Bitmark + Chibitronics: Protecting against hardware warranty fraud.

Today Bitmark is pleased to announce a partnership with Chibitronics — together we are launching an anti-fraud protection system for hardware companies, built on the Bitmark blockchain.

Chibitronics will assign their Love to Code kits with labels which are linked to digital property titles, known as “bitmarks” recorded in the Bitmark blockchain. This application offers Chibitronics an automated warranty tracking system for their products, ultimately restoring security and trust to both Chibitronics and their customers.

The Backstory:

Warranty fraud is a rampant and costly epidemic for hardware and consumer electronics companies, large and small. It has been estimated that companies lose 5–10% of their product revenue to fraudulent product repairs and renewals, and even more to operational costs for customer support.

Chibitronics co-founder, bunnie huang came to Bitmark with the idea: In the same way that the Bitcoin blockchain can prevent double-spending digital currency, hardware products that are linked and viewable via the Bitmark blockchain will have a trackable provenance, thus cloning and warranty fraud are more easily detected and averted.

“Bitmark has provided us with a turn-key solution for serialization and front-line warranty support, thus streamlining our operational costs. Furthermore, the anti-fraud protection inherent in Bitmark serialization ensures that our operating margins are not eroded by external costs incurred by supporting hardware clones and fraudulent returns.”

— bunnie, Co-founder Chibitronics

How it works

Chibitronics kits will each come with a coded product label (a randomized set of words, similar to a secure passcode) which is then linked to a bitmark, recorded in the Bitmark blockchain. Each kit’s bitmark is a unique digital fingerprint that retains verified product information, and a viewable chain of ownership should the kit be passed or sold to other individuals. Ultimately, each kit has both a physical and a digital mark of authentication verifying it as a Chibitronics product.

How bitmarks are assigned

How bitmarks are used for customer support

This kind of digital warranty gives Chibitronics the following advantages for managing their products and customer support:

  • Bitmarks are permanently viewable on the Bitmark blockchain: Chibitronics’ customer support team, manufacturers, distributors, and the entire supply chain, will be able to view product information of any product codes they have issued.
  • Customer support is automated: the efficiency of reading a blockchain to verify a customer’s product code is greater than any other warranty system yet available.
  • Bitmarks are incorruptible: The tamper-evident label on each kit is linked to one, and only one bitmark. Any changes or alterations to the label or bitmark can be detected easily, and then dealt with appropriately.
  • Companies can reap the benefit of higher revenue: With this faster, more traceable, automated, secure and authenticated hardware warranty system, companies can invest in better products.
  • An automated system is better all around: Bitmarks make product ownership easily authenticated and trackable for both the company and customers (no need to keep proof-of-purchase files around!).

What this means

By enabling the Bitmark system, hardware companies large and small will be able to streamline and stabilize their customer support systems, thus opening up the possibility to invest in better products and provide greater value to their customers.

“This launch shows that our technology is getting mature enough that people outside of our company are coming to us to use it to solve their problems and pain points. This partnership reveals the multitude of ways Bitmark can help pave the way to a more trustable and free digital environment. ”

—Sean Moss-Pultz, Bitmark CEO

In the same way that we have rules about physical property, Bitmark establishes a framework of rules that authenticates digital property, by using a blockchain. Property titles lend clarity and freedom to the rules of our possessions. When clear property rules are established, you can rent, license, loan, resell, and share your belongings because your things are now part of a system of trust and reliability. Linking your hardware property to the Bitmark blockchain with an unforgeable digital title, re-establishes trust in a sector fraught with fear, misuse, and dishonesty.


More about Chibitronics

Chibitronics is a company that makes electronic stickers, which let you create, craft and code technology through arts and crafts. Co-founder, bunnie huang approached Bitmark with the idea to launch this anti-fraud protection for their products.

More about bitmarks for fraud-proof serialization

To read more specifics about the ways in which Bitmark can help companies alleviate warranty fraud issues, and help restore trust to a broken business model, read our recent blog post “Hardware companies can use Bitmark to solve warranty fraud.


If you are interested in using the Bitmark blockchain to authenticate hardware or inquire about a business partnership, we would love to hear from you. Please email support@bitmark.com.

By Bitmark Inc. on October 16, 2017.

Towards an Ecosystem of the Future by Property Rights

Towards an Ecosystem of the Future by Property Rights

http://www.henrikevensen.com/p2pe803aixjj08dr9r0b8p5aywg691

Environmentalists advocate for the health of the natural environment through changes in public policy, for example groundwater management, and changes in individual behaviors such as recycling or donating land to public trusts, or introducing concepts like property rights to promote sustainability and stewardship of resources. This positive effect of property rights on the commons was demonstrated in 1960 by the economist Ronald Coase, who was later awarded the Nobel Prize for his theorem.

Similarly, the collective of internet users acting as digital environmentalists advocate for the health of the digital environment. Both as individuals and entities, they self-regulate, champion policies such as net neutrality that protect the digital environment and its users, and invent technologies that aid in empowering the inhabitants of the digital environment against unethical uses of the resources of the internet and Internet of Things (IoT).

It is necessary to build on the analogy of the natural environment for the digital environment. For many of us, by nature of our heavy use of the internet, mobile devices, smart accessories, and social media, the ecosystem that we inhabit is simultaneously both of these environments. By acknowledging these two, we can ensure the health of both. While our current ecosystem is these two distinct yet simultaneous environments, our far future technological and biological progress could lie in an ecosystem where there is no distinction between the natural and the digital.

http://reubenwu.com/projects/23/crescent-dunes

Hence, establishing and adopting the concept of clean technology for the digital environment with the same intentions as it is used in the physical and natural environment is a forethought ensuring a healthy digital environment of the future. The efforts of resource management and sustainability of the environmental movement has generated clean technologies that work towards bettering the quality of the environment and lessening our negative impacts on it. Comparably we begin to see that many companies that have arisen for the necessity of a healthy digital environment can also be considered clean-tech for the internet.

These clean-tech companies span a spectrum of how they handle resources (data) in the digital environment:

  • Providing absolute privacy where little data as possible is put in the environment, like TOR browser and Signal;
  • Managing the data that is generated and exchanged, like identity management and self-sovereign identity with OpenID and uPort, password and security management such as LastPass and DashLane, or social media managers like Buffer, or an IoT manager like IFTTT;
  • Reinstating peer-to-peer trust by cryptographic proof and immutability of data by using blockchain technology, like Bitcoin.

In an ideal and healthy digital environment we know what is what, who is who, what belongs to whom, and what came from where. This can mean verifying data, verifying identity, verifying ownership, and verifying provenance of data, all of which can be private and anonymous. Any combination of the clean internet technologies outlined above aid us in being digital environmentalists and to tailor how we manage our data. However, currently our data is part of a commons—we’ve generated it through our use of internet companies like social media and our use of IoT technologies, but our data is sitting in a common grazing field for these companies to sell for profit. Where are our property rights to this data commons that is open to all for profit?

One of the most impactful essays for biologists is Garrett Hardin’s 1968 essay where he coins ‘the tragedy of the commons’ and introduces the concept of property rights to avert it. The example he gives of the tragedy is of the overgrazing of a common land by each herder who has access to it. Self-interest in the commons is not necessarily in the interest of the commoners as a whole. Since then, it has been repeatedly studied and proven that well-defined property rights applied to the commons creates incentives for each owner to act as a steward for the resource.

With the agency of ownership comes the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of the digital environment.

To answer the “tragedy of the commons” in the digital environment we need a new clean technology for the internet that gives us property rights to our data. These rights are not just for preventing ‘overgrazing’ by others, but to restore our power to our privacy with private property as opposed to common property, and to enable us to generate wealth from our data if we choose to. So the fourth type of internet clean-tech introduced above would be:

  • Enabling property rights to the data we generate.

This is what Bitmark does. It enables a transparent chain of ownership and attribution across the internet and Internet of Things that can be authenticated by anyone. With the agency of ownership comes the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of the digital environment of our collective data and digital assets.

Follow us to stay up-to-date on new posts, and Sign-up to stay up-to-date on our development and public beta release.

By Bitmark Inc. on April 6, 2017.