by Bit Plorer
Blockchain technology is increasingly being used for smart contracts and public and private equities trading. These are just the tip of the iceberg, as more and more uses of the blockchain are being discovered and implemented.
Perhaps one of the most unusual ideas use-case scenarios comes from Chronicled, a startup which has recently raised $1.4 million in funding. It’s mandate? To utilise blockchain technology and smart labels to eradicate counterfeit designer sneakers.
The Silicon Valley based startup leverages blockchain technology to maintain a record of authentic footwear, which includes the history of their owners and the authenticity of the product, by using what the company calls ‘Smart Tags.’ A Smart Tag is a cryptographically secured chip containing details about the physical good it is linked to along with a private key.
The company is targeting the sneakers niche, which in 2013, was valued at a staggering $55 billion worldwide. However, if all goes well, it’s easy to envision a world wherein every physical good has its own SmartTag.
How does it work?
According to the official website, Chronicled has a network of retailers and manufacturers that are beginning to incorporate tamper-proof Smart Tags into the manufacture of their sneakers, thus differentiating the authentic sneakers from the counterfeit ones.
In order to verify a sneaker’s authenticity, customers need to use a mobile device to scan a Smart Tag, which hosts a private key. The mobile sends a string of text to the Smart Tag on the shoe through NFC or BLE. This text is then signed by the Smart Tag and sent back to the mobile. The mobile then validates the signed text through a public, encrypted ledger which hosts the private keys.
In addition, Chronicled will also offer an app through which users can claim ownership of sneakers, trade them, view the ownership history of other sneakers, and add more sneakers to their lists.
The startup plans to make money by charging a commission for every trade that takes place on its peer-to-peer trading app, which is set to launch in late 2015.
According to this post on Campless, the collectible sneakers market is worth a massive $1 billion, of which eBay accounts $338 million. With a lot of interest in sneakers, Chronicled is banking on the premise that collectors will want an app which can help them organize, trade and verify the authenticity of their sneakers.