What’s Going On?
IBM has launched TrustChain, a blockchain that follows jewellery supply chains from mine to retail outlet and helps keep “blood diamonds” out of the global marketplace.
Why Does It Matter?
The project is backed by a consortium of companies including precious metals refiner Asahi Refining; US jewellery retailer Helzberg Diamonds; precious metals supplier LeachGarner; and The Richline Group, a global jewellery manufacturer and wholly-owned subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway.
“What we are announcing and bringing forward has been in the works for some time,” IBM’s General Manger of Blockchain Services Jason Kelley told TechCrunch. “It’s the first end-to- end industry capability on blockchain that has its core in trust.”
Is This Really Necessary?
Jewellery tracking is becoming increasingly important for business, as younger customers are skeptical and will carry out research before making a purchase, Mark Hanna, Chief Marketing Officer at Richline, told Bloomberg. Tech startup Everledger has been tracking diamonds since 2015 and has already traced provenance of more than two million stones,
IBM’s SVP of IBM Global Industries, Platforms and Blockchain Bridget van Kralingen told Axios: “I see it as an operating system for trust. It’s not a winner-takes- all model. For it to work and stay vibrant, many different players all have to get value.”