Today, the diamond mining company ALROSA in collaboration with the blockchain provenance company Everledger, announced plans to launch a WeChat Mini Program. The initiative will allow consumers to identify a diamond’s authenticity and track the gem from the mine to the retail outlet without leaving the mobile chat app.
Russian firm ALROSA is the second-largest diamond miner in the world. It doesn’t plan to sell diamonds direct to the public. Instead, the idea is that retailers white label the WeChat provenance program.
This Mini Program is one of several Everledger projects, which uses the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain protocol to increase the transparency of information regarding diamonds. Before this, Everledger worked with the Spanish jewellery manufacturer Facet, the US-based Fred Mayer Jewelers, Indian diamond manufacturer Sheetal group and Hong Kong’s Chow Tai Fook.
Meanwhile, WeChat is the biggest chat platform in China, with 79% of Chinese internet users using the social network and more than a billion active users. Tencent, the parent company behind WeChat, is also an Everledger investor, and three months ago led its Series A funding round of nearly $20m.
“By providing 100% certainty of a diamond’s origin and journey to the consumer, in an easy-to-experience online platform such as WeChat, we are confident that this innovation will set a new standard when it comes to traceability and responsible business practices,” said Evgeny Gokhberg, Head of Europe at Everledger.
Everledger has a history of working on sustainable and ethical projects, such as its community project, Moyo Gemstones, which focuses on female miners in Tanzania to work safely and have more financial security.
Sustainability is an important theme for ALROSA, and the company made social investments of more than $150m in 2018 . “We are delighted to support this WeChat Mini Program with Everledger, as it reinforces our pursuit for sustainable mining and transparent supply chain information,” said Pavel Vinikhin, Head of ‘Diamonds of ALROSA’.
Everledger is mainly known for tracking diamonds, but it recently announced extending its reach into other sectors including gemstones, fine wine, luxury goods and e-waste management.
Although Everledger was the first major diamond provenance project, there are now several others. De Beers announced its initiative at the start of the year. Later on, IBM announced its TrustChain gem provenance platform. And last month Zhong An announced a mainland China diamond provenance platform called DiamsLedger.