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GS1 US publishes guideline for using its standards in blockchain systems


Yesterday, standards body GS1 US published a new guideline, ‘Applying GS1 Standards for Supply Chain Visibility in Blockchain Applications.’ The document aims to assist companies to implement GS1 standards in blockchain systems and efficiently share data among supply chain participants. 

GS1 US outlined common use cases for blockchain in the supply chain, including food and drug traceability, product provenance and trade automation in retail. GS1 standards include various types of item numbering. The application of these, as well as a common vocabulary offered by Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS), can be leveraged in blockchain solutions. 

“Launching any blockchain program without first adopting standards means supply chain partners risk-sharing potentially bad data on a permanent ledger,” said Kraig Adams, vice president, blockchain at GS1 U.S.

“GS1 Standards help ensure that all parties involved are sharing data consistently, which enhances interoperability and data quality. The guideline is a starting point for those who want to take a thoughtful approach and realize the maximum benefits of blockchain,” added Adams.

GS1 said it developed the guideline in collaboration with GS1 U.S. Cross-Industry Blockchain Discussion Group. The cross-industry collaboration initiative was launched in November 2018 and now has over 80 members spread across various business sectors. 

The organization has been involved in several blockchain initiatives and has previously worked with TargetIBM Food Trust and Mediledger for pharmaceuticals. 

SAP collaborated with GS1 to develop a blockchain prototype for tracking the tire retreading process. The standards body has also worked with Digital Bazaar and 20 others on a blockchain identity project.

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