Diamond mining company De Beers has started tracking diamonds on the journey from the mine to the retailer using blockchain in an effort to avoid imposters and conflict minerals.
De Beers, which is the world's biggest producer of diamonds, has developed the blockchain software called Tracr in cooperation with five other diamond manufacturers in an effort to ensure that the precious stones exported delivered to retailers are not from conflict zones.
Tracr was first tested on Thursday when it successfully tracked 100 high-value diamonds in a test run and is expected to come into use later this year and be made available to the whole industry.
Chief executive of De Beers Group Bruce Cleaver said: “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.
The system creates a unique global diamond ID specifying carat, colour and clarity which Tracr logs to make sure the right gems reaches the destination.
BCG Digital Ventures is the company behind the actual construction of the blockchain tracking system.
The blockchain system is the same system that was used to create the cryptocurrency bitcoin and is a database of transactions maintained by a computer network.
Chairman of Sevantilal Shah of Venus Jewels, one of the companies involved in the development, said: “Participating in the pilot has been a successful experience and we look forward to continuing with the programme and supporting De Beers in raising the standard for the diamond industry.”