Blockchain standards: US debates a need for legislation - Supply Management
Manufacturers of approved baby care products look to blockchain for authentication ©Getty Images
Manufacturers of approved baby care products look to blockchain for authentication ©Getty Images

Blockchain standards: US debates a need for legislation

In order to effectively foster the adoption of blockchain solutions to supply chain problems, there must be a common set of standards that are globally recognised, concluded a US House of Representatives committee.

The US committee on science, space and technology met in May to discuss leveraging blockchain technology to improve management in the supply chain and combat counterfeit goods.

Recognising the benefits to both public and private sector, the hearing discussed challenges and solutions – such as RFID and X-ray technology. They also heard about companies that had simply rebranded database projects to feed off the hype.

It was agreed that education is still required for the development of standards, and that many players are “fairly early on in the blockchain world.”

Douglas Maughan, cyber security division director in Homeland Security, said the US was in a leading position to push blockchain, but added: “I don’t know if we’re going to be out in front because you can’t do blockchain by yourself.”

The committee heard from businesses of ways that blockchain can be used to enhance security and improve efficiency.

Luv N’ Care, which makes baby products, has experienced counterfeit goods being sold online – some not safe for use. Because they are shipped directly to customers, the company – and US customs – cannot easily deal with the fake products.

Blockchain could highlight these issues, said Maersk’s head of trade digitisation Michael White, adding that “an open and neutral industry platform… is by far the best way to drive efficient, transparent and secure global trade”.

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