Understanding the debates, dates and possible outcomes.

Since the brunt of Corona-related legislation has passed, for the time being at least, the German government has re-directed its focus to the current term’s political agenda (which will end in September 2021).

On top of the list: a supply chain law, mandating companies to conduct human rights due diligence in their supply chains.

They would be required to do this beyond their tier 1, or in other words direct, suppliers. Already contentiously debated in the past year, it had fallen off the radar for a little while. …

Examples from an Indonesian Mining Association.

In our first article on Artisanal & Small Scale Mining (ASM), we pointed out the sheer size of the ASM workforce: roughly 41 million people around the globe are directly employed, with another 100 million indirectly depending on the sector.

Varying across regions, 30–50% of workers are women.

These women face additional challenges on top of the already strenuous work environment, as highlighted in an IGF report.

First of all, there is sexual violence and harassment at the workplace, along with widespread prejudices about women’s productivity and capabilities. Moreover, there is economic discrimination: women are not usually involved in the actual digging of ores, which is the most profitable occupation at the mine site. Most women are employed in further processing, for example crushing, washing, or panning of ores and amalgams. …

Exploring the issues and alternatives.

Image for post
Image for post
Credit: Cyrus Njonde Maina; 5 grams gold amalgam direct from processing, Tanzania Mine.

Mercury is the only metal that is fluid at room temperature. It used to be used in thermometers or light switches, but has been phased out of most applications in recent years.

The reason? It is very poisonous.

The neurotoxin can impair your vision, harm organs, lead to neurological damages, cognitive and motoric malfunctions, and ultimately be fatal.

So why are we talking about this in our ASM series? In fact, Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) is a key actor in global mercury consumption, using it to separate gold from other sediments.

In the mix, mercury binds the gold in an amalgam, which is then heated up so that the mercury evaporates and the miners are left with a gold nugget. Many artisanal miners operate without protective gear and are unaware of the extent of the risk, stirring the mercury mix with their bare hands and emptying the containers on site. …

#2 How to explain blockchain benefits to your boss — in the mining industry.

Image for post
Image for post

As we are in quarantine, now is a great time to learn about a technology that is actively penetrating every area of economic activity and life.

It is now long overdue that people in the mining world understand that blockchain is not only about cryptocurrencies, but indeed, a paradigm shift for the entire world economy.

And it is happening very quickly.

Tackling mining industry issues with blockchain.

Blockchain technology in the mining industry can address many ongoing, familiar issues — tracking origins of metals to assure consumers that they don’t come from war zones or as a result of child labour, eliminating theft and speculation, ascertaining contract conditions by implementing smart contracts, and optimizing logistics. …

Exploring the world of ASM.

Did you know there is an illegal billion dollar industry, conducted everywhere from the rainforests of Latin America to the heart of Africa? An industry whose export value surpassed that of cocaine in Colombia and Peru in 2016?

Gold mining.

As a result of ever increasing prices of gold, coupled with the so-called “War on Drugs”, illegal gold mining is now often more profitable than drug trafficking, generating about US$2.4 billion in 2019 in Colombia alone.

More disturbingly, it is responsible for about 10% of the Amazon’s deforestation and contaminates thousands of waterways with poisonous chemicals.

The movie Rivers of Gold by the Amazon Aid Foundation will give you a heartbreaking first insight into the situation.

How to explain blockchain benefits to your boss.

Image for post
Image for post

Blockchain technology is still associated primarily with cryptocurrencies. As its utility expands into other areas though, one that is increasingly generating discussion is the supply chain.

Modern supply chains are already being made more efficient by a number of digital processes and automated features. And there are some reasons to believe that blockchain integration could further improve them.

An Improved Database

Almost every functioning supply chain involves a database of some kind. Its purpose is to track and store any and all data relevant to the supply chain’s performance — both for record-keeping purposes and for analysis and adjustment. In many cases though, this sort of database may only be maintained by a single person, department, or entity involved in the process. …

Initial learnings from our ongoing projects.

Image for post
Image for post

Developing a circular economy features prominently in the German Ministry for Environment’s new digital agenda. It stipulates the use of new technologies, such as blockchain, to increase the efficiency and efficacy of recycling and effectively follow the life cycle of products and raw materials.

But don’t circular models already exist?
Probably the most common example in Germany is the Flaschenpfand, or bottle deposit: For most bottled and canned drinks you buy you must pay a deposit of between 8 and 25 cents a piece. …

We are entering the golden age of supply chain traceability. It is now accepted that companies and individuals should be able to know what they are purchasing and under what conditions it has been produced. Now global brands, international organizations, and regulators are all pushing for global supply chain transparency.

Since the blockchain boom of 2017, technology companies, including Minespider, have rushed to lead this transformation, and a great deal of progress has been made. Now serious traceability projects are running in the mining and metals industry, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, textiles, and many more.

All of this is very promising. However, we are still in the early days of this transformation, with so many fundamental issues left to solve before traceable supply chains become the norm — instead of the exception. Nevertheless, the industry is already thinking ahead to solve tomorrow’s problem — interoperability. …


Image for post
Image for post

In this series, we’re exploring different ways in which the key aspects of blockchain technology and blockchain incentives can be used to address challenges in the mineral supply chain.

By carefully making use of the ability to tokenize real world assets, maintain an unchangeable record of transactions of these assets, and create a self-governing inventive model that lets companies transact without a trusted third party, we can create an infrastructure to ensure the provenance of our raw materials.

In the last post we looked at the first aspect, tokenizing real world assets, and how to use these tokens to build up the technology in scenarios where we had a lot of implicit trust between the supply chain actors. …

Klederson Bueno, Minespider’s CTO
Klederson Bueno, Minespider’s CTO
Klederson Bueno, Minespider’s CTO.

Klederson has been our technical advisor for over a year now, helping to guide our protocol design and development from day one. We’re thrilled to announce that he will now join us as Minespider’s Chief Technical Officer, bringing almost two decades of tech, business and management experience to the team.

Klederson will continue to scale the tech team, so if you are a blockchain developer interested in joining Minespider, then feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.

What’s your background?

“I’m originally from a small Brazilian town deep in the Amazon rainforest, called Acre. As a teenager I moved to São Paulo, where I first discovered the world of IT. I had started to code with mIRC and Ultima Online pirate servers around the age of eleven, but it was in São Paulo that I got involved with numerous IT communities, such as Slackware and Linux user groups. …



Minespider is a blockchain protocol for responsible mineral sourcing. https://www.minespider.com/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store