Recognizing the crucial issue of confidence in the diamond industry and the changing expectations across the value chain, De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver today announced the company has been investing in a blockchain platform to create, "the first traceability platform to span the entire diamond value chain". Consumer expectations regarding the level of confidence "that a diamond has been responsibly sourced, confidence in its value and confidence that it is the real thing", is obviously on the rise. But also the expectations of commercial players, retailers that want the tools and information needed to trace the journey of a diamond and industry lenders that demand increased transparency from those to whom they lend are changing. Fortunately, technology is advancing in such a way as to make it possible to meet those expectations, even if all the details have yet to be ironed out.
Cleaver says De Beers is working on a platform, "that will provide a single, immutable record that traces a diamond’s individual journey through the value chain. This diamond traceability platform is underpinned by blockchain technology which allows for a highly secure digital register that creates a tamper-proof and permanent record of interactions." Answering the question we have heard from many diamontaires about blockchain tech, Cleaver adds, "However, and what is most unique about this project, is that the system is able to verify activity on the chain without needing to reveal sensitive details to the wider community. As a result, participants can be confident that a transaction occurred, but safe in the knowledge that the sensitive data remains between them and their counterparty." He says it will meet demands for privacy, security, accessibility and authenticity to build, "A foundation for trust: industry participants should have complete confidence in their dealings with each other."
Cleaver says that while De Beers does not yet have a fully-formed solution, "I wanted to use this opportunity to share this vision, and update you on our progress to date and our commitment to deliver innovation that advances confidence in the diamond industry."