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VICE News

This company is using bitcoin’s tech to prevent foodborne illness

Taiwanese e-commerce platform OwlTing is an app-based food startup that uses Bitcoin's blockchain technology to prevent foodborne illnesses.

by Arielle Duhaime-Ross
Nov 1 2017, 1:00pm

Taiwanese e-commerce platform OwlTing wants to change the way consumers think about their food.

This year, it launched the world’s first blockchain-based app for tracing food products — including pork. And the process is pretty simple: by scanning a sticker on a slab of pork, OwlTing customers can quickly access information about everything from a piglet’s date of birth, to the vaccines it received before its slaughter.

There’s a lot more to blockchain technology than learning obscure facts about a pork chop, however. For producers, using blockchain-based technologies to trace food through processing and shipping means that they might be able to avoid widespread food waste should a contamination arise — and even save lives.

VICE News Tonight visited Taiwan to see how blockchain is affecting pork production.

This segment originally aired Oct. 25, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.