Blockchain is not the answer to Counterfeit

Blockchain fails to prevent physical identifier duplication


Let's take a deep dive into the technology buzzword and it's impact on packaging security.

Technology is driving the world in the 21st century. Blockchain has generated critical interest with both solution providers and Enterprise Customers. It has replaced the good old backup and storage of data digitally into a more secured and non-mutable form. Crypto Currency, Digital Ledger, Accounting, Digital Contract are few notable use cases where Blockchain has a strong play and it should.

The question that will need answering is – Is Blockchain the right candidate as Anti-Counterfeit packaging solution?


The Blockchain is an undeniably ingenious invention – the brainchild of a person or group of people known by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. But since then, it has evolved into something greater, and the main question every single person is asking is: What is Blockchain?

By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet. Originally devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin the tech community is now finding other potential uses for the technology.

Blockchain Durability and robustness

Blockchain technology is like the internet in that it has a built-in robustness. By storing blocks of information that are identical across its network, the Blockchain cannot:

  1. Be controlled by any single entity.
  2. Has no single point of failure.

Blockchain has in essence, moved digital technology from a single or "golden" source of truth to many truths which together prove to be the golden truth. Stated another way,

Blockchain is Digital Democracy with roles and responsibilities for each actor in the system.

Blockchain meets Physical Packaging Security

Blockchain meets Physical Packaging Security

A physical medium is required to validate the originality of a product as well as track it. Some of the physical tagging technologies are hologram, qrcode, RFID, SCoT Labels. SCoT packaging security labels can be used to capture the digital identity and transmit tracking data to a remote server. SCoT is unique among these technologies by using proprietary non clonable tags using patent pending technique.

Companies have also attempted using material properties using artificial intelligence to detect originality without use any additional tag. These implementations do not provide tracking and required a special device or reader. The results of the AI algorithms is also far from perfect and will continue to need research. We will though devote another article for this topic.

A product in the real world, unlike digital world, needs a separate tag to create an association to the digital world. Blockchain based packaging security solutions also needs one and it represents the block in the form a QR Code to be printed on the physical.

In short, Blockchain based solutions leverage QR Code as the binding between physical and digital world. With inherent flaws of QR Code as a security technology, any claim of security is as effective or ineffective as a QR Code. You may read more about why QR Code or Barcode do not form the basis of strong counterfeit prevention mechanism here.

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Purpose built Anti-Counterfeit & Tracking technology

Purpose built Anti-Counterfeit & Tracking technology

SCoT leverages tracking technologies like barcode and qrcode for item identification. The RUDS based signature is used as non clonable per-piece unique random without any covert feature. SCoT smartphone app can only be used for decoding and verifying the security signature of the label. With no signature generator unlike Barcode, QR Code generator, duplicating a SCoT Label is impossible. The strength of the SCoT label lies in the proprietary encoding making it resilient against re-creation in the event of signature discovery.

SCoT uses vision based scanning to read signature from tags (passive/active). Signature generation with SCoT is randomized with the ability to create millions of unique code. These aspects makes it more secure than 2048-bit digital key in the digital world.

ScAI, the Active Intelligence distributed server technology, helps detects clones even when using a QR Code based solutions. The use of ScAI can transform otherwise unsecure packaging solutions like hologram, QR Code, Barcode, encrypted QR Codes into a robust security technology.

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