Can the Blockchain stop Collectible Fraud?

Musings By Joschik
Christian Braun obsesses over collectibles, antiques and toys more than the average person, but (he believes) in a productive way.

At hobbyDB we love the idea of the Blockchain.  It would be fantastic to create digital ledger in which all collectible transactions are recorded chronologically creating verifiable transactions.  Today the only way to do that is to have your item authenticated and “locked away” in a plastic container by a grading service (more on that on an earlier article we wrote here) and that only works for certain action figures, coins, comics and trading cards.


What about Certificates of Authenticity?

These Certificates of Authenticity or short COAs just do not cut it.  Take this one for example  –

Is it or is it not the one that belongs to this poster?

There is just no way of knowing (and here it is not).


What would be the Ideal Solution?

What the Collectible World needs is a combination of the following for reliable certification  –

  1. It has to be part of the collectible
  2. It has to be as close to being invisible to the naked eye as possible
  3. It needs to carry a unique identifier
  4. It should be not removable (and if removed destroyed leaving a trail that is was there)
  5. It needs cheap mechanisms to apply and read it

Quite a catalog of criteria!


How about Micro Dots?

Already used to mark cars Micro Dots can be smaller than 0.2 millimeter, just about the size of a grain of sand. There is plenty of room on the dots for a laser etched 12-digit alphanumeric identifier.    These dots cannot be moved from one collectible to another.  So far so good!  Only that cheap mechanism to apply and read the dots is not there yet.

 

hobbyDB Plans

We plan for hobbyDB to become the depository of these identifiers allowing buyers to check before purchasing a collectible (a) if it is genuine and (b) if it not reported as stolen. The only issue now is to find a source for relatively cheap Micro Dot applicators (we are thinking of a pen) and for a Micro Dot reading hobbyDB app!  We are working on it.

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