• De Beers’ diamond production will be powered by blockchain

  • De Beers has released the long-awaited Tracr platform, which uses blockchain technology to track and manage diamond output.

    Global diamond mining business De Beers has built a customized blockchain-powered platform to manage its diamond production and distribution.

    The company has long been developing a blockchain system to track, record, and manage its diamond mining, manufacturing, and distribution operations around the world. The Tracr platform was first piloted and tested in 2018, and the business has now released it at scale to service the larger diamond mining industry.

    De Beers has already integrated the system into its global operations, and it is estimated that 25% of its diamond production by value is registered on Tracr for the first three Sights in 2022 A Sight is a collective phrase in the diamond business for a sale event and a specific lot of diamonds for purchase.

    The network will provide access to tamper-proof records of a diamond’s origins to diamond industry producers and retailers. Sightholders, which are approved bulk purchasers of rough diamonds, would benefit from the immutable record of diamond credentials, providing retailers with further certainty of a diamond’s provenance and origin.

    De Beers has praised the platform’s ability to grow to meet periods of high production. Tracr will be able to register one million diamonds per week on the platform, which is a significant improvement over centralized platforms that have been chastised for grappling with big numbers of data, which have previously caused bottlenecks in the process.

    Tracr, like many other blockchain-powered systems, will provide companies and users control over the permission, use, and access to diamond data. This is carried down to the individual level, with each user receiving their own distributed version of the platform, similar to a typical node operator in other blockchain networks.

    Privacy and security are critical to the diamond industry’s continued operation. Tracr’s blockchain-based system also assures that every transaction on the platform is immutable, eliminating the risk of data tampering as a diamond progresses up the value chain.

    Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Bain & Company presented their newest Diamond Market report in 2021, highlighting important industry trends and providing a view for the next decade.

    The rising emphasis on sustainability and social consumerism was an important message. According to the report, customers are much more concerned about environmental preservation, conflict-free supply chains, and the carbon footprint of mining activities.

    According to De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver, the introduction of Tracr to the industry is a step in the right direction as consumer behavior shifts toward conservation and environmentally responsible operations.

    Cleaver expects that the technology would increase trust in natural diamonds and serve as a catalyst for “technical transformation that will improve standards and elevate expectations of what we are capable of offering to our end clients.”

    According to the AWDC and Bain research, South Africa was the only country to witness an increase in rough diamond output in 2020, while Botswana, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo had minor losses.

    Lefoko Moagi, Botswana’s Minister of Minerals and Energy, believes the Tracr system will assist the industry in navigating the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

    “Confidence in diamond origin is critical, and we look forward to witnessing the implementation of this new initiative, which will provide new benefits to the diamond business while also providing more certainty to customers.”

    Blockchain technology has already played a significant role in the transformation of the global logistics and supply chain industry, with more than half of the companies listed in the Forbes Blockchain 50 using it to develop next-generation systems and platforms.

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