“I’m personally convinced any big challenge and any global challenge we’re facing today, we can only solve by collaboration.”
So says Daniela Ott, common secretary of the Aura Blockchain Consortium, an unprecedented collaboration shaped final April when LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Prada Group and Compagnie Financière Richemont joined forces to advertise the usage of a single blockchain answer open to all luxurious manufacturers worldwide.
Blockchains might help customers hint the provenance and authenticity of luxurious items all through their life cycle, and assist manufacturers struggle towards counterfeiting and parallel advertising and marketing.
“Our blockchain consortium was born from the vision that collaboration can coexist, even amongst fierce competitors, for the greater good. And the greater good here is really putting the consumer at the center, and the planet,” Ott instructed Fairchild Media Group’s Tech Summit, talking just a few days after she was appointed to the position. “I believe technology, and blockchain technology in particular, is really bringing the brand and the consumer much closer together.”
Ott was beforehand chief government officer of lodge group Eden Being, a part of the Oetker Luxury Hotel Collection, for 3 years earlier than founding Agape Strategy Consulting in 2019, however might be greatest recognized for her lengthy profession at Kering, the place she had been CEO of the Tomas Maier style home, chief working officer of the French group’s luxurious division, and a director of technique at its Gucci and Balenciaga manufacturers.
Recognizing that blockchain is a frightening know-how, even for giant manufacturers, Ott used clear and easy language and defined that every one luxurious manufacturers, no matter dimension, are invited to affix Aura, whose function is to make it “very easy to access our platform.”
Without giving exact prices, she mentioned Aura boasts a “very competitive license fee, and the cost per unit item you put on the blockchain.” It provides three ranges of membership: mild, customary and founding, the latter providing a seat on the board.
She famous all manufacturers get one vote on the consortium’s annual common assembly, the place its technical roadmap is fastened, and that Aura is a non-profit group. “We cannot pay out any dividends. That means all surplus profit, we reinvest into the technologies required by our members,” she mentioned.
Initiated by LVMH in 2019, the Aura platform was developed in partnership with Microsoft and New York-based blockchain software program know-how firm ConsenSys, and the consortium will function out of Geneva, Switzerland.
“Our technologies allow brands to create a digital certificate or digital passport for each item,” Ott defined. “That means the final customer will be able to access product history, verify origins of source of material, verify the origin of the raw materials, register for after-sale services — for instance, repairs — and transfer this ownership and transfer a certificate of ownership to a loved one when it’s a gift, or resold to a new owner.”
This helps “strengthen the relationship” between customers and their favourite luxurious manufacturers, she famous.
Aura is a permission-based platform that ensures an essential diploma of information privateness. Certain enabling applied sciences, if they’re generic sufficient, may be shared throughout members who can mutualize the associated fee, Ott mentioned. “Not many brands know how to handle the complexity of blockchain today. So, by having these interfaces, brands can really easily write into the blockchain without actually having blockchain knowledge in-house.”
For instance, Ott is trying into picture recognition start-ups, and “as soon as these technologies are ready, we will embed them in our applications.”
“At each stage of the product life cycle, information can be recorded in an immutable blockchain. And that information you can make directly accessible to the client. It’s up to you the brand to decide how the client can access this information,” whether or not by way of a cellular app, or web site interface, for instance, Ott mentioned. “It’s about storing the information and passing on the information in an easy way to the client.”
Only manufacturers can change into members of Aura; nonetheless, numerous suppliers, retailers, marketplaces, technical companions, establishments, associations and academia will change into an essential a part of the ecosystem. “I think we can create a new source of trust for the consumer around this value chain,” she added.
Ott suggested that manufacturers begin by defining their use instances, after which Aura might help assess inner readiness. It even has a “proof of concept” space on the blockchain for trials, and might join potential members with founding members to “actually understand how they work on the platform and how they solved a specific pain point. So we can actually offer this sort of collaboration and this sort of information sharing.”
In common, Aura is ready to onboard manufacturers inside a few weeks.
“The really important point is really to understand your use case,” Ott mentioned. “So, for instance, for an upstream case with your suppliers about the source of raw materials and manufacturing locations, this is information which the brand must have before. So then once you have this information, then you can actually put that on the blockchain.”
In addition, “it’s important to adhere to all values of sustainability, authenticity, transparency and responsible sourcing,” she added. “It’s really from brands and for brands. It’s really about sharing our learnings and moving forward together.”
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