he world's biggest fashion conglomerate LVMH, has announced its plans to launch its own blockchain. Code-named AURA, the goal of this platform is to track and prove authenticity of its luxury items.
LVMH, also known as Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, is a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate with over 60 reputable brands under its name. It was founded in 1987 with the merge of Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy.
The company now owns some of the world's biggest names like Dom Pérignon, Christian Dior, Bulgari, Guerlain, and Hublot. Aura has been secretly in the works for over a year, and it will be expected to launch May or June of this year.
It is built on the Ethereum blockchain based on JPMorgan’s Quorum Platform. In order to deliver an outstanding state of the art platform immune to hacks and bugs, LVMH has hired a full-time blockchain team and is allegedly working with ConsenSys and Microsoft’s Azure.
LVMH refused to comment or give any details before the launch. An anonymous source involved in this platform explained Aura to CoinDesk:
"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."
Aura will go live first with Louis Vuitton and Parfums Christian Dior and is expected to expand to all of its other luxury brands. LVMH also aspires to extend this platform to its competitors as well.
Kering S.A., another luxury goods conglomerate with brands including Balenciaga, Gucci, and Yves Saint Laurent will also be able to benefit from Aura. To avoid problems with competitors on this permission based blockchain, LVMH will donate all intellectual property (IP) to a separate entity.
The entity will be owned by all participating brands. The source then tells CoinDesk:
“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.”
JPMorgan’s Quorum has data privacy tools to safeguard information between the brands and their clients as well. This ensures no private information will be leaked. Blockchain is a critical step in ensuring authenticity of products and in fighting the counterfeit and fraud industry for luxury goods.
It is no long a question of whether or not blockchain is here to stay.
With influential and prominent companies like IBM, J.P. Morgan, and LVMH taking its first steps onto blockchain, its apparent that all other online and retail businesses must adapt and move forward to blockchain to survive.