According to a recent press release, the blockchain-powered platform will allow for faster and more accurate mining contracts, smart contracts and trading among other things. The platform has already gone live as of today, but won’t see any actual use for a few months the company says.
Read on as we go over the basics of this exciting new venture and what it represents for blockchain adoption.
MineHub’s Big Plan
The minerals and metals mining industry is big and complicated, to put it lightly. As a result, things can move slowly and accountability to difficult. In their official statement, the company writes that their industry “has traditionally suffered from inefficiencies due to manual, paper-based processes and a lack of transparency among supply chain participants.”
This is where MineHub’s plan comes into play, hoping to shake up the status quo. The new blockchain based system will by contrast “[increase] levels of automation and [provide] greater traceability”, while also “[improving] profit margins and [contributing] to sustainable supply chains and responsible sourcing.”
The blockchain system being used by the MineHub platform was developed through a cooperation between IBM and MineHub. The system uses Hyperledger, a blockchain system created by IBM that was targeted squarely at large corporations and does not have a “coin” of its own. According to its project director, Hyperledger will “never [have] a Hyperledger coin.”
This, director Behlendorf stated, was to prevent having to deal with what we referred to as “political challenges”.
In simple terms, Hyperledger is a competitor with Ethereum and is designed for companies and groups to build on it to achieve their own goals. However, it does not have its own coin or token, and did not hold any kind of ICO or other fundraising effort.
This keeps it out of the regulators grasp, making it more attractive to big businesses that are likely unwilling to take the risk of running afoul of the US SEC.
From Papers to Bits
The number of features offered by MineHub is impressive. It includes such offerings as on-chain contract management, completely traceable “mine-to-market” accountability. The system offers features that support credit and other financing functions as well as invoicing and payments processing and tracking.
Finally, the system allows for users to know exactly where a given shipment, product, or operation is at any moment – providing a degree of on-demand insights that was previously unthinkable.
What’s particularly interesting about the platforms offering is the use of smart contracts to automate dozens of operations that perviously had to be done on paper or by a person. The automation of smart contracts could allow for transactions to become incredibly seamless and fast, savings millions of dollars and thousands of labor hours.
Just the Beginning
Mining minerals and metals (among other things) is an industry that’s been around since the dawn of civilization. To see interest and actual concrete activity in integrating blockchain and smart contracts into such a well-established industry is truly impressive.
It’s also a clear sign that things are changing and more major industries are taking blockchain seriously. While it is unlikely that this kind of development will directly cause your crypto investments to become more valuable, what this kind of development does is further cement the legitimacy of blockchain.
The most conservative of industries need to see others taking the first step before they will be willing to dip their toes in the proverbial waters. It’s a safe bet that mineral and metal mining is a conservative industry with deeply entrenched players calling all the shots.
If the mining industry is willing to make this kind of bet on smart contracts and Hyperledger, just imagine what we might see in the coming years from a variety of big industries.