Volkswagen, Minespider Partner To Track Lead Supply Using Blockchain

News | April 29, 2019 By:

German automaker Volkswagen is collaborating with blockchain startup Minespider on a blockchain pilot to optimize raw material supply chains.

The blockchain pilot will be using Minespider’s proprietary protocol that was built on a public blockchain to trace the supply chain for lead from the point of origin to the factory. The pilot project will involve suppliers and sub-suppliers that deliver more than two thirds of Volkswagen’s total lead starter battery requirements.

According to the official release, Minespider’s blockchain protocol guarantees the security of the sensitive supply chain data despite the open source approach. The advantage versus a private blockchain is that everyone – from suppliers and sub-suppliers through to those directly responsible for mining or recycling the raw material – works with one system, even if several supply chains are involved. This reportedly creates a common digital infrastructure that allows the transparent exchange of information.

“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,” said Marco Philippi, Head of Strategy Group Procurement. “Together with Minespider we will use the blockchain technology to make our processes more transparent and secure.”

If the pilot project on the supply chain for lead proves to be successful, the companies plan to use the technology for further raw materials and their supply chains.

“We are witnessing a transformation of global supply chains,” said Nathan Williams, CEO of Minespider. “Companies have the right to know that their suppliers are operating responsibly and with blockchain we finally have the tools to prove it.”

The new came after Volkswagen announced that it has joined the IBM-led blockchain initiative, which aims to trace and validate ethically sourced minerals, to gain greater insight into the provenance of cobalt used in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and other types of minerals used elsewhere in the production of vehicles.