IT giant IBM has teamed up with jewelry consortium Richline Group to launch TrustChain to enable jewelry enthusiasts to track their precious metals from the source until delivery.

In just another demonstration of blockchain technology’s potential, TrustChain is expected to address the issues of customer trust in the precious metals trade.

Improving efficiency and trust

Expected to begin serving customers by the end of 2018, Reuters recently reported on its feasibility when they used it to track a diamond ring from manufacturer to the customer.

Mark Hanna, chief marketing officer of Richline Group, said, “This partnership has brought to halt the trust issues that had besieged the supply chain of for diamond and gold.”

The project has already received enthusiastic interest from jewelry supply chain players like Berkshire Hathway’s Richline Group Inc, retailer Helzberg Diamonds and Asahi refiners, keen to bring more transparency to the industry via blockchain.

Jason Kelley, general manager for blockchain services at IBM believed that it was the first attempt at using blockchain’s end-to-end capability to keep an eye on merchandise: “Now couples may know where their merchandise was manufactured and refined before being shipped to them.”

Blockchain’s intrinsic features as a distributed public ledger has opened possibilities for a range of industries, with the ability to store transactions as they happen, with the added security of tamper-resistant records – the so-called immutability of blockchain. It is seen as an improvement over conventional centralized databases vulnerable to hacking attempts.

IBM’s hyperledger Fabric blockchain will be used to permit the tracking of rings from source to store, allowing customers to verify that their jewels are sourced ethically and to track delivery all the way to stores.


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