A blockchain start-up tracking items through product supply chains with help of blockchain has presented this month at a bitcoin meet-up focused on the socio-economic side of blockchain.

Jessi Baker, Provenance's founder and CEO, and Johann Barbie, CTO, spoke at the event about transparency which blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin, brings to physical items that exchange hands. 

Provenance provides tools for certifiers, auditors and sustainability experts to gather information about the production processes behind various goods. This information can be then integrated at the point of sale as a history of a particular item and of its journey between people and places. The items that can be tracked by Provenance include trainers, boardshorts, bluetooth speakers and even food. The start-up working on a blockchain project to track fish, noting when and where and how it was caught, checking whether it qualifies as organic and tracking it as it changes hands, so that data can be demonstrated to the final buyer.

The transparency of physical goods is supposed to raise awareness about social issues of labour, authenticity of brands, and the provenance of the ingredients and materials used, building trust between suppliers and consumers.

Provenance is not the only start-up using bitcoin technology to track items. A UK-based company Everledger aims to prevent diamond theft and fraud by registering the provenance of all the diamonds on blockchain. Another start-up, Los-Angeles-based Verisart, will use blockchain to provide a decentralised online database of art and objects of value, which can be then used by artists, collectors and sellers. The project will allow users to track and verify the provenance of the physical items online and in real time.


Sonya Belova