Peeke: Protecting consumers & brands from counterfeits using the blockchain.
by Alexander Di Chiara
Using blockchain technology, we are protecting consumers and brands from counterfeits. Consumers have the right to know that the products they purchase are authentic and brands should seamlessly be able protect their brand equity and sales. I’m excited to share with you that we’ve soft launched after 3 years of building, testing and pivoting.
Here’s my story. Let’s start at the beginning.
2015: Luxury brands are in the family
- It was Christmas 2015, and I was visiting my family in Italy. We’ve owned and operated a 40 year old leather handmade bag manufacturer that produces Italian luxury brands such as Baldinini.
- (Instead of following my parent’s steps of the family business, I moved to the US in 2000 to pursue a career in software engineering at Google and Disney.)
- Right before Christmas, I was sitting in the company office with my laptop playing around with a couple of NFC tags. At the same time, my mother came in the office complaining about having a problem when imprinting a serial number onto delicate leather for a custom order.
- So I thought, let me see if I can install this NFC tag into the bag front panel…
I’ve always known about the increasing counterfeit marketplace. Brands that use my family’s manufacturing plant have tried tackling this issue for years… unsuccessfully.
- The counterfeit market is valued at $0.5 trillion USD.
- By 2027 the counterfeit marketplace will reach $2.4 trillion USD if there is no solution.
- Consumers receive lower quality products and even harmful effects from counterfeit pharmaceuticals, beauty products and consumables. This is alarming and consumers shouldn’t be paying full price for counterfeit products.
How can we stop this growing issue? It was a true Ah-ha moment when I realized that I could use NFC tags to securely authenticate products.
2016: Peeke Technology was born…
- After returning back from visiting my parents, I continued to pursue this idea of using NFC tags to authenticate products. I started encoding smart tags and quickly created a functional prototype in Nodejs to secure the NFC tag.
- These NFC tags would be programmed as beacons and then placed onto the authentic products in a discrete way.
- The MVP Peeke app was then created. The app would allow consumers to interact with the NFC tag. Consumers could download this app, wave the app in front of an NFC tag and it would trigger a result of whether the product was real or fake.
- After creating the Peeke App,we were easily able to secure partnerships with with Swatch watches and Montblanc.
- Roadblock #1:The first period of difficulties stroke in when we tried to first scale it in production quantity. Programming each NFC tag by hand was impossible. We had to scale smart.
Solution: I started to work on a reel machine from scratch to try to serialize the process. The machine needed moving and friction parts and a 3d printer. Using hardware for encoding, and firmware to make it connect to the Internet and exchange data with our API, The Peekebox was born.
- Roadblock #2: We started to realize that larger companies had difficulties covering the cost of the NFC tag that would be attached to every single product.
Solution: We are stamping the NFC tags and programing them as beacons which we will be giving to brand partners or free. The token intrinsic value and the fees derived from the token loop circulation will cover the NFC tag cost.
- Roadblock #3: How do we secure the data that we receive via the NFC tags?
Solution: Last Autumn we started building a proprietary version of a BC. However, we realized it was much smarter to leverage Ethereum smart contracts at a much lower cost. We still have our proprietary blockchain in an alpha state and will be working on it after we secure the necessary resources through the Crowdsale. This will be a secure database that will protect sensitive information that is not fit an open-sourced blockchain such as Ethereum.
After multiple testing periods and pivots, Peeke is ready. With 100’s of downloads of the Peeke beta app and 10 brand partnerships, we’r excited to have 500 other recognized brands in the pipeline.
- Here’s how The Peeke App works:
- Here’s how easily brands are able to integrate the NFC tag into their products:
Private Sale, Pre-sale + Crowdsale
Today we soft launch the private sale of the Peeke token. Drop your email below if you’d like to learn more about Peeke.