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Seagate, IBM partner to curb hard drive counterfeiting with blockchain

Fri, 09 Nov 2018, 04:43 am UTC

Leading data storage solutions provider Seagate Technology is teaming up with IBM to curb product counterfeiting using blockchain and security technologies.

The project aims to help manufacturers, integrators, and business partners fight counterfeit hard drives. It will combine IBM Blockchain Platform, Seagate’s advanced “electronic fingerprinting” and product tracking to help prove provenance over hard drive life cycle.

According to the official release, Seagate will update product authentication data on the IBM Blockchain Platform on the IBM Cloud at the point of manufacture. Using this unique identifier, which serves as an electronic fingerprint, the identity of a hard drive can be verified at any time during its product life cycle.

Various stakeholders, such as technology vendors, service providers, and end users, would be able to confirm a product’s provenance on the blockchain throughout its lifecycle. This, in turn, can help reduce data loss, fraudulent products and warranty costs, while improving product assurance for customers during deployment.

“The ability to work with Seagate to combine blockchain with advanced cryptographic product identification technology is what sets this work apart, and signals blockchain’s potential to reimagine the electronics product life cycle management processes,” said Bruce Anderson, global managing director, electronics industry, IBM.

Anderson told CoinDesk that utilizing a blockchain platform can help enhance supply chain processes in general by streamlining or eliminating paperwork.

"This presents a great opportunity to take out a ton of manual administrative cost, or even just losses," he said.

Seagate and IBM expect to expand the business network to include participation from supply chain partners. Anderson said that IBM has already reached out to a number of manufacturers to gauge interest in using blockchain technology to track products.

"We've actually exposed the solution to a number of manufacturers, not only of drives, but other electronic equipment. Obviously folks are waiting for a standard to approach. The good news is the electronic industry is good at settling on a standard," he said.

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