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NGO Says ‘Blood Diamond’ Initiative Failed, Highlighting De Beers’ Recent Blockchain Solution

A leading NGO has left a global initiative to prevent trade of conflict-diamonds, just as De Beers announces a Blockchain system to track such diamonds.

Impact, a Canadian NGO, has left the Kimberley Process initiative on Jan. 22, citing the fact that the global agreement to prevent dealing in “blood diamonds” has not lived up to its goals.

Joanne Lebert, executive director at IMPACT, told the Financial Times,

“There’s no meaningful assurance that a diamond is conflict free […] The public is under the wrong impression that the problem is solved. I think it’s time to challenge that narrative again.”

Impact’s announcement comes a week after De Beers, one of the largest diamond producers, revealed a pilot Blockchain initiative to ensure their diamonds are conflict-free.

De Beers’s Blockchain program is designed to prevent conflict-diamonds from entering the markets by tracking each diamond from the instant that it is mined.

Their website reads:

“This single, tamper-proof digital diamond ledger will underpin confidence in diamonds and create a permanent record for each registered diamond that is as everlasting as the diamond itself.”

De Beers told the FT that its new initiative is not designed to fix or replace the Kimberley Process. The company promises to continue to support the global agreement even as it experiments with Blockchain to ensure the trade of only conflict-free diamonds.

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