WaBi aims to take the security of the blockchain and use it to authenticate real-life goods, preventing consumers from death or serious harm due to counterfeit goods. The team places anti-counterfeit labels on consumer goods so customers have a verifiable method of proving that item in question is what it claims to be and has not been tampered with. Consumers then use WaBi, the token, to buy the products. Although the token WaBi and its parent company, Walimai, are mostly in China, they are expanding internationally, as well.
What Issue Does WaBi Solve?
At the moment, there is a dramatic influx of fake goods on the market. In fact, there is an estimated $461 billion (USD) in imported fake goods circulating globally. While this is inconvenient for some, it can also be downright dangerous in the case of medicines, food, baby formula, and similar items. The team behind WaBi was spurred toward their goal by the recent baby food scandals in China. In 2004, a minimum of 63 babies died from drinking fake baby milk, and in 2008, there were 300,000 victims from a similar scandal, including 54,000 hospitalizations and six infant deaths.
While they were encouraged to find a solution by the scandals in China regarding baby food, the ability to authenticate products can help those around the world. Before the WaBi Project, there was no way to use the blockchain to resolve the issue without connecting physical and digital assets.
What Other Challenges Did WaBi Overcome?
When developing this solution, the WaBi team had to create a physical label that could remain securely in place without any risk of accidental breakage, yet would break easily in the case of opening or counterfeit refilling. At the same time, they had to take advantage of micro-security by individually securing tags against copying while providing security on the macro level to prevent tampering across the system.
How Does WaBi Leverage the Blockchain for Physical Assets?
The biggest challenge for the WaBi Project was linking physical and digital assets to take advantage of the blockchain. The team built on the security of the blockchain and cryptographic technologies that allowed for transactional security and the uniqueness of each digital asset. Walimai’s solution is able to securely link the physical item with a digital representation at a reasonable cost.
How Do You Use WaBi?
To make this method work, the Walimai label is put into place at the “point of origin” for the supply chain. The code provides information that includes a dynamic code, a unique encrypted ID, and geographical data.
You can get a mobile application for your smartphone from Google Play, the Apple App Store, the QQ Store, or the Baidu app store. When you come across an item in a store, simply scan its QR code, and you will be able to read information about whether it is counterfeit. The scanned label will read the information and send it to the cloud to be verified. The public verification result is then shown to give you confidence. Numerous products in China already use these labels, and the system is growing. Because of the consumer scanning, physical and digital objects can be continuously synchronized.
What Security Measures Does the Walimai System Have?
To use the blockchain’s security to its full potential and prevent tampering or counterfeiting labels, there are systems in place that will show a consumer a product is unsafe in the case of an attack. If the geolocation data do not match, the information will not authenticate, alerting the user. If the counterfeiter manages to clone the product and replace it with a fake, the gap in time between scans will prevent authentication. If the counterfeiter removes the product from circulation, they will not be able to make copies and replicate the label since a single scan will desynchronize the remaining items in the batch, making the attempt futile.
What Is the WaBi Token?
The WaBi token is a digital token that consumers can use to purchase products they scan via the Walimai application. The initial ICO is over, selling out of the 46 million WaBi that were available for sale out of a 100 million fixed total supply. During the ICO, each token was the equivalent of $0.25 USD.
Users of the application can use WaBi to buy products protected by Walimai with single-click automatic payment. By paying with WaBi, users get extra benefits, such as bonus WaBi points on purchases, discounts, and improved delivery terms. Users can also buy bulk quantities of loyalty points with WaBi to get a discount.
How to Buy WaBi
You are not able to purchase WABI with “Fiat” currency so you will need to first purchase another currency – the easiest to buy are Bitcoin or Ethereum which you can do at Coinbase using a bank transfer or debit / credit card purchase and then swap that for WABI at an exchange such as Binance.
Register at Coinbase
For first time buyers of crypto currency, we recommend that you use Coinbase to make your first purchase – its easy to use, fully regulated by the US government so you know it is one of the safest and most reputable places to purchase cryptocurrency from. Coinbase offers the ability to purchase Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum with a credit or debit card or by sending a bank transfer. The fees are higher for cards but you will receive your currency instantly.
You will have to carry out some identity verification when signing up as they have to adhere to strict financial guidelines. Make sure you use our link to signup you will be credited with $10 in free bitcoin when you make your first purchase of $100.
To get started, click the “Sign up” button where you will be taken to a registration form where you will need to enter your name, email and choose a password.
For this guide, we will be purchasing Ethereum to swap for our target cryptocurrency. The reason for this is that it has far cheaper fees than bitcoin for sending and the transaction also happens a lot faster. So in Coinbase, visit the “Buy / Sell” tab at the top, select “Ethereum”, choose your payment method and enter the amount you wish to purchase – you can either enter a US Dollar amount or a number of Ether.
You will then be asked to confirm your transaction, if paying with a card you might have to complete a verification with your card provider. Once that’s complete, your Ethererum will be added to your account.
Purchase WABI at Binance
How Long Has the WaBi Project Been in Development?
The founders of the WaBi Project began discussing how to deal with counterfeit products within China in August 2012. By September 2013, they chose to use RFID as the base technology for consumer friendliness, security, and convenience. The name Walimai was chosen in October that year, and the business operations officially began in Hangzhou, China, in February 2014. By October of that year, Walimai was honored at the Open Innovations Forum in Moscow as being among the most innovative companies.
Between December 2014 and August 2015, they began working with the top producers of alcohol and baby food, with the apps launched in July 2016. This is also when the RFID labels were updated to a newer version. In December, they opened JD.com, an online shop with positive reviews. In April 2017, they set up Walimai Shelves at several physical baby stores. By November and December, consumers were able to use WaBi to buy products.
What Are the Plans for the Future?
The number of baby shops with Walimai-protected products will continue to expand. In December 2017, Walimai also began selling alcohol products with secure labels. In 2018, the team hopes to begin partnerships with distributors and producers of alcohol and baby foods, plus make adjustments to the technology to work with pharmaceutical products. By 2019, the team aims to expand WaBi’s use to include loyalty programs with product manufacturers and partnerships with certain insurance companies.
Walimai takes an innovative approach to providing security for consumer products prone to tampering, like alcohol and baby food. While its use does require an extra step at each end, as the producer must place a code and the consumer must scan it, the peace of mind should make this additional time well worth it. As Walimai and the WaBi token expand, this can be a very important innovation for preventing fraud and the deaths or injuries related to it.