LVMH, the Prada Group and Cartier (part of Richemont) have teamed up to create the non-profit Aura Blockchain Consortium, aimed at enhancing customer relationships and brand protection through the use of a single global blockchain solution dedicated to the luxury industry.
“The Aura Consortium represents an unprecedented cooperation in the luxury industry,” said Cyrille Vigneron, President and CEO of Cartier International in a statement. “Blockchain is a key technology to enhance customer service, relationships with partners and traceability. The luxury industry creates timeless pieces and must ensure that these rigorous standards will endure and remain in trustworthy hands.”
The solution — which the consortium has made available to all luxury brands, regardless of sector or geography — will offer consumers enhanced visibility into the authenticity and provenance of the luxury goods they buy by giving them direct access to product history and proof of authenticity. For luxury brands, the solution allows them to offer customers verified proof of authenticity, responsible sourcing and sustainability in a secure digital format.
This is achieved through a “multi-nodal private blockchain” secured by ConsenSys technology and Microsoft. The technology will record information in a secure and non-reproducible manner and generate a unique certificate for the product’s owner.
Counterfeiting is a huge problem in the luxury industry, where originality and scarcity are key components of brand value, and that problem has only been exacerbated by the growth in ecommerce. The financial incentive for brands to find a solution is clear: In 2019, the value of imported fake goods worldwide topped $509 billion, according to a joint report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
Bulgari, Cartier, Hublot, Louis Vuitton and Prada already are active on the Aura platform. There are ongoing conversations with additional brands regarding joining the consortium, both within the founder group as well as with independent brands. The solution allows each brand to develop its own experience according to its specifications and customer expectations. Each brand also will fully own and be responsible for its own data in order to prevent the exchange of sensitive competitive information.
“The Aura Blockchain Consortium is a great opportunity for our sector to strengthen our connection with customers by offering them simple solutions to get to know our products better,” said Toni Belloni, Managing Director of LVMH in a statement. “By joining forces with other luxury brands on this project, we are leading the way on transparency and traceability.”