Richline Group, Helzberg Diamonds, IBM and Others Launch New Blockchain Network for Jewellery

IBM Trust Chain

A number of leading players from the global gold and diamond industry have joined hands with technology leaders and others to launch TrustChain™, described as the first cross-industry initiative to use blockchain technology eto trace the provenance of finished pieces of jewellery across the supply chain.

This new initiative that offers increased transparency to consumers is being rolled out by precious metals refiner Asahi Refining, U.S. jewellery retailer Helzberg Diamonds, precious metals supplier LeachGarner, global jewellery manufacturer The Richline Group and independent, third party verification agency UL and is powered by the IBM Blockchain Platform, delivered via the IBM Cloud.

Initially, the programme will track six styles of diamond and gold engagement rings, with Trustchain jewellery expected to be accessible to consumers in participating retail stores by the end of 2018.

The initiative tracks and authenticates diamonds and precious metals through every stage up to becoming finished jewellery. It provides digital verification, physical product and process verification, and third-party oversight, IBM stated.

Mark Hanna, Richline Group’s Chief Marketing Officer said, “This initiative is important for our industry as we seek to raise the collective responsibility and provenance practices to new heights. TrustChain is the first blockchain of its kind within our industry, designed as a solution that marries IBM’s leading blockchain technology with responsible sourcing, verification and governance by third party organizations, led by UL as the administrator.”

Bridget van Kralingen, IBM Senior Vice President, Global Industries, Platforms and Blockchain, commented, “Consumers care deeply about the quality and source of the jewelry they purchase. This is evidenced by the fact that 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 collaboration’s goal is to instill trust in the origin and ethical sourcing of jewellery by bringing together a community of responsible and ethical organisations across the complex and multi-tiered jewellery supply chain, according to IBM.

Built by IBM Services on open source technology and based on the IBM Blockchain Platform and the Hyperledger Project, TrustChain uses distributed ledger technology that establishes a shared, immutable record of transactions that take place within a network and then enables permissioned parties access to trusted data in real time. It establishes a single shared view of information spanning the entire jewelry ecosystem – from miners, manufacturers, wholesale suppliers and retailers – without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality.

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