IBM and a consortium of gold and diamond industry leaders have announced the first cross-industry initiative to use blockchain to trace the provenance of finished pieces of jewellery across the supply chain.
Asahi Refining, Helzberg Diamonds, LeachGarner, The Richline Group and UL have launched the TrustChain Initiative, powered by the IBM Blockchain Platform, delivered via the IBM Cloud.
TrustChain is initially tracking six styles of diamond and gold engagement rings on the blockchain network. As the program continues to develop, Trustchain jewellery is expected to be accessible to consumers in participating retail stores by the end of 2018.
Mark Hanna, Richline Group’s chief marketing officer, said: “This initiative is important for our industry as we seek to raise the collective responsibility and provenance practices to new heights. TrustChain is the first blockchain of its kind within our industry, designed as a solution that marries IBM’s leading blockchain technology with responsible sourcing, verification and governance by third party organizations, led by UL as the administrator.
“Consumers care deeply about the quality and source of the jewelry they purchase,” said Bridget van Kralingen, IBM senior vice president, global industries, platforms and blockchain.
“This is evidenced by the fact that 66% of consumers globally are willing to spend more to support sustainable brands. TrustChain is an example of how blockchain is transforming industries through transparency and viable new business models that specifically benefit the consumer.”
The TrustChain Initiative tracks and authenticates diamonds and precious metals through every stage of the supply chain as it becomes a piece of finished jewellery. It provides digital verification, physical product and process verification, and third-party oversight.
The collaboration’s goal is to instill trust in the origin and ethical sourcing of jewellery by bringing together a community of responsible and ethical organisations across the complex and multi-tiered jewellery supply chain.