UPDATED 14:34 EST . 17 JANUARY 2018 Diamond mining and retail company De Beers announced Tuesday that it intends to launch the first industrywide blockchain to track diamonds.

The distributed-ledger technology would allow De Beers to keep track of diamonds through the entire supply chain from the mine to jewelry store. De Beers is the largest diamond producer in the world by value and has led numerous industry efforts to track and authenticate diamonds. The primary application is to prove that diamonds do not come from war-torn areas where the sale of the gems could be used to finance violence.

These diamonds are also called “conflict diamonds” or “blood diamonds.” With a blockchain, the same technology that underlies cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, De Beers can mark and track every transaction that occurs with a particular gemstone. The technology provides a distributed ledger that uses cryptography to secure transaction data and make it extremely difficult to modify that data after the fact.

“It’s a huge public ledger as immutable as anything invented,” De Beers Chief Executive Bruce Cleaver told Reuters. “It’s a much more unhackable system than anything on a single server.” DeBeers’ isn’t the first application of blockchain to the diamond business.

In 2016, London-based Everledger Ltd. built a similar system to register and track diamonds using a blockchain service from IBM Corp. Over the past few years, blockchains have been sought after by numerous industries for the purpose of tracking products. IBM has also been experimenting with a supply chain blockchain system for tracking food from farm to shelf to improve food safety. Read more from siliconangle.com…

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