Last week, IBM announced it has teamed up with jewelry companies Asahi Refining, Helzberg Diamonds, LeachGarner, Richline Group, and UL to launch a new global blockchain initiative called TrustChain. The initiative will be powered by the IBM Blockchain Platform and deliver through the IBM Cloud.
According to IBM, TrustChain is initially tracking six styles of diamond and gold engagement rings on the blockchain network. As the program continues to develop, TrustChain jewelry is expected to be accessible to consumers in participating retail stores by the end of this year. The TrustChain Initiative also tracks and authenticates diamonds and precious metals through every stage of the supply chain as it becomes a piece of finished jewelry. It provides digital verification, physical product and process verification, and third-party oversight. Mark Hanna, Richline Group’s Chief Marketing Officer, stated:
“This initiative is important for our industry as we seek to raise the collective responsibility and provenance practices to new heights. TrustChain is the first blockchain of its kind within our industry, designed as a solution that marries IBM’s leading blockchain technology with responsible sourcing, verification and governance by third party organizations, led by UL as the administrator.”
Bridget van Kralingen, IBM Senior Vice President of Global Industries, Platforms, and Blockchain, also commented:
“Consumers care deeply about the quality and source of the jewelry they purchase. This is evidenced by the fact that 66 percent of consumers globally are willing to spend more to support sustainable brands. TrustChain is an example of how blockchain is transforming industries through transparency and viable new business models that specifically benefit the consumer.”
IBM then reported that TrustChain uses distributed ledger technology that establishes a shared, immutable record of transactions that take place within a network and then enables permissioned parties access to trusted data in real time. By applying the technology to digitize processes, a new form of command and consent is introduced into the flow of information, empowering those in the blockchain network to collaborate and establish a single shared view of information without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality.