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Ford to Use Blockchain Technology to Trace and Validate Minerals

January 17, 2019

Ford Motor Company has partnered with Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem, and RCS Global to create a blockchain-based network to trace and validate ethically sourced minerals, Forbes reports.

The US-based company is one of the world’s largest automakers based on worldwide vehicle sales. Back in 2017, the company registered revenue of more than $156 billion.

Now, Ford has joined forces with the above-mentioned companies to ensure responsible sourcing of industrially-mined cobalt.

Cobalt is a chemical element used in batteries that power electric cars. Accordingly, “cobalt is essential for stopping the battery from overheating, and the stability it brings to the battery materials also allows users to charge and discharge their car over many years.”

As the race for Cobalt hots up, Ford is looking to build a project on the IBM Blockchain platform, which should be powered by the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric. The aim is to show how special materials are responsibly produced, traded and processed.

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

The overarching goal of the project is to identify the best possible way to trace and validate ethically sourced minerals to be used for the automotive and, in general, the electronics industry.

“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 and environmental sustainability in the mining supply chain,” said Manish Chawla (IBM).

Ford now joins other big companies in exploring the positives of blockchain industries. Companies such as Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America, Apple, Amazon, Walmart etc., have already embarked on projects with the aim to utilize platforms and networks built on the blockchain technology.

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