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Everledger secures bottle of wine’s provenance on blockchain

Everledger, a UK-based blockchain startup, has announced that it has secured a bottle of wine’s provenance on the blockchain, thereby becoming the first organization to do so.

In order to transform provenance tracking in the fine wine industry, Everledger, in collaboration with fine wine expert Maureen Downey, introduced the Chai Wine Vault which certified and secured the bottle – a 2001 Margaux. Built on the Linux Foundation Hyperledger Fabric, The Chai Wine Vault is authenticated and secured by IBM Blockchain that helps bring transparency, security and efficiency to transactions in a permissioned environment. 

“Global trade fraud costs billions of dollars each year in lost revenue due to malicious activity or human record-keeping errors,” said Donna Dillenberger, IBM Fellow. “Our work with blockchain shows the potential to dramatically reduce these losses by ingraining transparency and security in the system from the ground up. Working with Everledger in tracing the provenance of diamonds, and now wine, shows how the application of this technology can fundamentally change the way consumer goods are exchanged.” 

In the fine wine industry, an estimated 20% of international sales are from counterfeit wine, with the supply chain pipeline surrounded with problems including document tampering and fraudulent activity. The Chai Wine Vault provides a single version of the truth for industry at every stage of a bottle’s lifetime journey.

According to the official release, the Chai Wine Vault issues certification to bottles authenticated through Maureen Downey’s Chai Method (TCM) where over 90 data points are collected, besides high-resolution photography and records of a bottle’s ownership and storage. Everledger takes all this information and creates a permanent, digital incarnation of the bottle that is written permanently into the blockchain. 

This digital proof travels with the wine as it changes hands in the supply chain, with ownership and storage records updated accordingly. Licensed retailers, warehouses, auction houses and other sale platforms can link to the bottle’s digital identity to verify provenance resulting in an increase of an asset’s value for years to come.

“We hear daily from our industry partners on the threat fraudulent bottles pose to sales, trust and most importantly reputation,” says Leoni Runge, Everledger’s Head of Fine Wine. “Blockchain enables us to secure the identity of an asset in a way we haven’t been able to before. For the fine wine industry this means the opportunity to add a layer of transparency to every stage of a bottle’s journey across the supply chain.” 

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