Signet Jewelers, the world’s largest diamond jewelry retailer has become the first retailer to participate in De Beers blockchain project “Tracr”.
According to a press release published on May 24, Signet Jewelers, the world’s largest diamond jewelry retailer has become the first retailer to participate in the blockchain project of De Beers for tracking diamonds.
Tracr, the diamond blockchain program is developed by the South African diamond miners De Beers Group which accounts for one-third of the global supply of diamonds. The Tracr pilot program, which is still in its trial phase, will track each diamond that gets mined on a shared distributed ledger.
The blockchain project aims at bringing transparency to the industry as it will provide a digital link from diamond production to retail. The program will enable a complete mine-to-customer traceability. Thus, cases of illegal gems “conflict diamonds” mined by slaves in African war zones will be eliminated.
This is for the very first time that a program is developed to digitally track each diamond from mine to retail. Bruce Cleaver, De Beers CEO, stated, “Tracr is focused on bringing the benefits of blockchain technology to the full diamond value chain – providing consumers with confidence, the trade with increased efficiency and lower costs, and lenders to the industry with greater visibility.”
The program is likely to launch in late-2018. It will provide customers guarantee of their diamond’s authenticity and provenance because Tracr will make sure that there’s no theft or illegal substitution along the way.
Signet CEO Virginia Drosos, said, “Responsible sourcing of diamonds has always been an integral part of Signet’s corporate ethos, and this will be further strengthened through our cooperation with Tracr.”
Tracr will assign a unique ID code to each diamond which will store the stone’s weight, color, and clarity. This will bring transparency as all the information is shared on a joint database. De Beers in May 2018 stated that through Tracr it had successfully tracked 100 high-value diamonds.
Amit Bhansali, managing director of Rosy Blue, one of the world’s largest diamond jewelry manufacturers, says, “Technology has already significantly contributed to improving transparency within the diamond industry. Initiatives that use blockchain can drive this process even further.”
The revolutionary blockchain technology is garnering attention from all industries. The technology has the potential to transform healthcare, banking, supply-chain management, and the entertainment industry.
Notably, the retail giant Walmart has filed a patent for a blockchain-based digital marketplace. Moreover, major banks in Southeast Asia used blockchain to complete a cross-border transfer of funds from Thailand to Singapore in seconds.