A diamond producer and an NFT specialist have joined forces in a common project: using blockchain to improve the traceability of diamonds. The technology put in place will offer more transparency. A good additional selling point.
In the diamond industry, the problem of authentication is probably one of the most complex challenges. Faced with this eternal problem, blockchain technology could well be a game-changer. At least that’s what Sésé Bomboko hopes. Based in Antwerp, this entrepreneur is the owner of Minico, an extraction mine located in the province of Kasai Occidental, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In collaboration with Harold Kinet, the co-founder of Be Blockchain, they developed Elikia Diamond, a new certification system.
Concretely, they have set up a digital labeling of the stones that come out of the mine, using the famous decentralized technology. “It is a question of recording in the form of NFT all the possible certifications: the one containing the characteristics of the stone, the Kimberley certificate (the international authentication necessary for the import and export of diamonds, editor’s note) and the extraction permit linked to our mine”, explains Sésé Bomboko. This digital label is then attached to the stones via a serial number, engraved on each of them.. With this NFT with triple labeling, it is therefore possible to know the complete history of the stone, and thus offer the best possible follow-up.
“Our approach consists of promoting the most complete traceability possible. We consider that this type of information could become a selling point.”
With such promises, it is not really a surprise to see other initiatives of this kind multiplying in the sector. “However, we are the first to include our mine’s operating certificate. The other initiatives come from resellers,” explains the mine manager. “Their objective is different. In their case, it is above all a question of controlling the presence of counterfeits on the market. Our approach is to promote the most complete traceability possible. We need transparency in the middle, but the exact origin of the stones is still often a taboo subject. We consider, on the contrary, that this kind of information could become a selling point”, explains the boss. “Ultimately, we could imagine an even more advanced storytelling by identifying for example where exactly the diamond was extracted in the mine , by which worker…”, illustrates Harold Kinet, who put the skills of his company to work to develop the model.
Better traceability is not, however, the only element that prompted Sésé Bomboko to enter the field of NFTs. He also wants use technology as a new pre-sales channel. Now, customers place orders for future production via these NFTs. “At first, each NFT is only composed of the mine’s extraction certificate, as the stone has not yet come out”, specifies Sésé Bomoko.
The system will thus allow the entrepreneur to have his cash in advance and thus embark on major investments to renovate his mine and rethink its operation. A total of 2,520 NFTs (each associated with a diamond between 1 and 5 carats) are put up for sale. “This represents a good part of our production, around 9 million euros. Once the stone has been extracted, it is engraved and the other certificates are integrated into the NFT.”
“We see a real enthusiasm from the community to support transparency projects.”
The idea seems pretty well thought out. On the other hand, it has the serious disadvantage of still requiring a lot of information to be clearly understood. Not enough to discourage the potential customer, believe the project leaders. “We are actually thinking about the best way to communicate in order to make the subject as accessible as possible”, recognizes Harold Kinet. “We are also considering how facilitate the purchase by going directly through euros and not cryptocurrencies which could still cool”, he slips. If the sales only begin, some famous names are however already convinced. The two carriers of the project can thus count on the support of the humorist Kody and the star of pop Mohombi.” The latter contacted us spontaneously. We see a real enthusiasm from the community to support transparency projects,” explains Harold Kinet.
For now, the project is limited to the Minico mine. However, the initiative could then be extended. “We could offer it for other diamonds, but each time by working with the extraction mines in order to keep all the traceability”, explains Harold Kinet. “We could also not limit ourselves to diamonds and apply this system to all rare resources.”