Today the TATTOO Wine marketplace launched on the public Ethereum blockchain network. The technology enables traceability and leverages the EY OpsChain platform.
Consumers access the service in the usual way, via the company’s website. The initiative is the brainchild of Singapore startup Blockchain Wine.
“With the TATTOO Wine marketplace, every bottle is traceable from the point of origin all the way through to direct delivery, and on to the consumer,” said Tim Tse, founder and Chairman of Blockchain Wine. “TATTOO helps reduce layers of distribution and helps address the issues of counterfeit wines, optimizes supply chains, facilitates trade and empowers both wineries and consumers.”
TATTOO stands for traceability, authenticity, transparency, trade, origin and opinion.
Digital tokens are used to enable the provenance to be traced, and the platform is also integrated with the SAP Commerce solution.
“This is one of our first commerce integrations of SAP software to a blockchain platform and we see great potential in putting a scalable, consumer-friendly front-end on a blockchain-based digital market,” said Thomas Uhde, SAP Director, Blockchain Exploration.
The marketplace enables wineries to upload their inventory so that consumers can browse it. EY says its platform helps to make the upload easy.
The wine sector is not the easiest target for new technology. It is commonplace for wineries to have inventory spreadsheets available for upload. But technology adoption doesn’t tend to be a high priority.
Moreover, intermediaries in the form of wine traders and brokers are a key part of the status quo. And it looks like TATTOO aims to disrupt the market. On the one hand, it may seem ripe for disruption. But these traders also play a role.
For example, they buy the output from the wineries “en primeur” often in bulk before the wine is even bottled. It’s not dissimilar to buying a future for a commodity. And from the vineyard’s perspective, it ensures revenue certainty early on.
For fine wines, there’s also already a significant marketplace player, Liv-ex, whose clients are wine merchants who represent 90% of fine wine trades globally, or so it claims. However, Liv-ex is the marketplace for wine traders or B2B, whereas TATTOO’s focus is on direct to consumer.
Coming back to the blockchain implementation, to link the digital token to the wine, each bottle is “tattooed” with a unique QR code. Using a mobile app to scan the code will reveal all the details such as how it was transported, the vineyard, and even the fertilizers used in production. One question is whether vineyards will be willing to attach a barcode to the more expensive fine wines? But for most wines, that’s unlikely to be an issue.
EY has been targeting the wine sector for a little while. It signed up Italian vineyard LaVis, and in August announced a deal with WiV targeting fine wine investment.
The technology provider has most of its solutions focused around Ethereum, both enterprise Ethereum and public Ethereum. Last year, it partnered with Microsoft for a royalties blockchain, and more recently developed a car service marketplace for an Australian startup. It’s also created cutting edge privacy solutions leveraging Zero-Knowledge Proofs to render transactions on a public blockchain private.
Paul Brody, EY’s Global Blockchain leader, is a big believer in public blockchains.
“We’re now entering an era where thousands of companies will routinely be pushing production data onto the Ethereum Mainnet – creating, offering and selling digital tokens that represent their products and services to consumers,” said Brody. “This is what the mainstreaming of blockchain business looks like today.”