De Beers uses blockchain platform to track diamonds along value chain

14 May 2018 (Last Updated May 14th, 2018 14:23)

UK-based firm De Beers Group has successfully used its new blockchain platform to track 100 high-value diamonds along the value chain from mine to retail.

UK-based firm De Beers Group has successfully used its new blockchain platform to track 100 high-value diamonds along the value chain from mine to retail.

The platform, known as Tracr, is currently in the pilot phase and enables De Beers to track the journey of its rough diamonds from the mine to cutter and polisher, and ultimately to the jeweller.

The Tracr platform is set to be launched later this year and will be made available to the industry.

De Beers noted that the new blockchain technology will help ensure that registered diamonds are natural and conflict-free.

"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."

In addition, the platform is anticipated to improve trust within the diamond industry and enhance efficiencies across the value chain.

De Beers developed the Tracr system in partnership with various diamond manufacturers, including Diacore, Diarough, KGK Group, Rosy Blue and Venus Jewel.

De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver said: “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.”

Tracr automatically generates a unique Global Diamond ID for the diamonds as they travel along the value chain.

The unique ID stores characteristics such as carat, colour and clarity through integration with the users’ existing record-keeping systems.

The data is subsequently consolidated into a digital trail for each physical diamond.

In addition, Tracr uses data science and physical identification techniques to verify authenticity of the diamonds.

BCG Digital Ventures is currently assisting De Beers with the development of the platform and the underlying technology.