Mastercard to Tackle Fashion Fakes with Blockchain Tracking Solution

The first collection from the initiative will feature a demonstration of Mastercard’s blockchain tracking platform called Provenance, which, it says, offers customers insight into the route taken by the products on the way to the store shelf.

Mastercard is to demo a new blockchain-based product tracking solution during an upcoming showcase of women fashion designers.

The payments giant announced on Friday that it will support “limited-edition collaborations” highlighting female designers and artists in partnership with Fred Segal Sunset and MADE.

Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s executive vice president of Digital Partnerships, said:

“Leveraging innovative technology solutions, we are able to tell the stories of the products consumers are buying.”

While that sounds nice, the product is aimed more generally to counter a darker side of the fashion industry – the prevalence of fakes.

The card company cited the Global Brand Counterfeiting Report 2018 as estimating that the losses from the global online trade in counterfeit goods amounted to $323 billion in 2017 alone. Of that, luxury brands were calculated to have taken a financial hit of $30.3 billion.

Mastercard said it plans to use the Provenance solution with other (unnamed) partners “to provide a clear record of traceability, designed to contribute to consumer confidence and trust by creating awareness of the authenticity of the product.”

Other blockchain and cryptocurrency initiatives may also be on the way too. Mastercard has been advertising for blockchain experts for a little while, and more recently has been seeking to hire several execs to guide what may be a crypto and wallet project.

Grocery Involved in Nearly Half of all DLT Supply Chain Projects

The grocery sector is responsible for nearly half of all Distributed Ledger Technology-based (DLT) supply chain projects.

UCL: grocery most active in DLT tracking

Research conducted by the University College London centre for blockchain and retail blockchain consortium and published on Aug. 4 shows that the grocery industry has the highest number of DLT-based supply chain tracking projects. Per the report, nearly half of all the projects analyzed operate within the grocery sector, while about 15% respectively operate in the healthcare and fashion industries.

Lastly, about 39% operate in other, unspecified areas. Among these, the researchers found many non-sector specific projects which either relate to functional specializations (such as logistics or supply chain) or industry-agnostic projects which are focused on a use case capable of application across multiple industries.

71% of focused projects working in grocery

Of the 105 projects studied by the researchers, 49 were focused on a given industry, with 71%, 35% and 43% concentrating only in their operating sectors in the Grocery, Fashion and Healthcare arenas respectively.

Number of DLT supply chain tracking projects

As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, automaker Volvo Cars, owned by Chinese automotive group Geely, has produced electric cars with cobalt mapped on a blockchain.

At the end of June, Walmart China announced that the company was planning to use blockchain to track food through the supply chain to ensure freshness in perishable groceries.

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