IBM Common Stock (NYSE:IBM) has announced that it is partnering with leaders in the jewelry industry to develop a cross-industry supply chain tracking platform. The company said this on Thursday.
The TrustChain initiative,which is powered by a permissioned blockchain that is built on Hyperledger Fabric will help in tracking diamonds plus other precious metals as they move from the mines to the market.
The group will comprise several leading industry businesses. Some of the members in group will be precious metals supplier LeachGarner, independent third party verification firm UL, jewelry manufacturer Richline Group, precious metals refiner Asahi Refining and U.S. jewelry retailer Helzberg Diamonds. TrustChain will start by tracking six styles of diamond and gold engagement rings on its system.
In an interview, Jason Kelley, the IBM general manager of blockchain services said the main agenda behind the initiative is to improve trust and transparence. This, he says, is motivated by the fact that consumers need to have a lot of trust in whatever they are buying. He noted that statistics has indicated that many consumers especially millennials are always willing to pay an extra cent for products that can be sustained.
Kelley also noted that the business stands to benefit immensely from the initiative. He noted that IBM has ran several other supply chain initiatives for shipping and food industries, in which blockchain has significantly helped to cut on the amount of time it takes to track a product’s origin.
For the case of the jewelry industry, businesses will be in a position to exchange real time data with each other, and will be simultaneously be streaming the progress of the product in the supply chain so as to reduce redundancy.
According to Kelley, the overall effect of the initiative is that businesses will start freeing up time, labour and capital. They will plough this value back into the system as explore even more ways of doing business.
However, the TrustChain Initiative could encounter some challenges even before its takes off. There is lack of access to digital technology at important points of the supply chain especially in the mines that are located in the remote areas.