Since the 2008 scandal in China, where over 54,000 babies were affected by unsafe, contaminated formula, the demand for product safety has been on the rise. As a result, the Chinese market for authentic non-food and food products is reaching a value of US$60 billion a year.
CCN reported that over 90% of products sold in China are misrepresented in one way or another, including food products such as baby formula. Techrock has been one of the major companies to explore the power of blockchain technology in tracking consumer products through their production cycle to ensure their authenticity.
To encourage consumers to participate in product verification, Techrock also provides a rewards system. But with only 10 percent of food sold in China deemed authentic, verifying products is a necessity, even without the rewards.
Techrock’s blockchain technology is two-pronged: it permanently stores the history of goods on its platform, and it rewards consumers for using the service to purchase authentic goods. Instead of the non-food products segment, where counterfeits are not as stigmatized, they focus on products that can have a real impact on public health, such as baby formula and health supplements.
To further adoption of the authenticity tracking service, Techrock signed an agreement with leading Japanese retailer Rakuten to create a dedicated “zone” for the retailer on its online store, bringing authentic Japanese products to Chinese consumers.
Techrock Co-founder Alexander Busarov expects growing demand for product authenticity to drive his company’s expansion.
“We already sell in over 220 or 230 cities where our consumers are located,” Busarov said. “It’s all sent by the local dealer companies. We think our business will grow as the demand grows.”
Meanwhile, JD.com, another leading retailer in China, is also experimenting with a similar food authenticity solution that is built entirely on blockchain.
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