2Q2021 KURONO BLOCKCHAIN INITIATIVES
MORATORIUM ON KURONO BLOCKCHAIN CERTIFICATES TO 4Q2021; SHIFT TO PROOF-OF-STAKE
The primary objective of the Kurono Blockchain Certificate was to add further value to the ownership experience of Kurono collectors in two ways. Firstly, they provide a permanent record of ownership that is far superior to any other physical provenance method. Over time, this would provide information that will help Kurono watches not only retain value but provide immutable authenticity whether it passes from one wrist to another over time. Secondly, it will also provide a mechanism for us to control errant resellers that try to circumvent our purchasing checks and balances, simply to immediately flip their purchases for profit the moment they receive them. As of writing this, the Kurono Anniversary Mori is trading for more than US$10,000 on popular resale platforms - this is untenable in the long run, and takes away opportunities from true collectors who want to buy one to wear.
Since our announcement in April, there has been overwhelming support from both customers and the media for the initiative, and what we set out to do. However, there were groups of collectors that also provided important feedback on the environmental cost that leveraging blockchains could have. This culminated in a larger effort working internally with our certification partner and other stakeholders to better understand if such concerns were warranted.
Our research and deliberations have revealed that even within the blockchain consensus ecosystem, there was a huge disparity with regard to energy expenditure between different blockchain algorithms and contract types. Those that relied on Proof-of-Work algorithms (which itself has created the current crypto mining wave) had energy expenditure that was off-the-charts and were in line with the concerns of those collectors. Examples of PoW blockchains include Bitcoin - which our certificates were originally based on, and Ethereum 1.0.
As such, Kurono will be shifting our certificate initiative to Proof-of-Stake-based blockchain consensus algorithms, which anecdotally can have energy expenditures of 1% or less than PoW. An example of a PoS blockchain is Ethereum 2.0 and Cardano, and we will likely be adopting either one of these. Blockchain certificates are important to Kurono, and we believe the immutable benefits they bring to the ownership experience and authentication especially with regards to art is something that cannot be ignored. But Kurono is also listening to the community, and we will always strive to do better. The Kurono Blockchain Certificate is still targeted for a 2021 introduction, but we will not be issuing them for the upcoming 2021 Kurono Anniversary watch. We expect the finalization of the Kurono Blockchain Certificate by the 4th quarter of 2021.
2021年第四半期への KURONOブロックチェーン証明書のモラトリアム; プルーフ・オブ・ステークへの移行
INTRODUCING THE KURONO CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY ON THE BLOCKCHAIN
Starting June 2021, Kurono will be introducing blockchain-based Certificates of Authenticity starting with the 2021 Kurono Anniversary watch. These digital certificates will complement the existing physical warranty cards that are shipped with every watch, and will be distributed free-of-charge to customers. This is part of our '改善:kaizen' philosophy to make small but meaningful improvements to the Kurono customer experience.
Working with award-winning certification authority Verisart, Kurono joins other renowned artists worldwide in providing our customers with a permanent digital record for their watches. Each certificate is linked to a provenance record which includes information about their watch, ownership/provenance tracking, and more in the future as we roll out new features. Each Kurono certificate will feature a secure QR code and blockchain address.
Our certificates provide customers the following benefits:
- Unique certification of authenticity for your watch
- Permanent, secure and transferable record of ownership / provenance
- The blockchain is immutable and completely decentralized
- Independent third-party certification authority
Provenance Is Important
Every Kurono watch is limited in production, retains (and we hope increases in) value over time. Just like any artwork, provenance records are important - especially an unbroken chain of provenance. This gives assurance to future owners that not only is their watch is genuine, but also ensures that they have a right to participate in future initiatives, benefits and measures Kurono might introduce to customers from time to time - Kurono is fully committed to supporting Certificate title holders.
Just as with cryptocurrencies, the blockchain’s decentralized nature prevents provenance data from being either falsified or lost. If a bad actor tries to manipulate the ledger on one computer, the rest of the network hosting and verifying the blockchain would detect the deviance. And since the ledger exists in the cloud (i.e. the data is distributed across multiple servers in multiple places), it can’t be lost or accidentally destroyed by a single record-holder. This makes a proper blockchain title registry more trustworthy and more durable than any centralized database tracking the same information, let alone physical archives or other analog records. In short, Kurono Certificates on the blockchain will even survive the brand over time.
Kurono Certificate Issuance
Kurono Certificates will be created at production with ownership title subsequently transferred to the first customer on record about 3 months after delivery of a purchase. This helps ensure that Kurono watches reach the wrists of true collectors and are not immediately flipped for profit in secondary markets. At the same time, this 3 month period is a reasonable timeframe that does not disenfranchise collectors who might want or need to liquidate their Kurono for any reason.
Customers that have received their Kurono Certificate will see that the title will have been transferred to them, with that provenance data existing permanently on the blockchain. As the title owner, they can then similarly transfer ownership of the Kurono Certificate to someone else. Secondary owners of Kurono watches are advised to ensure that ownership of the Kurono Certificate is properly transferred to them, as future initiatives, benefits and measures will be tied only to the current Certificate holder. Physical warranty cards in stainless steel will continue to accompany each watch - however they are not records of provenance and should always be accompanied by the Kurono Certificate title.
To find out more, click on the Kurono Certificate image below.
What is a Kurono Certificate of Authenticity on the Blockchain?
You can think of the blockchain as a distributed database. Kurono uses the world’s most popular blockchain, the Bitcoin blockchain, to provide a trusted timeline while protecting individual identity. Blockchains build trust because no one entity is in control and they utilize shared security standards across the network. Every Kurono certificate can be publicly verified while maintaining privacy requirements.
Why are we using the Blockchain?
Blockchain technology lets us create permanent certificates that can be publicly verified whilst protecting the privacy of owners, buyers and sellers. The blockchain is a public record so anybody can verify the existence of a certificate and check provenance instantly if they have access to the certificate. However, the identity of key parties and transactional details can be kept out of public view.
Each blockchain record is tamper-proof which ensures your certificate timestamps are securely and permanently recorded. The combination of security, transparency and anonymity provided by the blockchain enables the certification and verification of your watch without the risk of corruption, loss or expiry protecting your records of creation and ownership. In short, the blockchain record survives indefinitely online.
Do I need to pay for, or do anything?
Kurono Certificates are free of charge. When the Proof-of-Stake version of the Certificates are finalized, customers will automatically have their Kurono Certificates sent to their registered email addresses after 3 months, with ownership title in these Certificates transferred to them. We will only do a transfer to the original (first) purchaser of the watch from Kuronotokyo.com
What happens if the issuing authority is no longer around?
Kurono Certificates leverage the blockchain; is immutable; and permanent on the public ledger. The public record survives any certificate issuer.
What about existing physical Provenance Certificates?
Kurono will no longer issue any physical provenance certificates. Although blockchain-based certificates are significantly more expensive than paper-based analog ones, the features, security and benefits they provide to customers far outweigh any other format. Physical warranty cards in stainless steel will continue to accompany each watch - however they are not provenance titles.
Do I need to be familiar with blockchain and crypto?
No, your experience will be akin to that of receiving a physical certificate and when you want to transfer your certificate, making a note on the cert itself. Now imagine this happening completely online with an easy-to-use dashboard administered by our partner Verisart. The key difference is that paper certificates can be lost or destroyed. This is permanent and immutable.
Will you be accepting payment in cryptocurrency?
In time, yes. We are looking into accepting payments (in PoS-based coins) and are working with our payment provider to make this possible soon.
Why are you introducing this now?
As Kurono gains widespread recognition over time, while it hasn't happened yet, there might be risk of theft, copy or fraud. By leveraging the blockchain, Kurono is future-proofing its authentication and security processes for the benefit of current and future customers. Additionally, while we are still a very small independent manufacture, it doesn't mean we cannot operate at the same level as multinational watch groups - at least on customer experience.
And we are just getting started. The Kurono Certificate at the moment simply provides the most basic of blockchain features in authentication, provenance and ownership transferability. Over time, we will be introducing new features and benefits tied to title holders of our Certificates.
We will announce more detailed information closer to launch.