Russia, Singapore, and China Agree on Joint Implementation of ‘Digital Diamonds’ Project

The prospects of localising the ‘Digital Diamonds’ project in the Russian Far East and the mechanisms of boosting sales of Russian-cut diamonds were discussed at the working meeting of Yuri Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, on the sidelines of the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore. 

The ‘Digital Diamonds’ project is implemented by Singapore’s Abacus Capital Group investment fund. According to Hogi Hyun, its founder and Chief Executive Officer, the company has developed a blockchain digital tool (D1 Coin) secured by investment-grade diamonds. Each D1 Coin corresponds to a fraction of a diamond in the stock and the price of such diamond on the credit side is calculated using a special pricing algorithm. Users are free to convert their D1 Coins in real diamonds at any time. D1 Coins may be used as an investment, exchange, or savings tool, for charity purposes, and in the ecosystem created by D1. 

The new tool is the first example of successful implementation of the latest financial technologies that help eliminate the transaction obstacles decreasing the investment appeal of diamonds and turning them into an exchange commodity. In May 2018, an initial diamond stock was created in Antwerp and the inauguration of the project for the general public took place in October 2018. A circulation agreement for D1 Coins was made with an Asian major digital stock exchange alongside with supply contracts for investment-grade diamonds with Russian companies Smolensky Kristall PJSC, Diamonds Alrosa CJSC, and KGK Group LLC.

“Russia, being a major player in the diamond market and a country with unmatched competences in high-quality stone-cutting, is interested in the success of the project and involvement of such companies as Alrosa, Kristall, and Vladivostok-based factory KGK Group in order to increase the share of Russian-produced stones as much as possible. We hope that certain processes will be localised in Russia, such as diamond working and cut diamond warehousing. We suggest considering the possibilities of localising the project in the Russian Far East”, Yuri Trutnev said.

At the end of the negotiations, Singapore, Russia, and PRC agreed to promote cooperation under the ‘Digital Diamonds’ project. A relevant agreement was signed by the CEOs of Abacus Capital Group, Tai Cloud (China’s first blockchain company in the new OTC market), and Far East Development Fund (FEDF). 

According to Alexey Chekunkov, Chief Executive Officer of FEDF, the fund will act as the integrator between the Russian and international companies with a view to using blockchain technologies to attract funds to traditional industries through cooperation of Russian manufacturers and international developers of financial technologies. “Far East Investment and Export Agency is willing to support the project”, said Leonid Petukhov, Chief Executive Officer of the Far East Investment and Export Agency Autonomous Non-Commercial Organisation.