Blockchain technology is crucial in powering digital assets like bitcoin – but now, it’s being used to track the origins of diamonds, too.
The world’s largest diamond manufacturing company, De Beers, has been trialling a blockchain system for tracking the precious stones throughout the supply chain – from extraction and production to retail.
The platform, dubbed Tracr, is still being tested by the firm ahead of a wider roll-out, with initial results already proving promising to transparency in the supply chain.
This is particularly important in the case of diamonds and other precious stones, where provenance is all important, both in terms of value and ethical sourcing. This includes ensuring stones are sourced from regions that are free from conflict and war, as well as upholding the integrity of the international diamond markets.
Now, their closest rivals Alrosa have joined the pilot programme, using the Tracr platform within their supply chain to reassure consumers “with confidence that registered diamonds are natural and conflict-free.”
The technology is an example of how blockchain can be used in industries far removed from cryptocurrency, with this particular use case especially valuable to both companies and consumers within this market.
Sergey Ivanov, CEO of Alrosa, said that greater traceability was central to further developing the global market for diamonds.
“It helps to ensure consumer confidence and fill information gaps, enabling people to enjoy the product without any doubts about ethical issues or undisclosed synthetics. Alrosa is glad to participate in testing Tracr, along with other market solutions. We believe tracing requires industry cooperation and complementation for the sake of a common goal.”
Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers, said that greater volumes of diamond tracking would be beneficial for consumers and the industry at large.
“Having a critical level of production on the platform will deliver significant benefits for consumers and diamond industry participants.”
De Beers unveiled their platform last year, as part of an effort to create a “highly secure digital register” of diamonds and other precious stones. With the model now being deployed across the industry more broadly, the diamond trade looks set to be the next to benefit significantly from blockchain tech.