How does it work?
Blockchain technology has been around since 2009 with the invention of Bitcoin. By now it is becoming a proven technology. In 2012 the first “proof-of-existence” website named www.proofofexistence.com started to offer a compelling new use case of Blockchain tech – to do document fingerprinting and timestamping. They created hashes (or “digital fingerprints”) of documents and saved those into the blockchain, thus proving that the fingerprinted version of that document had existed at that moment in time when it was saved into the blockchain, and it was in the possession of the person who fingerprinted it.
This is helpful for use cases like copyrights, and hashes of backups or contracts – in order to make sure that data has not been tampered with or corrupted.
Since 2012 several startups have received millions of dollars in funding to deploy proof-of-existence services, but none have significantly added to the basic model of 2012, embedding one-time fingerprints in a blockchain. That is until we invented LuxTag powered by NEM.
The LuxTag service allows a company not only to put proof that a document existed on the blockchain by timestamping its existence, it now allows an ownership of that existence to be transferred, or have the ownership split. It can also be updated, and contracts can be set up so that either one or more parties have to mutually agree on an update before it can be saved in the blockchain.
The LuxTag system also allows branding of the blockchain accounts with unique names reserved on the blockchain, similar to unique domain names on the internet. Just as we nowadays trust a service or product purchased on the web because it came from a reputable website, in the LuxTag service we can now trust a digitized certificate because it comes from a reputable and unique blockchain account name.
These asset tags and certificates on the blockchain can be tracked as they are transferred from user to user, e.g., when items are bought and sold in second-hand markets. These certificate accounts can have notes attached to them explaining additional repairs, updates, or changes in the status of the product they represent.
Our plan is to target luxury brands with product first, to kickstart the business. Our first customers could be luxury watch makers. By embedding LuxTag technology to their watches as they are sold, the buyers of the watches can know with certainty that they are buying an original watch. Any counterfeiters trying to fake a LuxTag certificate will be leaving behind a definitive and transparent record of their crime pointing directly back to them. This will significantly reduce the number of counterfeit watches being passed off as originals.
We are in contact with the World Customs Organization (“WCO”) in Brussels, Belgium in order to support their fight against illicit counterfeit using our technology.