LV, Cartier and Prada create Aura Blockchain Alliance to fight fake goods with encryption and anti-counterfeit authentication

In a joint statement on Tuesday, French boutique group LVMH, Swiss group Richemont's Cartier and Italian fashion giant Prada announced that they have teamed up with ConsenSys to launch Aura, a blockchain consortium, "We hope to use blockchain technology to crack down on fake goods and maintain brand value." According to Bloomberg, Aura Blockchain Alliance plans to provide luxury brands with blockchain-enabled anti-counterfeiting solutions that ensure authenticity through product traceability and anti-counterfeiting encryption authentication, while increasing transparency.

said in a statement that the Aura Blockchain Consortium now brings together a number of boutique brands, including LVMH's HUBLOT, Bvlgari and L Ouis Vuitton. The alliance is currently in contact with other boutique groups but declined to say which brands might join next. "For example, Hublot has launched an electronic warranty service that will be stored on the Aura infrastructure and allows customers to verify the authenticity of their watches by taking a simple photo with their mobile phone, "LVMH said in a statement. Antonio Belloni, LVMH general manager of

and

, told Bloomberg that similar security certificates already exist in the boutique world, but Aura blockchain will be able to perform better due to the untamperable and traceable nature of blockchain technology. Aura is being developed by Microsoft and ConsenSys,

said. The impact of fakes on quality goods is huge and can lead to billions of dollars of losses every year. The global trade in fake goods could surge to $991bn by 2022, almost double the 2013 figure, according to Frontier Economics, which counts luxury goods, consumer goods and pharmaceuticals. "Trust is what our industry depends on and what we really want to maintain," said Antonio Belloni of

. Antonio Belloni,

added that the blockchain solution also makes it easier for consumers to resell in the secondary market. However, he stressed that there are no plans to accept cryptocurrency payments, even if these boutique groups adopt blockchain technology.

Aura is not the first blockchain anti-counterfeiting initiative. In January, PuffBar, an American e-cigarette brand, announced a partnership with VeChain to combat the number of counterfeit e-cigarettes on the market. Meanwhile, PuffBar has further opened the door for consumers to pay with Ether (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).