DLT supply chain firm Everledger is partnering with local Chinese diamond sellers to ensure customers only receive genuine gemstones.
In an Aug. 25 announcement, Everledger, a global digital registry for diamonds, said it would be working with Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com as well as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to implement a distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based supply chain capable of verifying the authenticity of individual stones.
Due to the restrictions imposed on businesses during the pandemic, many buyers have turned to purchasing diamonds online, where it’s difficult to assess the quality and authenticity. In China, “digitally competent millennials” reportedly buy up 68% of all diamonds sold online, compared to 45% around the world.
Everledger — powered by Hyperledger Fabric — uses grading reports provided by the GIA to assess diamonds via the Chinese e-commerce company’s JD Chain, an anti-counterfeiting and tracing blockchain, so customers can purchase a stone with information regarding its origin, color, clarity, carat weight, and previous owners. According to the DLT firm, this process will allow JD.com to spot instances of fraud more effectively, including duplicate uses of GIA reports.
Everledger was founded in 2015 with the goal of solving the issues created from the purchase of conflict diamonds — stones typically mined in a war zone and sold to finance oppressive regimes.
The supply chain firm is not the only one to see the potential of diamond buyers in the Chinese market. Cointelegraph reported in December that the world’s largest diamond mining firm, Russia’s Alrosa, partnered with Tencent, the operator of WeChat, to allow the app’s one billion users to purchase diamonds online.
Some of the largest players in the diamond industry have already collaborated with blockchain-based platforms to introduce DLT solutions so customers can purchase conflict-free, authentic stones.
In 2018, the De Beers Group — the corporation that invented the concept of the diamond engagement ring — announced it was looking into blockchain to improve the transparency of the diamond value chain. The same year, major Hong Kong-based retailer Chow Tai Fook joined the Everledger project to boost the sales of its T MARK line, in which diamonds were inscribed with traceable codes so that their origin could be checked.