22 October 2017
Author: Kathryn Bishop
So how will blockchain technology help brands to meet consumers’ expectations? By providing a clear, secure chain of custody and detailed supply chain information. With diamonds, it will disrupt traditional trading models, complementing traditional handshake deals with technology-enhanced traceability. London-based company Everledger is already putting this into practice, using IBM blockchain technology to track a diamond at each stage of the supply chain.
Logging a diamond’s details at source, Everledger creates a secure public and private digital record of its history and ownership as it changes hands. This enables stakeholders to trace a diamond’s provenance and verify its authenticity.
Using blockchain technology throughout the supply chain would not only offer consumers and stakeholders more transparency, but encourage mine operators, traders and brands to ensure their business practices are ethical and environmentally friendly. According to Kimberley Process’s 2016 Mid-term Report, the certification body is exploring the possibility of using blockchain technology to eradicate false certificates and reduce the impact of human error when uploading data.
Beyond diamonds, blockchain technology has the potential to transform traceability in the wider luxury industry. Consider the positive consumer sentiment that luxury brands could build by providing a clear chain of custody for animal hides, exotic skins, artworks, wine, watches, rare raw materials or specialist ingredients.
Yes, the integration of blockchain technology will challenge and in some cases expose established practices in the luxury industry, but in doing so it will drive the industry towards a future in which attributes such as traceability and truth are proudly promoted and valued.