On the origin of frozen fish cakes

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On the origin of frozen fish cakes

To test the potential application of blockchain in logistics, Samsung SDS has turned to fish cakes.

The IT services provider of Samsung is working with Busan-based fish cake manufacturer Samjin Food to track the production, packaging and delivery of frozen fish cakes using a blockchain app.

The technology, best known for driving cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, is touted for its potential to enhance transparency and security in logistics because the system involves distributed ledgers that can be updated in real time and are difficult to manipulate.

Samsung SDS is working with Samjin Food to make the delivery process more transparent for consumers wary of food safety. Each package of frozen fish cakes will come with a QR code, and scanning it on the Samsung app will bring up the entire route that the product took from factory to store.

A scan of one package on Thursday showed that the fish passed Korean customs on Dec. 29, 2017, after making a journey by sea from Vietnam. The fish was then processed into fish cake at a factory in Korea.

The app is currently in its testing stage. Samsung SDS hopes to ultimately launch the app in partnership with multiple food retailers.

“One of the reasons Samjin wanted to do this test project with us is because consumers in Korea have become increasingly sensitive to the safety of fish products after the nuclear accident in Japan,” Jang In-soo, vice president of Samsung SDS, said. “Such services can offer a chance for companies to build trust with consumers by opening up how they process their food products, and for consumers, the app helps them choose safer products for their families.”

Jang said the usefulness of blockchain is not only restricted to food. The company hopes to extend its application to finance and other sectors, with the possibility of creating digital authentication systems.

One area that Samsung SDS is closely pursuing is e-commerce. The company is preparing a blockchain-based system that can verify whether a luxury product retailed online is genuine. While blockchain technology itself cannot guarantee the quality of a product, the technology can at least guarantee what kind of certification the product has, the company said.

In the past year, Samsung SDS has been actively bolstering its blockchain business. In May, it participated in a consortium to apply blockchain technology to shipping and has been testing various possibilities since.

The consortium that started with 15 members now has 38 companies and government institutions, boosted by worldwide interest in blockchain technology after the spike in cryptocurrency prices at the end of last year.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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