Maureen Downey is launching the Chai Vault, an unprecedented, blockchain based solution for securing the authenticity and provenance of fine wine and spirits bottles. Chai Vault certification brings transparency to an opaque wine and spirits market which serves to protect and benefit producers, reputable vendors and consumers.
Bottles entered at production, by licensed vendors with proof of direct provenance, or when authenticated by a The Chai Method® (TCM®) Authenticator are certified on the blockchain creating a permanent, digital certificate of authenticity and provenance which can be accessed online by consumers and vendors when the bottle is available for sale. No longer will trade and consumer buyers be forced to rely on blind trust, and opaque provenance when making purchase decisions. Chai Vault certification empowers information-based purchases of only authentic bottles with transparent, provable provenance.
Layering low and high technology solutions, over 90 bottle data points from the proprietary, TCM™ Authentication method, including images and sales information, with the power, immutability, timeless and transferability of blockchain technology makes Chai Vault certification a unique, powerful, consumer-empowering, industry-changing solution to combat fraud. Guaranteed authenticity of Chai Vault certified wine and spirits bottles ensure buyer confidence and increase the future investment value of wine and spirits assets in near term, and for generations to come.
The Problem of Counterfeit Wines & Spirits
Counterfeit wines and spirits plague every aspect and sector of global markets, from production all the way through to consumers. Grey market activities, those which occur outside of producer and licensed distributor contract allocations, allow counterfeit wine and spirit bottles to infiltrate all levels and all categories in these markets around the globe. Counterfeit bottles are so prevalent, they have permeated “closed distribution channels,” believed to be the safest sources, including bonded bottles in the UK, government run distribution channels and inventories of the most highly trusted and respected vendors in the world.
For Producers: Brands are illegally copied
Counterfeit bottles of all kinds are being made, sold, and even returned and resold.
For Vendors: Counterfeit bottles are in the supply chain
Counterfeits represent liability, despite a vendor’s best internal efforts.
For Consumers and Collectors: Reliant on trust of non-independent opinions
The presence of counterfeit wines is a plague for fine and rare wines and spirits buyers.
The most robust antifraud, if not connected to a meaningful ledger which can be accessed by a potential buyer -BEFORE they make a purchase- is nearly pointless. For me, a successful anti-fraud solution must be:
- Proof of Both Authenticity and Provenance
- Consumer Empowering
Chai Vault blockchain certification address all these issues, providing the world’s first complete and comprehensive solution to wine and spirits authenticity and provenance traceability.
Chai Vault Benefits
Chai Vault certified wines and spirit bottles will benefit every aspect and sector of global markets from production to consumers because it is:
- Layered: The Chai Vault utilizes both low tech and high-tech applications, layered for security.
- Immutable: Having the ledgers in the blockchain ensures they can never be corrupted. Assurance of Authenticity and Provenance are fact based, not trust based.
- Timeless: Ledgers last for the life of the bottle.
- Transferrable: All authenticity and provenance data transfers to the new owner when a bottle is traded.
- Proof of Both Authenticity and Provenance: The Chai Vault addresses both.
- Independent: Third party authentication increases consumer confidence.
- Consumer Empowering: Assurance of Authenticity and Provenance is transparent, empowering the consumer to verify data on their own, without having to “trust” the seller or the seller’s representative, prior to making a purchase.
When a bottle, or case, is listed for sale on a vendor’s website or on Wine-Searcher.com, the URL to its Certificate of Authenticity and Provenance is listed, and viewable online from anywhere in the world. Empowered consumers are no longer reliant on the opaque statements of bottle vendors, nor the “trust” that had cost so many so much, nor do they need to be in proximity to a bottle to inspect antifraud or scan tech to determine authenticity. Consumers can finally make fact based, safe purchases.
Brands are protected, Consumer loyalty is ensured, Logistical oversight is improved.
Bottles are vetted by an independent third party, TCM™ Authenticators ensuring only authentic and when applicable, directly sourced bottles are sold.
Consumers and Collectors
Verified, transferable, information-based purchases will result in a more valuable asset.
PROVE, PROTECT, EMPOWER
The ultimate solution for Wines and Spirits
The Chai Vault solution offers, groundbreaking transparency and consumer empowerment by providing consumers the ability to make well-informed, fact-based, risk-adverse investment decisions in an opaque industry.
Layering NFC technology, or low-tech unique identifiers, with over 90 data points per bottle from the proprietary TCM™ Authentication method, including images and sales documents, and the power, immutability, timeless and transferability of blockchain technology in a tamper proof, transferable and timeless solution makes Chai Vault certification a unique, powerful, industry-changing solution to combating fraud and counterfeiting.
Vendors, distributors and producers profit from increased consumer confidence and loyalty, reduced liability, and improved inventory management with unparalleled oversight on products as they move through the marketplace.
Fraud Combatting Solutions Today
Currently, single layer packaging which, mostly in the form of invisible marking on labels and capsules, or glass embossings are widely used. These solutions do not address the closure and can help substantiate refilled bottles. Sadly, we have already seen that invisible ink can be replicated by counterfeiters. Importantly, none of these cosmetic solutions address provenance, nor empower the consumer to make an informed, fact-based purchase.
Anti-Fraud Packaging: Reliant on the consumers knowledge of what the producers are doing. Producers fiercely protect this information such that even very knowledgeable members of the trade are in the dark about the details. These are cosmetic solutions which also lend themselves to substantiating refilled bottles.
These cosmetic solutions lend themselves to substantiating authenticity of refilled bottles. Few vendors much less consumers know to determine authenticity via these measures.
None of these solutions address provenance, nor do they empower informed purchases as bottle proximity is required to verify these measures – and that is if the vendor or consumer knows what to look for, or how to access scan data. Sadly, all can be used to substantiate counterfeit, refilled bottles.
Chai Vault certified bottles will carry a significant premium in global markets when compared to their identical, non-certified counterparts.