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Counterfeit goods are a huge problem. Harvard Business Review indicated that there are 5.4 trillion dollars a year in counterfeit goods sold a year.
The questions that need to be addressed are:
How to you prove authenticity with some sort of a "device" or "clip" that consumers can easily use.
How to protect the privacy of consumers so that devices do not expose the consumer.
How to prevent "fake" authentication devices - a proof of authenticity that is just a number that can be looked up is worthless when others duplicate the same number.
How to allow the transfer of real goods in after markets. How to re-sell and transfer the "ownership" to the new owner.
The project in the WABL lab is to use strong encryption and a blockchain to implement this.
Dr. Mike Borowczak
Build a full "protocol" demo that uses a Near Field Communication emulator (Android Phone) and a 2nd device running an application (2nd Android Phone) as a pair and demonstrate the security protocol.
Do proofs on the protocol that it works.
Do proofs that the protocol will not show the identity of the owner of products - but can still verify that the person is the owner when a product changes ownership.
To have a economy wide system that prevents counterfeiting.
Using a pair of phones, one iPhone and one Android we build a Near Field Communication (NFC) based emulator that demonstrated the version 1 of this protocol. It used a blockchain backing and communicated using the NFC-NDEF protocol.