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H&M Looks to Authenticate Products With NFTs

April 30, 2020
Ross Peili


H&M Looks to Authenticate Products With NFTs

VeChain, the supply-chain focused blockchain platform behind the VET Cryptocurrency has announced yet another partnership with an international fashion giant, this time Cos, a luxury subsidiary of H&M.

Being one of China’s public blockchains, VeChain had managed to attract firms of the likes of Luis Vuitton, BMW, and DB Schenker to mention a few, to test and integrate VeChain’s blockchain solutions into their business models if applicable.

According to Cointelegraph, in their latest venture, Cos wants to use VeChain in order to provide its customers with in-depth details regarding the supply chain history of their physical products.

Similar to typical track and authentication blockchain protocols, VeChain registers essential information subjecting a products origin, date of issue, transportation details and conditions among other data.

In addition, VeChain uses RFID chips embedded into the physical products subject to the process, acquiring a better image of the product, as well as location tracking, and instant, off-chain authentication using QR codes, or NFC (near-field communication).

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Altough H&M haven’t announced anything yet, rumors suggest that Cos, H&M’s sub-brand managed to expand into 44 different countries accounting for 290 physical shops since its launch in 2007, making it the most ideal candidate:

  • VeChain announced the partnership with a ‘fast fashion firm’.
  • H&M had previously worked with VeChain in an analogous use-case through its subsidiary Arket Apparel.
  • Chinese social media data suggest that Cos was interested in VeChain’s MyStory tagging technology, developed between VeChain and the international classification society DNV GL.

A piece published by Cream, a blockchain investment firm that is heavily involved with VeChain suggests that the partnership could bring a whole new era as to how clothes are being authenticated.

More specifically, Cream thinks that buying clothes in the future will also include buying an NFT that accompanies each single piece or product able to prove the buyer is indeed the owner of each respective product. 

“For example, clothing items can have an NFT (non-fungible token) pairing generated at the point of sale, providing the new owner with a token proving authenticity and an immutable record of ownership.”

While NFTs were initially used among crypto art brokers and collectors, due to the scarcity associated with the protocol underlying the ERC-721 smart-contract, they gain popularity among other industries and use-cases orbiting around identification protocols, authentication, tracking, and physical asset digitalization.

Way before H&M, we’ve seen similar attempts from NIKE and Ethereum (ETH), and NewBalance and Cardano (ADA), who not only understood the importance of non-fungible tokens, but in NIKE’s case, the company filed a 25-paragraph patent describing the use of Ethereum’s ERC-721 smart-contracts to register, distribute, and authenticate scarce NIKE products. 

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Other analogous use-cases are popular among industrial players of the likes of Microsoft who works with luxury giants such as Luis Vuitton and Christian Dior, and although Microsoft has its own blockchain service based on the Azure network, the company is among the few top-shelf players that promote using the public Ethereum blockchain instead of relevant private solutions.