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Diamonds have arrived on the Ethereum blockchain

A new company now offers non-fungible token representing diamonds.

Image by Peter Lomas from Pixabay

Thu, 16 Jul 2020, 09:52 am UTC

With its capability of tamper-proof recording keeping, blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin(BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and other popular cryptocurrencies. Aside from digital currencies, the technology can also be used to track other valuable real-world unique items, such as precious stones like diamonds.

In fact, diamonds have been tokenized and can now be found on the Ethereum blockchain. Icecap, a company founded by Jacques Voorhees, is now offering non-fungible tokens (NFT) that represent diamonds, according to Cointelegraph.

Jacques Voorhees revealed that he first learned about non-fungible tokens from his son Eric Voorhees, who is CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift. “They're as different as a snowflake,” Jacques said. “All the efforts to try to create fungibility with a non-fungible item, have ended up failing. And even though they've thrown blockchain technology at it, they still have yet to meet with success.”

It made him realized that previous attempts to tokenize diamonds simply failed by they were being treated as fungible commodities. “I've seen this going back all the way to 1972 when the West Coast Commodities Exchange tried to create fungibility and diamond futures contracts,” Voorhees said. “The thing lasted about three days and the market fell out because the contracts weren't actually similar.”

In Icecap’s NFTs, each diamond is carefully examined and graded in terms of carat, color, and clarity. They are certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and further audited by the Gem Certification & Assurance Lab (GCal).

“So if it's ever found that their grading was not accurate, they will pay the difference in price and then they back that up with an actual insurance policy that covers them in case they have to pay out on that,” Voorhees explained the guarantee.

The Icecap founder believes that, unlike cryptocurrencies, their NFTs won’t be facing regulatory issues in the future. “They've looked closely at what we're doing and exactly how we're handling the title transfer and how we're handling the collection of sales tax issues like this,” Voorhees said. “They've asked a lot of questions. Their conclusion is that it seems that there's no regulatory issue right now.”

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