Everledger & Diamonds: Building a Secure Blockchain


My name is Leanne Kemp and I am the founder and CEO of Everledger, and we are an emerging technology company using blockchain, smart contracts and machine vision to reduce fraud in open marketplaces and assist in the reduction of risk for banks and insurance companies. The reduction of fraud in our industry is driven from an aggregation of data and a reduction in document tampering. The current architecture that sits in markets at the moment, are legacy systems, and that data is siloed. and so with blockchain, with distributed data, with the ability to have federated consensus of agreements in terms of the submission of data, then this technology enables us to be able to provide a solution to market that has not been seen before today. So we started with diamonds and we did something really quite innovative. We created a digital thumbprint of the diamond, we incarnated that physical object into the blockchain. So, we can see where this sold and resold online in open marketplaces. But, when you think about where this technology could go, it is a natural fit that you would go from diamonds to sapphires and to rubies. But, actually, when you really think about it at the very core, we can start to apply this to other asset classes. Things that are actually rising in value and that are really quite appetizing to fraud. So, wine, art, watches, maybe even motor vehicles. The Kimberley Process, so the United Nations came together in the year 2000 and put together a landmark decision… And then in the year 2003, a three-step verification process was introduced where mining countries, as they exported diamonds, needed to provide a full declaration of the stones; the weight, the tax codes and the values. The rough diamond segment is 327 million carats of diamonds annualized through import and export procedures. And as a part of that process, the issuance of certifications is paper-based. An embossing stamp and a fax machine is used to transact trade. To enable that digitally is fifty-thousand certificates. Now you are never going to risk this by being just able to take a blockchain and throw it to a cloud service provider. We needed to be sure that if we are transacting on a high value item, with government offices, we needed to show the world that blockchain was ready. And then as we started to think about what we needed to provide in terms of a high security network… We had to think just beyond the cool tech of blockchain. We had to think about, how could we take this technology, deploy it into a cloud and ensure that it is scaled securely and that, of course, it was tamperproof… So, that is why we chose IBM. They are the one provider that really and truly understands transactional security at scale. I cannot do it alone, but I can do it on platforms that have been built, that are rigid, that are scalable and secure.

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