- PuffBar will use Vechain tech in the fight against counterfeit vapes.
- Blockchain’s role as a seal of authenticity could be widely adopted throughout retail in the coming years.
- PuffBar will also accept BCH and ETH on its website.
Vaping and crypto: name a more Gen Z duo. Today, Puff Bar, a vaping brand that sells fruit-flavored nicotine huffers, said that it will use crypto to stop people from selling knock-offs of its devices.
The brand posted on Reddit this week that it will be “using Vechain Technologies $VET & Cypheme to fight counterfeits.”
Underneath a Dark Regulatory Cloud
Puff Bar is produced by Cool Clouds Distribution, a Los Angeles company founded in 2019.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Cool Clouds stopped selling its product in the US after the FDA banned the flavored e-cigarettes, since too many kids thought the Clouds were, er, Cool.
“Our products are not healthy, everything we sell is for adult consumers who are going to vape knowing the risks,” said PuffBar on its Reddit account.
About the ban, PuffBar said, “We are not perfect, we grew fast, we made mistakes, we pulled back to correct our mistakes.” It added that it “stopped selling before any warning letters.”
While PuffBar’s products are off the market, counterfeits have taken their place. The brand’s Reddit account is trying to dissuade people from clicking on links that sell fake products, but it’s not enough to stem the tide.
“We pulled our product off the market in July 2020 and now fakes account for about 95% of the product you see out there,” it said. “It’s been horrible.”
How Blockchain’s Cryptographic Ledger Can Help
To save the day...blockchain! Our faithful friend. PuffBar will use Vechain so that customers can verify the authenticity of its vapes once it returns to shelves.
The idea is that blockchains are immutable and everything logged on them can’t be altered or changed without 51% of the network’s computers mutinying.
The authentication technology uses a tag from French anti-counterfeiting company Cypheme, made from a “proprietary ink and printer” and the user’s own phone camera for verification.
“When you go to our site to verify, you click a button and it will automatically open the camera on your phone. You take a picture & submit, press enter, within 5 seconds the technology is able to pick up the micro imperfections on the sticker that can’t be seen by the naked eye to verify whether this product is authentic or not,” it said.
PuffBar said it will start rolling it out over the next few weeks, starting with the US. “Anybody that knows this industry knows fakes have been rampant. Prepare to start seeing a lot more VET in the vaping industry.”
“It saves us money because essentially we don’t lose out on that missed revenue due to someone willing to buy counterfeits instead. It also helps prove more definitively that they are selling fakes for lawsuits and legal matters,” it said.
The commercial use of blockchain to help authenticate something isn’t new. Food companies such as Walmart use blockchain to track the production of their food from “farm to fork” using IBM’s food trust technology, for instance.
PuffBar also announced that it will accept Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash as payments.