Dar es Salaam. Much like most world countries, Tanzania, faces the challenge of data and documents authentication. This, experts say, could become a thing of the past if the countries adopt ‘blockchain’ technology. ‘Blockchain’ refers to the storing of digital information (the block) in a public database (the chain). It is really the record-keeping technology behind bitcoin: a system in which a record of transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network.
Since the information can be viewed by anyone, it becomes difficult for one to forge, experts say.
As it is, the world is undergoing the fourth industrial revolution, following three previous revolutions. The first industrial revolution was marked by the steam engine, followed by the age of science and mass production – and, thirdly: the rise of digital technology.
In this regard, analysts say the role of blockchain technology in simplifying, securing and authenticating data and documents cannot be understated.
A presentation on the fourth Industrial Revolution by the Swiss firm Société Industrielle et Commerciale de Produits Alimentaires (SICPA) – which was made at a forum on Africa – explained how blockchain technology can, among other benefits, be a remedy to the challenges pertaining to product origin and content.
In the presentation at the forum – which was organised by Sahara Sparks – SICPA’s Marco Aloe and Philippe Thévoz argued that it is blockchain technology which inspires, and enables, 100 per cent trust in government data.
“Blockchain enforces the integrity of government data, processes and systems. It mitigates insider threat. It enables cost savings. It combats fake data. It does not have reliance on trusted third party,” the SICPA presentation reads in part.
SICPA – which deals in the protection and tracing of valuable goods and data – currently has offices in 35 countries, with over 2,000 employees serving customers across 160 countries.
The Society’s 90 years of expertise in currency security solutions, product marking, authentication and secure traceability has seen to it becoming a long-trusted advisor to governments, central banks, high security printers and industry in general.
Blockchain technology, SICPA contends, offers a fully-secure birth certificate which cannot be imitated.
“A birth certificate, identified by the blockchain technology, will be trusted for life. The technology combats counterfeits so much that the document can be universally verifiable,” the presentation also reads.
No forged birth certificate or notary documents can find its way into the community when blockchain technology is adopted.
This is because the system allows a ‘server-assisted signature’ that is blockchain-secured.