A report published yesterday by the international law firm White & Case claims that blockchain technology could help improve transparency and remove inefficiencies from the global supply chain. He claims that the adoption of Bitcoin's innovation support industry is a matter of "when, not if".
Blockchain looks set to destroy the traditional mining industry
The report was produced by Rebecca Campbell and Andrzej Omietański of White & Case. Entitled "Digitization of the global supply chain of data mining and metals: increase of the blockchain and of the intelligent contract", it explores the various ways in which the supply chain of various extracted materials could be improved using blockchain technology.
During the report, definitions of both blockchain technology and smart contracts are offered before the potential potential of technology related to the mining sector is assessed.
The authors state:
"With today's press margins, inflationary costs and murmurs that the hard-won productivity gains of recent times may be eroding the mining companies are looking for ways to improve efficiency. "
Then they go on to say that the use of blockchain technology used to track mining supply chains could increase transparency in the sector, as well as help eliminate fraud.
Meanwhile, in the Intelligent Contract technology section, the authors state that blockchain-based contracts could be used to finance mining operations – in the same way they were used to finance various companies using the initial offerings of coins (ICO) – or helping to alleviate disputes between the parties:
"Moving contracts to a blockchain will not in itself prevent litigation, but can contribute to a series of mathematically certain facts, which could be used to demonstrate a chain of events with a high degree of certainty in the event of a subsequent dispute. "
The report then addresses the various challenges of blockchain and smart contract technology before it is widely adopted in the mining sector. One of the biggest concerns for the authors is whether smart contracts should be assembled by lawyers or IT professionals. The recent case of the modification of the EOSBet smart contract suggests that a mix of both professionals would probably be preferable.
While the White & Case report seems optimistic about the use of blockchain in monitoring global supply chains, Tradeshift's CEO said this week that the technology is not quite ready for the type of scale required for these tasks.
Like Campbell and Omietański, Christian Lanng believes that innovation could have a dramatic impact on the way supply chains are managed. However, he argues that it will only start in the next 5-10 years, rather than the implicit immediacy in the White & Case document.
Close-up image of Shutterstock.