Luxury consumer goods company LVMH has announced it will launch a new platform for tracking product authenticity. The luxury goods conglomerate is the latest major player to deploy blockchain technology.
LVMH controls over 60 different premium consumer brands including Louis Vuitton and Parfums Christian Dior. Its new “provenance platform” will be ready by May or June, according to a company statement.
The technology will rely on blockchain records to track the authenticity of its products. Plans are also afoot to expand beyond LVMH brands in the future once the technology has proven successful.
LVMH developed the platform, dubbed AURA, together with ConsenSys and Microsoft Azure. Assigned to work on this and future blockchain projects is a full-time development team.
The technology uses the immutable nature of blockchain records to provide end-to-end tracking of product and ownership information. The firm believes this will help safeguard provenance while undermining the market in counterfeit goods.
Other industries have deployed similar platforms, including diamond mining, artwork and antiques. Blockchain technology has subsequently been used to provide transparent, accurate records of supply chains, ownership and other asset information.
The firm has yet to make an official statement. However, sources close to the project said the platform would allow tracking from raw materials through to the secondary, used-goods market.
“To begin with AURA will provide proof of authenticity of luxury items and trace their origins from raw materials to point of sale and beyond to used-goods markets. The next phase of the platform will explore protection of creative intellectual property, exclusive offers and events for each brands’ customers, as well as anti-ad fraud.”
The project will result in a new company, with IP donated to the new entity. In inviting competitors to participate in the platform, LVMH is thought to be considering allowing participants to become shareholders in the new company.
“So Gucci, for example, could decide to join the platform and be a shareholder. In which case their claim to the IP would be as great as Louis Vuitton’s claim to the IP. That is the main difference between this project and the IBM Maersk project. Which hopefully makes it much more comparable to Komgo, the trade finance consortium.”