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13 may 2019

de_beers_logo.pngDe Beers tracked 100 high-value diamonds along the value chain during the pilot of Tracr™, its industry blockchain platform, for the first time in May last year.

A De Beers spokesperson Bianca Ruakere told Rough & Polished in an exclusive interview that they are pleased with the progress and success of the pilot programme.

She said the platform, which provides consumers with confidence that registered diamonds are natural and conflict-free, will be scaled up ahead of formal launch “in due course”.

Below are excerpts from the interview.  

De Beers is developing Tracr, the end-to-end diamond industry traceability platform in collaboration with industry stakeholders. How successful is the pilot programme?

We are very pleased with the progress and success of the pilot programme to date. Through working in close collaboration with leading industry stakeholders, we have successfully piloted the concept and are now scaling up the solution to ensure the platform meets the needs of all potential users, whilst providing further valuable services for the industry.

When are you expected to end the pilot programme?

We are very pleased with the progress of the pilot to date and look forward to a formal launch in due course.

More than $100 million worth of rough diamonds was said to have been registered on the platform by August 2018 since the launch of the pilot in January 2018. What is the value of diamonds registered on the platform to date?

We have not released details about the value of the diamonds as we continue in the pilot phase; we are working with leading participants across the sector and are pleased with the progress to date. We look forward to welcoming additional participants as the pilot progresses to achieve our ultimate goal of end-to-end traceability for the industry, through standards built by the industry.

Apart from Alrosa, which joined the platform’s pilot programme last October, which other diamond companies have subscribed to Tracr?

Along with Alrosa, we have had a number of leading diamond manufacturers and retailers join the pilot programme, including Diacore, Diarough, KGK Group, Rosy Blue, Venus Jewel, Signet Jewelers and Chow Tai Fook jewellery Group.

How is Tracr complementing and supporting the diamond industry’s existing initiatives and regulations to ensure consumer confidence in diamonds?

Tracr is built for and by the industry to ensure it accommodates the entire diamond industry. By establishing a baseline of trust through diamond traceability, provenance and authenticity, Tracr will ultimately enhance consumer confidence in a diamond’s attributes.

Tracr is a B2B platform, connecting up businesses within the industry, where we expect B2C applications to be built above platform to meet consumer needs.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished