Moscow: Alrosa, Tencent and Everledger are launching a new WeChat Mini Program e-commerce solution to Chinese retailers, demonstrating the power of blockchain technology to seamlessly enable the purchase of diamonds with full transparency of their origin, characteristics and ownership history.
Created by the world’s largest diamond producer Alrosa and independent technology company Everledger, this new Mini Program pilot will put transparent and secure diamond information at the fingertips of potentially a billion active WeChat users. It is also the first product to capitalise on the synergy between Everledger and their new investor Tencent, creator of WeChat – one of the world’s largest social media and e-commerce platforms.
The WeChat Mini Program pilot will showcase diamonds from Alrosa, enabling full traceability from mine to consumer. It will be offered as a white label API for jewellery manufacturers and retailers in China who wish to offer consumers more innovative and insightful stories about their products and their brand, and so expand their ecommerce proposition. This enables a better informed and more secure purchase for consumers as well as a more seamless online-to-offline user experience. By enabling new touch points between consumers, jewellery manufacturers and retailers, the Mini Program will encourage brand differentiation in the highly competitive Chinese luxury market.
Consumers will be offered unprecedented levels of transparency and trust around the origin, characteristics and authenticity of the jewellery they purchase. Using the WeChat Mini Program on their smartphone, consumers can check an individual diamond’s full provenance and unique certificate information, purchase the diamond in the Mini Program using WeChat Pay, and also attest its ownership through the Everledger blockchain platform.
The world leader in diamond mining, Alrosa, will provide information from their diamonds extracted in Russia, thus enabling consumers to know the exact origin of each stone and have certainty around its sustainable and ethical footprint. Last month, Alrosa launched its independent sustainability benchmark report, demonstrating the company’s leading position in responsible sourcing within the global market.
Alrosa’s commitment to community-focused and environmental mining – with a particular emphasis on championing the role of women in the workforce – reflects Everledger’s own pioneering mission to improve sustainability throughout value chains. Everledger harnesses a symphony of technologies, including blockchain, AI, IoT and nanotechnology to make asset provenance ever more accessible and transparent.
Pavel Vinikhin, Head of “Diamonds of Alrosa” (the company’s polishing branch), commented: “We are delighted to support this WeChat Mini Program with Everledger, as it reinforces our pursuit for sustainable mining and transparent supply chain information. Chinese consumers will be certain of the origin of their diamond. We believe demonstrating full provenance of our diamonds on the most popular social media platform will help us to further strengthen our sales base in China.”
Evgeny Gokhberg, Head of Europe at Everledger, notes: “This is a groundbreaking initiative with the titans of the diamond and internet industries. We’re glad to partner with Alrosa, as we share the same goal of enabling more transparency to the market. By providing 100% certainty of a diamond’s origin and journey to the consumer, in an easy-to-experience online platform such as WeChat, we are confident that this innovation will set a new standard when it comes to traceability and responsible business practices.”
Commenting on the importance of this pilot for Everledger’s expansion, Chris Taylor, Chief Operating Officer, said: “This exciting development mobilises our strong partnerships with Tencent and Alrosa to bring provenance and authenticity of diamonds to a new level of transparency in China. Making this information available to consumers’ fingertips via WeChat enables them to be sure about the source and the credentials of each item being purchased.”
Leanne Kemp, founder and CEO of Everledger, adds: “This pioneering collaboration is exactly why we launched Everledger – and it shows how far we have come since our humble beginnings in 2015. Our blockchain and IoT solutions will enable key stakeholders in the jewellery industry to bring secure and reputable information to consumers in China and beyond. The WeChat Mini Program delivers on our scalable vision for more transparent, frictionless, and sustainable value chains, providing a new benchmark for customer focus and transparency in the diamond industry.”
ALROSA is the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds in carats, accounting for more than 26% of the global market. Effectively, every fourth diamond in the market is mined in Russia. ALROSA also operates its polishing branch, DIAMONDS of ALROSA, being one of two diamond miners with an in-house cutting division. The Company’s operations are located in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Arkhangelsk Region of Russia. ALROSA’s trading and representative offices are located in the world’s major diamond trading centers: Antwerp, Ramat Gan, Dubai, Hong Kong, New York, Mumbai. ALROSA is an absolute industry leader in terms of investments in social programs directing to social spending on average 3% of its revenue. In 2018, the company’s social investments totaled $155 million. Moreover, about $100 million are spent on the environment protection measures annually. The company’s achievements are marked by high positions and presence in the ratings of FTSE4Good, MSCI ESG, WWF Russia.