According to a September 28, article published by Cryptobriefing, IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson made the announcement at the Cardano Summit in Bulgaria on Saturday.
According to Hoskinson, the partnership will begin with a pilot program, but will eventually expand to a global solution. It remains unclear exactly which product lines will benefit from the technology, or whether Cardano’s ADA token will have any involvement in the new scheme.
The new strategic partnership is one of the first examples of a major brand adopting blockchain technology to help prove the authenticity of goods, helping to crack down on counterfeit items while ensuring that New Balance stockists can easily prove their stock is genuine.
Like many popular footwear brands, New Balance has been plagued by a huge number of copycats and counterfeits that have taken its brand image and used it to produce cheap knock-offs. Back in 2017, New Balance was awarded $1.5 billion in damages by the Chinese court after it was found that a company selling shoes under the name of ‘New Boom’ had ripped off its designs
However, as it stands, the company appears to have very little information about how to manually verify the authenticity of its items—though this initiative could be the start of a stronger push to stamp out fakes.
Although neither New Balance or Cardano have elaborated on the specifics of how the technology will work, it will likely involve tagging each authentic product with a unique cryptographic identifier that can be easily checked by the consumer. By storing this cryptographic identifier on a distributed blockchain ledger, the manufacture date, location, and other important information can be easily recorded and is impossible to counterfeit.
Similar systems have already been implemented by a host of other companies, many of which work with extensive supply chains and operate on a global scale. Back in May, BeInCrypto reported a similar pilot orchestrated by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in collaboration with several major pharmaceutical companies, where blockchain technology will be used to combat drug counterfeiting.
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