World’s No.1 diamond producer by output Alrosa (MCX:ALRS) has joined rival De Beers’ end-to-end diamond blockchain program, aimed at clearing the supply chain of imposters and conflict precious rocks.
Anglo American’s De Beers, the largest diamond miner by value, began developing its “Tracr” tracking platform last year, but officially launched a pilot program to test the technology in January.
With Russia’s Alrosa’s involvement, Tracr now counts with the main names in the diamond industry working as a group to provide enhanced assurance for consumers and trade participants about the authenticity of their gemstones.
In May, world’s largest diamond jewellery retailer, Signet Jewelers, became the first main dealer to join De Beers’ tracking pilot.
“The collective efforts of the world’s two leading diamond producers will enable more of the world’s diamonds to be tracked on their journey from mine to retail,” De Beers’ chief executive Bruce Cleaver said in the statement.
“Traceability is the key to further development of our market,” Alrosa’s chief executive Sergey Ivanov said. “It helps to ensure consumer confidence and fill information gaps, enabling people to enjoy the product without any doubts about ethical issues or undisclosed synthetics.”
The blockchain platform is basically a shared database of transactions maintained by a network of computers on the Internet, a technology currently being employed in the bitcoin sector.
Tracr gives each diamond a unique ID that stores stones characteristics such as weight, colour and clarity. To support the process, the system will also be using stone photos and planned outcome images.
Despite the establishment of the Kimberley Process in 2003, aimed at removing those so-called conflict diamonds from the supply chain, experts say trafficking of precious rocks is still ongoing.
De Beers and Alrosa believe the development of a system like Tracr, which will complement and support the diamond industry’s existing initiatives and regulations, should help solve that problem.