The new project presented at Hyperledger working group meeting shows how distributed time-stamping and blockchain tracking of drugs could improve the accountability in the pharmaceutical industry.

The concept is created by Accenture, a multinational consulting services company, and was represented at the meeting by the company’s lead software developer Primrose Mbanefo, who works with the Internet of Things, reports Exchanger Bitcoin. The idea is to track medicines with the help of the open ledger:

“If we could get that data and prove that documents have not been tampered with we could say the drug actually came from the factory that we say it came from.”

Mbanefo believes that counterfeited substances include not only drugs produced by illegal manufacturers but also those made by well-established companies that do not stick to the formula well enough. Both can be excluded from circulation if every medicine has an immutable time-stamp showing where and when it was produced. The important thing is, according to Mbanefo, to have “a supply chain we could actually trust.”

Hyperledger project is led by the Linux Foundation and chaired by Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset Holdings. Its governing board includes representatives of IBM, Intel, R3, Deutsche Börse, J.P. Morgan, DTCC, CME Group, Accenture, Fujitsu, SWIFT and many other leading companies. Hyperledger aims to promote blockchain technology, developing and supporting open-source distributed ledgers which are regarded as an alternative to the bitcoin blockchain.

The participants intend to create individual blockchain-based solutions in such fields as banking, industry, insurance, proprietary rights, energy, civil contracts and the Internet of Things.

Tracking of goods has lately become one of the most popular suggested uses for blockchain. UK-based company Everledger aims to prevent diamond theft and fraud by registering provenance of the precious stones in a 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. Provenance is working on a blockchain project to track fish, registering when and where and how it was caught, checking whether it qualifies as organic and tracking it along distribution lines so that the data could be shown to the final buyer. There were also proposals to use blockchain for tracking of luxury wine and vintage sneakers.


Alexey Tereshchenko