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Arzneimittelfälschungen Coronavirus fake drugs and counterfeit pharmaceuticals

Counterfeit Drugs 2021 Statistics and Facts
Or: How Blockchain can Fight the Pandemic

While COVID-19 and mutations of the coronavirus kept us on our toes in 2020, counterfeiters were able to distribute vast amounts of counterfeit drugs.

Pharmaceutical companies are struggling to monitor their suppliers and verify the authenticity of their supply chain. The booming counterfeiting market always seems to be one step ahead of them. So far, there is only one effective and reliable protection for supply chains: Blockchain Technology.

That’s what CEO and Blockchain expert Arman Sarhaddar elaborates in his article on counterfeit and fake drugs in the pandemic.

Click here to read the original article on the publisher’s platform Builtin.com: While you’ve been distracted by COVID-19, counterfeiters have been pushing fake drugs. Here’s how Blockchain can stop them.

Arzneimittelfälschungen/Counterfeit drugs 2021: Seit März 2020 tauchen im Zusammenhang mit der Corona-Pandemie zahllose Produktfälschungen im Netz auf. Die Imitate und Fakes infiltrieren auch die legale Supply Chain.

Counterfeit drugs 2021: Since March 2020, countless fake products have appeared on the web. Substandard imitations of pharmaceutical products and fake drugs also infiltrate legal supply chains.


Blockchain against COVID-19 and counterfeit drugs

 

Blockchain Technology in short is a trustworthy and tamper-proof decentralized system, that provides transparency and counterfeit protection for supply chains. All these features are useful not only in the field of cryptocurrencies and FinTech. Considering the facts, the application of Blockchain seems even more useful for a number of other purposes – including the fight against COVID-19.

Consequently, in March 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced its cooperation with companies that are already successfully using Blockchain Technology. IBM, Oracle and Microsoft, are a few well-known examples. The goal, they say, is to develop a platform for collecting and sharing data to help contain the pandemic.

Such a platform is certainly helpful. But it is not the only way to use Blockchain Technology during the health crisis. In our previous article, we already explained 3 Digital Trends that could be revolutionized by Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) or Blockchain in 2021.

Blockchain can help us fight COVID-19 and manage the global crisis in many ways. To mitigate the health risks posed by the global trade in counterfeit and fake drugs, for example, Blockchain can also be used to combat counterfeit medicines.

1. The surge of counterfeit drugs in 2020

 

Never before have so many scientists around the globe come together to research vaccines and combat a virus. The reason for this clear: The number of infections is increasing exponentially, threatening nearly eight billion people.

In March 2020, Europol published a warning, that there will be a rise in crime related to the pandemic. According to the EU’s law enforcement agency, especially cases of cybercrime, fraud, theft as well as counterfeiting will increase due to the coronavirus.

Since then, sales figures of counterfeit medical equipment such as protective gear and counterfeit medicines have been increasing rapidly. Counterfeiters are deliberately stoking people’s fears of shortages (of disinfectants for example) in order to make a profit. The demand for nutritional supplements and vitamins to support the immune system has also been exploited.

In Operation Pangea, a raid against organized crime in March 2020, Europol seized four million packages of various counterfeit drugs and about 34,000 fake surgical masks. Among the fake drugs were antiviral drugs, the anti-malarial drug chloroquine, as well as dietary supplements and vitamin preparations.

Along with other observations around products such as counterfeit antibiotics and Viagra, such incidents demonstrate that popular and much-needed pharmaceuticals are especially hard-hit by counterfeiting.

An end to these activities is far from in sight. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

The demand for vaccines and cures against COVID-19 remains huge. The supply is lagging behind, as we can basically see in every corner of the world. Counterfeiters continue to profit – especially online.

The World Wide Web is the biggest gateway for fake drugs as well as other counterfeit products. Ordering medicines from online pharmacies has become increasingly popular due to limited mobility during lockdown. But some providers cannot be trusted. Criminals lure unsuspecting buyers with seemingly attractive prices and products. During a global health crisis, these activities are particularly dangerous and pose an even greater threat to human life.

2. How Blockchain can fight counterfeit drugs

 

Pharmaceutical companies try to monitor their suppliers and ensure the quality and the authenticity of products in their supply chain. Yet it is difficult to ensure complete supply chain protection – at least it has been until now.

Blockchain Technology is the best anti-counterfeiting solution available to date. Yet, it can provide a revolutionary level of supply chain transparency and thus, the best protection against counterfeit drugs entering the supply chain so far. Blockchain is based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT, that allows data to be stored in a decentralized manner, instead of in a central database.

Each entry is encrypted individually and every change must be verified by all the distributed nodes within the system. This makes it virtually impossible to hack a Blockchain. So, once stored, data cannot be tampered with anymore. The technology therefore makes it much easier to detect fraud and identify weak points in the supply chain. This gives companies full supply chain visibility and optimal counterfeit protection.

The technology also opens up the possibility for any customer to verify the authenticity of a purchased product such as medicine – for example, by scanning a QR code on the product packaging via an app such as ivault. This makes it easy for any buyer to determine whether their product is genuine or whether it is likely to be a counterfeit.

Blockchain Technology is not only a useful anti-counterfeiting solution, but it also increases brand protection as well as product safety and, in the case of pharmaceutical products, patient safety.

In addition to combining Distributed Ledger Technology and QR codes, Blockchain solutions are also compatible with other established technologies, such as NFC, RFID or GPS. These are all technologies that are based on the contactless transfer of data.

As a result, Blockchain can be adjusted to the individual requirements of each company and it comes with a variety of advantages. This makes a Blockchain solution work for manufacturers of a large number of different products – from expensive testing equipment, such as X-ray or MRT machines to vaccines, masks and simple pills.

Arzneimittelfälschungen in der Corona-Pandemie 2020: Von gefälschten Schutzmasken und Fake Impfstoffen wird online alles angeboten.

Counterfeit drugs during the pandemic 2021: Some approvals are already through and the administration of the first vaccine doses has begun. But counterfeiters are waiting for their chance to put fake vaccines into circulation. Blockchain applications can help to track and trace the distribution of genuine vaccines.

 

Thus, ensuring product authenticity at the highest level possible can be achieved by using Blockchain Technology for Supply Chain. At the same time, Blockchain serves as an effective means of deterring counterfeiters, as it is very easy to determine where counterfeit products have entered a supply chain.

It is no wonder that more and more companies are turning to Blockchain Technology during the pandemic. After being trivialized for a long time (and sometimes being equated with cryptocurrencies), its full potential is now being recognized. It can provide the necessary transparency and the highest possible security, and thus also save human lives.


Counterfeit drugs statistics 2021:
Facts and figures to date

 

Right from the start, the crisis clearly demonstrated the severity and dangers posed by global trade in counterfeit drugs and other fake products. Serious health and safety issues arise when people order fake drugs online, as counterfeit drugs do not contain the right formula and may also contain dangerous ingredients.

During a public health crisis like the one we are confronted with today, the fight against this massive global problem becomes even more acute. Indeed, Interpol, for example, has noted an increase in counterfeit medical products linked to COVID-19.

We too recognized this trend early in the pandemic and formulated 5 forecasts of drug counterfeiting related to the coronavirus based on global counterfeit statistics.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an increasing number of counterfeit drugs are also being sold in developing countries in connection with the coronavirus. Both U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other countries’ customs authorities reported seizures of counterfeit COVID-19 tests and protective equipment such as face masks and hand sanitizers.

These examples show that, unfortunately, our predictions were correct and to this date too little has been done to tackle these problems. Apart from companies, also governments need to ensure the legal and safe origin of pharmaceutical products both online and in local pharmacies. After all, counterfeit drugs cause considerable economic damage as well as risks to the health and safety of citizens.

To help governments, the OECD and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) joined forces to provide policymakers with solid empirical data on the value, volume and trends of global trade in counterfeit drugs.

1. Counterfeit and fake products on a global scale

 

In an updated report, the OECD illustrates some facts and figures on global trade in counterfeit products:

“The results are alarming. In 2016, counterfeit and pirated goods amounted to as much as 3.3% of world trade, and up to 6.8% of EU imports from third countries. These figure underscore once again the need for coordinated action against IP crime in general and trade in counterfeits in particular.

3,3 % corresponds to as much as 509 billion USD, while in the EU alone, imports of counterfeit products amounted to up to 121 billion euros (134 billion USD). The graphic below shows the products that are the most frequently counterfeited:

Welche Produkte sind von Fälschungen betroffen? Grafik der OECD

Which products are most frequently affected by counterfeiting? Source: OECD, Trends in Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods.

 

2. Counterfeit drugs statistics 2020

 

Counterfeit drugs not only cause economic losses for the pharmaceutical industry, but also pose a serious threat to the health of the public as a whole. The joint EUIPO/OECD study on trade in counterfeit pharmaceutical products, published on March 23, 2020, shows that international trade in counterfeit drugs reached about €38.9 billion in 2016.

EUIPO/OECD: Trade in Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Products

The study shows that counterfeit antibiotics, sexual enhancers or lifestyle drugs, as well as painkillers are dominating. But other counterfeit drugs were also seized (see chart below). Counterfeit drugs may contain too little, too much or no active ingredient of the real drug. They may also be contaminated or contain entirely different ingredients.

EUIPO (Juni 2020): Häufigkeit verschiedener beschlagnahmter Arzneimittelfälschungen von 2014-2016

EUIPO (June 2020): frequency of various counterfeit medicines seized from 2014-2016, source: EUIPO, 2020 STATUS REPORT ON IPR INFRINGEMENT.

Due to counterfeit drugs related tax evasion EU governments lose approximately €1.7 billion in revenue. 96% of all counterfeit medicines seized by customs, are postal or express courier shipments. The social cost of counterfeit drugs is also high. It is estimated that each year more than 80,000 jobs are lost due to counterfeiting in the EU pharmaceutical and related sectors.

However, counterfeit drugs, such as unproven treatments, or fake equipment and accessories, such as corona tests, medical devices, masks, ventilators, gloves, etc., have been flooding not only the European market since the early 2020s.

A number of illegal web shops worldwide promote and sell counterfeit drugs and vaccine fakes for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. In March 2020, a large number of new domain names were registered for illegal purposes, containing terms such as “covid,” “corona,” and “virus.” These appear to be professional counterfeiters who have previously sold other fake drugs online and are now trying to make a profit from COVID-19-related counterfeit drugs.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has identified many of these illegal online pharmacies that purport to sell prescription drugs for the treatment of COVID-19. They also found that over 90% of the identified COVID-19 domains were registered anonymously, making it difficult for law enforcement agencies.

NABP, 2020: Rogue Online Pharmacies in the Time of Pandemic: Capitalizing on Misinformation and Fear

The pandemic has thus shown that criminals can adapt quickly to new market conditions and always find ways to infiltrate the legal supply chain of pharmaceutical companies. Especially with the lack of an effective anti counterfeiting solution to track and trace the supply chain.

It’s time to put Blockchain to work here.

3. Additional ressources:

 

EUIPO (Juni 2020), 2020 Status Report on IPR Infringement, Why IP Rights are important, IPR infringement, and the fight against counterfeiting and piracy, doi: 10.2814/165063, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/d7e6f903-c577-11ea-b3a4-01aa75ed71a1 (visited on 04/01/2021)

European Commission (Dezember, 2020), Commission Staff Working Document, Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List, Brüssel, https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=2225 (visited on 04/01/2021)

OECD/EUIPO (März 2020), Trade in Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Products, Illicit Trade, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/a7c7e054-en.

Sarhaddar, Arman (Juni 2020), Wie die Blockchain vor Arzneimittelfälschungen schützt, https://www.industry-of-things.de/wie-die-blockchain-vor-arzneimittelfaelschungen-schuetzt-a-937779/

 

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.

sustainable blockchain solutions for supply chain

Sustainable Blockchain Solutions 2020
Or: Can Blockchain be Sustainable?

In short: YES! Sustainable Blockchain solutions are just around the corner. The bad reputation of the Blockchain due to its high energy consumption is not entirely justified. Blockchain can even contribute to environmental protection.

Everyone is talking about sustainability. This raises the question: What about Blockchain, the major future technology pioneers  all around the world put their trust in?

Arman Sarhaddar, CEO of Vault Security Systems AG, answers a few essential questions on the topic in a German interview with Industry of Things, a platform for Blockchain experts and upcoming technological innovations.

We summarized these insights for you in this blog entry to show you why Blockchain doesn’t necessarily mean high energy consumption and low environmental compatibility.

Sustainable blockchain solutions: Is it possible to protect our environment and nature with the distributed ledger technology, that has been described as dramatically energy-inefficient.

Sustainable Blockchain solutions: Sustainable economic models are becoming increasingly important for companies and end consumers. But how is it possible to protect our environment and nature by using a technology that has been used almost exclusively for Bitcoin mining, which is horrifyingly energy-inefficient?


1. What’s the reason for Blockchain’s bad reputation concerning sustainability?

 

ivault’s founder Arman Sarhaddar explains, it is true that Blockchain does not have a good reputation in terms of its environmental performance. This is because, despite growing knowledge, the term is still strongly associated with crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin.

Bitcoin mining activities are indeed energy-intensive: The proof-of-work algorithm (PoW) by which transactions are verified and new coins are generated, involves a very high computational effort. A single transaction now consumes as much energy as 1.5 average American households per day.

This must be viewed critically since there is a lot of mining going on e.g. in China as well. There, the necessary electricity often comes from coal-fired power stations, which is extremely harmful to the climate.

“But Bitcoin is not Blockchain and Blockchain is not Bitcoin!” – Well said, Arman.

 

2. So, what about sustainable Blockchain applications outside the crypto world?

 

Today we can choose from many different algorithms –many alternatives to the PoW algorithm nowadays, which consume less or even net zero energy. Each option has advantages and disadvantages, which have to be weighed up in terms of application as well as environmental compatibility.

Most companies do in fact use these more sustainable Blockchain algorithms. For a company network or a network between known consortium members, the energy-consuming level of protection as with Bitcoin is simply not needed.

So, most Blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) applications developed for businesses can do without the energy-intensive PoW. This requires networks that are not freely accessible like the Bitcoin network, but need permission (permission-based networks).

Instead of a proof-of-work, for example, a proof-of-stake can be used for verification and consensus building – but you don’t need to understand all the technological details in this case, only acknowledge the fact that this reduces computing power and thus reduces energy consumption drastically.

Yet these sustainable Blockchain solutions can still achieve the desired performance.

 

3. Can Blockchain technology contribute to environmental protection?

 

There are many business models that directly address social and environmental problems with SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Like any technology, Blockchain can be used for different purposes. In general, it can reduce paper consumption enormously by securely and permanently recording continuously retrievable data.

Sustainable blockchain solutions: energy-saving future technology, carbon-neutral supply chain

Due to its ability to record data unalterably, the Blockchain has a particularly great potential for environmental protection. Currently, it is already being used to record data on the natural environment and to record changes in ecosystems.

Among other things, there are sustainable Blockchain applications for sustainable aquaculture and fish farming, that track distribution, make fish traceable and provide evidence of the companies’ ecological responsibility.

Monitoring the supply chain makes it possible to identify inferior products earlier in the process. The extent of recalls and new production can thus be reduced, which has a positive effect on the greenhouse gas balance and other resources.

Another important issue is counterfeit protection. Counterfeit products are often highly polluting and therefore harmful to the environment. It seems ridiculous to mention that the extent of this is hardly scalable, as there are no legal controls on production and distribution standards in this dubious sector of world trade…

 

4. What about the social compatibility of sustainable Blockchain solutions?

 

Sustainability has not only an ecological dimension. Counterfeit protection and the tracking of supply chains has an ethical component too. Apart from consumer protection, Blockchain can ensure that goods have been produced under responsible conditions.

In the fair trade goods segment, for example, these sustainable Blockchain solutions are gradually being established and guarantee human rights and fair working conditions.

Another aspect is that in some markets up to 70 percent of medicines are counterfeits. An estimated 100,000 people die every year as a result of taking counterfeit medicines. A technology that can prove the authenticity of medical products helps to reduce the risk and potentially minimizes the amount of fatal incidences.

On the other side, Blockchain enables smart contracts that automatically come into force under certain mutually agreed and unchangeable conditions. The “if-then” principle can be used, for example, for automatic payments. Thereby payment delays or misappropriation are not possible anymore.

The entire business world can benefit from more trusting, transparent and direct relationships catalyzed by sustainable Blockchain solutions. This is also in line with the basic idea behind the technology:

In the Genesis block of Bitcoin, inventor Satoshi Nakamoto linked an article that deals with the crash of Lehman Brothers and the start of the financial crisis. A transparent network, in which transactions can be viewed and tracked by everyone, would rule out corruption.

 

5. What needs to be done to enhance eco-balance and the image of Blockchain?

 

The most important thing is: The public awareness of the difference between the Blockchain technology and crypto currencies like Bitcoin has to increase.

The fact that Bitcoin has a very high energy consumption that exceeds that of countries like Switzerland, for example, is usually being covered by the media to a greater extent than sustainability in the case of other applications of distributed ledger technology.

We need to put more effort into explaining that there are fundamental differences between Bitcoin and other Blockchain applications, which are now slowly being put into practice.

We are already on the right track – the applications that are working for a better world, such as energy savings or waste avoidance, more than make up for their energy consumption. In the future, this balance will continue to improve.

sustainable blockchain solutions for supply chain

This goes to shows that with Blockchain as our main future technology we are indeed on the right way. In times that provoke as much scepticism and doubt as now, it is at least good to know how fast nature can heal itself, when we hit the brakes of co2-emissions and environmental pollution like we were forced to due to coronavirusWith the Blockchain, environmental protection can be further promoted.

CIO Applications
Top Blockchain Technology Solution Providers 2020

Supply chain transparency and brand protection: Now it’s official. CIO Applications from Silicon Valley ranks ivault among the Top 10 best blockchain technology solutions of the year.

 

Vault Security Systems in CIO Applications' Top 10 Blockchain Technology Solution Providers 2020.

Vault Security Systems AG mit ivault™ in den Top 10 Blockchain Technology Solution Providers 2020 von CIO Applications

ivault was already referred to as one of the best blockchain ideas at the World Economic Forum WEF 2020 in Davos.

Now, the renowned magazine CIO Applications awarded Vault Security Systems AG with the blockchain solution ivault as one of the Top Blockchain Technology Solution Providers 2020. Our platform offers the highest transparency for supply chains and best product and brand protection to date by preventing the unnoticed entry of counterfeit products into the supply chain.

This blog article provides you with a brief summary. You can read the complete article by CIO Applications here:

Vault Security Systems: Transparency for Supply Chain and Protecting Valuables

ivault: Our patented Blockchain solution 

 

Almost all companies lose value in the market because counterfeit or stolen products become part of their supply chain without their knowledge. The low-quality counterfeit products then arrive at the upset buyers’ as supposed originals.

ivault is an efficient track-and-trace solution that enables the detection of counterfeits in the supply chain. Using distributed ledger technology, ivault makes a completely transparent, traceable and therefore the most secure supply chain possible.

In the interview with CIO Applications, Arman Sarhaddar, CEO and founder of Vault Security Systems, describes how ivault came into being: After he himself had been robbed, he came up with his idea:

“What if I put every physical item into a database with serial numbers? I would then have all the information recorded. With that idea being patented, it lead to the formation of the company.”

Vault Security Systems AG now helps manufacturers of clothing, electronics, pharmaceuticals and more…

 

How does ivault help to overcome the challenges that companies face?

 

The global problem is the loss of billions of dollars in revenue on the part of large companies and, on the other hand, the endangerment of human lives by counterfeit products that do not comply with required security standards and, especially in the case of counterfeit drugs, can have fatal consequences.

That’s why we have developed a blockchain solution that uses distributed ledger technology to secure the supply chain and is easy to use for both companies and consumers.

ivault helps companies to track their products through the entire supply chain from manufacturing to end users by recording and time-stamping all transactions. Once a transaction has been registered, it cannot be changed by anyone, guaranteeing the authenticity of the goods.

Essentially, this minimizes the likelihood of counterfeits entering the supply chain undetected.

Understandably, counterfeiters will avoid companies that have the ivault blockchain solution implemented into their supply chain, because they will not make any profit anymore by infiltrating these companies’ supply chains. It is likely they will seize to sell counterfeits via illegal distribution channels too, because every buyer can easily check via the ivault app on every smartphone, if a product is a fake.

Companies can easily implement this blockchain solution, because the existing databases in their supply chains can continue to be used.

 

Technical characteristics and functionality

 

ivault is accessible via web browsers. The product information is registered either manually or by using a QR code, NFC chip or RFID chip. The information includes material and ingredients used in the product, as well as data on their origin.

From production to the end user, every detail is recorded with a time stamp to bring transparency to the supply chain. If someone wants to access this information, they can quickly scan the product with the ivault app on any smartphone and check all the product details on the website.

This means that the end user can also easily verify the authenticity of a purchased product. In addition, ivault enables end users to protect private property and assets. With the global search engine ivault, anyone can find lost or stolen items in real time.

 

GOLISAN-safran-ivault-verified

We have already announced one of our use cases in the past: Golisan protects its supply chain with a blockchain solution from ivault that is individually tailored to the dietary supplement manufacturer. The valuable saffron extract is one of the most counterfeit-prone spices of all. The higher the value of a product, the more likely it is to be counterfeited. For more technical information, you can read our blog article with a video explanation of the functionality in detail.

 

What’s next for Vault Security Systems AG?

 

We are currently focusing on supply chain protection and there are numerous ways in which we can use our blockchain solution.

For example, in the automotive industry, our blockchain solution will have a huge impact. In the case of Ferraris and Porsches, which cost around $5 to $6 million, buyers want to ensure that every part in the car is an original. Our platform gives them the security they need.

We are also working to extend the reach of our platform to various sectors, including medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies. A medical device company, for example, lost about $100 million a year to counterfeit products. ivault can help quickly identify counterfeit products in the supply chain and thus help rebuild a company’s reputation.

There is an urgent need to bring transparency into the supply chains of pharmaceutical companies, as they have massive problems with counterfeit drugs. We have previously reported on this in detail in connection with the ongoing corona crisis.

Moreover, human lives are at stake here.

In the worst case, a counterfeit medicine can cause more damage than a disease itself. We are therefore aiming to expand our platform within the healthcare industry within the next year. Geographically, we want to bring our blockchain solution into the European Union, the United Kingdom and South America.

Coronavirus: Eine Vielzahl von Tests und Studien zur Umwidmung bereits zugelassener Medikamente werden durchgeführt. Diese könnten bereits gefälscht werden.

Coronavirus Prognosis 2020 – Part II
5 Theses on Counterfeit Drugs

In our last blog post we provided a detailed forecast on counterfeit drugs in view of the current crisis caused by the outbreak of coronavirus. Here are some additional thoughts, summarized in 5 theses on coronavirus and counterfeit drugs… as well as the blockchain.

With the blockchain, companies can not only protect their supply chain against counterfeit drugs. In addition, everyone could easily check with their smartphone whether a purchased product is original or fake.

With the application of blockchain technology in the pharmaceutical sector, Europe can now seize the opportunity to become a global blockchain pioneer. CEO Arman Sarhaddar’s contribution to the future of a Blockchain Europe has now been published by the renowned blockchain news platform Industry of Things as well.

The recent corona-apps to donate data should also be based on blockchain technology, as this is the only way to ensure optimal data security and protection against hacker attacks.

coronavirus Heilmittel coronavirus impfstoff, corona arzneimittelfälschungen, counterfeit drugs

Battling coronavirus… and counterfeit drugs that have not yet been thought of.


5 theses on drug counterfeiting in 2020

 

Thesis 1: Counterfeit drugs of the year 2020

 

Vaccines and drugs to treat corona patients will be the drugs of the year… and so will counterfeit drugs.

The examples of Viagra and antibiotics (see below) show that popular and urgently needed drugs are counterfeited particularly frequently, of course. The demand for the remedies against coronavirus is huge and the supply will inevitably lag behind.

For even if all conceivable production facilities are mobilized and pharmaceutical companies work together instead of competing with each other (as is usually the case), production will need one thing above all: time.

While the first million, let alone the first billion, of drugs are produced, at the same time counterfeiters will produce imitations and counterfeit drugs cheaply on a massive scale. These can quickly be sold online through illegal distribution channels.

Moreover, as soon as the first corona drugs leave production, the counterfeiters will be able to infiltrate the supply chains of pharmaceutical manufacturers and sell potentially dangerous counterfeit drugs in the legal distribution chain.

Fake drugs could potentially cause more damage than the coronavirus itself. But it is not only human lives that are at stake. The producers of the coronavirus drugs are only partially rewarded with fame and heroism, because the counterfeit drugs, that made it into the legal distribution chain, will cause massive damage to their image, which will compensate for every good deed.

 

Thesis 2: Counterfeiting market in developing countries

 

On the counterfeiting market of developing countries, cheap counterfeit drugs appear as unrivaled “better” offers.

The demand for coronavirus cures will come from all countries equally and counterfeiters will proceed exploiting the poor. They are already taking full advantage of the counterfeit market in poor countries:

About 30% of the drugs in Asia or South America and up to 50% in Africa are counterfeit drugs.

Poor countries have many loopholes, such as the complete lack of import controls due to lack of personnel in some cases, through which counterfeit drugs can be distributed without any difficulty.

Counterfeit drugs can easily be offered at a lower price. For poor countries and many of their institutions, these seem to be “better offers” and the originals in comparison are no longer a competition.

coronavirus Heilmittel coronavirus impfstoff, corona arzneimittelfälschungen

Every 2nd or 3rd drug in Africa is a fake! Taking medicine in poor and developing countries seems to be a game of chance. Whoever only catches the despicable fake without any active ingredient can be considered lucky. According to the WHO, 60 % of all counterfeit drugs contain no active ingredients, while about 16 % contain completely different active ingredients. These are mainly counterfeit antibiotics – the most needed medicines.

 

For comparison:

Industrialized nations are safer from counterfeit drugs due to appropriate drug law controls and close cooperation between manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacies and the authorities. Nevertheless, we do not remain unaffected by large-scale counterfeiting crime: In the United States, around 1.5 million counterfeit birth control pills containing too little active ingredients were seized.

Another example is Sildenafil, better known as Viagra: In 2006, 2.5 million fake Viagra pills were seized in the EU alone. In 2007 there were 3.4 million. [Source]

The “professional” counterfeiters who have successfully infiltrated legal distribution channels in Europe or the USA before will be those to occupy the coronavirus niche of the counterfeit market.

 

Thesis 3: Drug repurposing: Using the already approved to fight corona

 

The counterfeiters may already have started to manufacture counterfeit drugs of those pharmaceuticals that are eligible for repurposing.

Thanks to global supply bottlenecks, the trade in counterfeit medical equipment is already increasing dramatically.

In addition to the development of new drugs against the coronavirus, a large number of clinical studies are being conducted to repurpose existing drugs like antiviral medicine, that originally has been developed to treat other diseases.

This is because it is more likely that a drug that has already been approved will bring the desired cure first. A completely new drug needs much more time to be available to the general public.

Coronavirus: Eine Vielzahl von Tests und Studien zur Umwidmung bereits zugelassener Medikamente werden durchgeführt. Diese könnten bereits gefälscht werden.

On average, the development of a new drug costs approximately 1 billion euros, because it has to go through a much longer process: from development and clinical studies, through drug law controls and initial approval, to production… which has to begin with the establishment of the production facility. A drug that has already been approved does not have to go through all of the above steps again, a production facility is ready to use and a certain amount of a the drug is already available. [Source]

Currently, fake COVID-19 drugs are no longer an exception on the internet. But mass distribution of counterfeit drugs will begin when people are officially informed that an effective remedy against the coronavirus is available.

And this process of information via media and news has already begun. For example, it has become known that the common Japanese flu drug Avigan has a very good chance of being effective against coronavirus – and Germany has already stocked up on millions of packages.

Of course, this is what the counterfeiters know as well, and they might have already started producing. Counterfeit drugs of these promising drugs can easily brought to the market thanks to the knowledge conveyed by the media and news.

Just think about it for a second: How many people have already searched the Internet for a way to purchase a pack of Avigan? And how much are they willing to pay to get such a promising drug?

 

Thesis 4: The lack of cybersecurity 

 

The counterfeiters will find it easy to get the necessary information from pharmaceutical companies and their distribution partners because of a lack of cybersecurity.

For one thing, the problem is the use of computers at home, from which many home office employees currently access the internal servers of companies. But, given the crisis, those who can stay home should of course stay home.

At this point, companies must ensure that information security and data protection is guaranteed on every PC in every home office.

However, it is not only home computers, but also the trend towards corona apps, which has now arrived in Germany. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) provides an app to “donate data” and emphasizes that it is a voluntary donation of personal data, which is stored and evaluated pseudonymously using an user ID for each individual.

However, the controversial measure has prompted criticism from data protection experts. Although some degree of privacy is guaranteed, the collected data is stored centrally and is therefore not sufficiently protected against hacker attacks.

A blockchain solution could help by storing the health-related personal data in a decentralized database and thus make the data unhackable.

 

Thesis 5: Blockchain for supply chains

 

Europe has a chance to become the leader in the field of blockchain now – by using blockchain to make supply chains counterfeit-proof.

Arman Sarhaddar, the inventor of the ivault Blockchain, already reported for Blockchain Insider about the chances of Europe to become a global blockchain pioneer. Now Industry of Things has published his insights as well. We already published a translation of his article for our English readers here: Europe as blockchain pioneer (with ivault leading from the front)

It is the second contribution of our CEO on the renowned platform for blockchain experts. In the first one he reported on counterfeit products in the supply chain:

“Tracking and tracing of ingredients is crucial, especially in the medical sector. […] Customers of medicinal products and pharmaceuticals want to be sure that they have not purchased a counterfeit. For them, the quality of the ingredients plays an essential role and in case of damage, the weak point must be clearly identifiable.”

Europe now has the opportunity to take the role of a global blockchain leader by implementing the most intelligent solution for the Supply Chain Management of pharmaceutical companies: Blockchain Technology.

This technology not only offers the most effective protection against counterfeit drugs entering the supply chain. It also simplifies the detection of counterfeits and the tracing of the weak spot, as it provides the highest possible supply chain transparency for the manufacturer.

But that’s not even all of it: On top of that, every buyer could check the authenticity of a purchased drug by scanning a QR code on the product packaging via an app on his or her smartphone. This way, each individual can tell if a drug could be a fake.

For comparison: Current methods for increasing protection against counterfeits are intelligent and complex – after all, counterfeiters should not succeed in producing authentic counterfeit drugs – but they are not necessarily practical and neither are they very efficient.

1. One example is the counterfeit protection securPharm

“During the production process, the marketing authorisation holder affixes the safety features to each pharmaceutical package. The data of the unique identifier (serial number, product code, batch number, expiry date) are applied to the pack in clear text and in the form of the Data Matrix Code and uploaded to the centralised database of the pharmaceutical industry. Before the pharmaceutical is dispensed to the patient, the Data Matrix Code is scanned for authentication, thereby reconciling the pack data with the data in the system.”

The one big mistake is that the data is stored centrally and can therefore be easily manipulated by sophisticated hackers. Counterfeit drugs in the legal distribution may not be recognized because the data has been tampered with.

Blockchain, in contrast, stores data in a fundamentally different way: data is distributed among nodes (computers) in a global network. This is the key feature of Blockchain Technology: It is a decentralized database.

Thus Blockchain creates a much higher level of information security than any technology before. Decentralized databases are virtually unhackable. All entries are individually encrypted on the computers, changes must be confirmed by all computers in the system, so that data cannot be manipulated anymore.

2. Merck is protecting products with Securalic Reveal:

“Securalic® taggants use hidden markers to authenticate products from the inside out. This smart approach to anti-counterfeiting involves concealing tiny identifiers inside a variety of materials that tell people where the materials really come from. It’s a bit like giving products or even materials like plastics, coatings, or inks their own unique fingerprint. And because all of our taggants are strictly monitored and handled through a restricted supply chain, it is virtually impossible for unwanted parties to even know they’re there.”

The microscopically small particles can be added, for example, to printing inks for product packaging or other materials. But how practical is such a process?

BUT it requires a special detector device to check the product for authenticity. This device must be in the possession of producers, wholesalers, small pharmacies and even the individual buyer to really guarantee product safety – which is neither very realistic nor a practical solution.

On top of that: If a fake turns up how can you trace back where it came from?

With the blockchain, in contrast, it is possible for each individual consumer to check a product’s autheticity on every smartphone. Thus blockchain not only ensures optimum brand protection, but also product and patient safety.

Such a high level of protection against counterfeits can only be provided by the blockchain and nothing else. The blockchain thereby serves as an effective deterrent against counterfeiting crime, because it is easy to trace back where counterfeits have entered the supply chain.

To our knowledge there is no other system that is more practicable and effective. The only hurdle left for Europe to position itself as a blockchain leader: We must act NOW.

 

iVault verified: Protect products against counterfeit

What are the Consequences of Counterfeiting and Trade in Pirated 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.

PS: To travel to Davos is always worth it for these views of Switzerland alone.

Blockchain WEF Davos
ivault™ at World Economic Forum 2020

WEF 2020: Once again ivault was represented at the World Economic Form Annual Meeting in Davos. Arman Sarhaddar, CEO and founder of Vault Security Systems AG, CTO Martin Beyer and Project Manager Philipp Röhner visited WEF 2020.

“The atmosphere among the blockchain and IT experts is very positive. Everyone is looking forward with excitement. Many solutions that improve and renew processes and methods are already market-ready or will be very soon. Blockchain experts are also strongly represented at the WEF 2020. The fact that there is more than just talk is demonstrated, for example, by the consortium of partners from all sectors on the governance of digital currencies, which was initiated this year.”
– Philipp Röhner, Project Manager, Vault Security Systems AG

Davos WEF2020: Arman Sarhaddar, CEO und Founder, mit Philipp Röhner, Project Manager, Vault Security Systems AG. Foto: Martin Beyer, CTO.

Davos WEF 2020, from left to right: Arman Sarhaddar, CEO and Founder, with Philipp Röhner, Project Manager, Vault Security Systems AG. Foto: Martin Beyer, CTO.


Insights from WEF 2020, Davos

 

Once again for us the WEF 2020 in Davos was a great chance for networking and getting to know many other blockchain experts among renowned companies and startups. For example, we met Alex Panas, Director of Business Development of LATOKEN, who stated that, in his opinion, our application was the best idea he heard about at WEF and we are on the right track.

“The 50th  anniversary of the WEF was very positive for ivault, since we not only received numerous confirmations that our product fits well in the world we are living, but also excellent connections have been made.”
– Arman Sarhaddar, CEO and Founder, Vault Security Systems AG

After getting to know so many great minds and of course meeting old friends and partners from WEF 2019, we are happy to have planned further meetings in the near future. We will post about it in the blog here.

All in all, blockchain is taking off but is still hampered by a negative image and regulatory issues. The word blockchain is still conjuring up associations with crypto criminality in most peoples’ minds, which is one of the key challenges for pioneers that are using blockchain technology in quite different ways today. Nonetheless, blockchain will change society in the near future.

One of the most important topics at WEF 2020 was environment and climate, next to the introduction of a global digital currency. It also has a major impact on the blockchain scene. There were some presentations of companies that directly address the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), social or ecological problems. As a solution provider for the fight against crime and counterfeit products, which are often highly polluting, we are therefore in good company with ivault.

PS: To travel to Davos is always worth it for these views of Switzerland alone.

PS: To travel to Davos is always worth it for these views of Switzerland alone.

More information about ivault

 

ivault provides access to the world’s first database platform and search engine based on blockchain technology to combat and solve counterfeiting and theft crimes on a global scale. There is an international patent for the lost and found concept in the pipeline.

 

1. Lost and found: ivault for every single person

 

In the past only a small part of the population with the appropriate know-how was able afford security for assets, information and property. In the future ivault will make this level of security available to everyone and – even more important – affordable for everyone.

Currently, there is no application to easily report items as lost or stolen in real-time. Therefore, it is difficult to find these items again or to return found items to their rightful owners. With ivault users can now easily register their assets – such as smartphones, watches, laptops, bikes, cars and anything else – in the blockchain via the ivault app. Those who have been robbed can search for them.

The ivault database can be accessed freely at any time and from anywhere. Whoever identifies and reports a lost or stolen item will be given a finder’s reward.

The ivault blockchain protect’s your belongings and provides for data security. Only you can see what information you stored in your personal wallet on the decentralized server. The blockchain is hacker-proof and your data cannot be manipulated anymore. You can always show proof of ownership and on top of that check if a product you bought is an original with the ivault app.

 

2. Counterfeit and fake products: ivault for businesses

 

Up to this date, traditional logistics and data management systems have not been able to prevent counterfeit and stolen goods from entering the supply chain. The resulting consequences are enormous: massive financial losses for companies, a ruined reputation for brands, and perhaps most seriously, fatal incidents for consumers in the medical sector.

By implementing distributed ledger technology (blockchain) in the supply chain management, all actions performed can be recorded, tracked and time-stamped – 100 % supply chain transparency from the beginning of production to the end consumer. Once a transaction has been recorded in the blockchain, it can no longer be changed. Thus the authenticity of a product can be guaranteed.

For brands, the ivault blockchain can help to reduce the risk of counterfeit and/or stolen goods entering the supply chain. For the users it becomes much easier to prove their ownership clearly. Thereby manufacturers offer buyers optimum protection.

Even if a consumer resells luxury goods to a second-hand shop or a private buyer, the change of ownership is recorded in the blockchain. The buyer is thus assured that the seller is the rightful owner of the item and that he is buying an original product.

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. You can also subscribe to the ivault newsletter here for the latest news.

Arman Sarhaddar on Amazon Transparency and Blockchain Technology

In short: Amazon Transparency is far from being the ultimate answer to the global problem of counterfeit products. Arman Sarhaddar, CEO and founder of Vault Security Systems AG, wrote a guest article for Industry of Things about this explosive topic.

Industry of Things is a 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 only in German.

Arman explains, that Amazon Transparency 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.

Arman explains, that Amazon Transparency 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.

Arman explains, that Amazon Transparency 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.


The struggle with counterfeit products

 

A few weeks ago, the e-commerce giant Amazon announced that it was rolling out its the Amazon 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 Amazon Transparency program, the online giant 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 Amazon 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, 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 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.

Amazon Transparency: 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.

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