German automatic Volkswagen group has announced that it is going to use the blockchain technology for tracking its logistics and supply chain of minerals. The announcement was made on Thursday in which company said that in order to procure the cobalt mineral – which it uses in the Lithium-ion batteries of its electric vehicles – it has decided to adopt the blockchain platform. VW is a member of the industry collaboration which uses the blockchain for tracking their mineral supply chain and many other companies including American automaker Ford is a part of this unique industry partnership.
As of now, the various industry and consumer players rely on manual processes to source minerals for their operations. Mostly audits of these operations are conducted by third-party and pose a number of challenges including the time delay and high cost involved in the process. One of the key advantages of switching over to blockchain for the mineral sourcing manifest in the form of companies being able to meet the various standard and compliances set out by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The blockchain will allow the companies to have a clear record of the minerals sourced by them. This, in turn, will help companies to meet the compliances by tracking and providing a reliable record for their mineral sourcing.
VW will be using permissioned blockchain platform developed by IBM which will work on the hyperledger fabric to provide tracking and placement record of its mineral supply chain across the globe. Other companies which are part of this industry collaboration include LG Chem, Huayou (a firm that mines cobalt), and RCS Global (an auditing organization in the field of the supply chain). In the official announcement, VW said that all the participants involved in the collaboration – once validated by RCS – will be able to access and contribute data to provide information on the tracking of minerals on a real-time basis. The company further added that it wants to expand this industry collaboration to include new players from different segments like aerospace, mining operations, and consumer electronics among others.