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93. WaBi (Published: 9th Mar, 2018)

Introduction
WaBi (蛙币) is a digital token backed by safe products, especially food protected by Walimai technology. Since counterfeiting is a serious issue that claims many lives and costs billions of dollars, and Blockchain is unable to solve the problem without a link between digital and physical assets, WaBi aims to link the digital and physical assets through RFID labels with anti-copy functionality. And consumers can authenticate the product through their phones.

Team
There are 10 team members in total. Alexander Busarov is the co-founder and CEO. He is a former McKinsey & Co. consultant, Sales Director at a leading infant formula producer. He guided project development for Russia and China-based companies as an independent advisor.

Yaroslav Belinskiy is the co-founder. The former consultant with Bain & Co., Business Development Manager at LP Amina has extensive experience in consumer goods. Both the co-founders are able to speak and write Mandarin Chinese. It can definitely help the project to be implemented in China.

Features
Walimai creates a link between physical and digital domains. Walimai label is applied at a designated ‘point of origin’ along the supply chain. It links the product with its digital representation in the cloud, containing encrypted unique ID, dynamic code and geographical data. When a Walimai label is sticked on the products, consumers can authenticate the products by touching the label on the products with smartphones, or scanning QR code.

Moreover, Walimai is so secure that it will not be fake. As every label has a chip with unique number, every item is uniquely traced. The location of every scan is in the users’ database. If someone is cheating the label, it will be known quickly. When a counterfeiter breaks security and makes a copy of the data on the chip, the data will quickly be outdated as the data in the chip changes randomly.

Back to WaBi, it can be used with automatic payment for Walimai protected products. Paying with WaBi will have more benefits, such as extra discounts, bonus WaBi points with each purchase and improved delivery terms.

With all these features, Walimai and WaBi can help consumers to differentiate the genuine products, apart from the fake ones, and help the company to stand out and build up a better reputation.

Development
Back in August 2012, there was the first discussion about counterfeit products in China between the founders. Two years later, the business operations were officially launched in Hangzhou, China in February 2014. In August 2014, the minimum viable product of Walimai technology was developed.

In December 2016, Walimai opens an online shop on JD.com. Customer feedback is highly positive with consumers willing to pay a 20% premium price for the assurance of safety. It showed that it was a right path to implement such idea into reality. It keeps expanding the number of baby shops selling Walimai protected products from time to time.

In 2018, there will be more partnerships with producers and distributors of baby food and alcohol products, and adjusting Walimai technology for pharmaceutical products. There will be an expansion of the usage of WaBi next year. Loyalty programmes for the product manufacturers, like ‘air miles for consumer products’, are planned to launch. Meanwhile, there will be partnerships with insurance companies.

Suggestion
The project may be a game-changer. It encounters one of the major problems in China, which is serious counterfeiting. With the combination of WaBi and Walimai, it can prevent fake products from flowing to the market so as to protect consumers. This project can save life of baby, elderly and every single consumer. Although it is limited to countries like China, it has a great growth potential as there may be a massive demand in China. Although there are some Chinese consumers who are willing to pay a premium right now, it would be interesting to see if there will be a massive adoption in the future.

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