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World’s first blockchain-powered diamond trading platform to launch in Hong Kong

According to a recent press release, a financial firm at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park announced the launch of the world’s first global diamonds trading platform powered by blockchain and exchange technology.

Hong Kong is the platform’s inaugural global marketplace for physically settled diamonds, where origin, ownership and transaction of diamonds are fully traceable and recorded by emerging blockchain technology, to provide a complete, accurate and transparent digital ledger that cannot be edited.

Buyers and sellers can trade physical diamonds conveniently, economically and securely around the year, as easily as trading traditional assets such as gold or currencies.

The launch ceremony was officiated by the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the platform’s developers, the Head of Investment at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, the Chairman at the Institute of Financial Technologists of Asia and a founding member of the Hong Kong Indian Diamond Association.

The diamond trading platform also allows investors to leverage the immense opportunity the diamond investment and trading market has to offer. The global trading volume of polished diamonds has reached HK$195 billion (US$25 billion).

In 2017, demand from the China market (including Hong Kong and Macau) contributed to 16% of the diamond market, making it the second-largest market in the world, underpinning the city’s advantages to develop a trading centre for diamonds as a new asset.

Investment-grade diamonds’ high store value, low volatility and low correlation with other asset classes make them an ideal asset allocation tool. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s simple tax system and sophisticated financial infrastructure, also allows dealers to trade diamonds conveniently and at a relatively low cost.

The Co-Founder and CEO of the company that developed the platform stated that the trading platform is fully digital and blockchain-backed. It ensures investors trade diamonds in a transparent and secure environment. The latest blockchain technology it employs is key to building public trust in investment in diamonds. Indeed, the entire journey from suppliers, through verification, physical custody to delivery is now highly transparent, he noted.

The Head of Investment at HKSTP said that the launch of the platform in Hong Kong is another success of the ‘Incu-Tech’ Programme. The platform’s developer was selected as an incubatee in January 2018. HKSTP was impressed by its management team and unique business model, the first start-up in Hong Kong to apply blockchain technology in the trading of physical diamonds.

The Head noted that as an international financial centre, Hong Kong is well-positioned to develop into a global diamond trading hub, and the innovation and technology sector has an important role to play in supporting such transformation. By leveraging and developing the latest blockchain technology, the region is seeing the stronger synergy of cross-industry collaboration, which is critical in driving the growth of a more robust fintech ecosystem and innovative finance sector.

The Chairman at the Institute of Financial Technologists of Asia commented that diamonds offer unique advantages in the protection of wealth especially during periods of high market volatility. The enhanced price transparency, liquidity and product standardization provided by the trading platform enable investors to trade diamonds as easily as they can trade gold and stocks.

Targeting the 1.4 million high net worth population in Greater China, the platform officially went live on 14 November 2018. Only GIA double-verified investment grade diamonds (top-5 colour and clarity) will trade with a transparent bid/ask price to match global sellers and buyers.

The platform uses the latest DLT (distributed ledger technology) of blockchain to trace diamond DNA and trade records.

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