Oct 11, 2018

Not a blockchain!

If 25 years ago somebody would have claimed to deliver pizza as email attachment, the implausibility would have probably been lost for most people, as almost nobody was familiar with e-mail at the time. Similarly, today Carrefour Italia claims to track food using blockchain.

Dilbert blockchain

Whoever promotes QR encoded URLs as blockchain must be ridiculed. A legitimate QR code can be simply copied on illegitimate products: as such the landing web page is not reliable.

Moreover, it is true and far-reaching that the (bitcoin) blockchain can guarantee time-stamping, but it cannot guarantee validity, correctness, or accuracy of the content being time-stamped. So, despite landing on a legitimate web page, whatever has been notarized on the blockchain and is displayed on the web page can be false. You can order pizza via e-mail, but it cannot be delivered by e-mail.

Finally, if https is not used, if the notarizations are not signed, if a non-bitcoin blockchain is used, all these details do compromise the reliability further.

The IBM Food Trust, the EY Wine Blockchain, this Carrefour attempt, and similar campaigns are just dishonest marketing gimmick, i.e. misleading advertising.

What is infuriating about these initiatives is the attempt to promote trust in non-sound technological choices: noted security expert Bruce Schneier called supply-chain security β€œan insurmountably hard problem.”, it is a daunting task for electronics (see Bruce Schneier on The Washington Post), and chickens too.

chicken blockchain