Blockchain and Booze: How DLT Can Take on the Billion-dollar Counterfeit Alcohol Industry

Unless you avoid alcohol for health or religious reasons, or just don't like the flavor, most individuals like a little liquor. Alcohol has been a part of the general publics’ diet in some way or another for hundreds of years, whether it's a glass of red wine with dinner or a beer when out with friends.

However, the general public is unaware of many aspects of the alcohol industry. More precisely, a billion-dollar counterfeit alcohol market has existed for nearly as long as alcohol has been used. Furthermore, distributed ledger technology may be precisely what is needed to put an end to it once and for all.

Fake Alcohol Through the Years

Alcohol counterfeiting has been around for hundreds of years and comes in a variety of ways. These include diluting wine with water to get more mileage out of each batch, putting costly wine labels on lesser wines, utilizing subpar goods, and refilling expensive wine bottles with subpar wine.

These have been going on for a long time and mislead alcohol enthusiasts in a variety of ways, whether it is harming their health by fooling them into drinking subpar booze or swindling them out of their money. Wine specialists are trained on how to identify counterfeit wines using a variety of taste tests and label analysis techniques because the activity is so prevalent.

But what about the average customer who simply wants to enjoy their booze without having to resort to deceptive-level scrutiny in order to avoid being duped?

Experts have condemned the alcohol industry's attempts to combat counterfeiting as insufficient thus far.

“Almost all the anti-fraud techniques currently available are cosmetic. Typically, they involve a bottle’s packaging: invisible ink and micro writing on the labels or placing a small sticker that attaches the capsule to the glass. None of these single-layer, cosmetic anti-fraud efforts are effective solutions. They are simply feel-good; Band-Aid responses being applied to the gaping wound that is wine fraud,” says Maureen Downey, a wine expert.

With all of this in mind, it has been claimed that blockchain technology may hold the answer to eliminating alcohol counterfeiting on both an industrial and individual level.

How Does Blockchain Come in?

Blockchains have the benefit of generating everlasting ledgers of transactions and data sent across them. As a result, the technology is being employed across a variety of areas, including supply chain, banking, and health. Furthermore, the effectiveness of blockchain in data recording implies that it is very efficient in validating the authenticity of data. For instance, organizations such as the University of Bahrain issue degrees utilizing blockchain technology.

The implementation of QR codes connected to a blockchain is one method that blockchain may be used to combat counterfeit goods. When the code is scanned, the product information is shown, and because the data is saved using blockchain, it cannot be deleted or tampered with.

This implies that ordinary people may pick up a bottle of alcohol at a store and scan it with a mobile device. They can then gain vital information about the alcohol in issue, including confirmation of its validity. This eliminates the need for sophisticated taste evaluations or label scrutiny in favor of a simple approach that takes only seconds.

This method can also be used to address the issue of bottle refilling. If blockchain is configured to reflect when the bottle linked with a certain QR code has been sold, a customer will be able to determine right away that they are about to purchase a refilled bottle. This can help a lot in the fight against counterfeit booze.

Not only will consumers' health and wallets be protected, but alcohol manufacturers will lose considerably less money to counterfeiters, all owing to the power of blockchain technology.