International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) has recently announced that it will be collaborating with jewellery industry leaders to create a platform that will track the supply chain across all involved industries.

Ethical tracking

Built on Hyperledger Fabric, the so-called TrustChain initiative will enable the tracking of precious metals and gemstones from mine, to market. The consortium of businesses that will be working on his project includes Helzberg Diamonds, Asahi Refining, Richline Group, UL, and LeachGarner- all leading stakeholders in the jewellery industry.

TrustChain will start off by tracking six types of gold and diamond engagement rings on the system.

The core idea behind the initiative is to increase levels of trust and transparency in an industry that is no stranger to controversy. The general manager of blockchain services at IBM, Jason Kelley stated that these steps are necessary due to an increased demand from customers, for increased corporate responsibility and ethical consumption.

“Consumers now have a high demand for trust in what they’re buying,” he stated, then adding that statistics are showing that consumers will pay more for a product that is both ethical and sustainable.

Kelly also stated that businesses could benefit from the initiative as well. Comparing the IBM project to other supply chain initiatives in logistics and shipping, he pointed out the rapid reduction of time when it comes to tracking a particular product.

Reducing redundancy, increasing efficiency

Regarding the jewellery industry, a company will be able to share data with other stakeholders in real time, thus streamlining the steps of the supply chain and reducing redundancy. Kelly added:

“You get an operating system that drives effective trust and innovation.”

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