The Future of Digitally Connected Clothing Featuring Luc Jodet of Arianee
The Bit Podcast — Episode 32
This week on The Bit, Chris Sinkey sits down with Luc Jodet, co-founder of Arianee, for a stimulating discussion on how Arianee aims to bring forth and normalize digitally connected garments. With their cutting-edge technology, Arianee is revolutionizing how we think about clothing in the metaverse.
Here are the show notes:
[02:30] The Warren Buffett Philosophy
[07:57] Defining Connected Clothing
Chris Sinkey: Hi, welcome to The Bit, the Bittrex Global podcast, where we give you the inside scoop on all things crypto. My name is Chris Sinkey. I’m the Chief Business Officer here at Bittrex Global. There’s no better way to describe the vision of what NFT’s and the metaverse can be than referring to today’s guest’s own white paper. I’m quoting, “Each new era raises as many questions as it does enthusiasm.
Some of us are living through a reimagined, roaring ’20s and others a modern renaissance. Some go through it with excitement, while others go through with apprehension. But there’s one thing that leaves no room for doubt. The technology of today permeates every moment of our lives. Cars may not be able to fly just yet, but they are already self-sufficient.
The fashion world is no exception to the rule. As emerging technologies and consumer processes change, the fashion industry is undergoing a large-scale structural transformation. Digitally connected clothing is a major factor in transparency, traceability, and circularity.
Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer of new words like NFT, Metaverse, and AI, these are harbingers of a new era in fashion. Imagine living in a world where we will know the genesis of our favourite jacket. What about a world where we will no longer have the excuse to buy without knowing the real cost of our new pair of shoes? What would that look like?
Paving the path towards the reality of digitally connected clothing is riddled with challenges, but thanks to one team in particular, there has been significant development in the space. With their cutting-edge NFT platform for the luxury and fashion industries, Arianee aims to transform our clothes and love of style into portals to a digital dimension we’ve never touched before.” And I couldn’t say it better myself that long quote, but a fantastic one.
Joining us for a stimulating discussion on how Arianee brings large-scale structural transformations to the fashion industry. I am joined today by the co-founder of Arianee, Luc Jodet. Luc, welcome to The Bit; I’m very excited to be chatting with you today.
Luc Jodet: Thanks for having me, Chris.
Chris Sinkey: So I’ve got some questions here that I’d love to run through. The first one that I want to ask is about the metaverse and the NFT spaces. So I’m looking forward to discussing how Arianee is innovating in both the metaverse and the NFT space. But before we dig into that, what got you into crypto in the first place? How’d you hear about it? How and when did you buy your first Bitcoin? What is your origin story?
[02:30] The Warren Buffett Philosophy
Luc Jodet: Absolutely. I started hearing about Bitcoin 2013, kind of the Silk Road aspect of it and remember plenty of friends saying we need to get into this thing. I have to admit I’ve never really been passionate about Bitcoin, mainly because it was digital gold, and I ascribe to that philosophy from Warren Buffett that gold has zero utility. It’s kind of a scam — a 5000-year-old scam, but a scam nonetheless. I now see the utility of Bitcoin as actual digital gold as a replacement for gold.
However, what really got me interested in crypto is Ethereum, and that’s around 2015. When Ethereum came around, that vision of a global decentralized computer really caught my attention and got my interest. A big reason for that was that you could actually build; it was a platform to build upon where Bitcoin was more of a single application that you had to ascribe to. Ethereum was really a platform you could build upon, and as an entrepreneur already at the time, I was really enthralled by that.
Now, what really got me more than interested and really into it was in 2016. I had a different company, a renewable energy marketplace, where we enabled larger corporations in Switzerland to buy directly from local renewable energy producers. And for some reason, in 2016, I don’t know if you remember that time, there was a belief that energy traceability, which was core to what we’re doing, was actually a good use case for blockchain. So a lot of projects back in the days kind of got started around this idea. I start getting phone calls asking if I do energy traceability and blockchain.
That kind of allowed me to really dig into it because there were intersections to what I was doing and Ethereum and blockchain in general and Ethereum, in particular, and I started looking into it more closely. I fell down the rabbit hole and then started looking into whether this was actually a good application and learned quite quickly that it was not a good application. A lot of those projects launched back then; all those projects kind of disappeared since then or have reinvented themselves into something different in energy traceability.
However, we became extremely enthusiastic about the technology, and so to answer your question, the first cryptocurrency I bought was Ether back in 2016 and not Bitcoin. Bitcoin I bought a little bit later because I definitely thought that it was necessary.
That’s really how I got into the Ethereum ecosystem and blockchain in general.
Chris Sinkey: So, for those in our audience who are not familiar with Arianee, can you break down exactly what Arianee does?
Luc Jodet: Of course. So Arianee is the standard for digital identity for physical products and all products from luxury companies. We work with plenty of luxury companies like Breitling and many others to create a digital identity for all their physical products.
These include their watches, handbags, clothing, shoes, and now more and more because of the demand for their digital products. So really, the idea is to give a digital identity to all those products — a decentralized digital identity into all those products that those brands create and sell.
Chris Sinkey: Thank you for that answer. It’s certainly an exciting project, and I know we talked about it quite a bit in the AMA. I’ll ask you here again: In relation to the team itself, we’ve got a bit of background on you and how you got into crypto, but I think we’d also love to hear about the breadth that you have on the Arianee team in terms of experience. So, when did this project kick-off? Where’s the team based? What kind of growth have you seen since the early days?
Luc Jodet: Absolutely. So we started the project in 2017. We founded the first legal entity in 2018 for the ICO, and the team is based between France and Switzerland. Our backgrounds are both on the more technical side, so both ad-tech and in crypto. On the other side, people are coming from the luxury industry.
We’re entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds on both sides. Because I mean, we are a crypto and blockchain company now, but we also need to speak the language of luxury brands. We have those two sides on the team.
Chris Sinkey: In doing research for this episode, it was clear that Arianee uses blockchain tech to transform how we own and consume luxury and fashion. But can you talk a little bit more about what connected clothing is? Tell us about the benefits and opportunities that brands, consumers, and creators can bring.
[07:57] Defining Connected Clothing
Luc Jodet: A good way to show how this works is to explain how Breitling uses the Arianee protocol. Breitling uses the Arianee protocol by integrating it with their e-warranty system. Usually, the classical way of working with e-warranty systems is to enter personal information, email password, and then you can get in because you’ve identified yourself.
The way it works with the Arianee protocol is when it’s integrated with their system, you just need to sign a transaction with your wallet. It has the NFT of the product, and you just authenticate yourself as an owner of a product a Breitling product; we don’t need to give any personal information.
This is important because they see it as the basis for their anonymous clienteling solution, which brings back to a long tradition of luxury, which is discretion.
Chris Sinkey: As a follow-up to that question, I think it’s really interesting. Can you cover the process of the KITTEN X Arianee NFT hoodies? I think the audience would love to know more about how long that project took the companies involved and anything you found interesting or challenging with these partnerships.
Luc Jodet: Yeah, so this was actually fairly quick as all the technologies involved in there are nicely developed by partners that we’ve been working with for quite a long time and are part of the consortium. So I think from start to production, it took only a few weeks once we got started on it. And the important thing is how we use the NFT as a center to gather all the different information about the product.
So for supply chain traceability, we had IBM, who really provided all the information added to the NFT. When it comes to authenticating the product, we actually had two solutions to connect the physical product with the NFT.
We had an NFC solution and a woven sticker on the back of the garment. Of course, working with several suppliers together. But it’s something that was actually quite easy because we’ve already been working with those different companies for quite a time now.
Chris Sinkey: Can you let the audience know how their potential brand could get involved with NFTs? Absolutely. What questions should they ask themselves? What kind of mindset should they have to succeed in this space as you’re working with more brands?
Luc Jodet: Yeah. So what we see within NFT’s at the moment is probably a lot of brands that kind of are jumping a bit too fast and just creating NFT’s without really thinking about what’s going to happen once those NFT’s are sold or distributed. So the first question I would ask yourself is, “Why are you distributing an NFT?” Is it just to make a sale, and then you’re done. If that’s really the main motivation, then you’re not doing NFT’s properly.
The sale or distribution of an NFT is only the first step in reimagining the way you actually interact with your customers. It’s like, what value are you giving, and how does it increase the way you interact with your community?
Chris Sinkey: Are there any key partnerships you have that are essential to the growth of Arianee? I know you’ve mentioned IBM and maybe one other in there, but are there any partnerships you’re looking forward to establishing? Any existing ones? Any in the future that you can reveal here?
Luc Jodet: Yeah, so we already have over 25 brands that are part of the consortium plus another 15 technological partners. As I mentioned earlier, for the technological partners, we have IBM, of course, for supply chain traceability. We also work with integrators, who have done integration with Breitling, for instance, and other IT providers like everything that integrated our protocol in their solution.
So we work a lot with all those partners, and they are not only core to what we’re doing is like they are actually the ones deciding how the protocol moves forward since the entire governance of the protocol is a nonprofit. And every member has a vote to determine how the protocol moves forward.
Chris Sinkey: And as the protocols move forward, what does the roadmap look like for the rest of the year and into next year as well? What are some of the short-term objectives? And what’s the long-term vision?
Luc Jodet: For us, it’s to keep on growing on the brand side, of course, and keep on sending new brands integrating more and more with the different partners. Now, we also have actually a new product that we just launched called SPKZ spelled “S-P-K-Z,” and you can actually check it out on spkz.io.
Here the idea was to take all the tools that we actually created for those brands, which go beyond just the creation of the NFT, which is: “How do we actually integrate the e-warranty system of Breitling? How do you create those chat rooms that we create for some brands that are token gated? Then actually apply it to this entire new population which is the DeFi and NFT population, that for the last 18 months has grown exponentially and is trying to organize themselves.”
The way we actually see a communication right now between token holders is that people have tokens, and NFT’s that are decentralized want to create DAOs and are really decentralized and web 3.0 to their core. However, they organize themselves on Discord and Telegram, which are, by definition, centralized. So what SPKZ is, it’s a kind of like a chat platform like a Telegram platform, which is web 3.0 native.
So what do I mean by that? You just go on spkz.io, connect with your MetaMask wallet or any web 3.0 wallet and based on the different tokens that you have in your wallet, you can actually join different lounges where you can chat with people that have the same tokens that you have. So if you have a Bored Ape Yacht Club, you can actually go talk with other Bored Apes in that lounge for people that are verified Bored Apes.
SPKZ has really been the main development that we’ve been pushing for the last month, and beyond our continuous efforts with other brands, SPKZ would be the big new focus that we’ve started over the last few months.
Chris Sinkey: Congratulations on the rollout and successive SPKZ today. So is there anything else that you would want to talk about or mention here in regards to Arianee today or in the future? Before we kind of move into broader higher-level topics?
Luc Jodet: As I said, we are opening a nonprofit organization. We are really open to any brands coming in talking with us, and we are really looking to have many small brands come in and start using the protocol.
And, of course, developers or technical partners like the ones I’ve mentioned before, but we’re always looking to expand the amount of people that are integrating or using the Arianee protocol. That being said, definitely feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like to work with the Arianee protocol.
Chris Sinkey: Alright, I think at the end of the podcast, we’ll have detailed instructions on how our audience can do just that. So, taking it back up a step to the crypto industry generally, I think with everyone we bring on the podcast, we’re always interested in hearing what they think will happen in the future.
Future predictions are, are always wrong, it seems just about, but it’s still fun to talk about them. So what do you think will happen for the future of crypto as it relates to your space or other spaces? You can take this question anywhere you want, whether it’s the price of Bitcoin or trends when it comes to the metaverse or NFT’s or the fashion industry.
Luc Jodet: So definitely not going to predict the price of Bitcoin. I have no idea what the price of Bitcoin is going. I hope up.
Chris Sinkey: That’s too bad. I don’t either. I was hoping you’d tell me.
Luc Jodet: So and then what I’m much more interested in is, of course, what we’re doing. We’ve already seen that over the last few years and especially the last nine months is how crypto is becoming culture.
It’s entering culture, and that’s what we’ve been doing for the last four years with luxury and fashion brands and what I found fascinating here is that I’ve seen a brand new generation or brand new population come into this crypto sphere.
I am really impressed by all the art NFT movements that come that started earlier this year and all those artists that kind of went in and installed MetaMask for the first time.
How I see the future is really a “submerge” of crypto and culture, continue and become seamless and not really two different worlds. I mean, for too long, when I was talking about crypto, people were just talking to me about finance, it’s like, “Oh, yeah, it’s just for people that do trading.”
I think crypto and blockchain are much more than that, and it is the base of web 3.0, which is one of the core tenets we believe in. It is going to change, I think, a lot of industries, maybe not everything because I don’t think anything needs to be on a blockchain, but it will definitely reshape many industries beyond finance.
As we’ve seen right now, I think fashion in the culture industry and art are the first ones being touched, but I think music and many others will also be fundamentally changed by crypto and web 3.0.
Chris Sinkey: Well, Luc, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. It’s been really interesting to hear your perspective and learn more about our Arianee. I think this project is firmly on everyone’s radar now who’s been listening to this, and it’s available on Bittrex Global as well. So I think we’re all definitely looking forward to hearing more exciting news from the Arianee team in the near future, hopefully, and thank you for listing. ARIA20 on Bittrex Global.
Luc Jodet: Thank you for having me, Chris.
Chris Sinkey: Thanks for listening to The Bit, the Bittrex Global podcast. Our guest today was Luc Jodet, Co-founder at Arianee. To learn more about Arianee, visit arianee.org. To learn more about Bittrex Global, visit global.bittrex.com.
Please make sure to subscribe to our podcast; you can find us wherever you get your podcasts. Thank you for listening and making The Bit one of the fastest-growing podcasts in the world of crypto. Again, I’m Chris Sinkey, the Chief Business Officer at Bittrex Global.