Eyeing US relaunch, Puff Bar taps blockchain for its vapes

Puff Bar has said it will use blockchain developed by VeChain for its disposable vape products to thwart counterfeits of its brand.

The brand – owned by Los Angeles company Cool Clouds Distribution – says it halted all online sales of its products in the US last year in the wake of a ban in the US on the sale of flavoured nicotine vapes, but is still distributing them overseas.

The company intends to relaunch in the US with the blockchain platform supporting sales through its website, claiming that 95 per cent of vapes claiming to be Puff Bars in the US are now counterfeit.

Earlier this month, US customs and the FDA said they seized almost 34,000 fake Puff Bar products in December, arriving in 42 separate shipments from China.

Puff Bar explained the rationale behind the blockchain move in a Reddit post:

“One example: Smoke shop A is buying counterfeit Puff Bars for $5. Smoke Shop B is buying authentic Puff Bars for $10. Without a good anti-counterfeiting system in place, there is almost no incentive for Smoke Shop B to want to pay $5 more. The consumer won’t know the difference and that’s all the shop cares about.

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.”

Puff Bar products already include a verification tag supplied by Cypheme, a French startup that provides security labels which combine specialised inks that form a random and unreproducible pattern on drying and artificial intelligence software.

“Within five 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,” according to the brand.

This process will now be supported by a blockchain backend to provide an additional layer of security. It provides a digital database of time-stamped records or events, which follows the supply chain and transactions of goods to verify provenance.

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