11 June 2020

E-Commerce Giant Amazon Patents A Blockchain System for Product Authentication

Tech giants have been increasingly shifting their focus to blockchain-based solutions in avid to improve their overall customer experience and bring in more transparency to their platform and services.

E-commerce giant Amazon has recently patented a distributed ledger (DLT) system that aims at proving the authenticity of the consumer goods. With the e-commerce industry exploding at a very rapid speed, the concerns of counterfeit products have also increased simultaneously.

In its patent filed on Tuesday, Amazon explains of leveraging the blockchain technology to bring more transparency to its supply chain by infusing “digital trust from the first mile of an item’s supply chain” to the last.

In the patent, Amazon explains an entire system that can compile data from distributors, manufacturers, and shippers on an “open framework” which is then neatly packaged for the consumer. Besides, Amazon’s blockchain-based product-authenticator system will offer real-time visibility as the products mover over time in the entire supply chain.

Building Trustworthiness to Improve Customer Relations

Today with the rapid increase in databases and systems, there’s an information overload with systems lacking important factors like transparency, coherency, security, referral integrity, etc. This often results in a lack of trustworthiness leaving a bad impact on the brand.

Amazon’s DLT system aims to address all of these lacunas within a supply to improve the overall customer experience. Over the last two decades, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos has been putting a large focus on matters of customer delight and customer experience. The company has invested heavily in tech to help them build more trust among its customers and grow fast together.

Amazon’s blockchain-based system for product authentication also references the Bitcoin whitepaper. The purpose is to give an idea about the immutable and time-bound nature of blockchain technology for real-time product tracking.

Amazon also explained how the distributed systems can prevent data alteration, eliminate all the single points of failure, and more importantly solve the managerial problems of centralized authority.

The patent provides a glimpse into Amazon’s DLT system. It mentions “When an item is added to a catalog system, the item information may be included in the creation element at the start of the ledger for the item. A certification authority may be included to verify that items received correspond to the item included in the catalog based on one or more certification rules.”

Besides, the system will also include rules for testing and certification. This includes ensuring the item’s quality throughout the supply chain.

Amazon’s Project Zero To Trace and Remove Counterfeit Products

Last year in 2019, Amazon launched a new initiative called Project Zero for counterfeit detection of phony and suspicious goods. As per the e-commerce giant, it has put all its technological prowess Amazon’s machine learning to scan its stores and remove counterfeits.

The company said that it is willing to put billions of dollars in investment for fighting fakes. Moreover, Amazon wants to make it easy for brands to remove other counterfeit products on Amazon without breaking their heads with the support team.

Well, it is not yet clear, but Amazon can possibly leverage its DLT system to ensure product authenticity. Amazon’s use of DLT will certainly encourage other players in the e- commerce space to adopt similar tech and improve the overall ecosystem.

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