I’m fascinated that technology is changing the fabric of ‘old school’ industries. Equally, and in my case, more compelling is how our ‘social operating system’ or SocialOS is calling for different standards for previously opaque businesses.This week’s interview definitely falls under that category as I recently took the opportunity to explore how a service built on blockchain, the same decentralised record book at the heart of Bitcoin, is bringing provenance and ethical responsibility to the diamond trade. For my part, I’ve been honing in on the relationship between provenance and value.
My guest is Leanne Kemp, the CEO and founder of Everledger, a UK startup which took part in the Rise by Barclays Accelerator class of June 2015..
Everledger is focused on shedding massive light and confidence on the whole supply chain of diamonds. It is a digital ledger that collects and cross-checks reference points for each recorded diamond. Sure, paper ledgers have been used in the industry for years but as experience shows, these are often caught up in fraud. With Everledger, once an entry has been written into the ledger it can never be altered. This brings a new found transparency to a market which has been shrouded in controversy and accusations of fraud for many years.
As of March 2015, 830,000 diamonds have been added to the ledger and there’s clearly momentum behind the project and this has ramifications for other industries.
Leanne, originally from Australia, gives an insight into her passion for technology and innovation as she tells me about her ambition to bring the same transparency and provenance to other luxury goods such as rubies, fine art, gold and high-end watches, helping to tackle fraud and deter theft.
Finally, I go on to ask Leanne about the way in which Everledger is contributing to the ethical sourcing of goods. As the planet’s natural resources dwindle (I’m thinking precious stones and metals), I believe that if we understand the provenance of things, we have a better chance of understanding their value and protecting them as we pass them onto the next generations.
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