Bitcoin ledger technology could make the history of precious jewels more transparent

A leading jeweller is looking to use digital ledgers, pioneered by Bitcoin, to record the history of precious gems in a bid to increase the transparency of their stones' history and weed out thieves.

Leanne Kemp, an international director at Edgelogix, told the Financial Times that she is working with UK insurance firm Aviva to create an online record called Blocktrace to help police authorities and insurers trace the history of precious stones such as diamonds.

“I’m not excited about bitcoin. It’s the underlying technology that really excites me,” Kemp said, relating to how Blocktrace could help verify the history of Edgelogix's products on a decentralised online ledger - like that utilised by crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin.

If the transactions were recorded on an online ledger system, the firm could break its dependency on third party group such as banks to authenticate gem transactions, which would instead be available on Blocktrace's open record.

Kemp added that such technology could be used to map digital ledger certificates onto precious gems.

Last September, the Bank of England praised Bitcoin's ledger system in its first crypto-currency report: “The application of decentralised technology to this platform of digital information could have far-reaching implications; other industries whose products were digitised have been reshaped by new technology.”

Adding that the distributed ledger could have a much broader use than just in the financial industry.

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