Walimai Using Blockchain to Combat Product Counterfeitingbr>
China-based firm Walimai is developing a blockchain-based secure radio-frequency identification (RFID) anti-counterfeiting label to combat product counterfeiting.
Product counterfeiting has cost countless lives. In 2008, almost 300,000 babies were taken ill in China due to contaminated milk powder. 294,000 babies across the country suffered from urinary problems after consuming milk powder laced with melamine. Most received outpatient treatment but 54,000 were hospitalized. The crisis caused public outrage because it is thought the chemical was added deliberately to allow substandard milk to pass nutrition tests and because of the cover-up.
Walimai is hoping to solve this problem by using the combination of blockchain and RFID to allow consumers to authenticate products with simple scanning done through a mobile phone app. The system prevents counterfeiting of its own labels through dynamic codes, which can update data on both the chips and on the backend system. The company said the technology securely connects digital and physical objects and is cost effective enough to be used for consumer goods.
“Our answer to the problem is to apply technology that gives the consumer a tool to tell apart counterfeits from authentic products at every step in the supply chain,” said Walimai CEO Alexander Busarov. “Whenever there is a change of custody, a product with the Walimai anti-counterfeiting label is scanned. Each scan updates the secret codes on RFID chips (and at the back-end), as well as capturing and updating geographical information in the system,” he explains.
The company recently launched the WaBi project that is dedicated to safe consumer products, including everything from baby food, to alcohol to pharmaceutical items. Under the project, the company will issue its own token to enhance its consumer experience and incentivize the scanning of its labels. Walimai is selling up to 46 million WaBi tokens in its upcoming initial coin offering (ICO), which is scheduled for November 28.