Being a successful graduate of Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU), Maria has acquired competencies in economic and social studies. Given Maria’s previous research working experience, and desire to explore what's really shaping the future, the main research focus is placed on FinTech and Blockchain Technology.
Rakuten, the leading Japanese e-commerce giant, has partnered with Techrock, blockchain-based supply chain and e-commerce company, in an initiative to bring verifiably authentic Japanese consumer goods to the Chinese market.
Techrock is a blockchain-based supply chain and e-commerce company that provides end-to-end product tracking and authentication for consumer products.
The potential of distributed ledgers (i.e., blockchains) in supply chain management and logistics has been touted extensively over the last several years – with the UN even conducting several case studies of using blockchains for the supply chain.
The promise of blockchain supply chain tracing touches on everything from mitigating counterfeit products to tracking wildlife thresholds for international fishing standards, sparking a wave of innovation and experimentation in the field.
In particular, the convergence of blockchains with emerging tech such as near-field communication chips (NFCs) has opened up new possibilities for real-time metrics including environmental conditions and product tampering.
Blockchains are inherently immutable, meaning that they cannot be maliciously altered by individual entities, and are based on consensus from a group or network of participants.
As such, their integration with real-time smart packaging tech (i.e., NFCs) is ideal for uploading the conditions of products being shipped to a shared, immutable ledger. Techrock has been at the forefront of this type of work, partnering with numerous enterprises to secure, monitor, and ensure the authenticity of cross-border products throughout the supply chain.
“Techrock’s anti-counterfeit technology allows Chinese consumers to verify they have received a genuine Rakuten product, giving a unique value advantage for cross-border e-commerce,” detailed Rakuten’s Vice Senior Manager of Global Trading & Flagship Section, Ye Jianyou – in the official press release.
Techrock offers integrated banking-level security and NFC smart packaging to Rakuten, where products can be ‘touched’ by a smartphone with a Techrock label to upload the NFC chip status to the network. The more people that touch the label, the stronger the level of security.
“We’re very excited to be able to provide millions of Chinese consumers with Rakuten’s high-demand, quality Japanese products, and work together to improve cross-border e-commerce as it exists now,” says Techrock CEO, Alex Busarov, in the press release.
Rakuten has been making several moves to improve their product tracking in multiple industries with e-commerce platforms like Techrock, including other Chinese giants JD.com and Kaola.
Techrock also offers an ever-expanding portfolio of products from various markets that are sourced from their specialized sourcing team and can be found in offline retail stores or through their WeChat store – the most popular social media app in China.
As part of the partnership, Techrock’s crypto loyal point, Tael (WABI), will be integrated into a cross-platform model with Rakuten’s loyalty system also.
Counterfeit products within multiple industries from cosmetics to pharmaceuticals are a massive problem globally. The global anti-counterfeit packaging market is expected to reach nearly $185 billion by 2025, and major online retailers like Rakuten are seeking solutions like those offered by Techrock in increasing numbers.
Notably, Rakuten has also been deepening their connection to blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies recently. The firm’s new cryptocurrency exchange, Rakuten Wallet, recently started accepting account registrations, making Rakuten one of the largest companies to join the broader cryptocurrency market following their approval for an exchange license by the Japanese Financial Services Agency.
Rakuten has even been accepting Bitcoin payments since 2015 when it integrated with Bitnet – the U.S. payment processor.
Rakuten will open exclusive ‘zones’ for products inside of Techrock’s retail channel, which would also enable the integration of ‘cross-ecosystem integration’ of the platforms’ loyalty points programs.
Together, Rakuten and Techrock are striving to further their collaboration on blockchain traceability and consumer insights with their partnership.