Diamond Ancestry is a new blockchain service for the diamond industry that offers immutable, trustworthy and transparent data to the supply pipeline. Co-founders Jonathan Kendall and Darren Koutnik, in an interview with Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough, explain how the digital ledger enhances the efficiency of the supply chain, contributing to raise standards in the industry.
What is Diamond Ancestry?
Diamond Ancestry was launched in Q4 last year by co-founders Jonathan Kendall and Daren Koutnik, who is CIO, with the objective to provide the industry with an easy to use, competitively priced blockchain programme.
“For a number of years there has been growing interest in the industry for far greater supply chain transparency with the Millennials leading the demand for full disclosure on where diamonds have been sourced; the standards adhered to by the mining and polishing organisations; and the general level of ethical, environmental, and social responsibilities undertaken throughout diamonds’ journey to the consumer,” says Jonathan Kendall.
“We’ve developed Diamond Ancestry to support the demands for greater transparency – put simply it’s an independent, third-party, blockchain-enabled solution that provides a digital ledger for diamond genealogy, characteristics, and ownership history.”
Why is it important to be able to track a diamond’s journey from mine to shop?
“Today consumers want to understand so much more about the products they buy – more than ever before, so they can be reassured that the choices they make are the best possible. The internet has driven this cultural shift with its ability to provide levels of information that previous generations could have only have dreamt about,” Jonathan says.
“Diamond Ancestry permanently memorializes each stage of an individual diamond’s journey from the parcel of rough stones from the miner, each individual rough stone from that parcel, the polished diamond, its grading, and final shipment from polished manufacturer to the retailer or wholesaler,” Darren Koutnik says.
“It provides proof that a diamond has only come from the specified miner.
“Critically the information cannot be modified, and information stored can be used to verify aspects such as that the total carat weight of polished diamonds produced does not exceed the possible outcome from the parent rough stone.”
What types of clients should register? What is the registration link?
“We have clients across the industry from government departments, to mining organisations, diamond manufacturers, wholesalers, and jewellers,” Darren says.
“Diamond Ancestry is not prescriptive…some clients simply want to register their diamond stock on the blockchain, some want to blockchain their diamonds from a certain stage in the pipeline, and others are looking to memorialise their diamonds’ full journey from source. All these options are available depending upon our clients’ wishes and needs,” Jonathan adds.
To register interest, please use the ‘Contact Us’ banner on our website or send a message direct to [email protected]
How does the digital ledger work, and how is Diamond Ancestry unique compared with other blockchain services?
Darren says: “Diamond Ancestry partnered with IPAssets Technology in the USA to leverage RavencoinIPFS (Interplanetary File System) and the Ravencoin blockchain. The digital ledger works by collecting a series of “On-Chain” transactions that are used to memorialise the documentation generated during the sourcing, cutting and polishing and grading processes. To achieve successful and transparent collection of manufacturing data we developed a unique manufacturing App that is available for use in our clients’ factories.”
The Blockchain is immutable — meaning that the information input to the blockchain cannot change.
“Where we are unique is that we utilise a decentralised and open-source blockchain to record and track vital documentation of a natural diamond’s journey from the source. We are a service company and we’re totally independent from other organisations in the industry. This is important as it means we have no interest in the data we collect and will not use it for any other purposes beyond simply providing natural diamond provenance,” Jonathan says.
Darren adds: “The decentralized and distributed nature of the blockchain ‘database’, enables stakeholders to verify past information with confidence knowing they can fully trust the data. We are not controlled by a central authority, and therefore, we’re not subject to potential external dominion, manipulation, or bias.”
How does Diamond Ancestry create an NFT for each diamond? Why is this important?
Darren says: “The Diamond Ancestry NFT is optional. It is created using selected data provided by the client, verified by Diamond Ancestry and memorialized on the blockchain. An NFT is the non-fungible token that represents the single one-of-a-kind/unique tangible polished diamond that the owner can transfer or sell to another buyer.
“We create our NFTs using cryptography making the digital assets non-fungible (one of a kind /unique).
“NFTs can be designed to meet specific client needs…pictures of certificates, the diamond, or even videos of the source can all be included. Each NFT represents a Certificate of Authenticity for that specific diamond. We believe these will be very popular in the years ahead.”
What digital documentation does the client receive, and how can the client be sure that the information on the digital ledger is secure?
Darren says: “Decentralized blockchains are accessible by anyone, 24/7/365. This means that auditors, retailers, and consumers can access the blockchain’s “transaction history” at all times.
“In that history are the respective fingerprints of the meaningful diamond lineage information.
“Although the signatures and transactions are viewable by all, ensuring 100% transparency, the actual files themselves can be encrypted and still require a password to view the actual contents of the file that are represented by its respective fingerprint. This allows users to have complete trust and transparency of the data, but still maintain privacy and control over sensitive information.
Adam Small, CEO of IPAssets Technology (the process developer of the Diamond Ancestry model), says: “With regards to security, the respective documentation utilises a variety of encrypted (private) and non-encrypted (public) file types, authenticated, and time-stamped through the Ravencoin blockchain. Diamond Ancestry is the first technology provider to bridge the gap between the natural diamond industry and true Web 3.0 infrastructure”
How does your Diamond Ancestry Manufacturing App work?
Darren says: “The Diamond Ancestry Manufacturing app allows a diamond manufacturer to define the steps of their manufacturing process (i.e. cutting, polishing, etc.), input data at each step, and view and export data on each step, each diamond, and user activity. The app resides on an inexpensive Android devices.”