Grand Reserve, a rewards points operator for wine lovers, has launched a blockchain-based rewards system just in time for the “busiest wine-buying season of the year”. The new Grand Reserve Rewards card uses the technology to track and classify purchases and issue reward points to members on a secure, blockchain-enabled loyalty ledger. Grand Reserve Rewards points are earned through purchases and are redeemable for more than 200 wine-related products and experiences.
Blockchain Fact or Fiction?
Grand Reserve says their offering is “a breakthrough loyalty program focused on wine lovers”, with points earned on every purchase at wineries, wine clubs, and wine shops. However, it seems that the breakthrough in this case is more to do with the scale of the reward point collection process rather than the use of blockchain technology, which is not readily explained in the press release.
Nowhere on their website does it state how blockchain technology is used, only stating that they use “best-in-class cloud-based technologies” to keep their data secure. Hopefully this is not just another ruse to us the word ‘blockchain’ to woo naïve customers, although the attraction of ‘blockchain’ anything has died since 2017.
Grape Use of New Technology
Wine and blockchain technology already has something of a history, with more legitimate usage coming via VeChain and DNV GL who announced the My Story solution in March 2018, a system that uses the VeChain blockchain to provide insights into different characteristics and production processes behind bottles of wine. Equally, EY’s TATTOO blockchain allows customers to verify the origins of their wine in-store, while the Chainvine initiative is using blockchain tech to counter fraudulent wine.
Indeed, as far back as 2017 there were calls to use blockchain technology to counter the growing wine fraud problem. Whether Grand Reserve is using blockchain to its full potential is a little difficult to tell right now, but if buying up cases of fine wines is the way to test this, then we are 100% on board.