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Not just NFTs: Colnago to use blockchain technology for bike authentication

Will Strickson
24 Sep 2021

Colnago to use digital technology behind cryptocurrencies for verified frame ownership in attempt to prevent stop theft and counterfeiting

After raising eyebrows by auctioning a C64 NFT back in May, iconic brand Colnago has announced another blockchain-backed project, this time using the technology to validate and verify its new frames from 2022.

The outfit has partnered with fellow Italian brand MyLime, which will connect each new Colnago frame to the Automotive Blockchain, a digital service that will store and protect the unique manufacturing, transport and sales records.

It sounds a bit silly on the surface with blockchains taking more headlines as the basis for cryptocurrencies and NFTs (non-fungible tokens – that digital art thing that caught headlines earlier in the year), but it can actually be used to confirm the validity of the product and verify proof of ownership.

Working like a digital passport for your frame, MyLime's RFID (radio-frequency indentification) tag linked to the bike allows access to the information through a blockchain-linked app. This should make fakes easily identifiable and allow stolen bikes to be traced back to their rightful owners.

The technology also allows transferral of ownership in case you want to sell your bike, so its history can be tracked over time, theoretically proving seller validity on platforms such as Ebay.

Colnago has also been careful to consider their use of the technology, with many critics citing the huge energy consumption involved in cryptocurrency and NFTs, by using a blockchain that 'best limits the use of intensive computer resources for block validation'.

Manolo Bertocchi, head of marketing at Colnago, said, 'We have been looking at the security provided by blockchain technology to give our customers the confidence to know that the frame they are buying is authentic and to demonstrate the chain of ownership forever.

'We will also announce other functions based on blockchain with the new year.'

You'll also be pleased to know that each purchase of a Colnago frame will come with an NFT version of the bike, so if it does get nicked you can stare at it digitally while you wait to see if the technology works as intended.

Both its team and production bikes will use the technology from next year and the first to get the treatment will, of course, be Tadej Pogačar.

His Colnago V3Rs for the World Championships – featuring a very Game of Thrones sounding 'Ice & Fire' livery designed by the young Slovenian himself – will include the new tech and be auctioned off once the brand's new app and website are launched, meaning the winner will be able to prove they have the GOAT's bike.

The Tour de France champion is quoted as saying, 'It's the first time I have designed a bike and working with Colnago engineers and designers has been very exciting. The idea is that my head is cold like ice while racing, but my legs are always on fire and Colnago has delivered frozen colours to represent this dichotomy.' 

For more details on Pogačar's bike, visit colnago.com.

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