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De Beers unveils Tracr tech

18 May 2023

De Beers Group Tracr blockchain technology boasts trust and integrity to the end consumer within the diamond value chain, says CEO, Mr Al Cook.

This modern technology is capable of providing provenance assurance for 100 per cent of De Beers Group’s diamonds from source to Sightholder to store.

Addressing the media recently, Mr Cook, who assumed the CEO role early this year, said Tracr was the world’s only distributed diamond blockchain that started at the source and provided tamper-proof source assurance at scale.

Mr Cook said the technology enabled sightholders to provide an immutable record of a diamond’s provenance and empowered jewellery retailers to have confidence in the origin of the diamonds purchased.

He said unlike before, today’s end clients demand extensive knowledge about the products they purchased, hence the required technological step-change to meet these expectations.

“Tracr platform combines distributed ledger technology with advanced data security and privacy, ensuring that participants control the use of and access to their data,” he said.

Mr Cook said Tracr was the solution that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) had partnered with, mentioning that GIA was the leading arbitrator of trust in valuable gemstones.

He said their partnership with GIA gave them confidence that Tracr was becoming the solution for the diamond industry, citing that when they developed the technology back in 2018, they were thinking about how they could turn trust into a source of pride.

This was inspired by diamond purchasing that revolved around trust and pride in where the gem had come from, including its provenance as well as assurance that it went through a good process throughout the value chain.

In addition, Mr Cook said coming into 2023 trust does not only mean pride, but also implied that fear could be addressed of where the diamond comes from.

He said lately the Group of Seven (G7) countries was looking to formulate legislation that meant they had to determine and demonstrate the source of the diamond in the wake of the Russia and Ukraine war.

“Tracr also addresses that through the provision of confidence that a diamond came from Botswana, not Russia; something that G7 is demanding of our industry,” he said.

Mr Cook said the decentralised nature of the technology ensured its speed and scalability, with the ability to register one million diamonds a week onto the platform.

He stated that the technology was launched in a research and development phase back in 2018, and named by Forbes as one of the world’s 50 leading blockchain solutions in 2020, 2022 and in 2023. Already, De Beers has registered more than one quarter of its production by value on Tracr in the first three sights of the year in preparation for the first scale release.

For her part, De Beers vice president of corporate affairs, Ms Otsile Mabeo said when the war between Russia and Ukraine broke out the US introduced executive order, which stated that diamonds coming from Russia into the States would be prohibited.

Ms Mabeo said the executive order’s interest in the definition of origin was if there was a substantial transformation in the product; this meant where they had been cut and polished and in most cases, this would be done in India.

Therefore, she maintained such created confusion around what the executive order was trying to achieve, as such sanctions were introduced, which then prohibited the trading of Russian diamonds in US dollars which created more clarity.

“We are seeing the issue of actions evolving even further and now we are at a place where there are going to be additional requirements put in place for all-natural diamonds entering into the G7,” she said.

Ms Mabeo said this emanated from a recent statement issued by G7 and the major question revolved around how that impacted natural diamonds and business.

She added that 54 per cent of the demand came from the US, which represented the G7 countries and spelt essentially why the Tracr technology was highly important to support the continuous demand for natural diamonds. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Marvin Motlhabane

Location : GABORONE

Event : media briefing

Date : 18 May 2023