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Blockchain Can Make Luxury Products Better, Says LVMH CIO

Some luxury brands are opting to leverage blockchain technology beyond NFTs and the metaverse to provide ‘better repair and care services’ for their products.

LVMH, who manages 75 different luxury brands under its wing, presented updates on developments regarding its Aura Blockchain Consortium at Paris Blockchain Week.

The Aura Blockchain Consortium, according to its website, is “the first blockchain solution made by luxury brands for luxury brands.” The consortium has been in operation since April 2021, and includes industry giants like Prada Group, OTB Group, and Cartier. 

Aura focuses on promoting more sustainable trends in the fashion industry, and helps their members upgrade their products’ traceability with blockchain ledger technology. 

Luxury brands have made headlines by offering digital collectibles and metaverse experiences to its customers and fans, but Frank Le Moal, vice-chairman of Aura Blockchain Consortium and LVMH’s CIO, also sees it as another opportunity to improve how they do business.

“When you talk about luxury, you are talking about long-term products, repair, and care,”  says Le Moal. “Digital passports backed by a blockchain are a way to provide better repair and care services to customers, and to develop a better one-to-one relationship with them.”

One of Aura’s initial members, OTB Group, has also set up a Web3 subsidiary called BVX, and its CEO Stefano Rosso sees things similarly to Le Moal. Rosso notes that blockchain technology will “change the way we interact, consume, socialise, and communicate.” OTB Group manages brands like Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni, Viktor&Rolf, and Jil Sander.

“For us, it was fundamental to jump on the boat now. It was the right moment to experiment and join other fellows in this space,” says Rosso. “The sky is the limit.”

In an industry marked with fierce competition, it’s no wonder that the Aura Consortium experienced huge difficulties in convincing other luxury brands to join the project.

“The luxury industry is very competitive, people are fighting most of the time,” said Le Moal. “But we managed to develop a collaborative concept, involving many brands. We want to offer this as a solution to the world of luxury.”

The Consortium is a new way to think on how well-known and loved brands can still build together on the blockchain, to collectively work towards solutions using emerging technology. Based around Aura, a private blockchain built on ConsenSys’ Quorum, LVMH’s network just rolled out a new feature called the “Multi-Token minter” (MTM) last week.

The technology behind MTM allows consortium members to build smart contracts on Aura, but also any public blockchain – including Ethereum, Solana, and Cosmos.

“We want to allow every luxury brand to enjoy the possibilities of Web3. We are already more than pleased to have 24 brands on board, 21 of them using NFTs,” said Frank Le Moel. “But with MTM, we feel a strong excitement. Because we know that some brands prefer to go on a public blockchain.”

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