NGO Says ‘Blood Diamond’ Agreement Fails Consumers Despite De Beers Blockchain

The global draft agreement to stop the blood diamond trade in Africa has failed to assure customers their diamonds are not involved in conflict and human rights abuses.

This has prompted the departure of Impact – a non-government organization based in Canada from the Kimberley Process. Its founding member said that it has provided consumers with the false confidence about the source of their precious gems.

“There’s no meaningful assurance that a diamond is conflict-free,” Joanne Lebert, executive director at IMPACT, said. “The public is under the wrong impression that the problem is solved.

The decision of Impact comes several days after De Beers revealed its plan for the blockchain initiative to make certain that their diamonds are not tainted.

Earlier this week, De Beers, the largest producer of diamonds today, announced that it will use blockchain technology to monitor the transmission of diamonds from its source to consumers. However, the company added that this is not an attempt to fix the Kimberley Process.

The company views the distributed ledger technology as an opportunity to build trust with consumers through transparency and accountability in their supply chain.

In an interview with Reuters, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of De Beers Bruce Cleaver said that this exploration is a bold step going public with a pilot. However, the company said that it is going public because they are interested in the whole industry taking part in the initiative.

Cleaver added that the blockchain technology is a safer platform. The initiative will be the first to cover the whole value chain and it will also open to everyone in the industry and even keep track of each diamond in the supply chain.

Once the company guarantees conflict-free stones as proven by blockchain, it will earn a considerable ethical advantage. Its use of blockchain will also increase the standards on supply chain accountability in the diamond industry.