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Will Cartier, Prada & LVMH's Blockchain Alliance Mean the End of Fakes?

Will Cartier, Prada & LVMH's Blockchain Alliance Mean the End of Fakes?

Luxury powerhouses LVMH, Prada, and Cartier have joined forces to form a unified "Blockchain Consortium," which could signal a new era for luxury product verification – and counterfeits might not stand a chance.

Announced on Tuesday, the Aura Blockchain Consortium hopes to leverage blockchain technology to create a global, digital ledger that registers all their products, providing a trusted database against that they can be authenticated and tracked. It builds on technology developed by LVMH with help from Microsoft and ConsenSys back in 2019.

Since blockchains are decentralized and virtually impossible to alter, the shared platform – which the companies say will now be open for all luxury brands to join – issues unique codes for individual products. The code will allow consumers and sellers to track everything from the item's authenticity, warranty, ownership history, and maintenance, to the environmental impact it has.

A luxury blockchain could also be a game-changer for the ethical traceability of materials. While components like gemstones, furs, and exotic leather skins can increasingly be traced all the way back to the mines or farms they came from, tracking commodities like cotton and wool is much harder. This could bring much-needed accountability into the fashion supply chain.

While the technology is impressive, it's also unprecedented to see rival groups working together on a shared system on this scale. LVMH brands such as Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, and Hublot have been leading the system rollout since it was first announced two years ago, however, Cartier and Prada's joining sets the stage for more brands and retailers to have a seat at the table.