What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a data structure that is decentralized, secure, censorship-resistant, immutable, borderless, neutral, and transparent. Decentralization is achieved by distributing the ledger (the record of transactions made on the blockchain) to all the computers in the database. This immutable mode of record administration eliminates the need for any central entity to manage the transactions. Instead, the decentralized network manages itself. This eradicates the need for a trusted third party to manage and protect data, which also means blockchain eliminates the ability of third-party entities to potentially corrupt data. The data is in the hands of thousands of users instead of just one central company and the rules of the network are enforced by the blockchain itself. Furthermore, the computers (also known as nodes) run the network themselves by solving complex algorithms which validate transactions and add the validated transaction to the blockchain. Thus, the network is entirely self-governed and self-run. The autonomy and decentralization of the blockchain construct a robust infrastructure of encrypted data which is immutable and entirely censorship resistant. No central authority can censor or corrupt the data because the network is in the hands of the consensus majority of potentially thousands of users. The points of attack are in the thousands, whereas a central database is stored in only a hand full of servers. The distribution of data makes blockchain structures the most impenetrable databases currently available without the need for expensive firewalls and cybersecurity monitoring. The thorough record of transactions makes blockchain an efficient, cost-effective, auditable, and transparent data storage option by keeping a meticulous ledger of all the transactions executed on the network. The blockchain assigns a unique digital signature to each piece of data which cannot be counterfeited. Thus, allowing the user to view the entire lifespan of the data or product throughout the blockchain with the assurance that the information being provided is legitimate. Each individual transaction operation or interaction, such as the record of shipment, onboarding of a new employee or the recording of outgoing stock, is perfectly recorded and archived. Auditing is thus as simple as joining the blockchain network, as this allows one to “replay” the operations of the past in order to build a correct model of the present. Combined with the absolute guarantees of authenticity for every interaction, strong and agile data systems can be facilitated that are, at their core, resilient to coercion and human factors. These records are public, although some data is encrypted for the parties involved, which adds another level of transparency and legitimacy to business transactions in the eyes of the consumer.
What this means for Verity:
Verity uses our own custom tailored IBM Hyperledger Blockchain, which we call Verity One™. Our blockchain is the industry leading software in blockchain based supply chain management. Verity One™provides businesses and consumers with a transparent database where the information provided can be trusted as 100% genuine and verified. Among the benefits for producers, retailers, and end consumers purchasing products through a supply chain powered by blockchain is an assurance of certain characteristics of a product such as its authenticity, date, and location of production and other information that helps participants in the supply chain determine quality and value. The blockchain uses unique digital signatures to identify pieces of data. These digital signatures can be assigned to a product and allow it to immediately be identified as legitimate. This allows the consumer to view the entire history of that product by searching the blockchain for its unique digital signature and know that the product and its claims are genuine. It is a frequent situation where a manufacturer either intentionally or mistakenly specifies the wrong point of origin for the production of goods. According to European law enforcement agency Europol, the global volume of Intellectual Property crimes is valued at up to $461 billion annually. The transparency of a blockchain based supply chain system, supported by independent audits made by both participants and specialized companies and institutions with a stake in the openness of the system, could provide absolute proof of the authenticity of particular products and their quality characteristics in a secure, transnational, and honorable database. Until now, supply chain databases have been in the hands of third-party companies with little to no oversight or transparency making it difficult to prove the validity of product claims like “Made in America”, “Organic”, etc. Verity One™ will create a free-flowing and secure global supply chain database providing consumers with increased transparency and trust while providing producers and manufacturers with tremendous logistical information, oversight of their products, counterfeit protection, and legitimacy.