IBM announced on Thursday it is working with jewelry industry leaders to create a cross-industry supply chain tracking platform. Powered by a blockchain built on Hyperledger Fabric, the TrustChain initiative will facilitate the tracking of diamonds and precious metals as they advance from mine to market.
The consortium comprises a variety of industry businesses, with U.S. jewelry retailer Helzberg Diamonds, precious metals refiner Asahi Refining, jewelry manufacturer Richline Group, independent third party verification firm UL and precious metals supplier LeachGarner as members.
TrustChain will kick off by tracking six styles of gold and diamond engagement rings on the system.
Jason Kelley, general manager of blockchain services at IBM, said in an interview that the TrustChain Initiative touched multiple functions of the participating enterprises. "This is an organizational and business challenge. IT is 10% and 90% is pulling it together across the industry," said Kelley.
Here's how TrustChain works:
- Diamonds and precious metals get a digital product and process verification.
- TrustChain uses distributed ledger technology based on IBM Blockchain and the Hyperledger Project to create a shared record of all transactions that took place.
- The metals and diamonds are verified each step of the manufacturing process until it becomes a piece of jewelry.
- UL provides third-party oversight.
- Consumers will get assurances of authenticity.
TrustChain jewelry will be available to consumers by the end of 2018.