De Beers, the global diamond mining firm, has launched a proprietary blockchain-powered platform to manage its diamond production and distribution.
It has been reported that the firm has long been at work on a blockchain system to trace, record and manage its diamond mining, production, and distribution across the globe. The Tracr platform was first piloted and tested back in 2018, and the company has finally released the platform at scale to serve the wider diamond mining industry.
However, De Beers has already incorporated the system into its global operations and estimates that 25% of its diamond production by value is registered on Tracr for 2022’s first three Sights. In the diamond industry, a Sight is a collective term for a sale event and a respective lot of diamonds for purchase.
The report said that the platform will give diamond industry producers and retailers access to tamper-proof records of a diamond’s provenance. Sightholders, companies that are authorized bulk purchasers of rough diamonds, will benefit from the immutable record of diamond credentials, which will, in turn, provide retailers with the added assurance of a diamond’s pedigree and origin.
Likewise, De Beers has touted the performance of the platform to be able to scale to meet periods of high production. Tracr will be able to register one million diamonds per week on the platform, which is a major upgrade to centralized platforms that have been criticized for struggling with large volumes of data that historically cause bottlenecks in this process. As with many blockchain-powered systems, Tracr will allow companies and users to control the permission, use, and access to diamond data.
This goes down to an individual level, with each user given their own distributed version of the platform, much like a traditional node operator in other blockchain networks. Privacy and security are paramount to the ongoing operation of the diamond industry. Tracr’s blockchain-based system also ensures that every transaction on the platform is immutable, removing the threat of data tampering as a diamond moves through the value chain.
In 2021, Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Bain & Company released their latest Diamond Industry report, which highlighted key trends for the industry and an outlook for the next decade.
A key takeaway was an increased focus on sustainability and social consumerism. The report indicated that consumers are far more conscious of environment preservation, conflict-free supply chains as well as the carbon footprint of mining operations.
Bruce Cleaver, the CEO of De Beers Group, said that the launch of Tracr to the industry is a step in the right direction as consumer behavior changes to align with conservation and environmentally friendly operations.
Thus, Cleaver hopes to see the technology ensure greater confidence in natural diamonds and become a catalyst of "technological transformation that will enhance standards and raise expectations of what we are capable of providing to our end clients."