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Louis Vuitton Turning to Blockchain to Weed out Fakes

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Luxury goods maker LVMH of the famous Louis Vuitton brand is adopting blockchain technology. The iconic label is going to use blockchain to track and authenticate its popular luxury items on its AURA platform. AURA is going live beginning with Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton items.

However, LVMH is planning to extend AURA’s technology to not only its other 60 luxury labels but its competitors as well. To that end, the high priced brand has on its hire, a blockchain team, who has been innovating on AURA. The team is also reported to have been working ConsenSys, the Ethereum design studio, and Microsoft Azure

Louis Vuitton’s Blockchain AURA

AURA is built on Quorum, a version of Ethereum that is permission based. Developed by J.P Morgan, Quorum focuses on data privacy. A source close to the project revealed to CoinDesk that:

To begin with AURA will provide proof of authenticity of luxury items and trace their origins from raw materials to the point of sale and beyond to used-goods markets. The next phase of the platform will explore the protection of creative intellectual property, exclusive offers, and events for each brands’ customers, as well as anti-ad fraud.”

Consequently, part of LVMH’s brand arsenal that will be brought to the blockchain includes Hublot, Dior, and Dom Pérignon. The giant luxury goods maker amassed over $53 billion in revenues last year. Authenticity tracking is nevertheless not new to blockchain. The trail has been blazed by other blockchain platforms such a Vechain.

Luxury goods are, in particular, highly dependent on trust, thanks to their high costs. As an illustration, there exists a black market where forgeries and knock offs are sold at exorbitant rates to the dismay and frustration of the buyers. Their market, now worth over $3 trillion, has global influence and can be found virtually anywhere in the world in jewelry, artwork, clothing apparel, and accessories, or alcohol.

Tracing Luxury Goods on Blockchain

Gregory Pouy, Arianee’s founding member, gives an example of how convoluted the process of authenticating an expensive second-hand vintage watch can be. He says that the information on most of these products is not available online. In his case, he says they asked him first to purchase the watch then take it to their store for authentication procedures.

Buying such an expensive item however, without verifying its true worth and value is problematic! This is particularly so in an age where certificates of authenticity and invoices are so easy to forge. Gregory Pouy, therefore, says that since blockchain is a “digitization of trust” it can help curb the counterfeiting so rampant with luxury good’s markets. Consequently, such innovation will help the market thrive since counterfeits cause losses of $250 billion each year to the global economy.

To keep a balance between its brand and others on AURA, LVMH plans to donate all the intellectual property involved, to a distinct entity that will be owned by the brands on AURA. Meanwhile, De Beers the diamond multinational has also utilized blockchain technology to trace their diamond supply chains. Along with five different diamond merchants, De Beers developed Tracr, a blockchain based platform, which completed its pilot, 100 high-value diamonds tracking from mine to retail last year.

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Content Subscription Service Onlyfans Adds Ethereum-Based NFT Profile Feature

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Content Subscription Service Onlyfans Adds Ethereum-Based NFT Profile Feature

The internet content subscription service Onlyfans has announced the launch of a feature that leverages non-fungible token (NFT) technology. The newly-added feature, introduced on Thursday, gives Onlyfans members the ability to display authenticated NFTs as their profile pictures.

Onlyfans Steps Into the Realm of NFTs

The London-based content subscription service Onlyfans is well known for its direct funding for content creators, its one-time tips, the firm’s pay-per-view (PPV) features, and of course, NSFW content.

This week, Onlyfans has revealed it is experimenting with blockchain technology as the firm is allowing users to show off their NFTs. According to a report from Reuters, Onlyfans CEO Ami Gan explained that the move is meant to empower the platform’s userbase.

“Our mission is to empower creators to own their full potential,” Gan explained to the Reuters author Elizabeth Culliford. “This feature is the first step in exploring the role that NFTs can play on our platform.”

Onlyfans is behind the eight ball when it comes to joining the NFT industry, as a large swathe of well-known businesses and popular brands have already jumped in. Moreover, Twitter’s verified NFT profile feature is similar to the Onlyfans NFT profile concept. Twitter launched the feature last month.

On Febraury 6, Bitcoin.com News reported on Alphabet’s (Google) plans to explore blockchain and Web3 technology. Furthermore, Alphabet’s subsidiary Youtube published a blog post explaining that it has plans to leverage non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, said Instagram is exploring NFTs and reports note that Meta is also experimenting with the technology.

According to Onlyfans CEO Ami Gan, the NFT support will be for Ethereum-based NFTs, and in order to know they are verified, an Ethereum logo mark will be present. The company didn’t disclose whether or not it would support other blockchains that support NFT tech going forward.

What do you think about Onlyfans adding NFT support? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Philippines’ PDAX Secures $50 Million For Metaverse Expansion

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The Philippine Digital Asset Exchange or PDAX announced on Thursday the completion of its $50 million Series B funding round headed by Tiger Global.

This round was also attended by investors from earlier rounds, including Beenext Ventures and Cadenza Capital Management.

Several other financial institutions have also joined as co-investors in this project. These include Kingsway Capital, Jump Capital, Draper Dragon, Oak Drive Ventures, DG Daiwa Ventures, Ripple, and UBX Ventures. Since August 2021, PDAX has raised $12.5 million in Series B investment.

In an interview, PDAX chief operating officer Kyle T. Kua credited the country’s widespread crypto acceptance to the Filipinos’ innate digital savvy, as well as the development of the Play-to-Earn (P2E) sector over the past decade.

“Many Filipinos took time to start studying cryptocurrencies and delving into the market, whether by trading, investing, or playing,” Kua said.

Knowing how gregarious Filipinos can be, interest in creating crypto wallets and playing these games exploded throughout the Philippines in highly urbanized cities and the countryside.

This popularity is attributed to the availability of smartphones and other devices and because the daily revenues of certain P2E games exceeded the daily minimum wage.

PDAX, which has seen a 35-fold increase in user sign-ups since the lockdowns began, added five more coins to its roster of cryptocurrencies on February 3.

“These five new tokens are among of the most sought after in our community,” said Nix T. Eniego, PDAX associate vice president for marketing, referring to Polygon (MATIC), Cardano (ADA), Dogecoin (DOGE), Polkadot (DOT), and Avalanche (AVL) (AVAX).

Total crypto market cap at $1.975 trillion in the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com

Related Reading | No Point Separating the Virtual From The Real, Father Of PlayStation Criticizes Metaverse Push

The PDAX Backstory

PDAX is a central bank-licensed digital asset trading platform founded in 2018 by CEO Nichel Gaba. It offers Filipinos a “safe, user-friendly” platform for buying and selling digital assets and participating in metaverse applications.

The app was officially introduced in the Philippines in 2019 and is accessible online and on iOS and Android devices.

PDAX launched in 2020 in collaboration with the Bureau of the Treasury and Unionbank Bonds.ph. This blockchain-enabled tool allows retail customers to buy government bonds directly from their smartphones.

Opportunities For Personal Wealth

According to Gaba, cryptocurrency is the most revolutionary technology since the internet. So, PDAX has secured $50 million in Series B funding to bring metaverse apps to the Philippines.

The Filipinos already use applications to earn money through NFT projects, cross-border money transfers, commerce, and other related investment. The Series B funding will establish a safe and accessible infrastructure for the country’s digital asset industry.

PDAX facilitates the exchange of cryptocurrencies and fiat cash between metaverse applications and the PDAX network. However, there is still more to be done in terms of building up the necessary infrastructure.

The platform is now in the middle of advancements that will make access to digital assets safer, simpler and more efficient for all stakeholders.

As the field matures, PDAX will continue to collaborate with authorities to ensure that all these technologies safeguard and provide value to consumers.

PDAX thinks that blockchain technology and digital assets would provide the Philippines a fair playing field, creating opportunities for personal wealth and growth among the Filipino people.

The Philippines has more than 100 million people; however, most do not have easy access to financial services.

One of the goals of PDAX is to make cryptocurrency accessible to every Filipino.

Related Reading | Disney And VeVe Announce NFTs For Disney IP

Featured image from MegaBites, chart from TradingView.com

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‘China’s crypto ban had little impact on Neo,’ says organization’s developers

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It’s had a brutal fall from all-time highs, but the project still retains a market of $1.6 billion and has a dedicated community of developers.

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What is Harmony (ONE) blockchain and why it is getting so much traction?

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Harmony (ONE) is a new blockchain network that is gaining traction as more developers and crypto investors become aware of its features.

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England’s Manchester United Set to Unveil Tezos Blockchain Shirt Sponsorship, Report

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Tezos blockchain has reportedly agreed to a training kit sponsorship with Manchester United in a deal that will see the latter receive over $27 million per year. This deal adds to Tezos’ growing list of sports teams it has sponsored since May 2021.

Tezos’ Investment in Sports

The most successful football club in the English Premier League, Manchester United, is reported to have signed a training kit sponsorship deal with Tezos blockchain. As part of this agreement, Manchester United will reportedly receive over $27 million per year, or £20 million. In exchange, Tezos will become the football club’s training kit sponsor.

According to a report by The Athletic, Tezos’ sponsorship agreement with the 20-time English champions follows the end of Manchester United’s sponsorship deal with the American insurance company Aon.

Tezos’ partnership with Manchester United, if confirmed, will become the blockchain firm’s latest sponsorship of a sporting entity. In May 2021, Tezos announced it was sponsoring Major League Baseball team the New York Mets. During the same month, reports also emerged that Tezos had reached an agreement to build the Formula One (F1) team Red Bull Racing Honda’s “first-ever NFT experience.”

Front-of-Shirt Visibility

According to the report, Tezos is also the sponsor of McClaren Racing in three racing categories: F1, Indycar, and Esports. Elsewhere in Europe, the blockchain entity recently became the technical partner of Team Vitality, a French esports organization. The agreement, just like the reported Tezos and Manchester United deal, gives the esports entity front-of-shirt visibility.

Meanwhile, The Athletic reports that both Manchester United and Tezos have either failed or refused to comment on the reported sponsorship deal. The publication nevertheless suggests that the sponsorship agreement will likely see the football club utilize Tezos’ blockchain to exploit potentially beneficial emerging technologies like the metaverse and Web3.

What are your thoughts on this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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