Automotive giant Volkswagen has entered into a partnership with tech firm Minespider for the provenance of raw materials using blockchain technology.
In a press release dated April 23, Volkswagen announced a pilot project that will aim to bring transparency in the global supply chain for lead with plans to use the technology for further raw materials and their supply chains.
The pilot project will involve tracing the supply chain for lead from the point of origin – either mine or recycling source – to the factory. It will also see participation from suppliers and sub-suppliers that deliver more than two-thirds of the Group’s total lead starter battery requirements.
Built on a public blockchain, Minespider’s solution is a proprietary protocol with multi-layer architecture. One layer of the protocol contains generally accessible information, a second layer contains the private data blocks which cannot subsequently be changed, and the third layer is the encryption layer.
The solution’s design creates a common digital infrastructure allowing a transparent exchange of information. It will enable everyone – from suppliers and sub-suppliers through to those directly responsible for mining or recycling the raw material – to work with one system, even if several supply chains are involved.
“Digitalization provides important technological instruments that enable us to track the path of minerals and raw materials in cross-border supply chains in ever greater detail”, Marco Philippi, Head of Strategy Group Procurement, said. “Together with Minespider we will use the blockchain technology to make our processes more transparent and secure.”
Following the successful completion of this pilot, Volkswagen plans to use the technology for further raw materials and their supply chains.
Earlier this month, Volkswagen joined the IBM-led blockchain initiative that aims to trace and validate ethically sourced minerals.