Counterstrike the counterfeiters: intelligent bottle caps unite blockchain and NFC technologies to help global brands tackle the estimated $3 billion in counterfeit wine.
LONDON, UK - Media OutReach - 29 April
2020 - Everledger is pleased to
announce its new lineup of anti-tamper bottle closures for the wine and spirits
industry. In response to the growing challenge of counterfeit alcohol in the
world -- estimated at US$3 billion globally just for wine -- these intelligent
caps unite blockchain and Near Field Communication (NFC) tags to help brands
protect the authenticity of their assets. The launch of these smart closures is
a defining moment to protect producers, retailers and auction houses against fraudsters.
In addition to the NFC-enabled
closures, Everleder is now offering ways in which a QR code can be better
authenticated on its own, or work in tandem with NFC. While QR codes on labels
have been on the market for years to direct customers to curated digital
experiences on their mobile phones, the Everledger solution offers higher
levels of security against counterfeiting.
does the Everledger solution work?
Each bottle is
given a unique digital identity via either NFC-powered tamper detection labels
adhered to the bottle cap, or other NFC devices such as plastic heat-shrink
capsules, stickers, or cork tags. With each bottle being secured with the
latest anti-tamper device, chain-of-custody data can then be captured all along
the supply chain through the supporting blockchain technology.
From there, the
authenticated provenance of the wine or spirit is tracked, enabling consumers
to discover the lifetime journey of their favourite drink -- from vineyard to
glass. This intelligent provenance invites the customer to connect to the
producer's overall brand story, all with a tap of their smartphone.
The closures are
highly secure Near Field Communication tags applied on labels or heat-shrink
capsules, which come transparent or in a range of colours. NFC labels can be
applied on aluminium as well as on glass or paper and are fully customisable.
Applying labels on caps of vintages in storage is a very convenient process
that won't disrupt a winery's normal bottling or distribution process. The
heat-shrink NFC capsule will align with existing production processes.
Brands can also
invest in an NFC Wet Inlay, which is supplied on a reel with adhesive backing
that can be applied to the back of a wine label or used as the basis for a
separate label. Another option is the use of NFC long-tail cork tags, which are
applied over the cork and attached to the glass, to protect against needle
These NFC tags
are encoded in a protected environment and deliver an extremely high level of
encryption. Everledger utilises 'rolling code' technology in our NFC tags,
which performs similarly to a one time password mechanism when using a banking
token. When a tag is scanned, it authenticates and then directs to the wine's
landing page through a one time URL supported by the phone's NFC protocol. This
makes the page nearly impossible to counterfeit, especially if matched with a
tamper trigger in the tag to prevent substitution and re-use, as well as with
the additional security layer of the Everledger platform underpinned by
combines over 20 years of experience in RFID/NFC and asset management with the
immutability and secure verification of blockchain," emphasises Scott
Austin, Everledger's Senior Executive Vice President and Chair of the IoT
committee at AIM.
"Our wine solution is a prime example of how to utilise highly secure NFC in
unison with blockchain. It's providing a robust and scalable solution for brand
What are the benefits?
visibility allows brands to drive more sales by interacting directly with
customers through each bottle and by driving online to offline consumer
engagement. Brands can tell authenticated stories that showcase origin and brand
narrative -- and protect their reputation at the same time. In addition, brands
can accelerate their path to market by creating digital identities for their
bottles so that regional certifiers and government agencies can verify wine
leading internet services provider Tencent invested in Everledger last year,
developing applications for WeChat has been one of the key focus areas for the
company. Forward-thinking wine and spirits brands can take advantage of the
scale of WeChat Mini Programs, potentially reaching the one billion active
users of the platform, to drive further online customer engagement, using
authenticated provenance data about each one of their bottles.
platform offers more than simply protection of legitimacy. Brands can help
Chinese consumers learn more about the journey of their wine and build an
engaging story for consumers to share with their loved ones on social media.
Details range from origin, characteristics and previous owners to certifications
of organic growing and sustainable harvest methods, variety designation,
geographic pedigree and carbon footprint.
founder and CEO Leanne Kemp said: "Much in the same way as a good story
captivates all of us, the Everledger platform enables brands to tell the
authentic back-story of every bottle of wine or spirits to discerning
consumers. The power and simplicity of our solution gets to the truth in a way
that consumers truly value, enabling a more sustainable and transparent industry
"When wine or
spirits are adulterated or falsely labelled, reputations built on craft,
origin, and quality are quickly tarnished," added Mrs Kemp. "Lack of
transparency throughout the wine and spirits supply chains leaves them
vulnerable to counterfeiting, impacting consumer confidence and restricting
Nearly a third of alcoholic drinks are
mislabelled, counterfeit or fake, according to the International Center for
Alcohol Policies. A report by the Comité National des Conseillers
du Commerce Extérieur de la France (CNCCEF), linked to the French Secretary of
State, claimed that every second bottle of French wine sold in China is
counterfeit. Estimates place the global worth of the counterfeit wine
'industry' at as much as $3 billion.
"For every real bottle of French wine in
China, there is at least one counterfeit bottle of French wine, and the
situation is only getting worse," according to James de Roany, former president
of the CNCCEF Wine & Spirits commission and a business consultant.
Everledger was the world's first company to secure a wine bottle's
provenance on the blockchain, a 2001 Margaux, back in 2016. Everledger
works closely with clients all along the supply chain, from growers to
merchants and into broader retail, with the goal of building ever more
authenticity in the wine and spirits industry.
information, visit: www.everledger.io.