Volkswagen Joins IBM to Monitor Congo Cobalt Supply Using Blockchain

By Robin Wong | April 22, 2019
Volkswagen Joins IBM to Monitor Congo Cobalt Supply Using Blockchain

German giant automaker Volkswagen has announced its participation in a blockchain-powered tech to track the cobalt use for its electric vehicles.

Cobalt – a type of chemical mineral – has been used widely from smartphone to car production. Despite the crucial need for Cobalt in mass production, it is reportedly that two-thirds of these global production rely on the exploitation of human labour. In a report from IBM, most of cobalt industry is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where miners are said to deal with “profound challenges including human rights violations”.

The new blockchain-powered scheme, which is powered by Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric and built on IBM Blockchain system, is designed to allow major companies to trace the flow of cobalts across the supply chain in near real-time with the effort to meet responsible sourcing standards.

The company also added: “Traditionally, miners, smelters and consumer brands had to rely on third-party audits and laborious manual processes to establish compliance with generally accepted industry standards.”

Volkswagen also aims to increase the efficiency and enhance transparency in mineral tracking across the global supply chain.

Volkswagen said in the announcement that they hope to expand the membership to other industries such as aerospace, consumer electronics and mining operations.

As The Crypto Sight reported in January, Ford and IBM had become members in this blockchain project with the participation of China’s Huayou Cobalt as well as South Korea’s LG Chem.

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