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Announcing Arianee

Arianee and Dfns team up to accelerate the distribution of digital passports across the goods and supply chain economy.

We are excited to announce that Dfns has been appointed as the new wallet management infrastructure for Arianee, the leading blockchain-based digital product passport and e-maintenance booklet solution for high-value, durable goods.

To date, Arianee has minted over 2 million NFTs and recorded 652,000 on-chain events and 315,000 decentralized messages across multiple sectors. These include over 50 major consumer brands in areas such as fashion (including Lacoste, YSL Beauty, Moncler, Mugler), luxury watches (Breitling, IWC, Panerai), wines and spirits (Château Pape Clément), jewelry (Richemont), retail (Printemps, Galeries Lafayette), musical instruments (Buffet Crampon), and other diverse categories such as appliances. In and of itself, that’s already an impressive track record.

Dfns will assist Arianee in enhancing and securing product lifecycle management (PLM) tools on Polygon. This collaboration aims to empower users and brands to securely track the ownership and service logs of their products, eventually unlocking personalized engagement and product-based services for a circular economy. These digital passports are set to establish a new foundation for trusted and transparent interactions between brands, businesses, and consumers.

“Arianee’s expertise and creative usage of NFTs is one of the most exciting industrial case studies for blockchains today I think. There is a clear path to usefulness and well identified pain points for large corporations, manufacturers and brands struggling to gather the right product feedback through tight iterations. Also, the success of these new onchain processes depend on robust security and available infrastructure, which is what we offer at Dfns. We’re looking forward to announcing joint partnerships with the world’s largest brands that will want to enhance their product lifecycle management strategies.”

– Clarisse Hagège, CEO of Dfns.

It all started with luxury watches

In 2020, Arianee partnered with Breitling to revolutionize the industry by integrating a digital ecosystem into its watches. This collaboration ensured each Breitling watch included a digital passport backed by blockchain technology, which offered digital security and confirmed ownership. The digital passport is linked to Breitling's digital warranty program, which enables customers to manage repairs, extend warranties, and opt for theft or loss insurance. Through Arianee's protocol, customers were also able to control their personal data.

In 2022, Breitling went even further in their attempt to enhance customer engagement and launched its first traceable watch: the Super Chronomat Automatic 38 Origins. Owners could access detailed information about their watch's raw materials, verified by Sourcemap and stored in an Arianee enriched NFT. 

To obtain a digital passport from Breitling, you would visit a store, buy a watch, and scan the QR code on the product. Users have two options to access the passport, through an embedded wallet integrated inside the Breitling’s client account, or through the Arianee self-custodial wallet. This has allowed Breitling to maintain a closer relationship with customers directly through their wallets, keeping them informed about product updates. Breitling wanted to transform customer interactions by creating a service platform centered around its watches and ensuring their authenticity with a unique digital identity. CTO Antonio Carriero discusses their strategy in an interview, and Arianee has published a booklet on this case study.

Redefining product lifecycle management

innovation is crucial for survival and success. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is essential for manufacturers aiming to develop innovative products more efficiently and quickly. PLM not only streamlines the design to retirement process but also underpins business growth by ensuring:

  1. Universal and secure access to product information.
  2. Integrity of product information throughout its lifecycle.
  3. Effective management of business processes involved in product creation and use.

In the 1980s, American Motors Corporation (AMC) lacked the substantial budgets of its larger competitors, which limited its competitive edge. As a reaction, AMC pioneered PLM by tracking products from conception to end-of-life, enhancing efficiency and competitiveness. This strategy led to informed decision-making across all stages, from design to production, helping AMC increase its market share. Eventually, AMC was acquired by Chrysler and by the mid-1990s, became the industry’s most cost-effective producer.

Today, PLM is widely implemented across manufacturing sectors to enhance collaboration, drive innovation, and support growth by tailoring designs to meet specific customer demands and preferences. According to an Oxford Economics report, 70% of consumers now expect more customized products than they did three years ago, and 68% anticipate the same high quality but faster service.

Here are five key reasons why companies invest in product lifecycle management:

  1. PLM breaks down silos, enhancing real-time data flow and collaboration.
  2. PLM detects product issues early, reducing costs and manufacturing waste.
  3. PLM centralizes information, helping managers streamline processes and launch products quicker.
  4. PLM supports advanced workflow management, facilitating precise cost calculations and smoother transitions to manufacturing.
  5. PLM integrates diverse data sources and machine learning to refine design based on performance feedback.

Despite the increasing adoption of Industry 4.0 practices in manufacturing, which has resulted in a significant rise in available product and customer data, providing greater insight into product lifecycles, a recent survey by SAP indicates that over 50% of R&D executives have limited to no visibility into the end-to-end design-to-delivery process. This means that for many organizations, PLM has yet to fulfill its potential as a central source of product information. This is especially true in the post-sales phase for service, support, maintenance, and product retirement. Traditional PLM software often fails to maintain strong customer engagement beyond the point of purchase, leading to a disconnect with the customer. Effective data sharing among systems could streamline product lifecycle management, but it requires accurate data capture, analysis, immutability, traceability, and secure dissemination, underscoring the importance of integrated blockchain capabilities.

Why digital twins live better on blockchains

Digital twins are virtual representations of physical products managed within PLM systems. While still a relatively new concept, digital twins are expected to yield significant cost savings for manufacturers in the coming years. According to IDC, "By 2023, 65% of global manufacturers will have achieved operational expense savings of 10% through process digital twins driven by IoT." Arianee stands out as a leading digital passport platform leveraging blockchain technology to enhance customer trust and engagement through transparency.

It's fair to question the benefits of placing digital twins on the blockchain when they already exist outside of it. Blockchains differ from traditional databases because they are decentralized, distributing data across many computers. Once information is on a blockchain, altering or tampering with it is nearly impossible, as there is no single access point. Therefore, using blockchain for digital passports offers a robust solution for transparency and security against counterfeiting. To illustrate the issue, $1.08 billion worth of IPR-infringing goods were seized in 2014, all originating from China. According to 2019 data from the OECD, counterfeit and pirated products represented about $464 billion in international trade, or 2.5% of global trade. That’s a massive issue blockchains can help to solve by default, efficiently.

Another major challenge that blockchain can address in the goods economy is the loss of tracking. Currently, there is a high risk of losing receipts or proof of ownership, which leads to overloaded customer support services, unclaimed insurance, and other operational inefficiencies. With NFTs linked to a blockchain wallet, the interaction between brands and consumers becomes a secure channel, inherently providing a guarantee. However, this depends on the consumer maintaining access to their wallet, which is why companies like Arianee opt for secure infrastructure like Dfns. Assuming secure access, businesses can use wallets to engage with customers through push notifications and other blockchain-based communication, enhancing customer service, maintenance, and management of valuable items such as cars, bicycles, appliances, sports equipment, furniture and more.

Tools to enable product-led conversations

Arianee’s NFT Management Platform allows brands and businesses to access and utilize a new type of reliable, product-related data. By converting documents such as authenticity certificates, user manuals, transparency records, warranties, ownership proofs, logs, and more into tokens, organizations can create lasting, direct connections with their customers through digital product passports and e-maintenance booklets. The digital wallets that host these NFTs work like email inboxes, offering businesses a novel way to engage with their clients and an organic opportunity to “get in front of them”.

Clients will now be able to:

  • Connect with brands, whether they are the original or secondary owners of the product.
  • Receive personalized communications like invitations to exclusive product launches.
  • Use their ownership proof as an anonymous entry ticket.
  • Access valuable after-sales services.
  • Receive in-app notifications, such as maintenance reminders.
  • Book services directly through the wallet, including one-click resale, insurance, compatibility accessories, spare parts purchases, and product resales.
  • Manage repair requests, track progress, and receive completion notifications in the app.
  • Easily transfer the ownership with a timestamped QR code/link
  • Join a community of users who own similar products.

In 2023, Apple reported a revenue of $383.2 billion, with 52% stemming from iPhone sales. But guess what? Apple Services, renowned for their excellent support, is the second-largest division, contributing 22% to the revenue. Customer service not only supports but also generates revenue for product-based companies. The better and more engaging the customer service, the higher the potential revenue. Arianee promotes predictive maintenance as a strategy for enhancing communication and increasing revenue. This includes sending step-by-step service reminders to the wallet, maintenance rescheduling reminders tailored to each user, evaluating maintenance scores by product, and providing data to enhance customer follow-up in the brand’s CRM system.

However, Arianee faced two main challenges: 

  • Not all customers scanned the QR code at the point of purchase, which resulted in a break in ongoing customer engagement.
  • Many customers were reluctant to download another app and preferred to interact within Breitling’s existing digital environment.

This is where Dfns’ embedded wallets seamlessly introduce digital assets into typical user journeys without disruption. If you prefer not to use Arianee's app, you can still employ their customizable, white-labeled tools through iFrames, which support UI customization and in-app integrations that align with your brand's visual identity. Arianee, utilizing Dfns, provides a secure, passwordless login method for accessing wallets and NFTs via our WebAuthn-based authentication service. This maintains a consistent login experience, offering various verification methods such as face scanning and PINs. This partnership simplifies the user experience, resembling an Apple Pay-like process for instant access to NFTs or tokenized assets, without the need to manage private keys or navigate blockchain complexities.

The wallet's private keys are created and secured within a network that uses multi-party computation (MPC) to eliminate any single points of failure. This enhances business continuity and includes features for threshold-based recovery. Keys are decentralized using MPC/TSS and stored securely across a peer-to-peer network in isolated environments, Trusted Execution Environments or TEEs, each with its own recovery system. This network is distributed across multiple regions in highly reliable T3+/4 data centers that are fault-tolerant.

Although MPC tends to be slower than basic signature methods, we've made significant advancements. We optimized the CGGMP21 protocol, which is now approximately 50 times quicker than Fireblocks for ECDSA signatures, and introduced a new protocol that greatly speeds up key generation and signing, as requested by Arianee. We're excited to share that we have achieved sub-second speeds for signing and generating keys for Arianee—a first in the industry. Our ability to rapidly create millions of wallets, manage high traffic volumes, and ensure sub-second transaction signing while maintaining robust MPC security marks significant progress toward making digital assets both secure and user-friendly.

"The transition from our legacy hardware security model to a more modern, MPC-based wallet management system arrives at a crucial moment in our history where service availability, speed and infrastructure optimizations have become all the more important. Brands are asking us to help them scale their product lifecycle management strategy to reach millions of consumers globally, so we need to adopt premier technology partners to succeed this mission. Dfns is one of them.”

– Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel, CEO of Arianee


About Dfns

Dfns is the leading wallet-as-a-service platform in web3. Startups, enterprises and financial institutions use Dfns to create, embed and manage programmable wallets at scale powered by the fastest, most advanced MPC technology in the world. Built by PhDs and experts in security and cryptography, Dfns is leading research in threshold signatures applied to keys. Since 2020, Dfns helped ABN AMRO, Fidelity, Zodia and many others to create over a million wallets. We’ve raised over $25M with White Star Capital, Motive, ABN AMRO, Bpifrance, Coinbase, Semantic, Wintermute, Figment, Motier Ventures, Hashed, 6MV, Susquehanna and others.