The revolutionary emergence of blockchain technology has seen a lot of industries being subjected to the technology, the automobile industry is not exempt from this disruptive tech. For instance, auto giant BMW has partnered with Circulor, a London-based blockchain startup company. This move is in a bid to leverage blockchain technology in tracking cobalt sourcing and ensuring they only get clean cobalt for their electric car batteries.
While this partnership would not be the first attempt at blockchain technology collaboration in the automobile industry, with Porsche already said to have successfully implemented blockchain technology. However, if BMW blockchain partnership is successful, it will be a game changer on a global scale when it comes to supply chain ethics using a distributed ledger platform.
BMW’s Move for Ethical Sourcing
The underlying problem with cobalt sourcing in the present day is the fact that a large percentage of cobalt comes from unregulated mines.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is responsible for two-thirds of the world’s cobalt supply with the use of child miners being a negative mainstay with UNICEF reporting in 2014 that there are over 40,000 child miners in the African nation’s southern region.
BMW blockchain endeavor hopes to address this and ensure their cobalt sourcing is void of child miners’ participation.
Circulor is a new tech startup fully focused on leveraging blockchain technology to improve provenance within complex supply chains.
The London-based company is looking to create distributed applications aimed at proving provenance in complex supply chain systems, enhancing supply chain efficiency while reducing counter-party risk exposure.
According to the London-based startup’s CEO, Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, blockchain technology can help achieve this. It is believed the technology can be used in tracking the journey of cobalt throughout the complex global supply chain.
This can be achieved using a barcode which tracks cobalt sourcing through the main stages of BMW’s supply chain ensuring the auto giant’s cobalt sourcing is ethical with the added benefit of a potential reduction in regulatory compliance costs.
With blockchain technology offering consensus and detailed provenance data within the supply chain of cobalt, the possibilities of a successful BMW-Circulor collaboration as well as implementation and test of their proof of concept is quite promising.