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   688

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.

Sparkpool to Freeze $300k Reward

As reported, pool suggests that such a high commission could have been paid by someone in error and is considering the possibility of a refund
20 February 2019   68

The Sparkpool mining pool decided to freeze the remuneration in the amount of 2,103,1485 for the extraction of block # 7,238,290. The management of the organization suggests that such a high commission could have been paid by someone in error and is considering the possibility of a refund, CoinDesk reports.

The head of the Sparkpool Xin Xu argues that users of the pool understand and agree with the decision, given the size of the amount involved.

Unfortunately, and fortunately, blockchain is so far not completely run by machines; human are still involved. So we have an opportunity to correct the problem. Integrity is our pool’s priority.
 

Xin Xu

CEO, Sparkpool

While some users suggested that a large commission was paid by mistake, others admitted that this could be a goodwill gesture from an anonymous donor to the community of the miner or even an attempt to launder money through the blockchain cryptocurrency.