Today ConsenSys formally announced AURA a blockchain network to enable consumers to trace the history and authenticity of luxury goods developed in partnership with LVMH and Microsoft. The initial brands on the platform are LVMH’s Louis Vuitton and Parfums Christian Dior. More LVMH brands are in discussion for onboarding as well as from other luxury groups.
In 2016 the OECD estimated that imports of counterfeit and pirated goods were worth nearly half a trillion dollars or 2.5% of global imports. In Europe, the figure is closer to 5%. It also published research into the most affected product groups. Footwear followed by knitted clothing and leather goods are the top three groups of fake goods that are seized. Visitors to France will be familiar with the sight of officials inspecting Louis Vuitton handbags when travelers depart to make sure they’re not fake.
In addition to being able to authenticate a product, consumers will be able to use an app to view the story of the luxury item including the design and its raw materials, as well as manufacturing and distribution. Plus it will include information about product care and warranties.
AURA aims to implement a consortium model so that other luxury brands can become a member. Each participant can choose the emphasis whether that’s on tracing the source of raw materials or customer loyalty.
“AURA is a groundbreaking innovation for the luxury industry,” said Ken Timsit, Managing Director of ConsenSys Solutions. “ConsenSys is proud to contribute and to work with LVMH on an initiative that will serve the entire luxury industry, protecting the interests, integrity, and privacy of each brand, leveraging Ethereum blockchain technology in a truly decentralized way.”
The private permissioned platform is based on JP Morgan’s Quorum, the enterprise version of ethereum. Each item is tokenized with a unique or non-fungible token using the ERC721 standard, the one that’s used for CryptoKitties.
Microsoft Azure is the hosting partner, and ConsenSys was one of the main AURA technology partners. ConsenSys is also partner to the komgo trade finance consortium.
Anti-counterfeit applications are one of blockchain’s strongest use cases, and it’s being applied in numerous industries. These include pharmaceuticals, aerospace, ticketing, computer disks, and premium coffee brands.