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Technology

The vehicle industry's transition to battery-based technology, in addition to the growing use of mobile computing devices, is driving a need for cobalt.

Cobalt has been shown to be a required element for efficient energy storage, as well as to maintain battery stability and safety. While various research studies are in place to reduce the amount of cobalt in batteries, no solution to reduce cobalt to a tenth of its current usage will be in position for widespread use for at least a decade.


The company is addressing this need by pursuing a conflict-free cobalt mining and trading business in the DRC with local artisanal miners, while implementing a blockchain-based platform to ensure traceability of conflict-free minerals.

Britain, France, India and Norway all want to exclude gas and diesel in favor of clean vehicle technology, and many other countries have electric car sales targets in place. Austria, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Korea, and Spain.

France and Britain have introduced very aggressive timelines to achieve this, no more petrol and diesel engine cars after 2025 and 2030, and by 2040, France will ban sales of petrol and diesel cars


> PowerPoint presentation available in our Documents section

Cobalt consumption forecast >

Cobalt Blockchain Inc. (COBC) has 12 years of on-the-ground experience in the DRC, along with having a license and traceability system in place for tin, tantalum and tungsten - approved for renewal, and with applications to extend to cobalt and copper - provincially approved and waiting for federal confirmation.


COBC intends to put in place a similar system for cobalt and other minerals.

The "conflict-free" designation is based on several principles, building on international, regional, local, and industry initiatives, and includes:
 
     > Greater transparency, allowing adequate ability to identify where the commodity was mined, by whom and under what conditions
     > No child labour or human rights violations
     > No extortion of illegal payments by government officials
     > Production is not contributing to funding of armed groups
     > Acceptable workplace health and safety practices
     > Mining and processing practices that do not harm the environment

> PowerPoint presentation available in our Documents section

Certification

& traceability initiatives >

COBC intends to complement its existing traceability capability, for sources such as the DRC where further supply chain oversight may be mandated by clients, with a blockchain-based overlay, providing an additional layer of transparency, security, and immutability.


When making a decision on how to translate data collection into a database, the question is whether a regular centralized database will suffice, or whether one should turn to a decentralized database, a blockchain. In the use case, is confidentiality and performance paramount? Or is disintermediation and robustness? 


In this light, blockchain is not the optimum solution for many use cases put forward in recent times. However, blockchains do have strong use cases where disintermediation and robustness are paramount. The most promising of these areas are inter-company audit trails, and provenance tracking. The provision of traceability for conflict-free minerals is just such a case - where blockchain is a clear path for deployment.  This is the rationale for our blockchain-based certification initiative.

COBC has now completed, with its partners, the first implementation of its blockchain protocol using a permissioned blockchain - Mintrax™.

This is the first phase in its roll-out of its conceptual hybrid private/public platform for OECD-compliant provisioning of minerals, and will be followed by a run using data from tin-tantalum-tungsten, and subsequently cobalt, operations.
 


> White Paper to be available in our Documents section

1. Mining & metals trading

2. Conflict-free minerals

3. Blockchain certification

Roadmap for trust-focused provision of conflict-free minerals

To rapidly expand its conflict-free commodity trading platform, COBC is using its over 12 years of experience in the DRC to identify target properties suitable to provide trust-focused traceability of metals requiring conflict-free certification.   The DRC is blessed with over half of the global reserves and annual production of cobalt with arguably the highest grades on the planet. 

Our blockchain protocol will have transactions initially facilitated via a mature blockchain standard, then possibly migrated to a more progressive and scalable chain when appropriate. The platform will be designed to be transparent, immutable, and secure, complementing current traceability standards.