Estonian-founded Guardtime to build wine authentication system in Australia

Guardtime wine

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The world’s leading enterprise blockchain company Guardtime has set out to build a wine authentication system in Australia by combining its KSI blockchain technology provided through its supply chain platform with a ‘digital’ screw cap, to prevent fraud and ensure the wine’s integrity.

Guardtime’s GM for supply chain, David Shorthouse says the company was intrigued when Clare Valley winemaker Jeff Grosset and grapegrower David Travers contacted Guardtime asking to build a solution that would provide proof of provenance, authenticity and integrity of wine using a ‘digital’ screw cap. Jeff was known to be influential in the movement to promote the use of screw caps across the Australian and New Zealand wine industries.

Connecting physical supply-chains to digital

Guardtime’s CEO Mike Gault said of the project “Guardtime was immediately attracted by Grosset and Travers’ concept and their track record of innovation. This use case is a perfect example of the benefits of overt and covert anti-tamper marking technologies, combined with immutable provenance information gathered and distributed by Guardtime’s blockchain supply chain platform. Blockchain is completely useless in physical supply chains if you cannot connect the physical to digital, and the combination of anti-tamper marking technologies directly linked to Guardtime’s blockchain technology is a game-changer for wine industry and physical supply chains in general. We like to work with knowledgeable industry partners, and we are extremely excited at the prospect of working together with Jeff and David to develop a product that brings the potential of the wider benefits and efficiencies of this platform to all sectors of the wine industry”.

Solving a multi-billion dollar counterfeit problem

According to the wine experts Grosset and Travers, the global wine market is under threat due to increasing wine fraud. As Forbes has reported, counterfeit wines are a multi-billion dollar issue in the world’s wine industry. Therefore, consumers – especially buyers of fine wines – want to be sure they are buying the real thing and are demanding proof of provenance, authenticity and integrity. With this surety, the brands and revenue of wine producers are protected.

Shorthouse agreed that Guardtime was excited by this opportunity to apply its supply chain platform solution to the wine sector. “Apart from allowing us to demonstrate the latest physical anti-tamper and authentication methods from our partners, we can showcase track and trace with end-to-end visibility based on our cryptographical digital twin technology, and allow consumer access to trusted and immutable provenance records for the wine going back all the way to the grape growers.”

Independent verification check for consumers globally

Jeff and David were keen that the consumer is able to perform their own verification on a wine bottle and get access to proof of the provenance, authenticity and integrity of the wine. Shorthouse explained that Guardtime’s KSI blockchain is provided as a global service which allows users to make their own independent verification check on the integrity of the data presented and the identity of the data providers. This means that consumers may scan a bottle with a mobile phone app which performs the physical authentication checks, and provides access to the immutable provenance history from the supply chain platform that is associated with the digital twin of this bottle. Guardtime’s solution will provide a real-time blockchain audit trails for the wine industry – production and distribution – including last mile delivery.

The future: digital transformation of the wine industry

Shorthouse enthused. “The really exciting part of this project is the potential of the next stage. Guardtime’s supply chain platform is designed to provide verifiable process automation and to interoperate with existing third-party systems. This means we will be able to organically grow the system, integrating or adding useful additional functionality for participants across all sectors of the wine business, which gives a pathway for the digital transformation of the industry.

Grosset and Travers won a $50,000 prize in South Australian Premier Stephen Marshall’s Blockchain Challenge this spring. During the last three months, their idea to apply blockchain technology in order to prevent fraud and ensure the wine integrity, has gained significant interest – especially in Asia and USA.

Now, after establishing a new company G&T Technology and contracting the world’s leading enterprise blockchain company Guardtime, the wine experts from Australia are finalizing arrangements for a planned trial during the 2020 wine grape harvest.

Guardtime contributes to e-Estonia’s success story

According to the company’s chairman, John Longhurst, Guardtime was selected as a partner for implementation of this solution due to the fact that Estonia is the world’s most advanced cyber economy, while Guardtime has a track record of success in delivering real world applications of its technology.

Guardtime’s expertise lies in building enterprise products, such as its platform for supply chains.  A key building block is its patented portfolio of cryptographic technology that is proven to work at scale. Its core functionality is the ability to validate information – whether a configuration file in a network router or a health record in a hospital database, without the need to trust those who are managing that information. At a higher level Guardtime provides integrity of business data and business process.

Guardtime was founded in Estonia and develops its blockchain technology there. The company has blockchain solutions in production with governments, defence institutions and some of the largest companies in the world. Guardtime’s technology has been integrated into many e-services used in Estonia and several other countries, such as the legislative platform Riigi Teataja, the e-Land Register, the e-Business Register, etc.


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