The Italian government is set to commit €15 million (about $16.2 million) to develop blockchain and other tech-based solutions in its fight against counterfeit goods.
At this time, the proliferation of fake “Made in Italy” products has led the government to seek ways to fight back and regain control of its home-made industry.
According to a report by dGen, counterfeit “Made in Italy” products caused a loss of €12.4 billion in 2016 alone, with this loss having a direct impact on the profit and future survival of many Italian manufacturers.
Italy ranks among the top fashion producers globally, one known for its craftsmanship and top quality.
This reputation for quality handmade fashion products has attracted intellectual and product design theft to the “made in Italy” industry, with its loss of billions of dollars only second to those of the United States.
With the current growth rate of fake items, a projection by Forbes indicates Italy could reach $2.8 trillion in losses by 2022.
Asides its loss of funds, the reputation of Italian brands have been affected as customers struggle to identify authentic products.
In response to these challenges, the government of Italy has awarded £15 million to support the implementation of digital technologies, including the financing of a joint project between IBM Italy and the artisan community.
This adoption of blockchain tech offers a number of use cases for the Italian products and consumer industry which includes: verification of authenticity of goods and raw materials through a supply chain, a secure ledger to protect intellectual property materials and designs, a closer link between brands and their customers, a trust and ethical practices platform.
The government says it believes that the application of these tech solutions would curb the rise in counterfeit goods and secure the nation’s artisans and originality of its products.
Asides fashion, Italy has also adopted blockchain technology to fight the spread of fake news, as announced by the country’s top news agency ANSA.
The blockchain tool named ANSAcheck allows users to verify the origin and history of news published on its platforms as the agency hopes to stop the spread of false coronavirus information and other reports.
“ANSA check certifies […] that an article is stored in ANSA’s database. [Our system] will certify the existence of ANY content (news, but also content to protect), explicitly linking the content to the user […] using a public blockchain to notarize the process.”