Authenticating luxury goods with blockchainFebruary 2nd, 2023
Blockchain technology allows to enhance traceability, transparency and efficiency in several sectors. In this article, we will explore how this technology is being used by Anima to introduce design, fashion and luxury brands to obtain benefits such as better control over the distribution channel.
The design and luxury industries are embracing Blockchain, supporting firms which operate in the market to solve social issues in their production process, such as counterfeiting or infringements to the intellectual property, which should be prevented by protecting the authenticity and origin of luxury goods or raw materials.
The global market for counterfeit goods is worth globally over half a trillion dollars annually, posing a significant threat to consumers and businesses. Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the way in which we verify the authenticity of goods and fight against counterfeits. Not to a lesser extent, there are also benefits for the customers, such as trust and transparency, as well as synergies with the design industry (i.e. creating digital assets or a market for designs and digital art).
Understanding Blockchain Technology
Before dealing with the specifics of how Blockchain is being used in the previously mentioned sectors, it’s essential to understand what Blockchain is and how ANIMA operates. Blockchain technology is a digital ledger that records immutable transactions across a network of multiple computers.
ANIMA has enforced a way to leverage Blockchain to mitigate counterfeits, through the creation of traceability platforms, which allow manufacturers to detach information about their products stored on the Blockchain. Recently, the Blockchain feature to create non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has grown in importance, with benefits for the governance and trust in the brands. NFTs are unique digital assets that can be traded on a blockchain-based marketplace, such as OpenSea or ANIMA marketplace.
ANIMA adopts NFTs to create a digital representation of luxury goods and to verify the authenticity and provenance of the goods they represent, even before producing the goods. In the design industry, NFTs can replicate physical assets like digital art, allowing designers, artists and fashion brands to monetize their digital creations, also licensing their work.
Comparison between Fashion, Luxury and Design industries
The fashion, luxury and design industries have many similarities and there are synergies between these sectors. All the industries rely on creativity, innovation and unique designs, as well as a strong focus on authenticity, provenance and quality. These previous are core value for ANIMA, in order to create an added value, such as promoting the traceability of high-quality materials and sustainable practices. The ability to track and trace the authenticity and provenance of products, as well as to create unique digital assets, can bring valuable benefits to both sectors: Blockchain improve supply chain transparency and efficiency, thus promoting sustainable practices.
Tracking Authenticity and Provenance of Luxury Goods
Tracking the authenticity and provenance of luxury goods is one of the most significant applications of Blockchain in the fashion and luxury industry: these two factors are vital to determine the value of a product.
While ANIMA started to operate in the design sector we can identify several examples of brands in fashion and luxury sectors such as Louis Vuitton, Prada and Richmond. ANIMA allows your brand to include information about origin, ownership and incremental changes. As a result, users can use this information to verify the authenticity of products by scanning a unique identification code and accessing the product’s information on the traceability platform.
More in-depth, the technology adopted by ANIMA uses a cryptographically secured NFC or QR code, connected to Blockchain through a unique code saved in the NFTs’ metadata. ANIMA’s process is as following: when someone buys a product, for example a bag, they scan the QR code on the item, thus claiming its ownership, easily certifying its authenticity and accessing all of the product information. This technology is being called Scan-To-Own and the certificate of authenticity lasts forever and will always be available digitally in ANIMA marketplace. The owner has full control of their data and users can scan the product anytime to check authenticity and trust only their real provenance.
Improving Supply Chain Transparency and Efficiency
Alternatively to traceability platforms, the Blockchain technology is fundamental to create smart contracts. ANIMA allows your brand to read these self-executing contracts, which store words written into code on a Blockchain network. Brands in the ANIMA network can automate the process of tracking and verifying the authenticity of goods. Thus reducing effort and cost of a redundant monitoring process. Being part of ANIMA network minimizes the risk of paying for counterfeit goods, as well. Blockchain adoption is related to supply-chain transparency and efficiency, which are core elements for ANIMA to support firms’ sustainabilty: embracing ANIMA, firms reduce their environmental impact and promote sustainable practices starting from the choice of the blockchain to operate in: Polygon is a carbon-neutral blockchain, which is solid for its interoperability with Ethereum Virtual Machine and its consequent applications.
ANIMA allows further applications to the fight against counterfeits through the use of digital twins, which are virtual representations of physical assets or processes: a digital twin of a product may be created and linked to the product’s information on a traceability platform based on Blockchain technology. Eventually, this would allow real-time tracking and monitoring of the products traded in the ANIMA marketplace. Nike is a good example of an innovative firm surfing the trend of blockchain: they filed a patent in 2019 for a blockchain-based system to track and verify their products’ authenticity. By using blockchain technology, ANIMA supports brand in the network to track the origin of materials and components used in a production process.
Firms in the Fashion and Luxury industries embracing ANIMA can increase consumer trust and tighten control over marketing and distribution. An example of digital twins implemented by ANIMA could be combined with smart contracts to automate and optimize various processes of the supply chain: for instance in a production line, to trigger a smart contract that makes orders of raw materials from the suppliers when inventory levels reach a certain level. To sum up, the combination of Blockchain and digital twins can provide security and transparency across the supply chain, thus preventing counterfeits’ trades.
The Future of Blockchain in Fashion, Luxury and Design
The use of Blockchain is still at an early stage, but it is clear that there are several benefits created for brands embracing ANIMA network: blockchain has the potential to significantly reduce the flows of counterfeited products. As the technology continues to evolve and mature, Blockchain continues to revolutionize the industries and we can expect in the future to see even more enterprises penetrating the market, in order to gain a competitive advantage. ANIMA will help your brand to stay ahead with time, monitoring the technology trends while it becomes more widely adopted. In the future, ANIMA will become an even more powerful entity which fight against counterfeits, and we expect an increase in the number of users and businesses seeking protection from the circulation of counterfeit goods, undermining companies. Firms in the ANIMA network in the fashion, luxury and design industries are supported through blockchain adoption: even if it is not a silver bullet and is not going to solve all problems in the market, it allows the firm to renew and explore a new selling channel, thus enforcing trust between the users and the firm, as well as changes in regulations affecting the applications of the technology.
Blockchain technology is demonstrating to be a powerful tool: Blockchain authentication of luxury goods is increasing in popularity and for good reason. ANIMA Blockchain provides a secure and reliable way to authenticate luxury goods, improvement across the supply-chain, as well as transparency and efficiency. Furthermore, it also helps to prevent counterfeiting, which is a critical issue for Fashion and Luxury brands. Therefore, it is clear that brands embracing ANIMA are supported through blockchain adoption, which has the potential to renew the way in which luxury goods are authenticated and tracked.
Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we track and verify the authenticity of physical products. One application of this is the creation of a “digital product passport” that can be used to provide a permanent record of a product’s history, including its origin, ownership, and maintenance.