One of my biggest wishes for Africa is that we commence to aggressively solve our personal problems using emerging technology. I strongly believe another generation of problem solvers and innovative thinkers are well equipped to implement tailored solutions on the continent. Ideally, these solutions will stop the cycle of poverty and corruption.
When it comes to the Diamond industry, there is no better time than now to utilize emerging technology to solve the long-running dilemma of conflict mining. By using Blockchain we could eradicate the unethical and forceful extraction of diamonds and other precious metals, which is often controlled by rebel forces. In accordance with various research studies, these rebel forces can make anywhere from $3 million to $6 million annually from blood diamonds. What is disheartening is very much of the forceful labor is imposed on young and innocent civilians. Mostly in countries such as the DRC, Sierra Leone, Angola, Central African Republic.
These rebel forces can make anywhere from $3 million to $6 million annually from blood diamonds.
Tracing the origins of diamonds has never been a straightforward or straight forward process, and for more than 100 years, dishonest folks have managed to use the loopholes for their own benefit.
The good thing may be the developments in technology over the last few decades have introduced better ways of processing information. Blockchain My belief is that Blockchain technology is just a pro-active way of enforcing transparency and rely upon the Diamond industry. I’ll explain how below. (If you are not really acquainted with the technology, this information provides a bit more background)
One of the leading systems that come to mind is TrustChain. Unlike many other Blockchains, this one is resistant to a “51 percent majority attack” because it introduces a third party in the signing of every block. Thereby ensuring “Proof Trust ‘.
Hacking a Blockchain
If you’re wondering what meaning, it relates to the popular question; “Are Blockchains are very un-hackable? ”
Truth be told, its incredibly difficult to hack any Blockchain. Hacking anybody block means needing to hack every preceding and subsequent block before another block is formed. This becomes exponentially difficult to do while the chain of blocks grow.
However, that does not mean a hack is impossible. A person or group of hackers could gain control if they can hack the majority of the network’s hash rate to revise transaction history, this could prevent new transactions from being confirmed on the Blockchain. Although such an attack is highly unlikely and very difficult to execute, it’s reassuring to know that systems like TrustChain are made to completely eliminate this possibility.
Kimberley Process Improved
The Kimberley process was enacted in 2000 by the UN to combat the exchange of conflict diamonds. The issue is that it is still a paper-based solution that depends on certifications and a community of traders. Although the initiative was designed to do good, it does not eradicate the chance of malicious activity within trading communities. Why is Blockchain different is so it leaves no room for corruption or bribery by humans, at any level. The trust is built into the device and transactions are open and transparent. No government or system administrator can randomly issue certificates or alter information. The character of Blockchain architecture is to make a distributed ledger where transactions are recorded chronologically and secured using advanced cryptography… thereby which makes it virtually impossible to edit existing data.
Since diamonds have very unique elements to how they were formed, each transaction could be equally unique. Transactions would record the initial fingerprint of every stone including its color, carat, and clarity, serial number as well as simply how much each stone was sold for at every touch-point. We’d have the ability to trace every step of a diamond sale on the Blockchain.
Reducing the Middle Man
Diamond suppliers often depend on several intermediaries to maneuver diamonds over the globe. E.g Accountants, Government officials, lawyers, banks, dealers, etc. Introducing this technology to the industry would signify intermediaries will play less of an integrated role in the act, leaving no room for errors or corruption.
The Future is shining Bright Such as a Diamond.
To summarize, its clear that diamond Blockchains really are a major turning point in this industry. Organizations like IBM, De Beers, TrustChain, and Everledger are jumping on the Blockchain bandwagon. If jewelers, individuals, and other large corporations follow suit, it could force conflict mining to fall by the wayside. This would drastically reduce steadily the profitability of those selling blood diamonds, which might subsequently result in the conclusion of the blood diamond era.