After the Forbes article, a lot of people – especially those close to me – asked me why I was doing business in an industry that is famous for its issues with ethical sourcing.
The answer is simple: because we are going to do something about it from the inside.
For context, my other company builds software for the UN to use in 50+ countries to help deliver life-saving assistance, so this is a point that matter to me – a lot.
Bringing transparency and trust, from consumers all the way back to the mine is our mission. There is nothing wrong with diamonds that are ethically sourced – many communities depend on these mines for employment.
But the industry has a well-deserved bad rap for a host of reasons that revolve around trust and transparency.
First, all the retailers on our site guarantee to supply only conflict free diamonds – creating a platform for these vendors is a first step. But that’s not enough.
Our big next step on this front is to engage with a very cool start up, also building on IBM infrastructure – Everledger.
Basically, in an industry that is paper based, it is easy to create fake origins for conflict diamonds. Everledger uses IBM blockchain technology to create an immutable digital ledger to record diamond certification and transaction history.
Leanne Kemp, Everledger CEO, and I are in touch to figure out how best to leverage RareCarat’s consumer facing platform to bring Everledger’s confidence to buyers. In the coming months, we will explore various ways to integrate our tech to do so.
As Leanne and her team at Everledger have shown, tech will bring transparency and trust back to an industry that has rightly lost its reputation. And we aim to be a part of that.
I’ll update this post as Leanne and I have more clarity on how our technology can work together. Stay tuned and keep the feedback coming!
Leanne and I will be getting together in New York the first week of November to get down to the nuts and bolts of how this could work. We're aiming for something to go live on this front come January, but potentially even earlier.
Met with Leanne and her team in New York on Thursday. Very impressed with where they are heading, and am very excited about this partnership. The details I can share for now: come Q1 2017 we are planning to integrate with their technology on two fronts: payments with MasterCard, and allowing users to track the history of individual stones using the blockchain.