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Community

Protecting the value of creation

SEAL | 03.06| 191

We all know that feeling of gratification when you worked hard to buy that special item you really wanted. But what do we actually value? Is it merely a case of nice aesthetic or maybe it’s the premium fabric or the newest technological improvement. In fact, these features are not the reasons why we value certain products more than others. Value doesn’t come from features, it comes from authenticity, hard work, constant error leading to progress and real, genuine craftsmanship. Let’s take Rolex as an example. You don’t buy a Rolex just because you want a watch, because it’s not just an ordinary watch. You actually buy a piece of legacy. Its creator has put in a lot of work to make it, and you worked hard to purchase it. The things we value just don’t come easy, it is as simple as that.

Now, let’s discuss a seriously harmful problem. If these products we value are so precious to us, then why do we allow the fact that these authentic creations are constantly being copied, bringing forth a market that sometimes even outperforms the actual market. According to the International Trademark Association, $460 billion worth of counterfeiting goods were bought and sold in 2013. These counterfeits do not only infringe IP, but also intentionally deceive customers. Counterfeits also have a great impact on lost revenues, reputational damage and employment. Where more and more honest companies struggle to survive, these counterfeiting based company grow incrementally. Frontier Economics’ forecast for 2022 paints a grim future. The total costs of the counterfeiting industry in 2022, excluding software is between $1516bn and $1954bn. Over 85% of all counterfeit products are currently produced in China. Counterfeit products are not only harmful to the economy, but also to each individual’s wellbeing. The list of counterfeited products varies from designer goods to even food and medicines. This is where the issue gets real. Where companies can “often” identify what product is real or fake, the actual customer has no clue when he consumes a fake product. This means that our own naivety is part of the reason why this problem can lead to life threatening situations.

How can we stop this phenomena? If it’s even possible to stop this constant eruption of illegal commerce. Or even more importantly how can we protect the value of creations that contribute to us as individuals and humanity as a whole? Both companies and governmental organizations stepped in to come up with solutions. This led mostly to temporal ways to counter the counterfeiting problem. Despite of the improvements in the legal framework regarding intellectual property rights, companies are often disappointed by the results of their attempts to prevent counterfeit goods.

Anti-counterfeiting methods of our time are easily copied, e.g. serial numbers, holograms or QR codes. In order to solve the problem there must be a way to ensure the data is not duplicable. Anti-counterfeiting is an endless cat-and-mouse game between counterfeiters and security specialists. Inevitably, all offline authentication methods become compromised, as long as a financial motive exists. Online authentication is the next step to ensure authenticity, but the data marked on the product can be copied as well. The emerging blockchain technology might be one step in the right direction.

Up until now these measures were able to either verify authenticity, trace its path of ownership or identify the source, but in order to really solve the problem all of these three requirements must be captured. And the most complicated part about it, is that the use of this product needs to be as easy as possible and preferably invisible. Fortunately, there might be a technological breakthrough that brightens the horizon.

Verifying authenticity with a simple scan

We as Seal integrated blockchain technology into micro NFC chips that serve the required functions through the use of smart contracts. The decentralized nature of the blockchain based network, makes it virtually unhackable and impossible to imitate. The solution is complex, the use is surprisingly easy. By the use of a simple Seal application anyone can easily scan the Seal chip with his own mobile device to track the products road from its source to its new owner. It instantly shows the product’s value and proves authenticity. This promising technology might be able to deal with the problem of counterfeiting for good.

But technology won’t do the trick by itself. The first step to protecting the value of creation, comes through awareness and responsibility. If we don’t take account of what’s going on and keep buying products which are fake and dangerous, then these illegal enterprises will keep on growing and cause more damage. It is time that we as individuals become aware of the problem and stop participating in this industry of corruption. That is the only way to ensure that genuine craftsmanship is praised, real solutions are maintainable and the authentic value of creation is protected.

Seal Brand Movie ‘Out of love for creation’:


Protecting the value of creation was originally published in Seal Network on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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