Posted on

Diamond Industry Giants Partner With Blockchain Startup to Tokenize Gems

Two leading diamond industry players have agreed to work with blockchain startup D1 Mint Limited to tokenize diamonds, according to a May 23 press release shared with Cointelegraph.

D1 Mint Limited, the creator of the diamond-backed crypto asset D1 Coin, has signed its first purchase agreement to buy 1,500 investment-grade diamonds, worth $20 mln, from global veteran KGK Diamonds, part of the De Beers group. The raw diamonds were supplied by the largest diamond mining company in the world, Alrosa.

Alexei Chekunkov, a member of Alrosa’s Board of Directors, said the company believes that the innovation of blockchain can transform the precious gem industry by making natural diamonds into an investment asset class with wider appeal across “various investor groups, driv[ing] higher demand.”

The diamond industry has seen stagnating demand among retailers, with spending on diamond jewelry staying flat at around $80 bln a year since 2014, according to a De Beers study.

D1 uses a pricing algorithm to determine the price at which crypto investors can redeem their tokens for selected diamonds from their diamond reserve at any given time, using the new technology to translate traditional industry parameters of value – such as shape, carat, cut and clarity.

Beyond broadening investment appeal, the diamond industry is making use of blockchain to achieve transparency across the gem supply chain. Earlier this month, global diamond giant De Beers successfully used blockchain technology to track 100 diamonds from mine to retailer. The company said that blockchain can be used to secure public confidence that their supply chain is free of so-called “conflict diamonds” – uncut diamonds mined in war-zones that are illicitly traded to fund fighting.

Also this spring, IBM partnered with gold and diamond industry leaders to develop a similar blockchain network to trace the origin of precious metals.

Posted on

Canadian Diamond Mining Company Hires New CEO, Turns To Blockchain

Canadian diamond exploration and mining company Lucara Diamond has appointed a new chief executive in a move towards modernizing the diamond industry with Blockchain technologies, the Financial Times reported today, Feb. 26.

The new CEO, Eira Thomas, will lead the company after its recent purchase of Clara Diamond Solutions for $29 mln, or 13.1 mln shares. Clara is a digital platform that utilizes both cloud and Blockchain technologies to “[ensure] diamond provenance from mine to finger,” according to the Nasdaq press release.

Lukas Lundin, chairman of Lucara, said,

“We believe that Clara will not only modernise the entire diamond sales process but unlock additional value for all participants across the diamond market.”

Blockchain systems are seeing increased use in supply chain management as they can streamline the process by permanently recording each transaction on the Blockchain, significantly increasing transparency.

Lucara’s turn to Blockchain comes a month after De Beers, one of the world’s largest diamond producers, launched a pilot Blockchain initiative also for tracking a diamond’s supply chain to ensure each diamond is conflict-free.

Posted on

Bitcoins Are a Girl’s Best Friend: Diamonds for BTC in New York

In another move that signals a more sweeping adoption of Bitcoin, diamond retailer Samer Halimeh New York will begin accepting and trading Bitcoins as payment.

The international luxury diamond brand stated that previously most diamond purchases were completed with USD. However, a recent shift in Asian and Middle Eastern investor sentiment has led to a demand for Bitcoin purchases, and especially in VIP purchases of more than seven figures.

Diamond trading is one the latest industries being revolutionized by Blockchain. The Blockchain is also used in helping combat the trade in blood diamonds and the spreading of counterfeits.

Samer Halimeh, CEO of the diamond retailer, said that Bitcoin provides a special vehicle for purchasing diamonds and other assets. Because of the flexibility of the cryptocurrency, many global clients are calling for BTC transactions both as sellers and buyers.

He said:

“Because trading and retailing via Bitcoins can be done from anywhere in the world, it is especially beneficial for our suppliers in Africa and our clients from developing countries like China, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, India and Uzbekistan. We also believe that in the future the currency will revolutionize the luxury goods marketplace and the use of this digital currency will make trading and purchases for our clients and contacts easier, cheaper and much faster.”

The company will use BitPay as its merchant service provider who will also host the firm’s wallet and Bitcoin supply.