain Country”.

2018 was the year Malta cemented itself as The Blockchain Island with the launch of three bills during the Malta AI & Blockchain Summit last November.

In 2019, the Blockchain & AI Nation is moving beyond the hype. The Maltese Government will enact a world first: a fourth bill, giving a D.A.O. its own legal personality. In addition, a task force is also working around the clock on a set of incentives that will support businesses in Artificial Intelligence.

Malta was another great opportunity to meet a lot of inspiring minds and their pioneer companies in blockchain and AI technologies. In the picture below, we had a chat with Hamza Afifi, the organiser of the summit.

From left to right: Lothar Rentschler, our CMO; Hamza Afifi, the administrator of the Malta AI & Blockchain Summit; Arman Sarhaddar, our CEO

From left to right: Lothar Rentschler, our CMO; Hamza Afifi, the administrator of the Malta AI & Blockchain Summit; Arman Sarhaddar, our CEO.

Due to the number of participants and visitors, we did extensive networking and capitalised on numerous new connections. Of course, the great lectures were noteworthy, too. With approximately 200 speakers, we didn’t get the chance to listen to every single one of them (even though we were interested in all of these). The keynote presentation was given by Joseph Muscat, the Prime Minister of Malta.

We also participated in some workshops and conferences. Our core issues were of interest:

  • Blockchain for Transport & Logistics, and
  • Blockchain for Healthcare.

These were all panel discussions with several participants.

People were also inspired by ivault, our global blockchain-based platform to protect company supply chains against counterfeit. Of course, we talked about InfoSec / Cybersecurity and GDPR Compliance as well. In just a few days, our network expanded grew significantly. In fact, we can’t wait for the next big event – hopefully we’ll see you there, too. In the video “Highlights | AIBC Summit May 2019” below, you can get an insight of the amazing atmosphere on the premises. The power of the forward-thinking attendees is striking.

What do you think?

 

If you didn’t have the chance to get to Malta and want to find out more, you can read this article about the first day of the AIBC Summit. Or you can read their magazine “Block”, a biannual publication on the pioneering applications of AI & blockchain technologies with a specific focus on the industry in Malta. It gives a quick overview of our experience there.

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Join in the discussion and leave a comment. We will respond as soon as possible.

  • What do you think of the AIBC Summit in Malta, have you been there?
  • Take ivault.app for a test drive soon… how could you ever be without it?
  • What other issues would you like to see discussed on our blog? Would you like more facts about blockchain, like we provide on FinTech, MedTech or luxury goods? Let us know in a comment below.

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CNN Interview iVAULT TV

CNN Interview: What is unique about ivault?

In short, ivault, our revolutionary product is once again in the spotlight: CEO Arman and COO Urs are interviewed by well-known CNN journalist Amanda Kayne. Watch the full-length interview below. You will certainly gain some new insights about the ivault Blockchain.

CNN Interview iVAULT TV

Already seen our informative interview on YouTube? No?
Then you should subscribe to our YouTube Channel right away.

Companies benefit from ivault

 

In our last blog post we told you about Arman’s successful appearance at the 2019 InsurTech Summit in Istanbul. A video was posted on LinkedIn, which you can watch here. But today we have even bigger news for you!

CNN Money’s ivault interview will be broadcast on television by CNNMoney Switzerland from May 27 to 31, 2019, and naturally, our product is the centre of attention as CNN anchor Amanda Kayne speaks with our CEO, Arman, as well as our COO, Urs.

For over 20 years, CNN’s Amanda Kayne has been known for her insightful reporting and engaging interview style. With a history of hosting guests ranging from Bank Julius Baer to SIX to Google, among others, it’s hardly surprising that she asks the right questions.

Chief Executive Officer and Founder Arman Sarhaddar starts by describing the product. For those who don’t yet know, ivault is a global network that registers and identifies its users’ assets, for example, lost or stolen items. This not only has advantages for the individual user, but companies such as Golisan also benefit from the innovative use of distributed ledger technology. These companies can use ivault to prevent counterfeit products from entering their supply chain, thereby damaging their reputation and destroying their customers’ trust.

We already know how Arman developed the idea from one of the first videos about ivault. Arman told the story of a personal theft that prompted the idea for the new platform. Having this techonology back then would have made it possible to track his stolen belongings.

Arman Sarhaddar proudly introduced the iVAULT product in an interview with CNN today.

Arman Sarhaddar proudly introduced the ivault product in an interview with CNN today.

Urs E. Gattiker, Chief Operating Officer, explains in more detail how blockchain technology works in the video below, and how easy it is to track if, for example, original parts were used to repair elevators or airplanes. Whether luxury goods like cars and watches or plant-based dietary supplements like Golisan‘s products (which have already been registered in the blockchain), you probably won’t find another technology that makes it so easy to ensure the safety of products in every imaginable area.

As Urs clearly explains, information security (InfoSec) also plays a vital role for Vault Security Systems AG. And hardly anyone knows more about data privacy and cybersecurity than Urs. Our team attaches great importance to ensuring the GDPR compliance of our customers organisations, according to EU standards.

So, what’s the goal now?

 

In the interview (see video above), Urs addresses a massive global problem:

…the latest data from the OECD already show that [in] 2016… 6.8% – and by the year 2020 it will be 10% – of all imported products into the EU, […] are counterfeit. And that’s what we want to reduce.

There could be far more counterfeit products than the study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) found, since there is probably a high number of unreported cases. The extent and effects of counterfeit or fake products can be devastating.

With ivault, this number can be drastically reduced, as it is easy to trace whether a product is original or not. The decentralised database ensures that information regarding a product can no longer be changed after being entered as part of registration or noting repairs. Such a change would require verifying thousands of public and private users’ computers before the blockchain would accept and integrate it.

For Vault Security Systems AG, the focus is always on customer service. Nothing is more important than meeting the demands of our users and keeping our promises. As Amanda Kayne puts it, “Sounds like the ideal solution for companies with great responsibility…” That is why we make sure our platform shares this responsibility, making the task of staying accountable considerably easier for our customers.

In your opnion, what other businesses should be using the ivault blockchain to protect their supply chain, so you can trust their products? What other issues would you like to see discussed in our blog? Do you still like information about FinTech, MedTech or luxury goods? Join in the discussion and let us know in a comment below. We will respond soon.

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Arman Sarhaddar iVAULT at InsurTech Summit, Istanbul, Turkey

Inspiring talk about ivault at InsurTech

In short: At the Global InsurTech Summit in Istanbul, CEO and founder of Vault Security Systems AG Arman Sarhaddar, gave an inspiring speech about the ivault blockchain and the future of the innovative use of distributed ledger technology. The event was a great success for all of us and the compliments stacked up quickly… Read this article in German here.

Click here to watch the Interview on LinkedIn

The ivault Speech

 

In the last blog entry you were given a concrete example of what the cooperation between Golisan GmbH and ivault looks like. Companies can now protect their supply chain from counterfeit products in a very simple way and thereby guarantee customer confidence in the authenticity of their optimally protected products. We also mentioned after visiting the World Economic Forum in Davos at the beginning of 2019 that parts of the management team were going to Istanbul to attend another big event: the Global InsurTech Summit in Istanbul.

Vault Security Systems at the 2019 InsurTech Summit in Istanbul

Vault Security Systems AG at the 2019 InsurTech Summit in Istanbul

As one of the speakers, Arman was once again able to eloquently and charismatically explain the ivault blockchain’s enormous market potential to his listeners. It brought people closer to the many advantages and opportunities that users of our global platform for the protection of material goods will benefit from when they register their products or possessions. This applies to large corporations and businesses as well as to private users who want to protect their luxury goods like watches, cars, or original works of art.

The InsurTech Hub Istanbul team then wrote:

Dear Arman,

We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude towards you for your motivational speech during the conference held in Istanbul. Your views on developing an effective insurtech strategy and its execution have broadened our horizons.

Please accept our appreciation for such a commendable job. Every participant will take your words into practice. You have covered essential elements of insurtech strategy and your description of how to execute it is remarkable.

We once again would like to thank you for such a wonderful speech and hope to get a chance to hear such speeches from you in future also.

Luckily, this interview from the InsurTech Summit was posted to LinkedIn a few days ago. So we are able to gain some insights without having been there. Arman’s keynote presentation on topics such as ivault FinTech or MedTech, InfoSec (information security), and cybersecurity was not the only focus of the team’s visit to Turkey. In addition, we also wanted to forge new contacts with interesting people who also represented their companies there.

Photos of the event can also be seen here.

iVAULT @ Global InsurTech Summit in Istanbul, Turkey

ivault @ Global InsurTech Summit in Istanbul, Turkey

But after this successful appearance the founder and his company hit the ground running and will soon move on to the Kapsch Security Day 2019 on 25 April 2019 in the Aula of Sciences in Vienna. This event deals with current security threats, as well as technological innovations and trends in the field of physical, organisational, and IT security. As you can see, it is an event ivault must attend.

So, in case you did not make it to Istanbul, here you have another opportunity to meet Arman Sarhaddar in person. But, if you don’t make it this time, your next opportunity will certainly come sooner, not later – guaranteed!

What is your opinion? Did you attend the InsurTech Summit in Istanbul as well? What was your impression? In your opnion, what other businesses should be using the iVAULT blockchain to protect their supply chain, so you can trust their products? Join in the discussion and leave a comment. We will respond soon.

Golisan iVAULT geschützte Supply Chain

Golisan protects their products with ivault

In short: The company Golisan GmbH has chosen our ivault product to protect their supply chain against counterfeiting and fraud. This news comes with an open invitation to meet us at the InsurTech Summit in Istanbul and the Blockchain Summit in Vienna. Read this article in German here.

Golisan trusts ivault

Golisan iVAULT geschützte Supply Chain

In an earlier blog entry about our WEF Davos interview with Jessica Walker, we discussed case studies, which interest to all of us. In this new article we offer more insights with another case study. In an effort to meet the highest safety standards, Golisan GmbH has chosen to begin protecting its supply chain by registering its products on the ivault blockchain.

Golisan is a Swiss company that makes and distributes plant-based nutritional supplements. Golisan products – mostly plant extracts – only contain the highest-quality natural ingredients. As the website states:

Our brand name Golisan stands for a return to nature and the recollection of the healing powers that so many plants possess. […] The quality of our products is our main concern, which is why we rely on ingredients from organic agriculture, bottle our extracts in Switzerland and are certified by Swiss Quality Testing.

As you can see, the production of Golisan products is already subject to strict controls. So the next step – to contact Vault Security Systems – was obvious. With their products registered in the ivault blockchain, the company can ensure that no counterfeit or fraudulent products are sold.

Golisan natural products - certified by Swiss Quality Testing and protected by iVAULT

Golisan natural products – certified by Swiss Quality Testing and protected by ivault.

Now, with the support of ivault, consumers will feel even safer in the future. Quality is close to Golisan’s heart. CMO Lothar Rentschler stated:

We are very pleased to be working with Golisan on a custom-made supply chain solution. With ivault’s multi-functional blockchain, we help Golisan improve product safety as well as information security. This is an important step for both Golisan and our brand ivault.

Using distributed ledger technology, Golisan’s customers can be certain they receive original Golisan Cinnamon Extract, made with Ceylon cinnamon and nothing else.

Now, about meeting us in person!

 

Members of the Vault Security Systems AG management team will participate at both the InsurTech Summit in Istanbul and the Blockchain Summit in Vienna at the beginning of April. We are glad to be there and look forward to meeting very interesting people, as well as connecting with new potential business partners.

CEO Arman Sarhaddar is giving a keynote and will be available to chat with you at the event. He will talk about much more than just Golisan’s natural products – there is still more to discuss when it comes to the ivault blockchain (e.g. the protection of luxury goods, medical or financial technology supply chains). Arrange your private appointment by reaching out directly to as@vaultsecurity.io.

Vault Security Systems at InsurTech Summit Istanbul 2019

Vault Security Systems AG at InsurTech Summit in Istanbul 2019.

Chief Marketing Officer Lothar Rentschler will be attending the ANON Blockchain Summit 2019 in Vienna. He will be happy to answer questions from interested investors and partners there. Appointments can be arranged in advance via lr@vaultsecurity.io.

Vault Security Systems at the ANON Blockchain Summit in Vienna 2019

Vault Security Systems AG at the ANON Blockchain Summit in Vienna 2019.

In short, ivault uses blockchain:

…an electronic database of transactions that is continuously updated and verified.
Blockchain offers a verifiable, immutable, and public record of transactions such as:

  • stock borrowing and lending,
  • transfer of product ownership,
  • repair or warranty work on a machine using genuine parts, AND
  • electronic patient records.

This digital ledger of activity helps buyers and sellers to be sure that what they purchase is the real thing and not counterfeit.

What other businesses should be using the ivault blockchain to protect their supply chain in your opinion? What other issues would you like to have discussed in our blog? What information do you still need? Please, tell us in a comment below. We will respond soon.

Getting ready for the boxlive.tv interview. From left to right: Arman Sarhaddar, Urs E. Gattiker, Jessica Walker (#WEFDavos)

ivault on bloxlive.tv – Interview at #WEF2019

In short: Vault Security Systems AG’s CEO and Co-Founder Arman Sarhaddar, and COO Urs. E. Gattiker were interviewed by Jessica Walker from bloxlive.tv during our visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos. Jessica Walker puts the pedal to the metal and starts by asking the really important questions that interest everyone the most. This blog entry is a short update, with the video of the interview, of course.

Watch the WEF Davos interview on bloxlive.tv here.

Urs E. Gattiker was networking in a room full of blockchain experts for a few minutes after one of the great presentations about cybersecurity and distributed ledger at WEF Davos 2019. Shortly after getting himself introduced to some people, Jessica Walker, together with her technician, was there and had convinced both Urs and Arman to do an interview with her.

Getting ready for the boxlive.tv interview. From left to right: Arman Sarhaddar, Urs E. Gattiker, Jessica Walker (#WEFDavos)

Getting ready for the boxlive.tv interview. From left to right: Arman Sarhaddar, Urs E. Gattiker, Jessica Walker @ WEFDavos.

Of course, there was no time for preparation, but in this case, it wasn’t necessary. Urs and Arman are both convinced that ivault, and its unique application of the blockchain technology will be of great use to everyone in the world. As you might expect, when Jessica started the interview by getting right to the heart of the matter, both of them had a lot to say. Case studies – and that’s what she dove right into – are probably of great interest to everyone when it comes to a concept like blockchain.

Speaking of case studies

 

…there are so many! Just consider the following:

  • How many companies suffer from counterfeit or fake products within their supply chain?
  • How many businesses have worked really hard in the past, earned a good reputation, and now have so many problems, because their high quality products are cheaply reproduced by other companies all around the world.
  • No single industry is completely free of these issues.

All companies have to tackle the problem of their products being forged by criminal enterprises. In some cases, honest companies do not even know that imitations of their products are being sold. If products were registered on the ivault blockchain, which provides the possibility of proving whether something is original, this would be revealed much sooner. In this way, companies could tackle the problem much earlier, before reputation and financial damage become irreversibly large. Also interesting: Blockchain? Deployment and value captured

ivault uses blockchain in an entirely new way

 

In the interview, Urs and Arman provide you a closer look at the connotations of the word “blockchain” itself. The ivault blockchain has no relation to things like Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. The ivault blockchain is about cybersecurity, which is why they like to talk about ‘distributed ledger systems’, helping people understand what this technology can do. The negative connotations that resulted from the earlier use of blockchain technology have nothing to do with the unique way ivault helps to solve some of the biggest problems in the world.

But what is your opinion on blockchain? Do you want to try ivault, or do you still have some concerns? Have you ever had a problem ivault would have immediately solved? Maybe you lost something of great value or bought a fake product? It must have been very upsetting. Tell us about it, we’d like to hear your story. Join in the discussion and leave a comment. We are looking forward to responding to you soon.