De Beers Group has announced that the world’s largest diamond jewelry retailer has joined their diamond supply blockchain platform Tracr, according to a press release published May 24. Signet Jewelers joined the project, which aims to bring transparency to the industry, in addition to boosting consumer confidence.
Signet will join the Tracr platform in its pilot version, which according to the press release, will enable the platform to complete a “digital link” from diamond production to its retail location. The parties will ensure that the platform corresponds to the needs of manufacturers and retailer, initially focusing on the tracking of diamond jewelry.
Tracr creates a digital certificate for each diamond, which will be registered on the platform and contain key attributes and transactions. This will reportedly let consumers verify that diamonds they purchase are natural and conflict-free. Bruce Cleaver, CEO at De Beers Group, commented on the partnership:
“...Tracr is focused on bringing the benefits of blockchain technology to the full diamond value chain - providing consumers with confidence, the trade with increased efficiency and lower costs, and lenders to the industry with greater visibility.”
Signet Jewelers is headquartered in Ohio and operates in Canadian, American, and British markets, where it holds the number one position among diamond retailers. In 2017 it made over $3.8 bln in diamond jewelry sales. According to their 2018 annual report, Signet Jewelers has a market share of 7 percent of the US jewelry market.
Earlier this month, Cointelegraph reported that De Beers tracked 100 high-value diamonds from the mine to the retailer by means of blockchain technology. This was reportedly the “first time a diamond’s journey has been digitally tracked from mine to retail.” De Beers said that the Tracr platform is expected to launch later this year and will be open to the entire diamond industry.
Yesterday, two leading diamond industry players, KGK Diamonds and Alrosa, agreed to work with blockchain startup D1 Mint Limited to tokenize diamonds. It is believed that the innovation of blockchain can transform the precious gem industry by making natural diamonds into an investment asset class with wider appeal across “various investor groups, driv[ing] higher demand.”