Chinese buyers of premium wines are now able to verify the authenticity of their purchase using the Wine Traceability Platform (WTP), a blockchain-based NFC service designed to protect Chinese consumers against the growing problem of fake wines.
“Each bottle is attached with an encrypted NFC tag specially designed for wine products,” VeChain, which co-developed the platform with Shanghai-based importer DIG, explains.
“By reading the NFC chip, customers can access the relevant wine bottle’s immutable product information stored on the blockchain, including provenance information verified by independent auditors.”
“In November 2017, the Shanghai Police seized 14,000 bottles of counterfeit Penfolds, worth over US$1m,” VeChain adds.
“Five months later, police officers in Zhengzhou, He Nan Province, busted another 50,000 fake bottles, worth over US$2.8m.
“So far, more than 20 wine products imported by DIG have gone live on the platform, accounting for one-third of total wine products imported by the company.
“According to DIG, the WTP-powered wine products enjoyed an average of a 10% increase in sales after implementing the solution, resulting from enhanced consumer confidence.”
China imported US$3.91bn worth of wine in 2018, VeChain says. By 2023, it is forecast to become the world’s second-largest wine consumer with a market value estimated at US$23bn.
Update Australian winemaker Penfolds has been in touch with NFCW to point out that the brand is not involved with this initiative and we’ve updated this article to reflect that.