Fake “Made in Italy” products are sold in markets around the world. The Italian government is now fighting these counterfeits by investing EUR 15 million (USD 16.2 million) in the development of a blockchain-based solution.
According to a new dGen report, these are counterfeits of the “Made in Italy” label caused a loss of EUR 12.4 billion (USD 13.4 billion) in 2016 alone. Such losses have a direct impact on the income and future survival of many Italian artisans.
The prestige of being “Made in Italy”
The Italian fashion industry and the country’s connection with craftsmanship contribute to the prestigious reputation of the “Made in Italy” label. If it were registered as a trademark, it would be the third most important global property (after Coca Cola and Visa).
Top-class label associations have led to a growing problem with counterfeit products. These counterfeits facilitate the theft of intellectual property and affect the reputation of the label, the brands and the artisans that the label represents. They cost the industry a total of billions of dollars.
Blockchain for rescue
The Italian government has recognized the risk of counterfeiting and identified blockchain technology as a possible solution. The government recently provided € 15 million to support the rapid implementation of digital technologies, including funding a joint project between IBM Italia and the artisan community.
Aspects of the industry considered for improvement include: authentication of goods and raw materials through the supply chain, a secure inventory of intellectual property rights, demonstrable sustainability and ethical practices, and closer relationships between brands and your customers.
Such measures are intended to slow the growth of counterfeit products and secure the future of Italian artisans.
Fashion is not the only area in which Italians have recently placed value on authenticity. Cointelegraph recently reported that Italian company LKS has developed a blockchain-based system to prevent the spread of fake news.