Counterfeit Protection With Blockchain [Interview]
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[00:00:00] Robert Plank: Hey, welcome back to the podcast. We are here with Fredrich Kisters from OriginStamp.com and we are going to be talking to a man who is a Swiss art collector. He’s a serial entrepreneur and he’s a tech patent holder with a focus on counterfeit security and data integrity. We’ll be talking about blockchain based technology, blockchain projects, and so much more.
[00:00:23] So Friedrich, glad to be talking to you.
[00:00:26] Friedrich Kisters: Well, pleasure talking to you, Robert.
[00:00:28] Robert Plank: Okay, so that the feeling is mutual. We have our little conversational handshake. And can you tell us about what is your current passion? What is, what is wrong with the world today? What is the problem that you are solving and who are you solving it for?
[00:00:42] Friedrich Kisters: Well, let’s go into what will be right in this world tomorrow. more than what’s wrong today. More is very positive thinking and you know, basically I think what the most important mission right now is to avoid counterfeits. Right. And I’m coming from the art world. So counterfeits are well known.
[00:01:02] Today you obviously have a different approach. I mean, you know, if you, if you want, we are in a virtual world and what is a counter faith in a virtual world? Well, it’s actually, if, if your information gets changed without your knowledge, you know, because there’s no count of it, I can copy your information.
[00:01:20] So you have two originals. But if I change something and I say, well, this is yours, but actually it wasn’t because I changed it. So what do you do then? So I think the most important thing is that you make sure your information is trustworthy even to yourself. Can you do that today?
[00:01:42] Robert Plank: I’m not sure. I mean, it’s whole other world, right?
[00:01:45] It’s like if I have my pen and if, if someone steals it, that’s one thing. But if, if my money in, in a bank account or like my proof of ownership of a piece of art, if it’s on a computer record somewhere and someone changes it or copies it, it’s the whole other ball game.
[00:02:01] Friedrich Kisters: Exactly. Now you, you get cool things like algorithms that go speech to image, right?
[00:02:08] So I I’m, I’m gonna say, well, well, Robert is now riding on a white horse, you know with an arrow in his hands and, you know, whatever, and it will create that image. Behind you, the, the neighbor’s Stalter is sitting, you know, so, so that might be a problem for you then, and you may want to say, well, this is fake now, how can you, so, you know, information that is being changed without your knowledge is actually one of the biggest problems of today.
[00:02:40] And it’s one of the greatest solutions for tomorrow to solve that problem.
[00:02:46] Robert Plank: And what is the solution? Exactly.
[00:02:48] Friedrich Kisters: Well, the biggest, well, the, the issue is, I mean, you want to avoid fakes, you have to answer three, three questions. Who did, who did it? When did he do it or she, [00:03:00] and what did he, or she. Actually do right.
[00:03:03] You can solve the, what you have possibilities to, to use private public keys to, to, to protect your information. You can solve the who did it with, for example, an E I D, but the, when is very tricky. Because your, your system time is not reliable. So basically what we do is we create a system where we create a, a seal that is being saved in the, in three public blockchains.
[00:03:33] So, so, you know, once you have that seal in this free public blockchain, no one can take it away from you or change it. You still keep the original information. Well, here you go. Here. You have the original information. Maybe someone can change it, but here you have the seal. And if that doesn’t match anymore, well, you know, someone tempered, so you have the proof and it’s very easy.
[00:03:58] Robert Plank: And so in, in this, on all those kind of blockchain thinking, the way that my mind works with this is I think of like in two modes, there’s like the, the inside and the outside. And I think of okay, inside, if I’m not, if I’m not sure exactly what the mechanics of how this works, like is the seal accurate and all that, that’s kind of one way of thinking.
[00:04:18] And then once I have that covered, then I kind of move outside and I think, okay, now that we can abstract this and. The seal works, right? It it’s, it’s valid. It’s a thing that is functioning because I’ve already kind of done the insight thinking and on the outside thinking then that’s where the fun happens.
[00:04:33] Right. That’s when we can say, where do we apply the seal? And so how are people using this technology of yours?
[00:04:40] Friedrich Kisters: Well, first of all, you can protect your, I. So, if you’re in a large company, you have a great idea. You go into meeting 10 other people are there possibly after that meeting someone else owns that idea.
[00:04:55] And you have no proof that you had it before. Without solution. You have a proof very quickly, very easily. I mean, you know, you can use there’s even a free app. You can download OriginStamp app. You just timestamp your. In a matter of seconds. And then you have a proof, you can say, look, you say you had your ID.
[00:05:14] Now show me when you had your ID. I can show you when I had it. And then you can simply compare and say, look, I was first. Now that is one application that is very straightforward, but there are more, let’s say you have certainly signed contracts with a qualified electronic signature, right? How do you archive.
[00:05:38] Not sure. Well, it’s very difficult because you should keep that for 11 years, you know, until the end of the year you signed you have it in, in your well in your records and then plus 10 years. So, well, this is tricky if someone, if you can’t prove that, for example, in Switzerland, if you can’t prove.
[00:05:59] Nothing changed. And if you can’t show who accessed that data, You call that in Switzerland. K chef’s spiritual AUM, incredible thing. You have to show physically that this has been unchanged easy. If you print it out and put it into a cupboard. Now, first, first of all, you don’t want to do that anymore.
[00:06:21] And second of all, well, if you print out a qualified electronic signature, it’s gone. So you can’t, so you need a reliable way of how you to store it. The only way you may get is a warm right. Once read many it’s not entirely safe, but that would work. The unfortunate thing is that a warm, warm is very expensive.
[00:06:41] So well, you will be spending something between, I don’t know, 50,000, a hundred thousand, 200,000 Swiss Frans for that or us dollars. And then you are happy. Storing your qualified signature. However, I think you won’t do that. So [00:07:00] the point is you need a quick and reliable and quick and relatively cheap solution.
[00:07:07] And that’s where we can offer solutions. You know, where you can, you know, you may be faced with some, some $200 a month cost as a large company with 20 people. And but then this is like two hours time of your secretary, or let’s say four hours time of your secretary, secretary, depending on how well you pay her.
[00:07:27] Or him in the end it’s one hour per week. He’s he or she is gonna save a lot more than one hour per week because you just have a very fluent process. You can easily store and recover things. All the excesses will be documented. And this is what we are currently building. We even have a large project funded by Swiss that will be starting to, to offer a solution for the small ones, not just for the big ones, because they do have solutions, always.
[00:07:58] Robert Plank: Is that why you set out to create this? Because these alternatives are the big companies can do it and there’s other solutions, but it’s, it’s expensive. It’s costly. Yes. It’s difficult. So you said, I, I am providing the easy, simple way to do it.
[00:08:14] Friedrich Kisters: Yes. You know, it, the digital world when we started and maybe you’re too young to really feel that.
[00:08:21] But when we started in the nineties, my first email I sent out in 1992. So basically that’s 30 years ago. So when, when that started, the idea was that the digital world will actually be open to everyone. It will. Really for the small and for the medium and for the large ones equally. So this will be kind of opening access to everybody.
[00:08:50] I mean, before in the 15th century, you remember you had closed areas, Enclos maybe where you had access to books and now you have libraries, but. It’s difficult. You have to go there opening hours, not so easy. And now the internet comes access to everyone. And funny enough, with all these regulations and audits, this access is getting restricted more and more to only the big ones.
[00:09:18] Now I don’t blame the big ones. I mean, they do a great job in order to, to to fulfill all these requirements. The small ones are left out and that’s not fair. So you need to create solutions for everybody solutions you can afford in your case, the cost may be just $20 a month. So would you spend $20 on that?
[00:09:43] Robert Plank: Yes. If, if the alternative was all these other headaches, of course.
[00:09:47] Friedrich Kisters: So so you know, this is, this is how the internet should be. And we just tried to use blockchain in a way. It enables everyone to enjoy the advantages of the digital digital world. So it’s a funny thing, because normally when you hear blockchain, you, you say, oh wow, Bitcoin.
[00:10:04] And you know, like speculation, tokens, and, and whatever. Now this is. Brick and mortar, you, you want to do your business. You want to be sure you’re you have, you’re safe, you know? So, so funny enough, we are quite conservative and you know, that’s the reputation you have here in Switzerland. And at the same time, we are obviously very innovative because we, we, we, we create solutions that help everyone.
[00:10:31] Robert Plank: That’s a lot to think about it. It hurts my brain, but it also excites me already about time. That was, but, but it, but it’s kinda like how you were saying that the, the original vision of the internet was to have all these things accessible. Like, you know, you can get whole college educations accessible, you can.
[00:10:48] Dialogue, almost anything on YouTube or, or movies for like free or very low cost. But if you’re not careful and you let these huge, you know, let Facebook and Google and Amazon gobble up all this internet space, then they’ll close it off. And then you have back to the, the 15th century where there’s the, the wall behind it.
[00:11:08] And this is interesting to think about with the, the blockchain where, like you said, everyone thinks about Bitcoin, they think about money, but your focus is on the information which you then, if you think about it, well, money kind of is information, right? Because the, the information and money is well.
[00:11:25] Friedrich has this $500 in this account. That’s what the, the information is. And it’s, it’s cool. All these applications, like the indestructible data that you’ve mentioned and the proof of ownership that you’ve mentioned. And, and also just proving that. You have owned it this whole time and that you still have it and that no one’s messed with it.
[00:11:45] It’s like I said, it’s, it’s cool and it’s exciting, but it also hurts my brain about it. And so help us kind of think about this cutting edge. Are there any like features or advantages of this blockchain technology that you’ve been working on that we don’t normally think about anything that’s kind of not readily apparent?
[00:12:04] Friedrich Kisters: Well, I just first want to say something about your headache. Do you drive the car? Yes. Okay. Do you know exactly how the car works? No. Okay. So just forget about your headache. Okay. It’s super easy to use our solution. You just drag and drop something and that’s it. And it’ll be protected for the next 10 years.
[00:12:25] You know, that’s basically the idea. So. You may have a folder invoices, you may have a folder, HR, whatever, you know, just drop it into that. And that’s fine. You’re safe. So the point is, you know, the simplicity of, of the application is key and. Really, the last thing I want is to give you a headache. However, of course, if you’re asking questions, then I feel obliged to answer to them.
[00:12:57] But again, it’s not, it’s like you, you ask a car mechanic about how your car works. Well, then you get a headache. So. You know, I think the good thing is if you just focus on, on the applications and what, what it helps and, and, and the surprising things you can do, you know, you can, you have a supply chain for example, and you have blockchain proof for the originality of your products.
[00:13:20] Great. No. Do you ever think about yes, that there is no link to your product? It’s just all digital. So I can swap your product and that’s it. So, you know, you need to link things together. You need to make sure that the virtual world is linked to the physical world. You need to make sure that there are easy solutions out there.
[00:13:39] Everybody understands, and it’s always super easy. If you can use your mobile phone, you will, you’ve witnessed something. You take an image. This image is gonna be. Change. It cannot be, well, it can be changed, but you can prove it was changed. So the original image can be proven as an original and you know, these are easy solutions.
[00:14:00] It’s not something new. You still use the same app. You just get all of this security on top. But we do also other things. So if you have a, if you, if you plan a great new blockchain project, then you may want to project in order to do it on the right blockchain, not on the wrong one, because it’s massive.
[00:14:22] There are so many solutions out there, private permission, blockchains, whatever you want and not of all of them are suitable to your aims. So the thing is it can be very expensive or much, much cheaper if you choose the right one. So you, you it’s like going to the doctor. So sometimes we really feel a bit like a doctor.
[00:14:42] So you come and you say, oh, I would like to do this and that. And then, and then we will find out what you really need and and help you develop a project that then in the end is massively. Cheaper than it could have been with the wrong approach. So, you know, our, our intention is just to help. We are there, we are in the blockchain area for, for many years, I’m in it for I would say like seven.
[00:15:07] Seven years now. And first working with universities first, giving step Pania and the people that studied are now co-founders in these companies like OriginStamp. So so it’s been an organic thing and everybody knows everyone. So we are, we are really a little bit the typical Swiss approach, right?
[00:15:29] Where you want to be reliable. And even if it’s high.
[00:15:35] Robert Plank: Well, yeah. You, you think about the, what, what do people think of when they, they hear about the Swiss or Switzerland? You think of, at least in America, we think of Swiss bank accounts, which you think of as secure and stable, and then you think of the switch washes, which you think of as attention to detail and, and thought through and always works.
[00:15:56] Friedrich Kisters: Yeah, exactly. I mean, there’s a, there’s a very good reputation in Switzerland and I think it’s it’s Getting more important. Now that for example, you see the NFT market has completely crashed because obviously in the beginning there were mistakes. I mean if you point to a database that is not secure your NFT can be stoned because what you have in, in blockchain is just a link to that database.
[00:16:18] So basically your image can be gone in a minute or you, someone MITs it in a different blockchain as another NFT and puts it into his social media. So people are puzzled. Well, is he the owner? Are you the owner? So, you know, you need to understand a bit about technology. Yes. And I, I think the more you’re into.
[00:16:36] The more, you want to work together with people who are really reliable. And that is a big advantage of Switzerland. There’s a very good reputation. It may be a bit unusual because you would probably prefer, or in the first moment you would probably want to go to Silicon valley or whatever, but here in Switzerland at the lake of Constance we can at least offer you a Silicon lake.
[00:17:04] As an alternative.
[00:17:06] Robert Plank: Well fun. So just to make sure that I understand the, the solutions and what you’ve been talking about, there’s OriginStamp, and then there’s the app where you can take a, a picture and get this permanent record created, including the, the time and the work that you did. There’s there’s a storage of larger scale files and there’s more custom solutions.
[00:17:25] Is that right? Or are there adjustments? Yeah, absolutely. The
[00:17:28] Friedrich Kisters: API, which you can. Include in your own development, which is probably also one of the most important things. So if you have the project of your own and you want to make sure that data is secure in there at least you want to get these seals to be able to prove the data has not been changed during process.
[00:17:47] Then you can easily just use our API and and you get what you need without any development. So it’s like implemented in, I would say half a day.
[00:17:58] Robert Plank: So easy and some of these as you and I both know from being around the internet for a long time, some of these projects used to take years, but now when there’s an API, you can just hook into and make it work.
[00:18:09] And it just goes to the cloud or goes to some remote service. Things can happen very quickly and and you know, very, a lot more simply, and with less moving parts than remember those old days when you had. Set up your own servers and physically be hosted somewhere now, just go and hit that API. And so you’re tapped into something amazing, especially with this blockchain innovation.
[00:18:31] And since there are so many blockchain companies out there that are up and coming, I’m sure that you would have some advice for them. So if you could give one piece of advice to some up and coming blockchain technology company, what do you think that would be?
[00:18:45] Friedrich Kisters: I think the most important thing is make it meaningful to your client.
[00:18:50] Don’t sell the closest that are not there. So, you know, it’s an old story. and I think the internet of course offers you the possibility to do whatever you want. And there will always be someone who believes in it. But I think that is the very, very wrong approach. Try to be meaningful, try to offer a solution that really offers a benefit.
[00:19:14] And I think the blockchain has huge benefit if you apply it the right way, otherwise it just has huge costs.
[00:19:25] Robert Plank: That that’s great to think about. That’s good advice. The, the emperor has no close is, is the phrase, right? And, and Steve jobs popularized this idea of like, you know, the Macintosh was this device that you used to create things or like your phone or your iPad was a way to draw or to create music.
[00:19:42] That’s a good reminder that. Don’t get so far down the rabbit hole of thinking like, well, here’s this, this tool that will speed up your database by 10%. Well, what will you do with that? What are, what’s the benefit? What are the upsides? What are the uses of this new technology? That’s very good advice.
[00:19:58] Friedrich Kisters: Well, and combine it with the, with the cloud, you know otherwise, you know, would you trust the cloud a hundred percent? Maybe not, but with a trustworthy certificate of your data. Why wouldn’t you trust the cloud? So it makes things cheaper. You know, you just, it allows you, if you combine it with other things and there, maybe you want to come to us with your own personal idea.
[00:20:25] I mean, I’m sure there are many people out there with great ideas and we are absolutely pleased to help them.
[00:20:31] Robert Plank: And should they, should they write that idea down and take a picture and put it in OriginStamp before discussing the idea with you?
[00:20:39] Friedrich Kisters: Well, yes. All they download our app and take a picture from there.
[00:20:43] Robert Plank: okay. Well, good advice. And, and so to get that conversation started to look into the website and the app, or to speak with you. What’s the next step? What’s the website or what actions should some listener take?
[00:20:56] Friedrich Kisters: Well, you can contact us through the website. That’s absolutely no problem. You may also find a lot of interesting information.
[00:21:02] So there is a lot of information on the website even descriptions of the API it’s restful API, which are very clearly well, which is well described, easy to understand. And and then of course, well, yes, just get in touch and shoot your question and someone will get back to you. And I mean, you know, it’s basically either you need a service from us that is available.
[00:21:27] Then you click through the website and you get what you want, or you contact us and you tell your tell us your idea and, and we’ll work on that idea. Well, we are here for you.
[00:21:41] Robert Plank: I, I love it. Very generous and very straightforward. So the next step is to go to OriginStamp.com. That way you can look into what Fredrich and his team are doing as far as their blockchain innovation.
[00:21:53] Some of those custom solutions that he mentioned, like with universities and things like that, you can check out the app and you can become more fluent in this future world that we are all being in those old days of, of pencil and paper are, are long gone. Now it’s the digital age. And now to get more tapped into.
[00:22:11] The blockchain and the future are blockchain. The place to go is OriginStamp.com and we’ll see you there and thank you Friedrich for stopping by and for giving us some amazing answers and so many exciting things to look forward to in the future. I appreciate it.
[00:22:25] Friedrich Kisters: Well, thanks Robert for your great questions and hope to see you soon again.
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