LVMH has officially joined the blockchain club. On Tuesday, the luxury conglomerate announced that it has joined forces with Prada and Cartier, part of rival group Richemont, to develop Aura Blockchain Consortium – the world’s first global luxury blockchain.
The unprecedented collaboration between the competitors marks an active move towards tackling the shared challenge of “communicating authenticity, responsible sourcing and sustainability in a secure digital format” for consumers of luxury goods. LVMH first unveiled plans to develop the blockchain-enabled system in 2019, at a time when various sectors were exploring the distributed ledger system in which Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are built upon.
Developed in partnership with Microsoft and ConsenSys, Aura matches a product ID to client ID to enable consumers to access the history of a product and proof of its authenticity at every step of the value chain. This ensures a high level of transparency and traceability throughout the lifecycle of a product, from raw materials to point of sale.
With Aura, consumers will have a trusted data source to validate the authenticity of a product without needing third-party verification. It also allows luxury brands to communicate directly with consumers on the quality of their materials, as well as their attention to craftsmanship and creativity, to foster a stronger relationship with their clients.
“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. By joining forces with other luxury brands on this project, we are leading the way on transparency and traceability. I hope other prestigious players will join our alliance,” LVMH Managing Director Toni Belloni said in a press release.
Aura is open to all luxury brands, not just the founding team, in order to support companies of varying sizes and adapt to different needs. The chain of secure, non-reproducible, digital blocks are said to adhere to the strictest standards of client privacy, with data stored in a way that cannot be changed, tampered with or hacked.
Among the LVMH-owned brands that are currently active on the platform are Hublot, Bvlgari and Louis Vuitton – each employing Aura in diverse ways to meet customer expectations. For instance, Hublot has rolled out digital e-warranty, allowing customers to verify the authenticity of their watch simply by taking a photo with their phone.
Cyrille Vigneron, President and CEO of Cartier International and Member of Richemont’s Board and Senior Executive Committee, commented: “The luxury industry creates timeless pieces, and must ensure that these rigorous standards will endure and remain in trustworthy hands. We therefore invite the entire profession to join this consortium to design a new luxury era enabled by blockchain technology.”
For more information about Aura, visit auraluxuryblockchain.com.