A UK based multi-billion dollar company, Signet Jewelers operates 2,900 stores in all 50 states in the U.S. under multiple brand names, they dominate in Canada with 150 stores, and run 500 stores under the name brands of H.Samuel and Ernest Jones in the UK.
De Beers Group CEO, Bruce Cleaver welcomed the collaboration with Signet, explaining that their consumer insights will ensure that Tracr benefits the ‘full diamond value chain”, with a focus on consumer needs, stating that it will be :
“providing consumers with confidence, the trade with increased efficiency and lower costs, and lenders to the industry with greater visibility.”
Tracr was conceived by De Beers in 2017, as a comprehensive traceability solution for the entire diamond industry, with support from corporate investment firm BCG Digital Ventures.
As the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. De Beers launched the pilot project, involving a small group of industry participants, in January 2018.
Tracr’s diamond blockchain platform provides a tamper-proof, immutable record of a diamond’s journey, from mine to cutter and polisher through to the jeweller, ensuring that they do not originate from conflict zones or areas of exploitation.
CEO of Signet Jewelers, Virginia C. Drosos stated:
“Responsible sourcing of diamonds has always been an integral part of Signet’s corporate ethos, and this will be further strengthened through our cooperation with Tracr”
By creating a Global Diamond ID on to the immutable ledger, each stone will have valuation specifics such as clarity, colour, cut and carat, alongside images that can be used for physical authentication by both suppliers and consumers. Signet’s Drosos, added:
“We are joining the Tracr pilot because we believe the project not only has strong potential to facilitate increased transparency and confidence within the industry, but it can also foster much-needed digital transformation.”
According the De Beers announcement, Tracr completed a proof-of-concept trial with 100 high-value diamonds in May, marking the first time a diamond’s journey was digitally-tracked from mine to retail. De Beers expect a full launch later this year.
The use of blockchain for consumer goods has seen exponential growth, Samsung are integrating it with IoT, and PwC partnered with blockchain start-up VeChain to track and authenticate goods across the supply chain.
Entire industries are working diligently to adapt the logistics and supply chain infrastructure. Major companies like Maersk are already utilising blockchain commercially with EY’s shipping insurance platform, and IBM’s shipping process solution, which is set to launch in July.