Author: Gan Jia Ci
On May 10, De Beers Group revealed on its website that it has digitally tracked 100 high-value diamonds from the mine to retailer via blockchain technology.
De Beers is the world’s leading diamond producer and distributor that specialises in mining, retail, trading and manufacturing in the diamond market. Most of the mines are located in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana while China constitutes as one of their biggest retail markets.
De Beers prides itself in its efforts to warrant the authenticity of the gems and ensure that they are ultimately conflict-free. According to the post by De Beers, a new platform, known as Tracr, will be expected to launch this year and be open to the diamond market. “When fully operational, Tracr will provide consumers with confidence that registered diamonds are natural and conflict-free, improve visibility and trust within the industry, and enhance efficiencies across the diamond value chain,” De Beers declared.
Five other leading diamond manufacturers, namely Diacore, Diarough, KGK Group, Rosy Blue NV and Venus Jewel, are working very closely with De Beers on the development of Tracr. Many of them have had previous experiences in the realm of processing large stones which is the primary focus.
According to Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group,“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. 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.”
As the diamonds move down the value chain, the technology allows for a unique Global Diamond ID to be automatically created on Tracr that collects diamond attributes such as carat, colour and clarity through integration with the participants’ existing record-keeping systems. The technology allows Tracr to compile all data into a “immutable digital trail for each physical diamond, assuring its provenance and traceability from rough to polished”. The goal is to increase consumers’ confidence by warranting the authenticity of the gems through evidence provided in the data to prove that they are neither fake nor conflict diamonds that were mined in war zones to finance wars or insurgency.
De Beers added, “Tracr verifies the uploaded data at each key milestone of a diamond’s journey – ensuring its accuracy and continuity – while enabling users to be in full control of what they share with other participants through the use of privacy controls.”
De Beers will be working with BCG Digital Ventures to further build and improve on the technology and platform before the official launch.