As 'Co.Design' reports, counterfeit goods are an estimated $600 billion industry, with $240 billion being attributed to knock-off sneakers. With this being an ever-growing problem for big name brands, researchers are looking to create a technology that prevents the counterfeit goods from selling.
Currently being developed are tags that use Bitcoin for 3D-printed trackers that show where each pair of sneakers was made. By offering information about the factories, shoe retailers are better able to spot the fakes -- which can sometimes look incredibly accurate. This is important for retailers and consumers alike, as the knock-off sneakers don't carry the same quality that the originals do, even though they might look the same.
The smart tags would work by being embedded deeply into the shoes, making them impossible to take out. Although still being developed, the tags would help to weed out fake versions and prevent the companies behind them from profiting off unknowing retailers and consumers.