UK Startup to Help BMW Source Cobalt via Blockchain

BMW will use transaction-recording technology blockchain to prove batteries for its electric vehicles will contain only clean cobalt
06 March 2018   449

Automaker BMW has partnered with Circulor, a London-based start-up, to use transaction-recording technology blockchain to prove batteries for its electric vehicles will contain only clean cobalt.

The competition is intensifying to use blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, to try to eliminate battery minerals produced by child labor.

Cobalt is in focus because around two-thirds of the world’s supplies are from Democratic Republic of Congo, where roughly one-fifth of cobalt is mined in unregulated artisanal mines.

The start-up Circulor is meanwhile working on a pilot for BMW to map cobalt that is already assumed to be clean because it comes from jurisdictions such as Australia and Canada or from industrial production in Congo, Circulor said.

We believe it makes economic sense to start with sources that aren’t a problem. Once the system is proven and operating at scale, one can tackle the harder use cases like artisanal mines. 

 

Douglas Johnson-Poensgen
CEO, Circulor

A BMW spokesman said the firm could not comment at this stage.

The pilot shows it is possible to give clean cobalt a barcode and enter the main stages of its journey on to an immutable ledger using blockchain technology because that is an efficient way to prove cobalt is clean, it had the potential to cut regulatory compliance costs, although the economics still needed to be proved.

7 Accounts blocked by EOS BP without Going an Arbitration

EOS is facing another issue just days after its mainnet activation, as the newly elected block producers have frozen 7 EOS accounts on suspicion of being stolen
19 June 2018   49

The backlash began as the block producers did go over arbitration, an integral part of the EOS’s governance system. The critics are certainly questioning the credibility of the project. Jackson Palmer, the creator of Dogecoin and a well-known person in the blockchain industry, questioned the very governance process constructed by EOS and the role of EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF).

The structure of EOS’s governance has been parted into 3 distinct groups - block producers, arbiters, and token holders. This separation resembles the executive, constituency, and judicial, of any governed system respectively. 

On 17 June 2018, the top 21 Block Producers unanimously agreed to protect property that may have been compromised through phishing attacks or other scams where member’s private keys were compromised. The EOS911 initiative was created by EOS42 as a way to prevent victims of private key theft from having their tokens lost once the 72-hour unstacking period ended following the EOS Mainnet Launch. Once that period ended, the thieves would be free to transfer the tokens wherever they’d like, rendering futile any recourse available to the community at this time.
EOS New York, in their recent post

So, in this case, the block producers did not go with the arbitration, rather they only conferred with them. Then the post added:

Foreseeing the process that would be required to act, EOS New York, on a call with BPs and BPCs, requested an expedited review of the merits of the case from ECAF (EOS Core Arbitration Forum) who was also on the call. The idea was that if ECAF found merit in the evidence provided, a formal ruling from ECAF would ask the BPs to “freeze” the accounts in question until such time that a thorough and formal review of the claims could be completed.
EOS New York, in their recent post

This is not the first problem EOS is facing amid its mainnet activation, as within 48 hours of that, the network suspended because of some bug. Though the error only led to a 5-hour network blackout, that is surely not something the team would have expected.