The distributed ledger technology (DLT) product authentication system patent filed by the United States e-commerce company Amazon has been approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Their new platform aims to provide ‘digital trust’ to the product supply chain (SC).
In the patent, Amazon pointed out that as networks and databases missing transparency, consistency, referential integrity and security are rapidly increasing, SC problems are exacerbated. The company argued that blockchain-based systems could solve these logistics network problems by synthesizing data held by manufacturers, distributors, and transporters into an open framework.
DLT can prevent data tampering and eliminate single points of failure. Hyperledger was mentioned as an applicable technology. Nevertheless, patent filings don’t mean that the firm is currently using the technology in question - blockchain tech.
The ‘distributed ledger authentication system’ is a product tracking solution to ensure the authenticity of products sold on Amazon. The firm plans to increase reliability by adding visibility to the supply chain through a blockchain-powered product tracking system.
The system has a certification body that requires specific procedures for supply chain participants and presents management regulations. Producers, carriers, distributors and end-users registered with the institution can add changes to the blockchain.
The company emphasized that it is possible to improve the reliability of products and companies by transparently sharing information and checking products in real-time throughout the distribution process.
Amazon focuses on securing trust and is taking various steps to improve it. As per the report by the Wall Street Journal back in 2018, Amazon is investing billions of dollars to combat fake products supplied via the e-market.
In 2019, the firm rolled out ‘Project Zero’ to combat the distribution of counterfeit goods. The company wants to earn and also regain back the trust that was lost due to the supply of many fake products in the e-marketplace. As coinidol.com, a world blockchain news outlet reported, Amazon was also looking to apply the tech for developing a new advertising platform.
Amazon isn’t the only company delving into the potential of the blockchain in providing logistics network solutions.
Walmart particularly applies DLT in some of their SC, FedEx rolled out a DLT-based pilot program that will help it solve client disputes, Maersk also finished the first trial of DLT in 2017, focusing on how best it can manage and ship its cargo, British Airways tested with the help of DLT to manage information on airlifts between London, Geneva and Miami, IBM develops blockchain-based SC solutions, a shipping firm UPS also uses the technology to improve transparency among all participants in the logistics network and other many more companies.