De Beers Launches Tracr™, A Distributed Diamond Blockchain

Diamond giant De Beers Group has launched the world's first and only distributed diamond blockchain called Tracr™ which will provide tamper-proof source assurance at scale, enabling sightholders to provide an immutable record of a diamond’s origin, and empowering jewellery retailers to have confidence in the origin of the diamonds they purchase.

According to a press release from the company, Tracr™ brings together a wide range of leading technologies – including blockchain, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and advanced security and privacy technologies – to track a diamond’s journey through the value chain.

The Tracr™ platform combines distributed ledger technology with advanced data security and privacy, ensuring that participants control the use of and access to their own data. Each participant on Tracr™ has their own distributed version of the platform, meaning that their data can only be shared with their permission, and only they choose who can access their information. 

De Beers goes on to mention that the advanced privacy technologies used by Tracr™ reinforce data security on the platform.  The immutable nature of each transaction on the platform ensures that the data cannot be tampered with when the diamond progresses through the value chain.

First launched in an R&D phase in 2018 and named by Forbes as one of the world’s 50 leading blockchain solutions in both 2020 and in 2022, De Beers has already registered one-quarter of its production by value on Tracr™ in the first three Sights of the year in preparation for this first scale release. 

Bruce Cleaver, the CEO of De Beers Group, said: “De Beers discovers diamonds with our partners in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa and, with our long-term investment in Tracr™, we are proud to join with our Sightholders to provide the industry with immutable diamond source assurance at scale. Tracr™, which will enable the provision of provenance information from source to Sightholder to store on a secure blockchain, will underpin confidence in natural diamonds and represents the first step in a technological transformation that will enhance standards and raise expectations of what we are capable of providing to our end clients.”

For his part, Honourable Lefoko Moagi, Botswana's Minister of Minerals and Energy, mentioned that “The introduction of this advanced provenance technology is extremely exciting and we are very pleased as a large diamond producing country, and shareholder in De Beers, to be a part of this development. Confidence in diamond origin is extremely important and we look forward to seeing the rollout of this new programme delivering new benefits to the diamond industry and giving more assurance to consumers.”

De Beers’ provenance claims have been certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council and trust in the De Beers source of diamonds is also assured by the business’s Pipeline Integrity programme which involves annual third-party verification visits of participants by independent auditors.

How Tracr Works

As the diamonds travel along the value chain, a unique Global Diamond ID is automatically created on Tracr™, which stores individual diamond attributes such as carat, colour and clarity through integration with the participants’ existing record-keeping systems.

This allows Tracr™ to consolidate the data into an immutable digital trail for each physical diamond, assuring its provenance and traceability from rough to polished.

To support this process-based tracking, Tracr™ will also be using stone images, planned outcome images and a diamond’s physical properties to verify authenticity through data science and physical identification techniques.

Tracr™ verifies the uploaded data at each key milestone of a diamond’s journey – ensuring its accuracy and continuity – while enabling users to be in full control of what they share with other participants through the use of privacy controls.

Initially announced and piloted in 2018, Tracr™ will provide consumers with confidence that registered diamonds are natural and conflict-free, improve visibility and trust within the industry, and enhance efficiencies across the diamond value chain.
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