Everledger: 2020 in review

BY PATRICK DEGENHARDT // Head of Marketing

This year is memorable for an obvious reason, but that didn’t stop us from having more fascinating adventures at Everledger. We’ve picked our highlights.

2020 will long be remembered as a year like no other. For many people and their families, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought severe challenges they couldn’t have foreseen before February. For businesses too, including our clients in the diamond and luxury goods industries, the sudden disruption to supply chains, extended social lockdown and economic slow-down have impacted their plans for growth. Every news story about global vaccination development and roll-out brings fresh optimism for a better 2021.

For Everledger, 2020 has once again proved an extremely busy year. Here are the top 10 events that marked the last 12 months:

Everledger celebrated its fifth birthday in April. We’ve come a long way since Leanne Kemp arrived in London with a backpack and a revolutionary idea. The world has changed a lot too. As with everything Everledger, our distributed workforce across the world barely broke stride during lockdown, and we were able to keep our Everlegends safe and productive throughout.

This summer saw the launch of the new Everledger Platform, which supports demand generation, sustainability and compliance for manufacturers and jewellery retailers (and soon other industries as well). With our enterprise-grade blockchain platform, buyers and sellers of high value assets can now trade with confidence and offer an enhanced customer experience to their end consumers.

In September, Everledger took part in a revolution: the launch of a luxury brand that uses technology as a cornerstone of its identity. MCQ, from Alexander McQueen, has created a unique blockchain-powered platform called MYCQ where consumers can securely register and trade items of clothing crafted by a hand-picked selection of designers. By enabling the easy resale of items between consumers, MCQ hopes to encourage a more mindful consumerism – a priority that chimes with our own values at Everledger (more on that later).

In August, Everledger partnered with JD.com, China’s largest online and offline retailer, with more than 380 million active users, and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the world’s foremost authority on certification of diamonds, to help increase trust and transparency in diamond provenance and further confidence in online diamond purchases.

Through blockchain interoperability technology, the Everledger platform syncs GIA diamond grading information to the JD Blockchain Anti-counterfeiting and Tracing Platform, and provides customers with independently verified diamond certificates and origin information through the JD.com app, as well as on JD.com’s mobile and desktop websites.

In April, we announced our new line-up of anti-tamper bottle closures for the wine and spirits industry. In response to the growing challenge of counterfeit alcohol in the world – estimated at $3bn for wine alone – these intelligent caps unite blockchain and NFC tags to help brands protect the authenticity of their assets. The launch of these smart closures is a defining moment to protect producers, retailers and auction houses against fraudsters.

Also in April, on Earth Day no less, we launched a new blockchain solution that will enable our partners to provide consumers with ever more transparent evidence around sustainability. For the first time, emissions data from the diamond industry is being used to offset carbon footprint via blockchain technology. Our climate holistic platform is helping India and Shairu & Atit Diamonds to meet their consumers’ demand for environmental footprint information about every single diamond.

We have maintained our active voice on the world stage, campaigning for sustainable and ethical guidance for blockchain at both the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos and then later at the OECD’s Global Blockchain Policy Forum. We were also very active with the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) and other international fora, like the Global Battery Alliance, AIM, World Manufacturing Foundation, and the Australia’s National Blockchain Roadmap initiative. Despite travel restrictions, our CEO Leanne Kemp has remained an in-demand speaker at virtual events and interviews throughout the year, as have many other members of our team.

In October, Everledger was re-certified to the highest information security standard: ISO 27001, demonstrating our continued leadership in the management and protection of sensitive data. We also renewed our Cyber Essentials certification, proving our ability to guard against cyber threats and protect our customers’ data.

The Everledger Platform’s continuing evolution enables our partner to tell the story of every object: our platform helps businesses turn provenance into good business. New interactive features bring additional transparency to the industry by highlighting key characteristics of the stones: diamond quality, sustainability footprint and compliance standards, facilitating sourcing and generating demand for producers, manufacturers and retailers.

Finally, we articulated the four values that we believe sit at the heart of our culture. We asked ourselves the question: what does it mean to be Everlegendary? The response from our team has been really uplifting.

Value #1: Be the Trust
We believe trust is an enabler that allows us to move fast, take risks and learn fast. Trusting others is noble. Fostering trust is Everlegendary.

Value #2: Be you, united
Our diversity is a source of energy and competitive edge. Every voice matters. As individuals we’re special. Together we’re Everlegendary.

Value #3: Pack light, work right

Frugality is what keeps us sharp here. It hones our focus on resourcefulness not resources. Constraint breeds creativity. Resourcefulness is Everlegendary.

Value #4: Fast forward the future
We lead the way, growing stronger through challenges. Stubborn on the vision, but flexible in the details. Resilience makes us strong. Shaping the future makes us Everlegendary.

We wish you a prosperous and healthy new year, and we look forward to bringing you ever more sustainability and transparency in 2021.

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