Rare Scotch Whiskies To Be Put On Blockchain To Fight Counterfeiting
The University of Glasgow has partnered London-based blockchain provenance firm Everledger to use use blockchain to fight the counterfeiting of rare Scotch whiskies.
The Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) at the Glasgow institution will use Everledger’s intelligent anti-tamper bottle caps and its blockchain platform to track these rare whiskies.
The Scotch in each individual bottle will be analysed using SUERC’s proprietary technology, and the bottles are then protected and connected to the blockchain using Near Field Communication (NFC) tags, thus holding a digital record certifying the whisky’s origin and age.
SUERC has developed a way to accurately determine when whiskies were distilled using radiocarbon dating, which will determine the age of all types of vintage whiskies. Once the radiocarbon testing is complete, researchers add an NFC-powered tamper detection label to the bottle cap and create a unique digital identity for that whisky.
The data is then secured in a permanent digital record of a whisky’s origin and age on blockchain. With just a tap of a smartphone, the provenance of the bottle of rare Scotch whisky and its lifetime journey can be viewed.
The market for rare vintage whiskies is growing, with sales of collectable bottles of single malt Scotch whiskies reaching a total of 57.7 million British pounds in 2018. Researchers at SUERC estimate that as many as 40 percent of all rare vintage whiskies in circulation could be fake.
SUERC’s technology can help pinpoint the true age of old whiskies to within a couple of years, and quickly detect fakes. In fact, research released by SUERC in 2018 showed that out of the 55 bottles of rare Scotch they had tested, 21 were either fake, or not distilled in the year stated.
These smart closures were launched in April 2020 by Everledger to help the wine and spirits industry tackle the growing challenge of counterfeit alcohol and protect its producers, retailers and auction houses against fraudsters.
The Everledger Platform enables transparency across several industries, including wine and spirits, diamonds, gemstones, luxury, apparel, auction houses and collectors.
Everledger already works with several other highly respected laboratories including the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and Gübelin Gem Lab to improve traceability within the diamond and gemstone industries.
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