Hong Kong jewelry company Chow Tai Fook has partnered with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to create a blockchain app that will allow customers to ascertain the origin and the authenticity of the stones purchased.
development approaches blockchain implementation processes to normal individuals through a more engaging user interface, the app.
Provenance using Blockchain
Transparency and the ability of stored data to remain eternally unchangeable are some of the blockchain qualities that distinguish it as an exceptional piece of technology. The application of these qualities in the storage and tracking of data on decentralized registers appears as one of the key aspects in which the blockchain increasingly finds an implementation.
Prior to this period, the famous Anglo-American diamond unit, De Beers had undertaken the implementation of blockchain processes towards the actual provenance of the identity of its precious stones. The process aims to trace the gems every time the hands change, starting from when they are excavated from the ground.
Tackling controversies around precious stones
The controversy surrounding precious stones, especially diamonds, is not a secret even on a global level. Theft cases and the socio-political consequences that exist in the jewelery industry, particularly with regard to diamonds, is a well-known phenomenon. The illegal extraction that is rampant in the conflict zones has been identified as a serious issue regarding the funding of violence in what is today popularly known as "blood diamond".
To track down and prevent such global vices, measures that prove the sources and identity of precious stones, and real-time confirmation of ownership has become essential.
Despite initial efforts to use the blockchain to solve this perennial problem, introducing a familiar path for regular users to access these services is certainly a huge step towards a lasting solution.
This initiative by Chow Tai Fook will see the diamonds sold in its T-branded shops for customers, by the respected Gemological Institute of America (GIA), a non-profit research organization in the industry.
Increasing consumer confidence
In addition to the theft and the illegal supply of diamonds, the dubious acts that involve the passage of synthetic materials as original material are a practice that De Beers has been involved in fighting before this moment. The institution also focuses on selling technology across the industry to help prevent anyone trying to transfer synthetic stones as natural, while working with the rest of the industry and governments to support the Kimberley process created in the 2003 to increase transparency and eliminate the trade in diamonds conflicts.
Consumer confidence is an important factor in any type of business, it is also a more crucial factor in exclusive sectors such as jewelery and precious stones. Being able to experience the origin and the authenticity of an object certainly introduces the industry into an era of "fresh air". However, making these services easily accessible through familiar user interfaces such as apps is really an important step for the industry.
Blockchain technology offers numerous implementation opportunities. However, its ability to improve transparency and provenance is a quality that will be appreciated in the various ecosystems in the coming years.
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