IBM will use blockchain to trace the origin of diamonds

IBM is teaming up with industry leaders in the jewellery space to use blockchain to trace the origin of certain diamonds.

The project, dubbed TrustChain, will use blockchain technology to trace the provenance of finished pieces of jewellery across the supply chain in order to increase transparency and promote trust.

Bridget van Kralingen, IBM‘s senior VP of global industries, platforms and blockchain, said: “Consumers care deeply about the quality and source of the jewellery they purchase. This is evidenced by the fact that 66 per cent of consumers globally are willing to spend more to support sustainable brands.

“TrustChain is an example of how blockchain is transforming industries through transparency and viable new business models that specifically benefit the consumer.”

The companies joining the initiative are Asahi Refining, Helzberg Diamonds, LeachGarner, The Richline Group, and UL.

Mark Hanna, Richline Group’s CMO, added: “This initiative is important for our industry as we seek to raise the collective responsibility and provenance practices to new heights.

“TrustChain is the first blockchain of its kind within our industry, designed as a solution that marries IBM’s leading blockchain technology with responsible sourcing, verification and governance by third party organisations, led by UL as the administrator.”

During a conference earlier this month, IBM publicly embraced blockchain with general manager for the tech saying: “My very simple analogy is that 2016 was all about blockchain tourism and sightseeing, and last year was pilots and proof of concepts. This year, those plans are all going into production.”

The company has already teamed up with five global leading banks to transform the existing trade finance system, replacing a paper-based process with ablockchain-based ledger.

And it’s not the only tech giant looking at innovative ways to use blockchain tech, with Microsoft, Google and many other household names launching projects and undoubtedly more to be announced this year.

TrustChain will become accessible to consumers by the end of the year.