WISeKey International Holding Ltd revealed that its blockchain-powered authenticity certificate was being used to secure over 2.5 million luxury Swiss watches.
Securing Luxury Watches Using The Blockchain
WISeKey has been collaborating with luxury watchmakers since 2010. Some of the brands they work with include Hublot and Favre-Leuba. The collaboration entails integrating semiconductor tags powered by their proprietary VaultIC154 NFC secure element. By doing so, they offer luxury watchmakers the ability to:
- Issue a storage device that comprises of a digital authenticity certificate
- Check the validity of a digital authenticity certificate
- Modify the status of validity of the digital authenticity certificate
The tags, when tapped by an NFC-enabled phone, can securely track and authenticate the product. They work just like an embedded ePassport. The tags confirm the identity of a product, which is securely stored on a blockchain ledger.
The Watch Birth Certificates By WISeKey
WISeKey created the Watch Birth Certificates, which are digital identities comparable to a birth certificate. A trusted authority certifies the Watch Birth Certificate. It comprises basic details such as the date and time of manufacture (the birth), the company (the parents), and the type of product. The digital identity is unique to the watch throughout its life. It allows the watch to be treated as a Trusted Object on the internet, which can prove its identity by providing verifiable data.
A Watch Birth Certificate is based on a cryptographic public-private key pair that is unique to each watch. The public key is part of the certificate and can be distributed to the public, while the private key is used when an IoT device wants to verify the identity of the watch. It is the private key that represents the unique identity of the watch.
Eliminating Counterfeits From The Market
Buying a luxury Swiss watch is always a source of great pride. However, there is always a concern that the watch might have been stolen, or the watch itself is counterfeited. Stopping such acts is difficult for most high-end brands. However, Favre-Leuba has taken various measures to protect its watches.
They rely on various methods such as cutting-edge software or the blockchain. Combined with on-the-ground measures, they help to ensure the authenticity of a timepiece. If a watch is stolen, it is possible to track it, which makes it difficult to sell on the secondary market. All of this has been enabled by the use of an immutable ledger to store the identity of each watch.
The year 2010 marked the first implementation of the technology to secure watches. Hublot collaborated with WISeKey to create an electronic guarantee for its luxury timepieces. Each new watch had a chip card embedded inside it. The chip was activated as soon as the watch left the factory. Once a retailer sold the watch, a second interaction with the chip activated the guarantee automatically. Further protection for the private key is provided by WISeKey’s VaultIC hardware. It ensures that the watch cannot be impersonated by compromising the private key.
Protecting Digital Identities Using The Blockchain
For a long time, the primary use of the blockchain was to secure cryptocurrency transactions such as those of Bitcoin. However, the blockchain can also be used to securely store information. WISeKey has successfully demonstrated this using the WISeAuthentic Blockchain platform. The platform integrated the WISeKey Semiconductors tags based on their proprietary VaultIC154 NFC secure element.
The use of the blockchain to secure luxury goods is an important and practical way to ensure buyers get value for their money. Besides that, it is an affordable way to stop the loss of billions of dollars lost to counterfeiters annually. In the future, the technology will no doubt find its way to ordinary household items such as phones and other electronics.
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