- Botswanan diamond mines are set to join De Beers’ Tracr program, which utilizes blockchain to trace the movement of diamonds, aiming to combat “blood diamonds”
- President Mokgweetsi Masisi recognized blockchain’s potential to enhance transparency in the diamond supply chain in a recent conference
- De Beers’ Tracr, launched in 2018, is extending its reach throughout the production chain and has successfully registered over one million diamonds at source.
Botswanan diamond mines will join De Beers’ Tracr program which uses blockchain technology to trace the movement of diamonds, potentially cutting down the phenomenon of ‘blood diamonds’. President Mokgweetsi Masisi recently recognized the potential of blockchain technology to enhance transparency and traceability within the diamond supply chain, telling the ‘Facets 2023’ conference that blockchain can play a pivotal role in verifying the ethical sourcing of diamonds, pointing out that decentralized ledgers can offer consumers assurance that the diamonds they purchase have been ethically sourced. Diamond giant De Beers launched its Tracr protocol in 2018 and recently opened it up to more entities throughout the production chain.
Blockchain Can Assure Ethical Sourcing
Botswana boasts the world’s second-largest diamond mining industry, but it has been under scrutiny for past human rights violations, exploitation, and environmental damage, as well as alleged connections to conflicts in Africa funded by the diamond trade. African nations dominate the production of uncut diamonds and hold prominent positions on the list of top producers, as outlined by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, with Botswana coming second only to Russia.
Masisi extolled the virtues of blockchain tracing during Facets 2023, which was held in Botswana:
Transparency and traceability are vital components in the assurances that we, as diamond-producing countries, must provide to our global customers. Blockchain technology, with its immutable ledger, can provide consumers with the guarantee that their diamonds have been ethically sourced.
Botswana is at the forefront of harnessing blockchain’s transformative capabilities to cleanse the vital mining industry, showing its commitment by joining Tracr, which has traced more than one million uncut diamonds since launching in October 2018. Tracr is the world’s first fully decentralized diamond blockchain platform, commencing at the source and operating at a substantial scale.
Tracr Racks Up One Millionth Traced Diamond
De Beers reports that Tracr has successfully registered over one million rough diamonds at their source and 110,000 diamonds at the manufacturer level, all securely recorded on dedicated Tracr instances. The company also holds a significant ownership stake in Botswana’s diamond reserves.
Tracr integrates a variety of cutting-edge technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, as well as advanced security and privacy measures. In June 2023, Tracr was made available to the broader diamond sector, signifying a pivotal step toward enhancing transparency and ethical standards in the diamond industry.
This initiative could potentially help alleviate concerns related to human rights violations and environmental impact within Botswana’s diamond mining sector, as well as in the wider global diamond trade.