Fashion is constantly evolving, and in this digital age, that means the incorporation of technology into style. One of the most cutting-edge developments in the fashion industry is the incorporation of Blockchain technologies and the growing use of Bitcoin.
What Is Bitcoin?
For those of you who are scratching your head over ‘blockchain’ and ‘bitcoin’, let’s start at the beginning. Bitcoin is an online currency that allows users to pay each other directly. It was created by an unidentified computer programmer using the moniker Satoshi Nakamoto, but, like so much on the internet these days, its origins are shrouded in mystery. Bitcoin is one of the fastest-growing currencies in the world, with millions of users and a skyrocketing market value.
Okay. So What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain refers to a technology that records information in a reliable and publicly accessible way. In the context of digital currency, blockchain creates and ensures accountability among bitcoin users. Essentially, blockchain technology is used to record bitcoin transactions, ensuring that money has been paid or received in the proper amount.
The defining feature of a blockchain is that it cannot be modified by any party– it is coded in a way that prevents fudging the data, whether that data is bitcoin quantities or the origin of a piece of clothing. This failsafe relies on the consensus of the network using the blockchain– for data in one ‘block’ to be altered, all subsequent ‘blocks’ must also be altered, and for this to occur the entire group using the blockchain must agree on the alteration.
How Does All This Relate To Fashion?
Blockchain technology has a variety of exciting implications for designers. The most immediate and obvious use of blockchain in fashion is to verify the originality or authenticity of a garment– microchips utilizing blockchain can tell a customer with complete certainty whether a bag or coat is genuine or an imitation, as well as whether it was stolen, where it was made, and the item’s general history.
All this information is accessible via smartphone– simply scanning the blockchain chip implanted in an item’s label can tell a customer everything they want to know about their latest fashion find.
Trendy new label Babyghost has taken blockchain in fashion a step further– by using the same technology, they have implanted their 2017 Spring/ Summer line with a sort of personal history. On the runway in Shanghai, Babyghost provided viewers with access to images and stories of the models who originally displayed the clothes. Future wearers could add their own stories to this database if they so chose.
Theoretically, if a Baby ghost item was bought third or fourth-hand, the histories of all its owners, where they wore the item, what they did with it, its presence on their social media, and even how it made them feel could all be documented on its blockchain. Baby ghost conducted a similar experiment with 80 handbags, which were implanted with unique photos. Rebecca Campbell writes in Bitcoin Magazine: “Each handbag has its own ‘soul’ representing a specific moment in Babyghost history.” (For more information on Babyghost and their use of blockchain, see this article: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/babyghost-and-vechain-fashion-on-the-blockchain-1476807653/).
What’s Next For Fashion And Tech?
The potential for blockchain technology in fashion is vast. The ability to know a garment’s complete history with the simple scan of a smartphone has serious implications for authenticity in high fashion, as well as ethical accountability for consumers. Blockchain could conceivably tell a customer not only where an item was made, but who it was made by, the conditions they worked in, and how much they were paid. Shoppers could have immediate access to information such as the composition of an item’s fabric, where the cotton was grown, which polyester compounds are used– the utility of this technology is massive. There are many ways bitcoin is being used around different markest, check out the latest bitcoin news and applications in http://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/
More poetically, blockchain technology can tell an item’s story– who wore it, where they took it, the experiences they had in it, and more. This technology has the potential to digitally imbue our material possessions with all the memory and we significance we mentally attach to them. It’s the dawn of a new era in fashion, in which customers interact with their clothes in a profound and meaningful way. This new and rapidly evolving interface seems limitless in its potential, restricted only by the imaginations of its users.