IBM to utilize its blockchain platform for cobalt supplies from Democratic Republic of Congo

Tech giant IBM has confirmed it would utilize its blockchain platform in monitoring and tracking supplies of cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

IBM, which has on several occassions used its in-house Blockchain platform built on the Hyperledger Fabric in multiple use case environments, would now target the rapidly expanding supplies of cobalt needed for electric cars and consumer devices.

The report added that the scheme is scheduled to run in tandem with automobile giant Ford, South Korean cathode maker LG Chem and China’s Huayou Cobalt. RCS Global, a multinational responsible sourcing company, will also monitor the proceedings.

While speaking of the development, the General Manager at IBM’s Global Industrial Products Industry Manish Chawla, said : “With the growing demand for cobalt, this group has come together with clear objectives to illustrate how blockchain can be used for greater assurance around social responsibility in the mining supply chain.”

While adding that, “the initial work by these organizations will be used as a precedent for the rest of the industry to be further extended to help ensure transparency around the minerals going into our consumer goods.”

With its just concluded presidential election, Congo has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in recent times, especially due to its volatile political system, as well as the issue of ebola which has cointinued to plague the country.

Congo, however, houses the bulk of the world’s cobalt deposit; the blockchain scheme would further checkmate the issue of child labor or similar exploitation.

“We remain committed to transparency across our global supply chain,” Ford’s vice president of global purchasing and powertrain operations Lisa Drake said.

While noting that, “By collaborating with other leading industries in this network, our intent is to use state-of-the-art technology to ensure materials produced for our vehicles will help meet our commitment to protecting human rights and the environment.”

Recall that Cointelegraph earlier in January, reported on how IBM’s other project, TradeLens, had also seen a further implementation with Saudi Arabia targeting cross-border trade.

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