One of the ways blockchain can be used is in tracking diamonds from the source to the consumer. Helzberg Diamonds, for example, are entering an alliance with TrustChain and IBM to create a blockchain that will create a historical record of a diamond from the mining process through to when the diamond is slipped onto your finger. In the blockchain will be recorded the mine from which it originated, the refining or cutting process, its travel through distribution process through wholesales through to the shop you go in and purchase the ring.
You will be able to use an app on your phone to check the blockchain and verify the diamond. The blockchain will include Ashahi Refining (Canada) and LeachGarner (USA) precious metal refiners, the Richline Group (USA), jewelry manufacturers and Helzberg Diamonds retailers. In the block chain will be:
"The result in the case is a way that a host of companies can track finished jewelry in a store back through its entire history," said Jason Kelley, IBM's general manager of blockchain services. "That'll let you be sure an item has the history and value you think it has, particularly important if you want to sell it yourself. You and law enforcement also can have some faith that your necklace isn't tied to sordid aspects of the trade such as corruption, terrorist financing, slavery and other human rights abuses." He went on. "We have a need in our industry for truth and greater trust."
The same could be applied to other products, Fair trade coffee, that Chanel bag you bought or that Rolex in Singapore. Is it real or was it a Chinese copy? If there was a record in a blockchain you could be sure of its origin and know what you are actually buying. As part of the verification process and to ensure that a 'replacement' has not taken place during the diamond's travels, a molecular verification for blockchain is an area being investigated. "Authentication options would be an active area of improvement with a molecular watermark in a certain place," according to Kelley. "Blockchain doesn't solve that, but we can take a picture at molecular level to verify the original recording of the physical asset, and that is then put into the blockchain."