Chow Tai Fook Jewellery buys into blockchain

The Hong Kong-based retailer has developed a blockchain platform to track diamonds

The South China Morning Post reports on an initiative that will see diamonds sold in Chow Tai Fook Jewellery’s T Mark-branded stores “graded” for customers by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Developed with Everledger and secured by the IBM Blockchain Platform, the mobile app service will show exactly where the diamonds came from and what quality they are, says Alan Chan, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group’s General Manager of Group Branding.

“The retail industry is undertaking a digital revolution, and this serves as one of the key drivers of this pioneering initiative,” he comments. “Nowadays, young consumers often show interest in the entire cycle of diamonds, and therefore there is a growing importance for jewellers to help ascertain the origin and authenticity of gemstones by leveraging modern technology.”

“Not only does this initiative make it easier for consumers to manage their assets conveniently and efficiently,” adds Kent Wong, the retailer’s Group Managing Director. “It is a long-term and invaluable investment that enriches consumers’ knowledge of their diamonds.”

The first phase will see the initiative rolled out at four of its stores in Hong Kong. So far, 3,000 T Mark diamond reports are ready on its blockchain, and the plan is to extend this to 10 stores and 10,000 diamonds for sale.

De Beers

The move follows on from a similar initiative by De Beers. The world’s largest diamond jewellery retailer, Signet Jewelers, recently signed on with its blockchain platform Tracr.

This is currently in pilot phase with the aim of creating a tamper-proof, immutable record of a diamond’s journey throughout the full value chain. The platform is being developed by De Beers Group with support from BCG Digital Ventures and is expected to launch later this year. In May, De Beers Group announced an industry first, successfully tracking 100 high-value diamonds along the value chain on Tracr.

Virginia C. Drosos, CEO, Signet Jewelers, commented: “Responsible sourcing of diamonds has always been an integral part of our corporate ethos, and this will be further strengthened through our cooperation with Tracr. We are joining the pilot because we believe the project not only has strong potential to facilitate increased transparency and confidence within the industry, but it can also foster much-needed digital transformation.”

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