If you thought that blockchain, the digital encryption technology powering bitcoin, was only restricted to digital currencies, think again. The technology is making inroads into several industries, and the mining sector is considering applying this tech in several ways as shown below.
Protecting Sensitive Information
The painful truth is that no entity or company is entirely immune to cyber-attacks, and this reality has led the mining industry to think of ways to protect sensitive information, such as intellectual property and insider information from unauthorized access. Whether each mining company will develop its own blockchain technology or a collective system will be designed remains to be seen.
Identifying Conflict Minerals
You have probably heard about “blood diamonds” but there are many more minerals which are extracted from areas with ongoing armed conflicts. Those minerals include cobalt and copper.
The mining industry is considering deploying blockchain technology to track minerals along the entire value chain so that conflict minerals can be identified and sanctioned at whatever point in the value chain they are discovered.
Creating a Global Certification Scheme
There are growing concerns about the adverse social, environmental and economic effects of mining activities in different parts of the world. Plans are therefore underway to launch a global certification scheme tracking all those parameters of concern, and blockchain technology will be at the heart of that system.
A private blockchain platform will be used to certify that a given product or mining entity meets the expected environmental, social and economic minimum standards stipulated under the certification scheme.
Once such certification has been obtained, it will be subject to a verification process that will be done using a publicly-accessible blockchain platform. Any member of the public will therefore be able to search and confirm that a given mining company is playing by the set rules throughout the entire value chain from extraction to processing and even recycling and sales.
At the moment, there are at least 40 certification programs for the mining industry. This number increases exponentially when you include other processes in the mining industry value chain, and this is unsustainable since none of those tiny certification programs carries any real weight. When blockchain brings uniformity to the certification of mining industry products and processes, the extent of violations will become clearer and it will get easier to track offenders and enforce compliance either voluntarily or through shunning the products of offenders.
Blockchain technology is relatively new, but it is already showing immense potential within the mining industry. One can’t help but imagine how else entities like Bullfrog Gold Corp. (CSE: BFG) (OTCQB: BFGC) (FSE: 11B) will deploy this tech over the coming years.
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