Volvo Invests In Blockchain Technology

By applying blockchain technology, Volvo cars will be the first carmaker to introduce global traceability of the cobalt used in their batteries. Volvo promised customers safety for a longtime and lately it launched the first all-electric vehicle (EV). Volvo extends the promise of protection not only just for drivers and the environment, thanks to blockchain technology, protection is also for miners who supply the battery materials.

There are more ways to use blockchain then as a payment method, it is also useful to help companies track suppliers to make sure things are handled right. Blockchain, known primarily for powering cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins, is a type of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) that promises to reduce costs and create confidence, but faces challenges such as transaction processing speed. Its popularity lies in the fact that participants have a copy of the ledger’s details containing the most recent transactions or adjustments, thus reducing the need to create trust using conventional methods.


Volvo & Blockchain

The car company Volvo is tracking their cobalt origin with help of blockchain. The blockchains contain, among other things, information on the origin, weight, size, traceability of cobalt and that the participants’ behavior is in accordance with the OECD’s guidelines for supply chains. About two-thirds of the world’s cobalt production is in Congo-Kinshasa. However, the extraction of the metal in the country is fraught with problems in the form of child labor and poor working conditions. 

Volvo Cars entered into 10-year agreements with Chinese battery providers Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and South Korean LG Chem to tackle illegal activities, with both agreeing to participate in a blockchain network that monitors cobalt-sourcing operations through their global supply chains.

Volvo says “Blockchain is not a replacement for all those other ways of checking the traceability of our raw materials, but it is another important addition to our ethical sourcing toolbox. With today’s announcement, we show that we are not only recognizing the challenge of ethically sourcing cobalt, but are also taking active steps to solve it. “

Cobalt like iron, can be magnetized and so is used to make magnets. It is alloyed with aluminum and nickel to make particularly powerful magnets. Other alloys of cobalt are used in jet turbines and gas turbine generators, where high-temperature strength is important. Cobalt metal is sometimes used in electroplating because of its attractive appearance, hardness and resistance to corrosion.


“Energy services are increasingly being provided by entities that do not have well-established trust relationships with their customers and partners,” said Christian Gorenflo, a PhD candidate in Waterloo’s David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science. ” In this context, blockchains are a promising approach for replacing a central trusted party, for example, making it possible to implement direct peer-to-peer energy trading.”

“We’re doubling down on ethical sourcing,” says Martina Buchhauser, senior vice president of procurement at Volvo Cars. “By working with our suppliers to make sure that the raw materials in our batteries, including minerals like cobalt, come from ethical supply chains, we’re able to extend our promise of safety to drivers, miners, and the environment.”


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Image: twitter.com/volvocarsnews/status/1321914503622250497/photo/1

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