Philip Morris to use public blockchain for tracking tax stamps

Philip Morris to use public blockchain for tracking tax stamps

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Like many large enterprises, Philip Morris International, the tobacco giant, has come around to see blockchain technology as a money saver. A leader of the company has recently declared they will start using a blockchain, and in a change from other big corporations, they want to use a public one.

“We want to do public blockchains,” said Philip Morris’ global head of architecture and tech innovation Nitin Manoharan. He appeared on April 25 at the London Blockchain Expo, CoinDesk reports.

The specific application he has in mind is for tracking tax stamps on cigarette boxes. The stamps are worth a lot considering how tiny they are, about $5.50 per stamp, and they are easily counterfeited, costing the industry and governments $100 million a year. For Philip Morris alone, tracking legitimate stamps with a blockchain will save $20 million.

The reason Manoharan wants to turn to a public blockchain though is purely because of ambition. He wants Philip Morris to be an industry leader that other companies can join onto. He told CoinDesk:

“The aspiration is an industry-wide blockchain that interested stakeholders can come in and subscribe to it and benefit from it. If they see no value they can just leave.”

The plan at the moment is to build the new tech on a mix of Ethereum and MultiChain, Coin Sciences’ build-your-own-blockchain platform for enterprises. It will have differences from being just another public Ethereum project, Manoharan insisted.

He believes that going the public route, which many enterprises have shied away from for their supply chain solutions, is the right move. He said:

“Permissioned blockchains are fairly simple. The opportunity is small and you can achieve everything that permissioned blockchain does with existing infrastructure and existing tools. The real value is with public blockchains where you can have multiple players coming in and participating in a trustless manner.”

Tax stamps don’t look to be the only application of the technology for Philip Morris. They have five other ideas of how to apply the technology in 2019, and will consult with local government’s on how to stay within the law, they told Cointelegraph.

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