Blockchain cybersecurity: information security (InfoSec), data safety, DSGVO and compliance

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3 Digital Trends in 2021 for the Blockchain Revolution we need

Despite the many hurdles due to the global pandemic in 2020, Vault Security Systems AG was able to win many new clients and partners who think – and act – with us towards a better future.

According to CIO Applications, CIO Bulletin and Technology Innovators, we are among the world’s leading pioneers in blockchain and blockchain for supply chains. But in the fight against counterfeiting and fraud, the actual implementation of innovative ideas counts more than all the awards, publications on renowned platforms and invitations to international events.

That’s why we want to elaborate on 3 digital trends that blockchain can revolutionize in 2021.

In this blog entry you will also learn how ivault for companies and consumers can contribute to this development – with 3 strong Blockchain Use Cases.

Blockchain steht für Cybersecurity: Die Blockchain Technologie kann helfen Datenschutz und Datensicherheit zu erhöhen.

Blockchain 2021


What Technology Innovators says about ivault

 

Technology Innovators, the “New-age knowledge sharing platform,” ranks Arman Sarhaddar as one of the Top 25 Blockchain Technology CEOs 2020. They are writing:

 

Arman knew right from the start: Blockchain is much more than Bitcoin. And today, there are many blockchain providers trying to capture the Supply Chain market. But Blockchain Technology alone is only one side of the coin. It is the combination of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) with other technologies that is the way forward.

There is nothing more to do than to proudly agree with Technology Innovators: With our anti-counterfeiting technology ivault we really are among the pioneers.

Our platform helps not only companies protect products by shielding the entire supply chain against fraud and counterfeiting – thanks to improved supply chain transparency and traceability. ivault.app for a safer neighborhood enables consumers to protect their most valuable items and assets against theft and loss as well – not only in their immediate environment, but also on a global scale.

The difference between these two business models? With customized Blockchain solutions, companies benefit from the supply chain security and traceability provided by Distributed Ledger Technology. They can also provide customers with transparency regarding production conditions. Another advantage is that customers can thus check via smartphone that the products are indeed authentic originals.

 

3 digital trends and our Blockchain Use Cases

 

This month, Blockchain expert Arman Sarhaddar published an article about 3 striking digital trends that clearly emerged for 2021:

  1. The combination of established technologies with innovations such as Blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)
  2. Blockchain and sustainability: Sustainable business models are becoming increasingly important
  3. The social collective: digital solutions against isolation and loneliness during the global pandemic

These 3 digital trends call for a Blockchain revolution via innovations like ivault. Below we will demonstrate this with three of our Blockchain use cases.

1. Combining different technologies

 

There are many Blockchain companies and startups that claim expertise in the field. But Blockchain is not all that is needed for a digital revolution. The Distributed Ledger Technology can only develop its full potential when it is linked with other technologies.

Many technologies are already well established and mature in many aspects. Of course, these technologies must continue to be used and combined with Blockchain Technology, these are responsible for success. Providers of innovative solutions can be connected via APIs and integrated into an existing IT infrastructure, workflows and testing processes.

In this way, a familiar interface can be supplemented and optimized with additional functions, which can result in an enormous gain in efficiency. This is the case not only for Blockchain but for Artificial Intelligence and other innovations as well.

With ivault, for example, we are already using QR codes, NFC chips and GPS trackers in products that can be monitored using Blockchain tracking. This makes the supply chain, products, and manufacturing conditions completely transparent and traceable.

Blockchain Supply Chain Use Case Nr.1: Counterfeit and fake drugs

The great advantage in our case is that the technical weaknesses of QR codes, for example, can be offset by the high information security of a decentralized database. We have already demonstrated this with food products such as Golisan’s herbal extracts, which have been certified with the ivault verified label.

Putting QR codes on product packaging is a particularly cost-effective measure. But they can also be easily copied and then pasted onto a counterfeit product, for example. But the data stored in a decentralized way based on Blockchain Technology cannot be changed or manipulated.

So if each individual product receives its own unique QR code, as is the use case with Golisan, there can be no QR code twice. This means that counterfeiting can be noticed very quickly if duplicate or even multiply copied QR codes are scanned – e.g. by customers who unknowingly purchased counterfeit drugs from a dubious online pharmacy.

Right after the buyer scanned the QR code he can check for himself that the product was never sold to that online pharmacy by the drug manufacturer! – as long as the manufacturer makes this information available to the general public via the ivault app. He immediately gets a fake drug alert notice. And so does the manufacturer.

So – although the use of QR codes has been criticized time and again before – we have clearly created a new value here, thanks to the uniqueness of QR codes and Distributed Ledger Technology. Of course, even more secure – especially in relation to pharmaceutical products – is the use of NFC chips in combination with Blockchain.

In the coming year, we can look forward to more innovative linkages that combine the best features of multiple technologies and solve a variety of different challenges.

Supply Chain Fälschungssicherheit bei Golisan: Die Nahrungsergänzungsmittel von Golisan haben nun das ivault verified Label auf der Produktverpackung und je einen eigenen QR-Code auf der Etikette.

Anti-counterfeiting solution based on Blockchain at Golisan: Golisan’s herbal extracts now carry the ivault verified label on the product packaging and each bottle has its own unique QR code, to make the products 100% counterfeit-proof.

 

2. Blockchain and Sustainability?

 

Sustainable business models are the future. Because we won’t have any other.

As CEO Arman Sarhaddar puts it, “Sustainability has long been more than a buzzword – it’s a necessity, rightly demanded by both customers and business partners.”

Here are some examples for new business models that focus on sustainability:

  • Circular Economy (a model in which resources are not consumed but used and reused wherever possible)
  • new product paradigms such as the cradle-to-cradle design concept and
  • sustainable offerings in the financial sector

However, sustainability encompasses not only the ecological dimension, but also the social and economic dimensions. Technologies that enable sustainable business models to be successfully implemented and optimized will also be in high demand in 2021 and will be further developed.

This is also where Blockchain comes into play again – for example, in fishing and fish farming. Responsibly caught fish will become traceable through Blockchain Technology, and by monitoring the supply chain, substandard products can be detected earlier. New productions, recalls, and damages can thus be reduced.

Blockchain Supply Chain Use Case Nr.2: Sustainable Fashion

In the case of clothing, proof of sustainability is also becoming increasingly important: Buyers of these products want to be sure that their clothing is 100 percent sustainably produced, especially if they are expected to pay a higher price.

From the production of materials to the point of sale, every step in the complex supply chains of clothing manufacturers must be identifiable beyond doubt. If this is the case, counterfeit products on Ebay or Amazon, for example, can be quickly identified.

In addition to authentication via smartphone, thanks to ivault, consumers also get the transparency they want regarding sustainable materials and fair production conditions – whether it is sustainable fashion, branded clothing or luxury goods like watches as well as fish, meat or other foods.

Blockchain is setting a new benchmark in consumer trustivault is the prime example of the new way of connecting manufacturers and consumers – a Blockchain-based communication channel that increases trust in a brand. This can also increase brand awareness. Companies, on the other hand, know the buyers and owners of their products.

3. Togetherness – during and after COVID-19

 

The year 2020 has shown us more than clearly that digital solutions can make a very valuable contribution to strengthening interpersonal relationships and counteracting isolation and loneliness caused by COVID-19-related “Social Distancing”.

Providers for video conferences like Zoom, collaborative communication tools like Slack, and in the private sector apps like Houseparty already experienced a high demand during the first lockdown. Traditional social media platforms like Facebook, on the other hand, are losing relevance. Thus there is clearly a need for new technologies that can connect people and better replace real physical interaction digitally. The need for digital networking options will continue to grow in 2021.

Last but not least, the current crisis is leading to more solidarity between and among people. The great willingness to go shopping for people from at-risk groups is just one example. This greater networking in one’s own neighborhood and the renewed recognition of how valuable it is will give a particular boost to digital platforms that bring people together at the local level.

The Forrester study “2021 Predictions” also points to these developments, which play a central role for customer service and the authentic communication with customers as well. The goal of every company should be to anticipate consumer behavior and needs. These resources can provide important insights:

Blockchain Use Case Nr.3: Digital tools for a better local community

While digital solutions for local networking among people will be on the rise, data protection and information security will also become an even more relevant topic in 2021. Proper handling of customer and user data in compliance with the GDPR is central to the implementation of new digital solutions such as the ivault.app for consumers.

ivault brings people together locally, enables trusting and secure coexistence in every neighborhood. In doing so, the technological properties of Blockchain guarantee the highest possible protection for user data – while many apps collect vast amounts of personal data and users are hardly aware of what their apps know about them.

Our Blockchain-based platform is anonymous. Users decide for themselves when to disclose what data about themselves.

For example, a user can register his brand new e-bike in his anonymous Blockchain wallet at ivault to protect it from loss and theft. Not even we know, who has entered what valuables and items in our decentralized database, because we do not collect any of this personal data.

However, if the e-bike is stolen, the owner can report the theft via ivault, making it public for his neighborhood and surrounding areas. This is the only way that the stolen bike, a lost wallet or a runaway dog can be found and returned to the owner by someone nearby. A trustworthy babysitter or tutor nearby can also be found more easily this way, of course.

More importantly, the owner briefs his neighborhood of theft crime going on nextdoor. ivault thus acts as a cornerstone of a safe, responsible and trustworthy neighborhood. Crime prevention is guaranteed, because fraud and theft are hardly left any room, as ivault supports the entire community to keep an open eye for fellow citizens – without much effort, because every user receives important notifications such as theft reports directly on their smartphones.

 


Summary
10 Advantages of the Blockchain solution ivault

 

ivault has set itself the goal of establishing a new standard in anti-counterfeiting using Blockchain Technology. That is, for every company, every product and every individual consumer. In an earlier article, we already pointed out some advantages of the ivault Blockchain solution, which we want to summarize for you again in the following paragraphs:

1. Combining innovative and well-established technologies

The potential of ivault Blockchain lies in the combination with other established technologies such as NFC or GPS. In doing so, the customized Blockchain solution can be easily integrated into an existing Supply Chain Management system to increase anti-counterfeiting, traceability and transparency. Within a short time, we were able to implement this for the company Golisan, for example.

2. Supply Chain Traceability

Every production step in the supply chain is traceable in the long term. The manufacturer has real-time information about where a product is located or which production step it is currently undergoing – including suppliers, intermediaries and distribution partners. This makes it easy to trace where counterfeit products might have entered the process.

3. Supply Chain Transparency

With the help of ivault, the entire supply chain thus becomes transparent – for the manufacturer as well as for the end consumer, who nowadays is very concerned about sustainability, animal welfare and fair production conditions. The manufacturer can use our B2B solution to give environmentally conscious consumers the transparency they desire.

If a buyer scans the QR code on a Golisan product, for example, he or she gets all the information about the ingredients and their origin – full supply chain transparency thanks to Blockchain Technology. With its herbal extracts, the Swiss company is thus unrivaled on the food market so far …

4. Significant damage reduction for companies

Financial losses and damage to a company’s reputation are reduced because counterfeit products that infiltrated the supply chain can be detected much faster thanks to ivault. Consumers are thus less likely to be harmed by cheaply produced imitations such as fake drugs.

Corona Arzneimittelfälschungen, Fälschungssicherheit Supply Chain Transparency

Whether it’s imitations of branded clothing that are contaminated with pollutants, harmful counterfeit drugs, or defectively imitated spare parts for elevators, motor vehicles, or even airplanes – product counterfeiting entails serious, sometimes fatal consequences. These risks can be drastically reduced with the help of our Blockchain solution.

5. Preventive counterfeiting protection with the blockchain

Being able to track exactly where counterfeiters have infiltrated a supply chain also serves to prevent counterfeiting and fraud attempts. The efficiency of Blockchain, in terms of traceability and supply chain visibility, is an effective deterrent against counterfeiters who fear that their criminal activities will be exposed even before they are able to make a profit.

For companies that have already implemented our technology, this competitive advantage is essential. Thanks to ivault, they have not only an preventive anti-counterfeiting solution, but they were also able to build a new relationship of trust with their customers. For the competition, on the other hand, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make up for this deficit.

6. Consumer trust thanks to transparency and authenticity

The many advantages of ivault for companies have a particularly positive effect on the customer relationship, because the customer also has many advantages thanks to ivault. First, he can have full transparency when it comes to sustainable products, fairtrade and animal welfare. Secondly, consumers can easily check at any time from anywhere with any smartphone whether they bought an original product. This enables consumers to gain new trust in a brand – even after previous damage caused by counterfeiting.

7. Crime prevention in local communities

Not only global counterfeiting crime can be drastically reduced by ivaultivault also has a preventive effect on the environment of individual consumers. A neighborhood that uses ivault to recover stolen items, such as bicycles, actively tackles theft crime. Bicycle thieves and other criminals are effectively put in their place as a result.

Is it that simple? Yes. An effect deterrent to prevent theft crime can be something as simple as an ivault sticker. Thus the owner can put the ivault logo on his bike after registration and flagrant thieves will immediately see that the owner uses ivault. Thus the owner will report a theft as soon as he notices and thereby informs and alerts the entire neighborhood! The criminal must fear that he will no longer remain undetected.

8. Guaranteed Data Privacy

Data is stored in a decentralized way. This means that once data have been entered, they can no longer be manipulated. This ensures the highest level of information security and makes fraud virtually impossible – a huge benefit not only for businesses and consumers, but also for the whole insurance industry! Furthermore, the Blockchain is anonymous. We do not steal customer data. Read more about the advantages of blockchain technology here.

9. Sustainability and scalability of our Blockchain solution.

Blockchain scalability in the crypto sector has become one of the biggest challenges, especially for the giants Bitcoin and Ethereum. The culprit is the somewhat outdated, energy-consuming proof-of-work algorithm. ivault, on the other hand, deliberately does NOT use this algorithm. Our blockchain technology is scalable. This means we can even perform 100,000 transactions per second if needed.

However, the ivault Blockchain has nothing to do with FinTech and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Bitcoin mining in particular is known for being environmentally harmful and consuming a lot of energy. But Distributed Ledger Technology can also be implemented in an environmentally friendly way – as in our case.

10. Trust, security, comfort & happiness

All this leads to more security, trust and satisfaction on both sides: Both supply chains and products, homes and neighborhoods become more secure thanks to ivault. Companies and consumers can trust each other, while at the same time companies can better trust their business partners and individual users can better trust their peers. The insurance industry will also happy to see fewer fraud claims.

Blockchain enables a win-win situation in which all parties benefit and can live more comfortable, carefree and happy lives.

Blockchain AIM 2020: blockchain for supply chain and fighting the pandemic

Future of Blockchain Technology in Supply Chain Management 2021

At the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) Congress 2020 in Dubai, CEO Arman Sarhaddar spoke about the future of Blockchain technology for supply chains in the fight against COVID-19. You can watch the #AIMDigital video below.

It is no secret, that Supply Chain Management became a challenge during the pandemic: Supply Chains were disrupted and many other problems occurred. But these issues showed once more the potential of Blockchain Technology.

We need to take action, but people are afraid of change… So, what can we say about Blockchain 2021? And how can we build trust in Blockchain technology?

Blockchain AIM 2020: blockchain for supply chain and fighting the pandemic

Blockchain technology in supply chain management: At the Annual Investment Meeting #AIMDigital 2000, Arman Sarhaddar, CEO and founder of Vault Security Systems AG, appeared alongside speakers from renowned companies such as Siemens, Microsoft, Pfizer, General Electric, Philips, Agility, Cigna Insurance, Hyperledger and many more.


1. Blockchain Technology in Supply Chain Management

 

In October, Arman Sarhaddar, the inventor of ivault, was personally invited by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to speak at #AIMDigital 2020.

In this article you will find a summary of his impressive speech “Future of Blockchain and its Impact on Supply Chain and fighting the Pandemic”. We will also provide you with further information about the topic.

The Annual Investment Meeting is a special event for technological innovations and interested investors from all around the world. We were honored to have this great chance to be heard and to connect with new partners.

Here you can watch the video recording of the transmission on October 21, 2020:

 

2. Challenges in Supply Chain Management

 

The pandemic has forced us to make changes in many areas. But above all, COVID-19, truly a catalyst of digitalization, forces us to be open to these changes.

To understand the impact of COVID-19, Arman takes one step back first: to the time before the pandemic.

For several years pre-COVID, consumers have already been more and more concerned with quality, sustainability and climate impact of products. For example, more people buy regional and organic food. Certifications, quality assurances and supply chain in general, has become a topic for consumers.

Mainly, production conditions help consumers to evaluate products in concrete terms. Thus, a lack of supply chain transparency can also have a negative impact on their purchasing decision.

However, seals and certificates only partially fulfill consumers’ wishes for more transparency. Sometimes even certified products were not up to standards, for example in regard to organic certifications. Thus, governments are now establishing frameworks to dictate to companies quality requirements, which are slowly becoming more popular.

 

3. Impact of COVID-19 on Blockchain

 

At the beginning of the 2020 pandemic, the shortcomings of many supply chains were exposed.

There were many serious disruptions, for example in the supply of food. Supply bottlenecks in the pharmaceutical sector also became more serious.

Consumer behavior and regulations created challenges and requirements. And so did COVID. COVID-19 has created many problems, but also opportunities for change. As bad as the pandemic was and still is, these problems give companies the opportunity to revise processes and tackle inefficiencies.

This is exactly where Blockchain technology can help:

It provides platforms for the transmission and data exchange with the highest reliability and cybersecurity (#InfoSec). It provides platforms for process optimization and automatizations. And it can make different systems interoperable, to work together in a much more efficient way.

Undoubtfully, the digitalization, which is still far behind in many industries, has been fueled by the pandemic in all sectors. COVID-19 has boosted the realization of the immense potential of Blockchain technology.

The grave disruptions many businesses encountered made it obvious that there is a need for the implementation of such innovative solutions for supply chain management.

Arzneimittelfälschungen-Coronavirus

Blockchain technology against counterfeit drugs on the Internet: In the pandemic, more pharmaceutical products are ordered online. With ivault, the end consumer himself can perform a simple authenticity check with any conventional smartphone to ensure that a purchased product is an original.

 

4. The Future of Blockchain technology

 

Nevertheless, we have to keep in mind, for supply chain management and optimization, Blockchain technology is not enough on its own. It can provide astonishing links, connections and integrations.

But to use the full potential of Blockchain technology, we need 3 things:

  1. to provide standards in data integration and exchange,
  2. to meet transparency and privacy requirements of companies, clients and regulators, for example with permissioned systems, and
  3. to connect Blockchain with other technologies, such as NFC, GPS, etc.

Thus, at Vault Security Systems AG, we are combining permissioned blockchains with technologies such as NFC, RFID, GNSS, GPS. Working with permissioned blockchains meets all requirements:

  • Companies decide what and how much to disclose.
  • Clients can rely on privacy.
  • Regulations can be met without compromising security.

When speaking about building trust, what ivault for supply chain management provides, is: A secure ledger for data exchange, where companies can decide what they want to share with each other, and with everyone else, while the data companies decide to keep private is encrypted with the best available security.

P.S. If you would like to learn more about ivault, please read our article about our news from Silicon Valley: CIO Applications rates ivault among the Top 10 Blockchain Solutions of 2020.

Besides Supply Chain Management, there are many other areas of application for Blockchain technology. In the pandemic, healthcare is another focus of the Blockchain pioneers.

Blockchain could have prevented, what just happened in Finnland: According to CNN, patients have been blackmailed after their sensitive health data, namely psychotherapy records, were stolen by hackers.

Following Dr. Efrat Shefer (Philips), Jerome Droesch (Cigna Insurance) and Sinan Atlig (Pfizer) for example, who, along with CEO Arman Sarhaddar, also acted as #AIMDigital Speakers, the pandemic accelerates the adoption of new technologies in healthcare as well. Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Blockchain play a central role.

Fälschungsschutz Blockchain Supply Chain 2020

Blockchain 2021: The general public’s confidence in Blockchain technology will increase dramatically once end users see Blockchain in their everyday lives. In the supermarket. In the pharmacy. At the doctor’s. Or at home. The question is not if, but when it will happen.

 

5. Outlook: Building trust in Blockchain 2021

 

Despite all this, a large number of companies are still struggling. What is holding them back?

One of the main problems is the lack of trust in Blockchain technology. A lot of people (and decision makers) are afraid of change. They are reluctant to implement new technologies that they cannot fully grasp.

Blockchain technology is still seen in connection with cryptocurrencies and FinTech. However, today’s Blockchain solutions like our product ivault are more energy efficient, sustainable and scalable than the old algorithms of some cryptocurrencies. Furthermore our Blockchain app is GDPR compliant.

What many companies do not know is how easy it is to implement Blockchain technology: It can be added to an existing Supply Chain Management system. Established processes do not have to be reinvented from the bottom, but can be retained and optimized using Blockchain technology.

In order to strengthen the confidence of companies, decision makers have to be more educated about the advantages of Blockchain technology. They do not have to understand every technical detail.

These advantages can be summarized in 3 core statements:

  • Blockchain means increased efficiency in various areas.
  • Blockchain brings information security at the highest level.
  • Blockchain is a clear competitive advantage – especially, for those who act fast…

On the other hand, public trust will significantly increase when end users see Blockchain in their everyday life. Online and offline. In banking or trading applications. In certificates for quality, origin and production conditions of everyday consumer goods such as food.

In the supermarket. In the pharmacy. At the family doctor. At home.

The question is not if, but when  it will happen.

 

P.S. Here is the Thank You Letter, we received from Dubai a few days ago – along with an invitation to join the Annual Investment Meeting again next year. We are looking forward to seeing you there in 2021!

Annual Investment Meeting Thank You Letter for Speaker Arman Sarhaddar

Annual Investment Meeting 2020: Thank You Letter for Speaker Arman Sarhaddar, inventor of the Blockchain app ivault.

 

Fälschungsschutz Blockchain Supply Chain 2020

Supply chain: Counterfeit protection with blockchain – a competitive advantage?

ivault secures supply chains and fights counterfeit and fraud using blockchain technology. Now, according to CIO Bulletin we are among the 30 Most Influential Companies of the Year 2020.

The interview with CIO Bulletin below focuses on counterfeit protection and fraud prevention in B2B, which is also the basis for our B2C platform, a global lost and found database based on blockchain. We also provide you with the 7 main benefits of our innovative, scalable and sustainable blockchain solution for supply chain management – altogether a major competitive advantage for companies.

The counterfeiting market is not only causing trouble for manufacturers of luxury goods. Pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies and patients who are dependent on drug treatment also suffer from the consequences of counterfeit products.

Unfortunately, fatal incidents occur time and again.

Fälschungsschutz Blockchain Supply Chain 2020

Blockchain for counterfeit protection and supply chain transparency: Everyone talks about Bitcoin, but there is much more to blockchain than cryptocurrencies. Soon the first corona vaccines are on the market… as well as counterfeit drugs. ivault for supply chains is one of the best solutions available in the fight against fraud and counterfeiting.


Blockchain for supply chain management

 

Earlier this year Vault Security Systems AG was recognized by CIO Applications from Silicon Valley as one of the best blockchain solution providers in 2020.

Last month CIO Bulletin approached us as well. CIO Bulletin is a leading platform and central resource for information about business & IT executives. Technological innovations are at the forefront of its print and online productions. Decision makers receive support to help them make the right choice in shaping new corporate strategies and achieving corporate goals.

The initial situation: Today’s standards in counterfeit protection can hardly compete with the booming counterfeiting market. The consequences are not only financial losses for companies. Cheap counterfeit clothes, for example, are produced under environmentally harmful and inhumane conditions. Above all, however, it is the production and distribution of counterfeit drugs that causes health damage and deaths.

In particular, the current situation around COVID-19 is shamelessly exploited. There are already warnings about fake news and fake vaccinations in every country. But since lockdown, people also order a lot of other drugs over the Internet, which is teeming with bogus and fake drugs.

This is where we must take action as quickly as possible! In order to be superior to the counterfeiters, a technological innovation like our B2B solution is urgently needed.

According to the experts at CIO Bulletin, we are therefore one of the 30 Most Influential Companies of the Year 2020.

 

Competitive advantages with blockchain technology

 

ivault‘s mission is to establish a new standard in counterfeit protection with the help of blockchain technology – for every company, every product and every single consumer.

We have summarized the 7 key benefits of ivault below, so you see the competitive advantage companies can gain by implementing the ivault blockchain:

1. Sustainable blockchain solution

Our Blockchain has nothing to do with FinTech and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Bitcoin Mining is known for its environmental impact and high energy consumption. The distributed ledger technology can also be implemented in an environmentally friendly way as in our case: We need just as much energy as your computer at home uses, when you access the Internet.

The supply chain transparency provided by our blockchain solution can also be used to inspect production conditions in terms of sustainability. On top of that, the ivault blockchain can be integrated into an existing supply chain management system to increase counterfeit protection. This is what we did for the Swiss company Golisan.

Supply Chain Fälschungssicherheit bei Golisan: Die Nahrungsergänzungsmittel von Golisan haben nun das ivault verified Label auf der Produktverpackung und je einen eigenen QR-Code auf der Etikette.

Supply chain management and counterfeit protection at Golisan: Golisan food supplements now have the ivault verified label on the product packaging and a unique QR code on each product’s label.

2. Scalable blockchain solution

Our blockchain for supply chains is scalable. We can perform 100,000 transactions per second when needed. In comparison, scalability in the crypto sector has become one of the biggest challenges, especially for Bitcoin and Ethereum. This is due to the somewhat outdated, energy-consuming proof-of-work algorithm. ivault, on the other hand, does NOT use this algorithm.

3. Cybersecurity (InfoSec)

With blockchain, data is stored in a decentralized manner, which increases cybersecurity immensely compared to other technologies. All entries are individually encrypted. This means that once information has been entered, it can no longer be changed or tampered with. This is the highest possible level of information security nowadays.

In comparison, most companies store important data on a centralized server, that is: all in one place. This server can easily be hacked – something we hear about almost every day. If it crashes due to a hacker attack, the company itself might no longer be able to access its own data. Costumers, on the other hand, complain that they cannot access the company’s digital services anymore.

Thanks to the distribution of data to several nodes (individual computers) in a global network such attacks are no longer possible with our blockchain application.

On top of being one of the most secure technology available so far, the blockchain is anonymous. We do not steal data from our users. More about the advantages of blockchain technology can be found here.

4. Supply chain transparency and traceability

Thanks to ivault, every production step in the supply chain is traceable. For this purpose, each entry is time stamped. The manufacturer knows at any time where a product is located, from the supplier to the distributor and the final destination, the end consumer. In this way, it can be easy to trace where counterfeit products infiltrated the distribution chain.

In this way, the entire supply chain will also be much more transparent. The modern end consumer thinks about manufacturing conditions, e.g. sustainability a lot. The manufacturer can use our B2B solution to provide the environmentally conscious consumers with the desired transparency regarding production conditions.

If a buyer scans the QR code on a Golisan product, he gets all information about the ingredients, our suppliers, etc. – full transparency. The Swiss company is thus unrivaled on the market for food supplement…

5. Consumer trust

All of this has a positive effect on the relationship with the customer as well. ivault is a new way of connecting, a connection between manufacturer and consumer. The blockchain-based communication channel can increase trust in a brand even after previous damage caused by counterfeiting. This can also help rebuild the companies’ image and increase brand awareness.

6. Damage reduction

Financial losses are reduced because counterfeit products can be detected much earlier – before any major damage is done. End users are also less likely to be harmed by cheaply produced imitations such as counterfeit drugs.

Corona Medikamente Fälschungen, Fälschungsschutz Supply Chain

Whether we talk about imitations of branded clothing contaminated with harmful substances, counterfeit medicines or faulty replicas of spare parts for motor vehicles or even airplanes: Counterfeit products have serious consequences for us and our entire environment. Solutions for supply chain transparency, traceability and counterfeit protection are desperately needed.

7. Counterfeit protection and prevention

The fact that it can be traced where the counterfeiters have infiltrated a supply chain also serves to prevent counterfeiting attempts. The efficiency of the blockchain in terms of traceability and supply chain transparency is an effective deterrent, because counterfeiters do not want to stumble into the spotlight of such a superior technology for counterfeit detection…

For companies like Golisan, who have already implemented our technology, this competitive advantage is very important. ivault enables them to build a new relationship of trust with customers.

For the competition, on the other hand, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make up for this deficit.


Upcoming speech at 2020 AIM Congress

 

A few days ago a personal invitation by Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, reached us. We are very pleased to announce CEO Arman Sarhaddar’s speech at the 10th Annual Investment Meeting in Dubai.

Blockchain AIM 2020: blockchain for supply chain and fighting the pandemic

Blockchain for supply chains: Register now for the the FC Session 8: “Keynote: Future of Blockchain and its Impact on Supply Chain and fighting the Pandemic?” on October 21, 2020 at 15:00 to 15:20.

AIM Digital is the largest deal-making virtual platform for the global investment community launched by the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Annual Investment Meeting. With the theme “Reimagining Economies: The Move Towards a Digital, Sustainable and Resilient Future,” this major initiative is scheduled on 20 – 22 October 2020.

The very first digital edition of the Annual Investment Meeting will utilize virtual technology to generate, showcase, and facilitate the most attractive and secure investment projects and opportunities for investors from different parts of the world, providing boundless possibilities across diverse sectors leading towards economic recovery, transformation, and sustainability.”

Vault Security Systems AG is listed in the category “Future Cities” among this year’s speakers from renowned companies such as Siemens, Microsoft, Pfizer, General Electric, Philips, Agility, Cigna Insurance, Hyperledger and many more.

There are clearly no more words needed to explain the potential of our innovative application ivault. We hope you have the chance to take part in this great digital event.

 

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:

Arzneimittelfälschungen-Coronavirus

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


3 facts on counterfeiting and where it will get us

 

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.

 

Arman Sarhaddar, inventor of the innovative product ivault Blockchain Insider features our startup Vault Security Systems AG as one of Europe's pioneering blockchain companies.

Europe as blockchain pioneer (with ivault leading from the front)

In short: Earlier this week Arman Sarhaddar, CEO and founder of Vault Security Systems AG, published a guest article on a leading German news website on blockchain. Our blog entry will provide you with a detailed summary of the 3 things that are being focused on in his German article here.

Arman wrote, the principle of double-entry bookkeeping was invented over 500 years ago. It was intended to bring more transparency and better traceability. The new method revolutionized accounting and paved the way for global capitalism. However, an intermediary was needed to track and confirm the entries of the two parties involved. Blockchain technology now wants to stand in for exactly this intermediary party.

Arman Sarhaddar, inventor of the innovative product ivault Blockchain Insider features our startup Vault Security Systems AG as one of Europe's pioneering blockchain companies.

Arman Sarhaddar – inventor of the innovative product ivault.
The renowned German website blockchain-insider.de features our startup Vault Security Systems AG as one of Europe’s pioneering blockchain companies next to Telefonica Germany and Amazon Web Services Germany.

What has already been implemented and can be described as established in the financial sector, will soon be successfully transferred to any industry that relies on an auditor, certification or intermediary in any process: from accounting and auditing to origin verification and claim handling. They all start to benefit from solutions based on blockchain technology.

It is essential to have the unquestionable assurance of using an authentic product in the case of medicines and medical products or high-priced branded goods – to name just a few applications that have already proven themselves in practice. Blockchain can provide complete traceability of any supply chain, thus giving all parties the necessary security.

1. Not everyone needs detailed knowledge about how blockchain works

 

The fact that a large part of the population does not have a precise idea of how the distributed ledger technology works is not a problem: it is even a basic principle of the blockchain that its application happens in the background, as a basis on which processes and user interfaces are built on. What is important is not how it works, but that it does work and that it makes things easier, faster and cheaper.

You can read in our last blog entry for example how efficient the ivault blockchain will be in taking action against counterfeiters and the counterfeiting market.

2020 could be the year in which Blockchain is first used on a large scale. Many solutions that improve and innovate processes and methods are ready for the market or will be very soon, as we were able to see at the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020. There was one jumping point in particular that was discussed among blockchain and IT experts at the annual meeting there: For the technology to be fully adapted, it is crucial that the various solutions become interoperable.

On top of that, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has already outlined the need for interoperability in a position paper:

Can Blockchain revolutionize international trade?

It states that the blockchain community is aware of the urgency and is actively seeking technical solutions, some of which are now being tested and further developed. Also our impression of the WEF confirms that in the coming years different blockchains, both public and private, will become compatible with each other. The possibilities of a unified blockchain ecosystem will be almost unlimited and will influence every industry sector.

2. Legal hurdles in Europe

 

Before this happens, the comprehensive application of blockchain technology, especially in Europe, is still facing some hurdles. One of the major challenges lies in the current lack of legal certainty. The fact that data are not stored centrally, but rather decentralized (that is they are distributed in a network of computers), is a core feature and basic requirement of distributed ledger technology.

Once stored, data cannot be changed. This is the main advantage of the technology, because there is no need for a third party in whom all market participants must trust and there is no central storage location that can be attacked by criminals or paralyzed by technical faults. Product safety, information security and cybersecurity are thus provided by blockchain technology.

However, in the EU the right to have stored data corrected and deleted is enshrined in the DSGVO. This collides with the revision security of the blockchain, in which subsequent changes are fundamentally excluded. In Germany, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is aware of the problem and is working with the digital association Bitkom to find solutions. The Swiss Federal Council is also actively working to further strengthen the country as a blockchain center. At the end of 2019, a draft law has already been passed which, among other things, will increase the legal security of the blockchain.

3. Early blockchain training provides a competitive advantage

 

Not only governments are becoming increasingly aware that blockchain will become a key technology in the future. Companies are eagerly trying to build up expertise in this area as well. It is therefore hardly surprising that blockchain and cybersecurity expertise might be one of the most sought-after applicant qualifications this year. The demand for experts is constantly growing – but university degrees and certificates in blockchain technology are still a rather new thing.

Profiling tools used by HR professionals are therefore hardly able to assess the expertise of specialists, which makes it even more difficult. With external training programs, managers can promote the further training of their employees and build up competencies in-house.

Companies that recognize and meet this need early on will gain a real competitive advantage, especially over American and Asian companies. For this, we must cast off our initial scepticism and open ourselves up to the new technology. To get there, we definitely need more concrete examples of applications to clearly communicate the benefits of blockchain technology.

For less technology-savvy decision-makers, we should focus on communicating efficiency gains rather than dwelling on the technical details. You can read about the use case we are currently working on here. And for more detailed updates, you can listen to what CTO Martin Beyer says about the application here.

Both the individual European countries and the EU are actively working to promote blockchain technology. The need to adapt the legal framework so that Europe can play a pioneering role in this field has been recognized by the legislators. It is up to the decision-makers in companies to build up expertise, identify possible usage scenarios and efficiency gains and take steps to implement these in reality. All in all, if the legislative adjustments and the innovative energy of European companies interlock, Europe will continue to assert itself as a driving blockchain force.