University of Glasgow Employs Blockchain Technology to Combat Circulation of Fake Whisky

A research center from the University of Glasgow has partnered with Everledger, a blockchain startup, to ensure transparency in the whisky industry and combat fakes, using blockchain technology.

Blockchain Technology to Safeguard Rare Whiskies

According to an official publication on Friday (Dec. 18), the University of Glasgow’s Scottish Universities Environment Research Center (SUERC) and Everledger signed an agreement, which will see the use of blockchain to track the provenance of rare whiskies.

SUERC researchers use radiocarbon dating, which helps to check the actual age of the world’s rarest whiskies, which can single out counterfeits. A SUERC research back in 2018 revealed that 21 out of 55 rare scotch bottles tested were either fake, or not distilled in the year indicated on the bottle.

Also, the value of collectible single malt Scotch whiskies got to £57.7m (($78 million) in 2018. However, SUERC researchers estimate that about 40 percent of such whiskies in circulation may be counterfeit.

Meanwhile, in response to customers who called for an additional layer of security to guard against tampering, SUERC will employ Everledger’s blockchain-powered Near Field Communication (NFC) tags. The anti-tamper bottle tags will not only help to trace the origin of the bottle and the supply chain, but would also enhance the whisky’s value.

Commenting on the partnership, Dr Elaine Dunbar, research scientist at SUERC, said:

“One aspect of the process that has eluded us is securing a permanent digital record of a whisky’s origin and age. We are therefore absolutely delighted to establish a partnership with Everledger who will provide a lasting seal and a digital record of the whisky and details of its radiocarbon analysis.”

Dr. Dunbar added that the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) will reduce the circulation of fake vintage whiskies and also boost customers’ confidence in their whiskies.

Everledger has also been helping different companies to combat counterfeit diamonds and other luxury items. As reported by BTCManager in August, the blockchain firm partnered with Chinese e-commerce giant, to develop a blockchain technology solution to help with the authentication of diamonds.

Back in 2019, Russia-based diamond producing company ALROSA, and Everledger launched a DLT platform to bring transparency to the diamond supply chain.

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Everledger and Glasgow Uni team up to fight counterfeit Scotch Whisky

The University of Glasgow’s Scottish Universities Environment Research Centre, or SUERC, is joining forces with supply chain company Everledger to tackle counterfeiting within the whisky industry, according to a Dec. 18 post.

The market for collectable single malt Scotch whiskies reached over £57 million ($77 million) in 2018. However, SUERC researchers estimate that up to 40% of bottles currently in circulation could be fake.

Using radiocarbon dating, and unprecedented access to rare whisky samples, SUERC has developed a method to determine the age of all types of vintage whiskies, accurate to within a couple of years.

Through this method SUERC was able to show that 21 out of 55 bottles of rare Scotch that it had tested were either fake or not distilled in the year stated.

Leading Scotch whisky brands, auction houses, collectors and retailers who use SUERC’s authentication service requested the addition of tamper-proofing to bottles which had already been dated.

The new partnership will see SUERC fitting Everledger’s anti-tamper closures to the bottles they have authenticated. These contain near-field communication, or NFC tags, which connect to a digital certificate of the bottle’s age and provenance, held on the blockchain.

Everledger has joined forces with a number of brands to tackle counterfeiting this year, including a partnership with to authenticate diamonds in China, and fashion house Alexander McQueen.


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