De Beers, one of the world’s leading diamond mining companies, recently announced the rollout of its massive blockchain-based diamond sourcing platform. This platform “will provide provenance information from source to sightholder for storage in a secure blockchain system.”
An immutable diamond provenance record
One of the world’s leading diamond mining companies, De Beers, recently announced that it has deployed a blockchain-based diamond source platform at scale. This platform, known as Tracr, enables so-called Sightholders to “provide an unchanging record of a diamond’s provenance and [enables] jewelry retailers to have confidence in the provenance of the diamonds they buy.”
The launch of the large-scale platform comes nearly four years after De Beers launched Stage R&D, the company said in a statement. The launch also comes in a year in which the company has already “recorded a quarter of its production at value on TracrTM in the first three days of the year in preparation for this first large-scale release.”
In a statement, Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group, talked about how blockchain is boosting confidence in an industry that has been accused of not doing enough to stem the flow of illegal diamonds.
“The TracrTM system, which will provide provenance information from source to sightholder and store it on a secure blockchain, will bolster trust in natural diamonds and represents the first step in a technological transformation that will improve standards and raise expectations about what we are able to deliver to our end customers,” Cleaver said.
Strengthening stakeholder trust
For his part, Botswana’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Lefoko Moagi said the introduction of a blockchain-based system is pleasing both to his country, which owns 15% of the diamond mining company, and other De Beers shareholders. Moaghi also reiterated the importance of building stakeholder confidence in the way De Beers mines its diamonds.
Due to concerns that illegally acquired diamonds contribute to conflict, diamond mining companies such as De Beers face increasing pressure to ensure that such diamonds do not enter official markets. In addition, as more end customers insist on knowing the source of the jewelry they buy, De Beers said that means it must take “a technological step forward to meet their expectations.”
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