The University of Scotland’s Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) at the University of Glasgow uses the Everledger blockchain to prevent counterfeit Scotch whisky.
SUERC researchers reported that the Everledger platform will be used by premium whiskey producers, retailers, auction houses and collectors. They will be able to track the supply chain of rare whiskies, as well as check the quality of products and their compliance with established standards.
According to the center’s researchers, in 2018, the market for “vintage” single malt Scotch whiskies was estimated at 57.7 million pounds (about $78 million). At the same time, about 40% of rare vintage whiskey can be fake. In 2018, the center conducted a radiocarbon analysis of 55 bottles of rare Scotch whiskey. Of these, 21 bottles turned out to be fake, or its contents were not distilled in the year indicated on the label.
As part of the SUERC and Everledger project, NFC chips (“near contactless communication”) will be embedded in whiskey corks. All information about the origin of raw materials, the age of whiskey, the results of its radiocarbon analysis and logistics chain data will be stored in the blockchain.
SUERC researcher Elaine Dunbar believes that the Everledger blockchain will help prevent fraud in the whiskey industry, as the reputation of producers suffers from the actions of attackers. This technology will be available to all interested parties who intend to protect their customers from buying counterfeit products.
Blockchain has become widely used in logistics. So, last year, the company William Gran&Sons began using the blockchain to verify the authenticity of premium whiskey Ailsa Bay. In addition, Singapore-based VeChain has also started tracking wine shipments for an Australian winemaker using blockchain.