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Made in Italy on Blockchain: what’s going on?

Dear readers, it is my pleasure to e-meet you again on ITN’s website. My name is Michele Zilocchi. You can find my first interview here , and it might happen that we will e-meet again. In this article, I would like to introduce some applications based on Blockchain useful for everyday real life. We will talk about food and services traceability in Italy.

First of all, I would like to point out the initiative of the current Government to appoint a Board of 30 experts in the field of Blockchain. The purpose of this great iniziative is to find solutions based on the Blockchain useful to the Italian industry and able to improve the performance of the Public Administration. Industry and Public Administration can get huge benefits from the introduction of a Distributed Leger. Speeding up bureaucracy, enhancing precision of Data Storage and avoiding mistakes are the main benefits that also Public Administration would get.

“Made in Italy” is a powerful brand; therefore, today I would like to talk about how Blockchain can contribute to keep this brand at a great level.

Italians are very proud of everything branded as Made in Italy because these products are the best ambassadors of the Country’s excellences. We have lots of experience in some niches of global business, but we are frustrated when counterfeit products deceive the consumers. This misleading game alters the market’s balance and takes away massive potential from our entrepreneurs.

Blockchain aims to create a Distributed Ledger, making the information unveil. It makes data collection unchangeable. Blockchain can already do it with a wide enough public consent. Bye-bye, tricksters.

Why should Italy be interested in this strategy?

You are aware that in Italy we have some records of the food industry worthy of protection for the welfare of the community and the credibility of our industry. Have you ever tried a glass of Amarone Valpolicella from the Verona area? Have you ever eaten Oranges, Lemons and Ciliegino Tomatoes produced in Sicily? You certainly know the typical Neapolitan Espresso Coffee, don’t you?

I am sure that even you would not like to pay a high price without a valid reason. The Blockchain is the infrastructure through which manufacturers can show the purchasers many details of their products. At that point, the choice to reward a high quality or a counterfeit product is in the consumer’s hands who is aware of his choice.

Some traditional sectors are looking for new ways to reach the market. A couple of weeks ago, a law firm promoting the extension of a Vineyard project rang my bell. The goal of their CEO was to create a utility token for investors. Funders would get a continuous amount of top-quality red wine in return for their investment in the company’s ICO. It is not an innovative exchange. Anyway, smart contracts are changing the relationship between two parties by creating a new type of legal obligations that will have to be regulated as soon as possible by the legislator.

A Company that is developing infrastructures for Made in Italy top brands is Foodchain , a start-up based in the Como’s area. Foodchain is promoting a coffee roaster’s brand as well as that of one of the main fruits distributors in the Country, made in collaboration with T18. A textile project is also on going, and soon, there may be some updates. The aim of Foodchain is binding the “three T” of Food: Trust, Transactions, Traceability to a growing common thought about Food Safety and Food Quality.
What about a “Made in Italy”, that is really made in Italy?

Smart Agrifood is an observatory part of School of Management Polytechnic of Milan.  According to their study, there was a high increase in projects based on Blockchain traceability. The number has doubled in the last year comparing to the first mapping period (the years 2016 – 2018). The Observatory has the great and important task to intensify relationships between Italian Food Projects based on blockchain. Smart Agrifood is also the main promoter of the project AgriOpenData that aims to trace every step of agricultural products, from the Field to the Retail Customers.

Basf is promoting the project “Riso Chiaro” for rice traceability in Italy, partnering with the famous producer: Coppo e Garrione. Basf is working on Blockchain-based systems to make the shipping chain and transformation processes transparent and fair.

Carrefour Italy has been one of the earliest and most evident samples of integration of Blockchain and Food, creating a massive marketing campaign around the traceability of its chickens.

Gathering some information, I created a New Year’s Eve Dinner made of Blockchain traced products

By the way, my usual disclaimer is: “Blockchain technology is not always shining and sparkling”. Some issues still need to be fixed. Once the information is entered into the system, it becomes unchangeable. Who can work as a data trustability watchdog? Only users and their ability to verify information can make the system more safe and reliable.

What devices are the best option to upload information into the Blockchain? QR Codes, Bar Codes, Real-time sensors? May sensors be manipulated?

Might a Permissioned/Private Blockchain compromise the integrity of the information? The Blockchain will find its real application in timestamping and data storage once these bottlenecks are resolved. We are only at the beginning of this revolution, and much remains to be done. Believe in decentralised structures, and the quality of your food will be unquestionably certified.

Good appetite!

Perspectives on the Italian crypto scene. Interview with Michele Zilocchi

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(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2019-07-27 09:11:15

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