De Beers has launched the long-awaited Tracr platform, which uses blockchain technology to track and manage diamond production.
De Beers, the world’s largest diamond mining company, has launched a proprietary blockchain-powered platform to manage its diamond production and distribution.
The company has long been developing a blockchain system to track, record, and manage its diamond mining, production, and distribution operations around the world. The Tracr platform was first piloted and tested in 2018, and the company has now released it at scale to serve the larger diamond mining industry.
De Beers has already integrated the system into its global operations, and it is estimated that 25% of its diamond production by value is already registered on Tracr for the first three Sights in 2022. A Sight is a collective term in the diamond industry for a sale event and a specific lot of diamonds for purchase.
The platform will provide access to tamper-proof records of a diamond’s provenance to diamond industry producers and retailers. Sightholders, or authorized bulk purchasers of rough diamonds, will benefit from the immutable record of diamond credentials, which will provide retailers with additional assurance of a diamond’s pedigree and origin.
De Beers has praised the platform’s ability to scale to meet periods of high production. Tracr will be able to register one million diamonds per week on the platform, which is a significant improvement over centralized platforms that have been chastised for struggling with large volumes of data, which have historically caused bottlenecks in the process.
Tracr, like many other blockchain-powered systems, will give companies and users control over the permission, use, and access to diamond data. This is carried down to the individual level, with each user receiving their own distributed version of the platform, similar to a traditional node operator in other blockchain networks.
Privacy and security are critical to the diamond industry’s continued operation. Tracr’s blockchain-based system also ensures that every transaction on the platform is immutable, eliminating the risk of data tampering as a diamond moves up the value chain.
Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Bain & Company released their latest Diamond Industry report in 2021, highlighting key industry trends and providing an outlook for the next decade.
The increased emphasis on sustainability and social consumerism was a key takeaway. According to the report, consumers are much more concerned about environmental preservation, conflict-free supply chains, and the carbon footprint of mining operations.
According to De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver, the introduction of Tracr to the industry is a step in the right direction as consumer behavior shifts toward conservation and environmentally friendly operations.
Cleaver hopes that the technology will increase trust in natural diamonds and serve as a catalyst for a “technological transformation that will enhance standards and raise expectations of what we are capable of providing to our end clients.”
According to the AWDC and Bain report, South Africa was the only country to see an increase in rough diamond production in 2020, while Botswana, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo saw slight declines.
Lefoko Moagi, Botswana’s minister of minerals and energy, believes the Tracr system will assist the industry in navigating the economic uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Confidence in diamond origin is critical, and we look forward to seeing the implementation of this new program, which will bring new benefits to the diamond industry while also providing more assurance to consumers.”
Blockchain technology has already played a significant role in the transformation of the global logistics and supply chain industry, with more than half of the companies listed in the Forbes Blockchain 50 utilizing the technology to create cutting-edge systems and platforms.