Blockchain solution to tracking ethically sourced cobalt

Blockonomics is a decentralized and permissionless bitcoin payment solution
batteriezelle battery cell symbolbild 2021 01 min
batteriezelle battery cell symbolbild 2021 01 min

The metals and mining corporations CMOC, Eurasian Sources Group (ERG), Glencore in addition to the battery materials provider Umicore are testing the blockchain answer “Re|Supply” as a part of a pilot challenge to “monitor responsibly produced cobalt from the mine to the electrical automotive”.

Blockchain know-how is seen as a confirmed strategy to create transparency in provide chains. Particularly, it builds a dependable information community and thus considerably will increase traceability within the provide chain, as details about the origin of the fabric can’t be modified unnoticed.

The answer now unveiled by the aforementioned consortium is because of be rolled out in 2022. It’s “a singular trade partnership between a very powerful corporations within the EV provide chain”, says the accompanying press launch. Along with the 4 aforementioned teams, an unnamed “international EV pioneer” and “one of many world’s main battery producers” are additionally mentioned to be on board. The pilot challenge to check the system will run till the tip of 2021.


The Re|Supply initiative was initially launched by CMOC, ERG and Glencore in 2019. It was later joined by Umicore and the 2 unnamed corporations. Based on the consortium, the answer makes use of blockchain in addition to different applied sciences reminiscent of so-called zero-knowledge proofs to hyperlink digital flows with bodily materials flows on website. It integrates quite a lot of industrial requirements reminiscent of ICMM, RMI, IRMA, CIRAF1 and Copper Mark, it says, and is designed for use by a variety of trade gamers. Blockchain specialist Kryha from Amsterdam is concerned within the challenge as a know-how associate.

Because the initiators of the challenge level out, Re|Supply will even be aligned with the Battery Passport challenge of the International Battery Alliance (GBA). The Battery Passport is meant to behave as a seal for pretty produced batteries. The intention is for customers to obtain far more details about the manufacturing of batteries, for instance when shopping for an electrical automotive. With the Battery Passport, in addition to with Re|Supply, the collaborating corporations wish to counter the criticism that repeatedly arises in regards to the manufacturing of batteries for electrical automobiles.

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of ERG and co-chair of the International Battery Alliance, expresses that piloting the Re|Supply answer “brings us one step nearer to unlocking the numerous potential of batteries whereas strengthening the transparency and sustainability of battery supplies all through the worth chain”.

Solar Ruiwen, CEO of CMOC provides that towards the backdrop of the worldwide vitality transition and China’s pledge to be carbon impartial by 2060, the battery trade was increasing quickly. “A clear and accountable provide chain that brings all stakeholders along with this collective effort will enhance end-user confidence in cobalt as a uncooked materials.”

Lastly, Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore, factors out that traceability alone isn’t sufficient, nonetheless. “However traceability isn’t sufficient by itself, it should be a part of a wider trade effort to deliver enhancements to your complete cobalt provide chain.”

Consciousness of the issue of cobalt mining is rising amongst producers worldwide. Whereas some, like BMW, are transferring to mining areas outdoors the Congo, others are specializing in their very own investments in blockchain know-how. Essentially, a lot of the trade is striving to scale back the quantity of cobalt in batteries with a purpose to cut back their dependence on this expensive and significant ingredient. Panasonic, for instance, introduced that it’ll launch a cobalt-free model of its 2170 battery cells for Tesla “in two to a few years”.

OEMs with their very own blockchain initiative embrace Volvo Automobiles. The corporate invested in blockchain specialist Circulor last year. Since 2019, Volvo has additionally had agreements in place with CATL and LG Chem and their respective appointed blockchain specialists. Whereas Circulor and Oracle are operating blockchain all through CATL’s provide chain, LG Chem’s Accountable Sourcing Blockchain Community (RSBN) is implementing the know-how along with RCS International and IBM.

With reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France.

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Blockonomics is a decentralized and permissionless bitcoin payment solution

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