Global giant De Beers is the world’s leading producer of diamonds by value. Now they want to help their sellers, and future buyers confirm the authenticity of the De Beers diamonds and ensure customers that they are completely conflict-free. De Beers already issues concrete guarantees that its stones are ethically-sourced which helps consumer confidence in the company. They also help other diamond companies by providing technology to help keep counterfeit diamonds off the counters of jewelry stores.

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How does De Beers help guarantee the quality and authenticity of its diamonds so well? While De Beers uses a variety of methods, they have now started implementing block-chain technology, like that used in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin. According to De Beers block-chain technology assists in the methods, the company is already using and can help track a diamond to confirm that it’s conflict-free.

De Beers has also been working with the Kimberly Process; a system set up in 2003 to better increase transparency in the industry and help stem the flow of conflict or ‘blood’ diamonds.

Blockchain is a newly popular process that uses a shared database of trades and transactions. The system is maintained on large networks of computers. Because the different transactions are spread through so many individual servers and computers, it’s very difficult for them to be hacked. “It’s a huge public ledger as immutable as anything invented,” CEO Bruce Cleaver told Reuters about blockchain. “It’s a much more un-hackable system than anything on a single server.”

De Beers isn’t keeping the secure technology to themselves; they hope to open the block-chain system to the entire diamond chain for all stones of different cuts, size, and value. “It has the ability to be very significant for the industry,” said Cleaver.

The startup Everledger has been using chain-block technology to verify diamonds since 2015. De Beers just started their block-chain project after several months of research, and though De Beers guarantees its diamonds are conflict-free, the block-chain technology helps address customers wanting further confirmation of a peaceful trade. De Beers invites others to participate in their pilot program. “It’s a bold step going public with a pilot, but we’re going public because we’re interested in the entire industry participating,” Cleaver said.

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