In my colleague @Henrietta Baker's latest article which I previously shared, I was particularly interested to find out how blockchain was being used in the food supply chain to track a mango from farm to fridge. Did you also know that it is being used to trace diamonds across the full value chain?
This brings to mind two key issues in the retail sector which blockchain could overturn: counterfeiting and product liability.
In a market where consumers are always looking for a cheaper price, counterfeiting is a serious problem for brands. But if IP ownership could be recorded on the blockchain, the authenticity of goods could be verified in a matter of seconds, so that consumers can feel assured that they are buying genuine goods.
Similarly blockchain could allow retailers to pinpoint where exactly in the supply chain something went wrong. The value extends way beyond food safety. Think how quickly dangerous products could be recalled in a clothing supply chain if we could identify in a matter of seconds exactly where a restricted substance had been introduced.
"It's not just retail that will benefit from using blockchain. In particular, at Dentons latest TechTalks event yesterday evening, I really enjoyed hearing how blockchain is being used in the insurance and energy industries."
For something like a designer handbag, blockchain could help assure customers of its provenance — an ongoing challenge in the luxury resale market, which currently relies largely on the subjective expertise of authentication specialists. ”If you are tracking it on blockchain and integrating all of these systems so that once it leaves the packager and goes to the first distributor these events are recorded, you can determine at what point the chain was broken,” she says.