How Blockchain Might Combat Blood Diamonds

One of my biggest wishes for Africa is that we begin to aggressively solve our own problems using emerging technology. I strongly believe the next generation of problem solvers and innovative thinkers are well equipped to implement tailored solutions on the continent. Ideally, these solutions will stop the cycle of poverty and corruption.
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When it comes to the Diamond industry, there is no better time than now to use emerging technology to solve the long running issue of conflict mining. By using Blockchain we could eradicate the unethical and forceful extraction of diamonds and other precious metals, which is often controlled by rebel forces. According to various research studies, these rebel forces can make anywhere from $3 million to $6 million per year from blood diamonds. What is disheartening is that much of the forceful labour is imposed on young and innocent civilians. Mostly in countries like the DRC, Sierra Leone, Angola, Central African Republic.

These rebel forces can make anywhere from $3 million to $6 million per year from blood diamonds.
Tracing the origins of diamonds has never been a simple or straight forward process, and for hundreds of years dishonest people have managed to use the loopholes for their own benefit.

The good news is the developments in technology over the last few decades have introduced better ways of processing information. My belief is that Blockchain technology is a pro-active way of enforcing transparency and trust in the Diamonds industry. I will explain how below. (If you are not familiar with the technology, this article provides a bit more background)

One of the leading systems that comes to mind is TrustChain. Unlike many other Blockchains, this one is resistance to a “51 percent majority attack” because it introduces a third party in the signing of every block. Thereby ensuring “Proof of Trust’.

Hacking a Blockchain
If you are wondering what that means, it relates to this popular question; “Are Blockchains are really un-hackable? ”

The fact is, its incredibly difficult to hack any Blockchain. Hacking any one block would mean having to hack every preceding and subsequent block before the next block is formed. This becomes exponentially difficult to do as the chain of blocks grow.

However, that does not mean a hack is impossible. An individual or group of hackers could gain control if they can hack the majority of the network’s hash rate to revise transaction history, this would prevent new transactions from being confirmed on the Blockchain. Although such an attack is highly unlikely and extremely difficult to execute, it is reassuring to know that systems like TrustChain are designed to completely eliminate this possibility.

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