LVMH, Prada and Cartier Authenticate Luxury Products with the Aura Blockchain

Sat 24 Apr 2021 ▪ 18h34 ▪ 4 min de lecture - par Felix Meyer

By partnering with the Aura Blockchain consortium, Microsoft and ConsenSys, these key players in the luxury sector have created a blockchain-powered tool for traceability and authentication.

Aura Blockchain: traceability, authentication and anti-counterfeiting.

Prada Group, LVMH and Cartier, part of the Richemont Group, have created the Aura Blockchain consortium.

The origin of this name probably comes from a term coined by Walter Benjamin, a 20th century German philosopher and art historian. He argues that artworks possess an “aura” – a magical or supernatural force arising from their uniqueness, linked to a specific place and part of history.

The used market for luxury goods continues to grow. According to Bain and Company, it has bounced back and actually grown by 9% following the COVID-19 crisis, reaching approximately £24 billion. More broadly, the luxury personal products market stood at £189 billion at 2020-end. This means that used luxury goods account for around 12% of the total. This is something that only stands to grow with each passing year.

Aura was set up with the aim of combatting counterfeit goods, and overseeing this second-hand market.

“Blockchain is a key technology for the future that will improve customer service, partner relationships and traceability.” – Cyrille Vigneron, CEO of Cartier International

Transparency and high-end service at the centre of this new initiative

The blockchain technology proposed by the consortium will allow customers to:

  • Prove the authenticity and ownership of products with a tamper-proof certificate of authenticity and an algorithm to detect counterfeit products.
  • Create a unique digital identifier for each product, allowing it to be traced across its entire life cycle, from production to (re)sale, tracking various repairs or maintenance.
  • Strengthen customer relationships through increased transparency and ensure that products are manufactured and handled in accordance with brand standards.
  • Access new services provided by brands.
  • Establish a direct, trust-based relationship with the customer directly on the brand platform, sidestepping intermediaries.

A consortium open to all players in the luxury sector

“Union is strength.” This is the principle of blockchain technology, but also the key pillar of Aura, according to Toni Belloni, CEO of LVMH. This is why the consortium is opening its doors to the entire luxury sector, in order to offer a standard industrial solution to all its customers and unlock a seamless experience.

It is an unconventional approach in this highly competitive industry, but will allow these huge players “to pave the way in terms of transparency and traceability.” The proposed costs will vary depending on the volumes processed, buit that hasn’t deterred Bvlgari and Hublot, who have already joined Prada, Cartier and Louis Vuitton on the platform.

This is not the first time that luxury goods and the blockchainhave met, the French project Arianee also offers a solution to fight counterfeiting and facilitate the traceability of products. It does this through a “digital passport”, that is registered on the blockchain. This start-up is already working in collaboration with Richemont, Breitling or Audemars Piguet and has just raised just shy of £7 million. The future will tell us whether the two companies will end up working  together or competing…

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Felix Meyer

Le trading et l'analyse technique sont mes spécialités depuis 4 ans. Je décortique le marché et vous partage mon expertise.

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The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.