Blockchain technology is being increasingly utilised by major players in the precious stones and metals industries, including De Beers, Gemfields, and the World Gold Council, to improve supply chain management and transparency. De Beers' Tracr platform, which uses blockchain and AI technology to trace every diamond's journey from the mine it was sourced from to the end retailer, already registers about half of its total production. Gemfields has used the Provenance Proof Blockchain to give the 7,525 carats Chipembele emerald a unique DNA 'nano-tag' identity that ensures cut and polished gems originating from the emerald can be certified on the blockchain. The World Gold Council's Gold Bar Integrity programme uses a physical security feature and a digital ledger to track gold bar movement across the supply chain.
The Provenance Proof Blockchain also has an online marketplace that allows traders worldwide to buy and offer transparently traded gems. Over 500 professional users, including more than 120 jewellers and manufacturers, have joined the marketplace. While the Gold Bar Integrity programme is in its early stages, a successful pilot was carried out in 2022, with participants from across 13 locations, to define the database's scope, identify priorities, and gain a better understanding of interoperability. However, the programme's concrete application still requires further governance and industry consultation for developing an industry-standard taxonomy, dispute resolution process, and best practices for reintroducing material from outside the country of origin.
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