How Blockpool and OpSec Security are using blockchain tech to combat counterfeiting in the apparel sector.

Blockpool has partnered with OpSec Security, a global leader in anti-counterfeiting and brand protection, to develop secure data provenance solutions for brands and apparel manufacturers.

This partnership combines blockchain-based data storage with OpSec’s tamper-proof RFID tags and holograms to track goods throughout the supply chain. Tamper-proof RFID tags are sewn into the labels of branded apparel and merchandise and are then scanned by custodians through each stage of the supply chain. A historical record of information about the item such as its locations, custodians, and arrival/departure times is tracked and immutably recorded on a blockchain.

The information gathered - known as provenance information - is used to verify product ownership, prove authenticity, track supply chain efficiency, and engage customers.

It’s been estimated that counterfeit goods comprise up to 7% of global trade1, which is US$600 billion per year. With recent reports of counterfeit baby products2, medicines3,4, and auto parts5, both brand value and consumer safety are at stake. A secure blockchain-based anti-counterfeiting solution couldn't come at a better time.

“We’re in an age where counterfeiting exists in the everyday lives of consumers,” said Ben Stump, CTO of OpSec Security. “Adding blockchain technologies to our track/trace and consumer engagement platforms provides an enhanced layer of security and confidence for both brands and consumers alike.”

Kevin Bacon, Blockpool CEO, said “Blockchain technologies can be leveraged to provide greater supply chain visibility and combat the distribution of counterfeit products, especially over the internet. Brands want to ensure that their products are protected and reward their customers for loyalty.”

One project under development at OpSec creates unique customer engagement experiences for brands in the music industry and the apparel sector. After purchasing official merchandise or clothing secured with OpSec labels, customers then scan the attached RFID tag or QR code to register the product online and get rewarded with unique perks and incentives.

The provenance system benefits both buyers and brands. Buyers can be more confident that they're purchasing authentic goods and getting their money's worth. When consumers are confident in the authenticity of goods, brand reputation improves and suppliers are able to sell their goods at a higher prices.

Brands also use the provenance data to track and improve quality control and auditing through each stage of their supply chains, leading to improved supply chain efficiencies.

“Distributed Ledger Technology, and in particular blockchain, is already promising to heavily disrupt the way supply chains are controlled and vetted,” continued Ken Foster, Blockpool CTO. “By partnering with OpSec, we can provide a perfect synergy of online and offline technologies.”

Sources:

1. https://www.unodc.org/document...

2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/yanzhonghuang/2014/07/16/the-2008-milk-scandal-revisited/

3. https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/counterfeit-medications-a-growing-problem-in-canada-warns-new-report-1.3795239

4. https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/pharmaceutical-counterfeiting-endangering-public-health-society-and-the-economy.pdf

5. https://www.loftware.com/blog/counterfeit-auto-parts-are-a-growing-trend/

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