De Beers Tracks First Diamonds Using Blockchain Tech

Announcements, Blockchain | May 10, 2018 By:

Diamond supplier De Beers Group has successfully tracked its first diamonds all the way from the mine to jewelry retailers using blockchain technology.

Founded in 1888, De Beers is an international corporation that specializes in diamond exploration, diamond mining, diamond retail, diamond trading and industrial diamond manufacturing sectors. The company is currently active in open-pit, large-scale alluvial, coastal and deep sea mining. It sells approximately 35% of the world’s rough diamond production through its global sightholder sales and auction sales businesses.

During the pilot, which started in January, the company said it has tracked 100 high-value diamonds along its entire value chain using a blockchain platform called Tracr. The platform provides a single, immutable record that traces a diamond’s individual journey through the value chain. It is meant to give buyers confidence that the stones they are buying aren’t fakes or so-called conflict diamonds – gems mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, an invading army’s war efforts, or a warlord’s activity.

De Beers worked with five diamond manufacturers to develop the blockchain platform, which will be launched and made available to the rest of the industry at the end of the year. The manufacturers involved in the pilot were Diacore, Diarough, KGK Group, Rosy Blue NV and Venus Jewel.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said that the Tracr project team has demonstrated that it can successfully track a diamond through the value chain, providing asset-traceability assurance in a way that was not possible before.

“This is a significant breakthrough made achievable by the close engagement of the pilot participants who share our commitment to industry progress and innovation,” said Cleaver. “We look forward to sharing the platform with more partners in the coming months and capturing their insights before ultimately making this technology available to the broader industry.”

Amit Bhansali, Managing Director of Rosy Blue NV, said that technology has already significantly contributed to improving transparency within the diamond industry. He added that initiatives that use blockchain can drive this process even further, as their implementation requires collaboration and trust creation among all industry stakeholders.