ConsenSys and Microsoft help Louis Vuitton (LVMH) to launch blockchain

26 Mar, 2019
by Alberto Arnaldo
News
ConsenSys and Microsoft help Louis Vuitton (LVMH) to launch blockchain

Perhaps those which have only heard of Louis Vuitton in fashion terms might be somewhat surprised, but an entity of the caliber of the Louis Vuitton Möet Henessy (LVMH) group entering into the crypto space is something to note, even though they are doing it one step at a time. 

LVMH is the biggest company in France according to current stock market capitalization metrics, with a total valuation of $181 billion, exceeding in about $10 billion the second firm on the CAC40 index, oil and gas company Total.

Not bad for selling luxury purses, expensive champagne or liquor and several high-end goods offered by the other subsidiaries from LVMH: Marc Jacobs, Guerlain, Bulgari, Fendi, Belvedere or Sephora, among many more.

With regard to the first phase of the blockchain development of LVMH, an undisclosed source shared some details with Coindesk about AURA, a project which will be initially used for traceability purposes to provide sound evidence of the authenticity of the goods. Coinciding with ConsenSys participation, it has been designed by means of a permissioned version of the ethereum blockchain.

By the way the source is presented, it can be inferred that he or she was involved in the build, but could be part of either LVMH, ConsenSys or Microsoft, as the three companies have been working together on the project, which could trigger hopes for some upcoming ERC standard being used by the luxury industry leader: 

“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”. 

Some other interesting revelations from this undisclosed source relates to the power which the company sees in the technology that they are now starting to adopt, and to the possible use cases that the brands of the group could benefit from:

“They (LVMH) see down the line permissioned and public networks as needing to be interoperable if they are to put the power back to customers. It’s also a way for a global network of distributors and resellers to connect to a network without restriction”.

“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”.

Regardless of all the undisclosed sources and secrecy, the announcement from LVMH does not comes without a warning. Back in November of 2018, Swiss watchmaker Hublot, one of the companies of the luxury conglomerate, launched a limited-edition piece which was exclusively available for those willing to pay with Bitcoin. The introduction of the product was scheduled to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the creation of Bitcoin, and the watch had a cost of about $25,000.

Read more: Hublot launches Bitcoin-themed watch to celebrate Bitcoin’s 10th birthdaySwedish furniture firm Ikea builds blockchain village model

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