The blockchain is a useful and versatile tool that can be used in different areas, but for some sectors is still immature, such as using it for voting or for the traceability of goods and services.
Many cases, such as that of Carrefour or the balsamic vinegar from Modena, have used the word blockchain more as a mere marketing strategy than as a useful tool for the final consumer.
In recent years, we have witnessed several attempts, almost all of which failed, which involved either the use of a private DLT or the recording of data that is completely useless for the consumer. These attempts have failed to provide the real reason for having adequate traceability to overcome the difficulties that a given sector could face.
It goes without saying that the problem of product certification exists, but the solution proposed by a private DLT is not a real solution.
However, is it possible, on an experimental level, to demonstrate that it is possible to use a public blockchain without giving up data and information that are important for the consumer?
The do-it-yourself blockchain
To address this point, the Cryptonomist team has set up a sort of traceability system for the extra virgin olive oil that I produce in my own small countryside.
By traceability it is meant, of course, the recording of information intended to provide useful data for the user.
A premise: some data are missing, but we have tried to convey the idea of using a blockchain in everyday life to do something useful and to inform those who have the necessary capital to develop a similar project.
How to use the EOS blockchain
We used the EOS blockchain to record both the information and the photographs of the process (the olive harvest, the documents related to the weighing, the pressing and so on), all of which was done trying to record the data on the same day and at the same time of the process, so as to make the time-stamp coincide with the actual event.
All recordings were made with the MurMur dApp, a decentralised application based on the EOS blockchain that has the same functions as Instagram. It allows to record on the EOS blockchain both text (up to 256 characters) as well as images and videos.
Once the different steps were recorded on the blockchain, to save space when inserting the text of the dApp, we used a system to shorten the links of the transaction.
The same step was repeated also for the final pressing from which the extra virgin olive oil was obtained.
Finally, we created the final transaction with the data of each can of olive oil. For the final format we have chosen a simple QR code thanks to which, with a simple smartphone, it is possible to see the transaction with the product information and also 2 photos of the cans.
The information is the following:
- The origin of the olives, so the city and the geographical coordinates of the countryside (objective and verifiable information);
- The location of the mill, so the city and its geographical coordinates;
- The link with the date of harvesting and pressing of the olives. The links refer to transactions on the EOS blockchain;
- The lot, with reference to the 14 cans of 5 liters produced;
- The type of can, which in this case is 5 liters;
- The type of product that, as we have said, is the Ogliarola from Bari.
The transaction is recoverable here and is public.
Even though the whole procedure described was done in a “do-it-yourself” fashion, we wanted to demonstrate that it is possible to use a public blockchain to insert useful information.
Traceability of anything must be done on a public blockchain in order to have meaning and real utility, containing objective information and verifiable by the end customer.