Thanks To Blockchain, Fighting Against Counterfeit Spirit Now Just A Click Away

counterfeit spirit

Thanks To Blockchain, Fighting Against Counterfeit Spirit Now Just A Click Away

Counterfeit spirit has always been around and it affects both the business and the consumers. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that Indonesians drink unrecorded liquor for five times greater than drinking the one that is purchased in properly licensed stores.

Unrecorded alcohol, among others, is alcohol that was purchased through legal cross-border shopping, contraband, traditional and medicinal drinks that were produced locally by Indonesian ethnicities, informally mixed concoctions, and counterfeit alcohol, and fraudulent versions of premium global products made by refilling empty bottles. Unrecorded alcohol, particularly counterfeit alcohol, brings tremendous risks for consumers such as the case that happened in early 2018 in Indonesia, which took 150 death tolls.

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) published a report titled Alcohol in the Shadow Economy, which reveals that counterfeiters often imitate legitimate and branded distilled spirits, particularly targeting emerging markets with fraudulent versions of premium global products by refilling.

In Indonesia, the refilling process is one of the critical counterfeit spirit issues. For now, the brands are placing their faith in a legal collection of the empty bottles and disintegrating the label to tackle the issue. Yet, as the technological advance facilitates the counterfeiters to bring their crimes to a whole different level, the brands should embrace the change and improve their method to keep up with the bad guys.

RFID, Blockchain, IoT, and other up-to-date technological devices that are being developed open up more opportunities for new methods to mitigate the circulation of counterfeit alcohol. ‘Smart bottle’ is one of the latest technologies that utilize the blockchain and IoT that was just released by Omniaz – a beverage technology company. Now, fighting against counterfeiting alcohol is just a click away.

Through the DRNK mobile application (Drink, Rewards, Network, Knowledge), consumers can access information about the alcoholic drinks they have bought via their smartphone. This application relies on the blockchain to authenticate and store information on genuine alcoholic beverages. Consumers simply scan the tag on the drink bottle (smart bottle) with NFC or QR to find out its authenticity.

Omniaz realizes that the consumer-centric approach to brand protection in the digital era is imperative. Therefore, the DRNK mobile application is designed to engage the consumers. By buying drinks labelled smart bottle, consumers can also get rewards and benefits such as discounts and points. Not only provides benefits to consumers, but this mobile application also provides consumer insight for beverage manufacturers.

In developing this application, Omniaz collaborates with several leading companies in the technology industry such as CymMetrik, NEM, NXP Semiconductors, ProximaX, and Smartrac. A total of 1800 first batch of smart bottles have been distributed in Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea by Omniaz in collaboration with Wine Connection.

Picture: Jeff Kubina/

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