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Nike's plan to prevent counterfeiting by securing products using blockchain (fastscience.tv)
9 points by vineetmarkan 3 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 15 comments





I may have missed something, but how does this prevent counterfeiting? It seems more so like it prevents counterfeits from being sold as real shoes, but does nothing to the number of counterfeits being produced.

As other commenters have pointed out, this only prevents counterfeit shoes being sold as real.

If that’s the intention, it would be much simpler to just make a database and print a code on each shoe (probably already done to some extent). Therefore when a user wants to know if a shoe is real or counterfeit, they could use the code on a website to find out if it was the genuine article.

That seems like it would have far more uptake and use than a cryptographic model requiring wallets.


If you read the use cases, a lot of their ideas revolve around marketplace. So it should have more to do with resale or transfer of digital asset. So when you are selling on a marketplace like EBay etc., having a valid digital token is a proof that you are trying to sell valid Nikes.

IMO they are tracking ownership of each pair with the help of these tokens and once the real shoe is sold the token is transferred to someone else's digital wallet.

Putting a QR code on shoe is not really effective as it can copied/pasted on a different shoe etc.


They are tracking ownership, but why does this need to be decentralized?

what advantage does Nike gain for it being decentralized vs everything getting a QR code and you can verify with Nike that the person you are buying it from is the registered owner of said QR code.


Because blockchains are great for exchange of value/transactions. Tokens can be easily transferred and hard to re-create and safe. They can be re-generated after each transaction and stored in a wallet.

Associating one QR code with one shoe is simply not the same thing. Nike doesn't have to make the whole ledger public through give the nature of blockchain, it can be assured that it has not been altered.


They don't have to with QR codes either, unless you're willing to enumerate all possible codes in their verifier.

Also the thing is not stopping anyone from providing a wrong code. Unless every transaction concerning their shoes is recorded on the block chain, which it won't, and which brings privacy issues.


If the QR code/serial number can be duplicated, so can the digital token. The digital token is tracked by Nike to be uniquely owned you say? Why can't they do the same with the QR code/serial number?

It's just shoes, no one will own or need to transfer 0.124 of those shoes.


Despite the explanatory comment that was added below the line on the article, this doesn't really seem to be a good use for Blockchain per se.

1/ as long as the translation of the physical asset to a digital asset is vulnerable to attack, blockchain doesn't really add anything above a centralised database. The only time this is not true is if the underlying asset is itself cryptographic in nature.

2/ You could easily scan a QR code which looks the shoe up with Nike, and shows you the provenance. Blockchain doesn't add anything here, and it doesn't prevent you from owning the underlying asset (unless there's some weird licencing contract when you buy a pair of shoes, which I doubt).


Regarding point 1 : https://www.forbes.com/sites/samantharadocchia/2018/07/05/ho...

Regarding point 2: I have never heard anyone tokenizing physical assets using conventional databases. Reason is multiple people may hold part of the value/asset, no one wants to trust anyone else.


Nike’s authorized suppliers in China will subcontract work out to non-authorized suppliers who do not meet Nike’s labor standards. I’m afraid blockchain isn’t more that a database.

How exactly is this preventing that fakes are being sold as authentic ?

The people who want to fake a certain shoe would just need to acquire an authentic one, then fake the shoe AND copy the QR / NFC data attached to the authentic one.

So if i buy this shoe and I want to check its authenticity i would scan the tag and the system would tell me: Jordan 5 Chinese New Year, size 11, owner: John Doe

Am I missing something ?


When you make a purchase, you unlock the digital asset associated with that shoe. When you sell it forward, the digital asset will be transferred forward, provided the transactions happen on blockchain.

So you can technically sell a fake of physical, but you have to give up the ownership of the shoe (virtual). And therefore, can't sell a fake twice.

It's a shoe version of Cryptokitties.


There's some fun stuff in there - but can't see any part that requires/uses block-chain (and couldn't just be Nike's db)

For people asking why is blockchain needed in this scenario, I have added a comment below the article explaining why it would be far more robust than using a QR code etc.

Perhaps they can hook-up with Vechain and learn a thing or two on how to combat counterfeiting goods on the blockchain.Just a thought though.



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