Can blockchain apps ensure a responsible mineral supply chain?

Blockchain – Verifying the origins of metals and minerals and ensuring the extraction of these resources are not benefiting warlords has been an ever-increasing concern of mining companies in recent years.

In 2017, the US passed the Dodd-Frank Act, which in Section 1502 included a requirement for any US firm to ensure that mineral resources they procured, including tin, tantalum, gold, and tungsten, was sourced responsibly and not for the enrichment of anyone involved in armed conflict.

Though the Trump administration has moved to repeal this measure, it still remains on the books and in effect.

The EU has also adopted new import regulations on conflict minerals, implemented as of May 2017. The new measures will apply to all EU-based companies from January 2021, requiring them to report their supply chain due diligence obligations on sourcing of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold and ensure armed groups can no longer use these minerals as a way to finance warfare and human rights abuses.

Though there has been some debate on the effectiveness of these types of regulations on stemming violent conflict in the region, companies in the mining industry have been faced with another issue: how to ensure their mineral products are responsibly sourced.

Some entrepreneurs see blockchain-based systems as the way forward to ensure responsible sourcing.

This article originally appeared on forbes.com.  To read the full article, click here.

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