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28/07/2021

La start-up HB Antwerp s’associe à Blockchain Solutions pour certifier ses diamants

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Forbes – L’entreprise belge a créé le buzz en dévoilant sa collaboration avec Blockchain Solutions pour tracer l’ensemble de la chaîne de production de ses diamants sur la blockchain Bitcoin. Un pas supplémentaire vers plus de transparence dans l’industrie du diamant, encore très traditionnelle.

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English version below

The startup HB Antwerp partners with Blockchain Solutions to certify its diamonds.

The Belgian company created a buzz by revealing its collaboration with Blockchain Solutions to trace the entire production chain of its diamonds on the Bitcoin blockchain. Another step towards more transparency in the diamond industry, which is still very traditional.

Remember the name HB Antwerp. This Belgian startup has decided to transition diamonds into the era of transparency. How? By relying on an integrated organization capable of tracking the entire production chain, from mining to polishing, as explained by Shai de Toledo, Managing Partner: “We extract, create, and cut the rough stones, taking charge of the diamonds’ journey. We wanted to go further in this responsible approach by ensuring that all key stages of the diamond’s history, such as carbon footprint or government royalties paid, can be publicly verified.”

To achieve this, the company partnered with Blockchain Solutions to leverage the public Bitcoin blockchain (the platform, not its digital currency) as well as other open-source standards. Thanks to this technology, the history of each diamond will be certified by HB Antwerp and recorded immutably on a public blockchain accessible directly to customers.

This fantastic advancement has the advantage of ending the intermediary system — known to contribute to the sector’s opacity — while restoring trust in traceability data since HB Antwerp itself — or any other party — cannot modify the record afterward.

By choosing a public blockchain solution over a private one, HB Antwerp is pioneering in the sector. “A private blockchain allows keeping control over certifications, and in a way, limiting the commitment of companies by maintaining an intermediary state. That was not our choice.”

To successfully execute this project, with an initial investment cost of half a million euros over a year, Shai de Toledo explains that the teams divided the work into two phases: first around collecting traceability data using HB Antwerp’s integrated technology, then deploying the blockchain part into production, which was completed within two months.

More broadly, is blockchain on track to become a necessity for the luxury industry? Asked about this, Isabelle Bonnet, CEO of Blockchain Solutions, explains that “traceability and authenticity are two areas where blockchain technology can bring a lot of value throughout the supply chain by enabling more transparency, and this in a highly secure manner. We are very proud to have implemented a truly open solution that harnesses blockchain for what it does best, increasing trust.”

HB Antwerp has other developments planned in the coming months to make the most of the certification potential while remaining connected to the use of public blockchain. “HB Antwerp’s ecosystem creates hundreds of data points that we then translate into digital assets that we can capitalize on,” concludes Shai de Toledo.