Blockchain Technology Sought to Curb Trade of Conflict Diamonds

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is considering the use of blockchain technology to prevent the influx of conflict diamonds from entering the multibillion-dollar global precious stones market.

The Kimberley Process (KP), an organization set up to stop the flow of “blood diamonds” from entering the global precious stones market has revealed a new blockchain initiative that will help with a tamper-proof record of the provenance of diamonds.

As a part of his midterm message announcing the organization’s progress this year, chairman Ahmed bin Sulayem revealed meetings with Dubai’s Blockchain Council with the aim of setting up a blockchain pilot project to monitor KP statistics.

In quotes reported by local publication The National, he stated:

We have introduced the possibility of using blockchain technology to create a seamless and continued global process for the KP certification scheme.

The KP has previously led with initiatives to help facilitate a fair and global diamond trade. The organization, under UAE’s chairmanship, has bought back diamond producers in Venezuela and the Central African Republic, back into the global trading community. Notably, some diamond producing countries such as those in Africa have long suggested the lack of aa fair price for their stones, compared to some of the other diamond-exporting countries.

Distributed ledger technology is garnering plenty of interest in the UAE. In Feb 2016, the Global Blockchain Council was established in Dubai and will see conferences, workshops and more events surrounding the technology and its impact on the future of business and finance. The following month revealed additional council initiatives.

An update to the blockchain pilot project that will help monitor KP statistics to provide a tamper-proof ledger will be delivered at the annual meeting in Dubai in November this year. Incidentally, Dubai is also the third-biggest diamond trading hub in the world, after Antwerp and London.

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