Luxury brand conglomerate LVMH, owner of the iconic Louis Vuitton label, is preparing to launch a blockchain for proving the authenticity of high-priced goods, CoinDesk has learned.
Code-named AURA, the cryptographic provenance platform is expected to go live in May or June with Louis Vuitton and another LVMH brand, Parfums Christian Dior. It will then be extended to LVMH ‘s other 60-plus luxury brands, and eventually those of its competitors.
LVMH has enlisted a full-time blockchain team who have been in stealth mode for over a year, working closely with ethereum design studio ConsenSys and Microsoft Azure, according to two people familiar with the project.
AURA has been built using a permissioned version of the ethereum blockchain called Quorum, which is focused on data privacy and was developed by JPMorgan.
Neither LVMH nor its partners ConsenSys and Microsoft would comment ahead of the project’s official launch. But a source involved in the build told 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.” White label
Stepping back, LVMH controls over 60 luxury brands including many well-known names like Dior, Dom Pérignon and Hublot. The group reported revenues of $53 billion in 2018.
But it’s not the first to propose an authenticity-tracking blockchain; there have been other luxury provenance platforms and mini consortia, such as Arianee or Vechain.
According to the source involved in the project, LVMH questioned why it would allow third parties to position themselves between its brands and their partners – especially since blockchain is supposed to be a technology for eliminating intermediaries....