Today blockchain firm Everledger announced a partnership with China’s largest e-commerce company JD.com and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Together, they aim to increase the public’s trust in online diamond sales by implementing a blockchain solution that verifies diamond authenticity.
While Everledger supplies solutions to several industries, it started in the diamond sector, where it has strong relationships with the likes of ALROSA, the world’s second largest diamond miner. U.S. non-profit GIA is regarded as the world’s foremost authority for the certification of diamonds.
Customers struggle to understand whether products are genuine with in-person diamond sales, but the task is even harder with ecommerce. That’s exacerbated by the plummet in diamond sales in the wake of COVID-19 which have forced sellers increasingly turning to online platforms.
Improving trust for online purchases is even more important in China, where digitally competent millennials make up 68% of the diamond purchases compared to 45% worldwide.
Everledger seeks to address this problem through this partnership by syncing the GIA’s diamond grading mechanisms to JD’s blockchain-enabled anti-counterfeiting and tracing platform. GIA grading reports for the diamonds will be displayed for customers on the JD.com website and app.
In this way, JD will be able to tackle grade reporting fraud more effectively. The platform will identify duplicate uses of the same diamond report and ensure the fraudulent products are taken down. The firm also plans to release live streams that educate its customers about fraud.
At a technical level, the GIA grading reports are on Everledger’s blockchain, which is based on Hyperledger Fabric. Meanwhile, JD.com has its own open-source blockchain, JD Chain. Together the two companies co-developed a blockchain interoperability solution to link the two blockchains.
Everledger and the GIA had collaborated before, notably in 2018 when they worked on a similar project with Hong Kong-based jewelry brand Chow Tai Fook to use a blockchain-enabled platform for diamond grading. Everledger also counts China’s Tencent, the owner of WeChat as one of its biggest investors.
This project will face competition from DiamsLedger, an initiative that has already released a blockchain-enabled diamond traceability platform in China. It launched two years ago as a collaboration between Zhong An Technology and Shanghai Qingyi Technology and also utilized the GIA’s standards for grading.