The world's top diamond supplier has revealed plans to invest in a blockchain-based platform enabling a traceable record for its gemstones.
Bruce Cleaver, chief executive of De Beers, said expectations are changing in the industry, with customers wanting to know more about their luxury goods - including an assurance that a diamond has been responsibly sourced and that it's the real thing.
The new platform will trace each diamond throughout the entire value chain, giving "unprecedented levels of confidence and assurance for all stakeholders," Cleaver wrote in a blog post on the Anglo American-owned company's website.
"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."
Cleaver said the blockchain will operate as a shared platform for registered members of the diamond industry, on top of which a range of other applications could be built, including a trading platform, financial assurance tool or consumer-facing solution.
"I am mindful that this news may spark more questions than it answers. This is new technology and this is a complex industry, so we have more work to do before we are ready to launch the platform," Cleaver said.
More detailed plans are expected to be provided early next year.