Today the Aura Blockchain Consortium announced the addition of Mercedes Benz to its association of luxury brands. It joins other founding members LVMH, Prada Group, Richemont brand Cartier and Diesel owner OTB.
While Aura’s initial emphasis was on using blockchain for the provenance and authenticity of luxury goods, it has since evolved to include tracking ESG credentials for luxury items. More recently, it has been working on non-fungible token (NFT) functionality. The consortium says that the metaverse is part of its long-term strategy.
That’s no surprise, given a recent report by Morgan Stanley estimated that by 2030 the metaverse and NFTs are a €50 billion ($53bn) revenue opportunity for the luxury sector and a very high margin one that could lift profits by a quarter.
For Mercedes-Benz, digital art that comes with a certificate of authenticity as an NFT is one of the first Aura functionalities it plans to use. The luxury carmaker is interested in art as part of its in-car digital experience, including displaying it on its cutting edge MBUX Hyperscreen, a digital dashboard.
“As a design team we consistently strive to pair beauty with the extraordinary in all dimensions. Therefore we are pushing our digital luxury ambition with Crypto Art, as a new expression of our style and creativity”, said Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Mercedes-Benz Group AG. “We use digital art to create desire in-car and beyond.”
Several other luxury car brands have launched NFTs, including Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche.