IBM is partnering with a consortium of leading diamond and jewelry companies from around the world in a new blockchain collaboration called TrustChain. The TrustChain initiative will use IBM’s enterprise blockchain technology to improve global provenance in the diamond and jewelry supply chain, and ensure customers have a high level of traceability to be confident in their expensive jewelry purchases.
TrustChain will track and authenticate various jewelry, precious metals, and rare stones along every step of the supply chain, from the mine they were excavated from, to the manufacturer that made, cut, or set the jewelry, to the retailers and malls that display the jewelry for sale.
The consortium is comprised of Rio Tinto Diamonds (diamond supplier for Proof of Concept only), Leach Garner (precious metals supplier), Asahi Refinery (precious metal refinery), Helzberg (US jewelry retailer) and the Richline Group (global jewelry manufacturer). These companies represent the most powerful companies in the global supply of materials for jewelry. UL Labs will serve as a third-party for verification purposes.
Jason Kelley, the GM of blockchain services at IBM explained:
“What we are announcing and bringing forward has been in the works for some time. It’s the first end-to-end industry capability on blockchain that has its core in trust,”
As Kelley points out, trust – central to the name TrustChain – is ever-important in the jewelry industry. Everyone has heard the term “blood diamond,” in reference to forced labor, slavery, and other unsavory activities that surround the industry. By implementing a trustless, immutable ledger through blockchain, customers can rest assure that they are not funding an organization that supports such means, and can enjoy their jewelry fear-free for generations to come.