Today IBM announced the formation of the TrustChain consortium of gold and diamond industry players. The purpose of the blockchain initiative is to trace the provenance of finished pieces of jewelry for increased transparency.
Initially, the project will track six styles of engagement rings. The plan is to make the information available to consumers in retail stores by the end of the year.
Apart from IBM, the participants are Asahi Refining (precious metals refiner), Helzberg Diamonds (U.S. jewelry retailer), LeachGarner (precious metals supplier), The Richline Group (global jewelry manufacturer) and UL (independent, third-party verification).
The initiative tracks and authenticates the raw materials through each stage of the supply chain ending in the finished piece of jewelry. It includes digital verification, product and process verification, and third-party oversight.
The alliance’s purpose is to provide trust about the origin and ethical sourcing of jewelry. It will provide documented provenance as well as assurance about authenticity, quality, social and environmental responsibility. This is similar to the aims of De Beers’ Diamond Blockchain Initiative announced in January.
According to IBM’s Bridget van Kralingen, “66 percent of consumers globally are willing to spend more to support sustainable brands. TrustChain is an example of how blockchain is transforming industries through transparency and viable new business models that specifically benefit the consumer.”
The project uses IBM’s Blockchain Platform based on Hyperledger Fabric.