The president of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, has endorsed blockchain technology in the diamond production sector. He believes the technology can provide more transparency and traceability in the diamond supply chain.
- Masisi, speaking at the Facets conference held in Botswana, said blockchain can help show that diamonds sold have been sourced ethically.
- He said that blockchain’s decentralized ledger can help convince consumers that the diamonds they purchase come from morally correct sources.
- Ethical diamond mining is a concern because, for years, the diamond mining industry has faced allegations of human rights violations, exploitation and environmental harm.
- Moreover, diamonds from regions affected by war and civil conflicts have been sold to finance these conflicts.
- As such, buyers have been increasingly concerned about the circumstances surrounding the diamonds they purchase and whether human rights are respected when mined. Diamonds that do not meet these ethical concerns are called “blood diamonds.”
What was said
- Masisi said:
“Transparency and traceability are vital components in the assurances that we, as diamond-producing countries, must provide to our global customers. Blockchain technology, with its immutable ledger, can provide consumers with the guarantee that their diamonds have been ethically sourced.”
- Botswana is the world’s second-largest producer of uncut diamonds, only recently overtaken by Russia. Diamonds produced in Botswana are regarded as ethically sourced.
- The global diamond mining corporation De Beers, holds a majority stake in Botswana’s diamond stockpile and renewed its partnership with the country in July.
- This is significant because De Beers utilizes Tracr, a blockchain-based training system that monitors and records diamonds’ origin and quality through the value chain.
- As such, diamonds produced in Botswana are verifiable for their source and if they satisfy ethical concerns.