European Union – NFTs to fight counterfeiting?

What the European Union focuses on: the adoption of the draft MiCA regulation (Markets in cryptocurrency-Assets) since several months, it also offers a completely new text on the use of non-replaceable tokens (NFTs). He plans to use Blockchain technology and NFTs to fight against counterfeiting and counterfeiting of physical goods. In other words, in this way it is a matter of protect intellectual property. If the project sees the light of day, it would be the first time such an experiment has been carried out on the scale of the European Union.

The project is unveiled by the European Union, which publishes an official document about it. She explains that she has been working on it for a while (five years). And that the text has been developed in collaboration with players in the ecosystem. The latter met them at the events ” blockchain hackathons » from the EU public authority, the Intellectual Property Office.


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EU and NFTs – Or how to authenticate ownership of a physical asset

Under the terms of the project, Blockchain technology and NFTs will be used to – in a tamper-resistant manner – ownership of physical goods. In other words, this is the most classic use case of NFTs. And it’s not surprising that supranational institutions are realizing the potential of this technology, given the security it brings. NFTs are indeed a tool of choice to certify the authenticity (and uniqueness) of a property. Whether physical or digital.

The European institution proposes the following system. As a first step, intellectual property rights holders will create digital tokens (“twin NFTs”). These tokens will prove that a group of physical goods is real. These holders will need to pre-register as proven signatories so that tokens representing these products can be integrated into the tracking blockchain. Second, this solution will allow to: follow the supply chain. When the products are transported through different checkpoints, these different steps will be accessible from the decentralized protocol on which the said tokens are registered. In this way, rightholders have the assurance that the physical products delivered that reach the stores are indeed authentic.

EU and NFTs – An ambitious implementation deadline

The European Union Intellectual Property Office, reportedly more than five years in the making, hopes to system fully operational before the end of 2023. Until then, the institution will have to set up a registration system to bring together intellectual property owners, logistics operations and retailers at the same time. Without further specifying this point, the report emphasizes that: the projected system must be interoperable with existing solutions.

However, it should be noted thatsuch an appif it were fully effective and operational, would be one of the first applications of DLT technology on this scale and for such purpose.

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