De Beers moves forward with blockchain plan

After announcing in December that it would invest in a new platform to trace its diamonds through the value chain, Anglo American arm De Beers has confirmed it is progressing development of the initiative
De Beers moves forward with blockchain plan De Beers moves forward with blockchain plan De Beers moves forward with blockchain plan De Beers moves forward with blockchain plan De Beers moves forward with blockchain plan

Staff reporter

The miner had success with its initial proof of concept and subsequent working prototype, and a pilot with a small number of participants has started with the goal of identifying insights and enhancement opportunities and to see how the technology can be integrated with existing systems. A full launch is scheduled for later this year.

The initiative will underpin diamond confidence, De Beers said, as well as the industry by ensuring all registered diamonds are natural and conflict-free. The chain, which gives a single, tamper-proof and permanent digital record, will increase efficiency for the diamond sector.

The miner said it will be joining with leaders of the technology and the industry to make the platform inclusive. The development phase will examine considerations such as the protection of commercially sensitive data, streamlining processes and providing additional assurance for financiers.

Once in place, blockchain is expected to run as an open platform.

“By leveraging blockchain technology, we will provide an additional layer of assurance to consumers and industry participants, with every diamond registered on the platform having a record as everlasting as the diamond itself,” CEO Bruce Cleaver said.

“We are very excited about this initiative and the benefits it could deliver across the diamond value chain, from producers through to retailers and consumers. We look forward to continuing to engage with industry stakeholders as we progress development of the platform over the coming months.”