Last week my sister told me that the German consumer had decided to boycott eggs from a leading discount chain. Why? Because an investigative reporter had revealed all their so-called free range eggs were from battery chickens. How did they find out? Because German standards demand that each egg is not only date stamped but that codes include the origin of each farm. As a result each egg could be traced back to where it was laid. Hence the reporter dicovered eggs marketed as 'free range' were found to have come from battery farms.
So where does Blockchain come in? Basically it is a digital ledger that is used to record transactions across loads of computers that cannot be changed retrospectively without upsetting the whole applecart. This means that verification and audit are even more simple. Also each block is uses time stamping schemes which cannot be changed so authenticity will be trackable to point of origin which means that any marketing claim must be sound.
So as far as the chickens are concerned not only will the origin of the eggs be transparent but also the egg from which they came!
“The opportunities Blockchain proposes for marketers are absolutely astronomical, but it is often marred by how difficult the technology is to get your head around,” says Paul Armstrong, author of Disruptive Technologies: Understand, Evaluate, Respond. “Blockchain, for example, gives you the opportunity to verify the identities of sellers or the authenticity of products, which could be huge for the luxury goods market and healthcare. You’ve got the potential to link back to source for everything, so in food labelling you could use Blockchain to scan a barcode that identifies a fish was caught in safe waters, reassuring consumers why they’re paying a premium.”