Ford is going to implement blockchain to keep record of cobalt suppliers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as reported by Telegraph. Cobalt is the major metal used for the construction of batteries for electric vehicles.
The proper quantity of metal supplied will be traced by a blockchain pilot program, launched by Ford, LG Chem, a chemicals specialist company from South Korea and the Chinese mining company Huayou Cobalt.
The US carmaker is coming up with blockchain as a solution to the labor exploitation issues that are rising as a result of cobalt mining. It seems that there is a malicious practice called artisanal mining that involves children who mine metals by hand. Reportedly, approximately 2 million people are currently involved in the highly controversial mining procedure. Most artisanal mining occurs in copper mines, as cobalt is actually a byproduct of nickel and copper mining.
Ford has come up with a mission to protect the environment and processes by which their materials are sourced. As a result, the carmaker will use blockchain to protect labor exploitation and the environment. The whole project is to be overseen by a company that engages in the ethical sourcing of natural resources, called RCS Global.
IBM will also participate in the project by providing its blockchain protocol, which is going to be “enabled” and powered by Linux Foundation with an open source technology.
The ethical cobalt project run on blockchain will track the entire cobalt “path” from the mining of cobalt in Congo to the finished batteries produced by Ford for their electric cars.