“All the gold which is under or upon the earth is not enough to give in exchange for virtue”. Plato
All that glitters is not gold! Or so the saying goes. Unfortunately, we live in a rather materialistic world due to which, one is more focused in the end on ‘Glitz and Glamour’ than the origins of a product.
For centuries, Gold has been the ultimate cultural symbol of luxury and wealth. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but there is no love lost in generations of past in regards to Gold. Asia, especially India and China are the primary investors and buyers of Gold. In the west, Canada and America are connoisseurs of all things gold. Be it in Tokens, Coins, Bars or simply jewellry. Gold has been a favorite of one and all.
Gold Mining: A Sad Reality
All the gold in the world can’t make up for the horrendous fate the miners suffer. With rock gold mines going deep underground, the heat becomes unbearable. Constant air conditioning is a must but alas, majority of the mines fail to provide this basic facility to its miners. This results in a higher mortality rate in miners.
Majority of the mines are now regulated by corporates, but, a small section is moderated illegally. In them, the chemical Mercury is used for gold mining purpose. Due to which the toxicity in the air rises to hazardous levels and the quality of the gear that the miners are provided with is often sub quality.
Fortunately, campaigns like ‘No Dirty Gold’ and activism by many NGOs has made a difference in the work culture of the miners. Over time, we hope that a technology arises where in the end consumer can track the origins and the gold used, and can be a means of holding the mining company or the corporation accountable. This option is possible with the help of Blockchain Technology.
Blockchain Takes Gold Mining Under Its Wings
There are many upcoming companies that are merging Blockchain Technology with Gold Mining. They seem to be sharing a vision of mine to neck. A complete tracking of the gold from the mine it was mined, the process it has undergone to the the jewel it has become. It is very similar to the ‘From Farm to Fork’ phenomenon which coincidentally, also uses Blockchain Technology. The implementation of Blockchain Technology shall improve safety standards in the mining industry. With humane working conditions, one can hope that there will be no more negativity involved in this industry. As more and more consumers are becoming aware, they research the origins of the company before they buy its jewellry. Blockchain becomes the perfect platform to satisfy the curious questions in this regards. There are also many other ways that Blockchain Technology can help in the gold mining industry.
Implementation of IoT via Blockchain Technology ensures the complete tracking of the gold, from the time it is mined to its journey via smart cars (IoT enabled cars to help with location mapping) and till the time it reaches the craftsman to be converted into a piece of art jewellery. Also, once it leaves the workshop of the craftsman, its entire journey can be covered till it reaches the shop for sale. This helps keep a regulation of the entire journey of a gold nugget becoming a flawless piece of jewellry. QR code linking added to a piece of gold jewellry or to a digital gold token verifies their quality, authenticity and ethical extraction process that was involved.
2. Cost Control:
Gold Mines are spread across the globe. With the implementation of Blockchain Technology in the Gold mining sector, one can easily keep an eye on the remittance and the facility’s the workers of the mines are given. Such regulations lead to an overall cost control as it prevents the abuse of property and provides the labouring miners with benefits that also increases overall productivity. This process implementation also cuts down on fraud, theft and insurance costs.
3. Smart Contracts:
In today’s day and age, there are hardly any companies that do not use Smart Contracts. They have become such a boon to keep a through regulation of records of transaction between any two parties. Primarily, the miners themselves can be made to sign a smart contract with the company that owns the mines which provides the miners with thorough transparency of the perks and benefits and the remittance that shall be provided. In the unfortunate case of an accident, the severance or medical package can also be mentioned. This ensures there is complete transparency between the company and the worker. Secondly, once the gold nugget has been converted into a piece of jewellry, the customer gets a complete knowledge of the origins of the piece they intend to buy. Apart from that it also creates a more transparent viewpoint on the custody and ownership of the goods. Fraud or double selling of any kind can be nixed in the bud with the help of Smart Contracts. Additionally, with its implementation they will be free from dealing with third parties to get verification about the authenticity of the product in question.
There are many companies that are rushing to join in the bandwagon of implementing Blockchain Technology in the world of Gold Mining. Let’s take a look at these luminaries:
- Sudan Gold:
Probably the first of many to brave these new frontiers is Sudan Gold. With experts employed to study the soil samples, the geological exploration of the site and only then developing a proper scheme for gold mining process, and gold synthesis that are involved, this company is leaving no stones unturned. It is using a unique union of science and technology to make a success of its operations. Working on an Ethereum platform, it plans of balancing 0.05g of gold per token once it releases its ICO. Having acquired the required licenses from the Sudanese government and the related authorities, it has also hired SG Mining Co, a Dubai based auditing company. In present time, a token sale is being undertaken where in SGC (Sudan Gold Coin) token can be availed for $ 1 each. One can be sure that the future is bright for all those involved in this organization.
- Emergent Technology Holdings LP:
This company is hoping to digitally encode the entire process of the gold mining. For which it has launched a new division called Responsible Gold. Under its flagship this company also plans on releasing a token in the near future called the G Coin. Emergent Technology Holdings, aims to identify the risks areas of gold mining and then create an ecosystem which is conflict-free and acts as a responsible source of Gold. Its digital token G Coin has its value backed by physical gold. It also hopes to track gold from miner, to refiner, straight to vault. Operating on their private Quorum Blockchain, this ecosystem aims to create a strict safeguard with KYC (Know your customer) on the Blockchain and by also implementing policies against Money laundering. In present times, it has collaborated with Canada based Yamana Gold. We hope this collaboration manages to change the entire process of gold mining. We wish it all the luck.
Under the banner of Tradewind, the parent company has launched VaultChain Gold. It is a new age digital gold trading and settlement platform. It aims to simplify and speed up trading of gold and reduce consumer transaction costs. What can be considered as a coup of sorts is that the Royal Canadian Mint has decided to provide storage for the platform. It has confirmed that it has received custody of the physical gold that marks and assures the option of physical delivery against the transaction. In this fluctuating market, Tradewinds ensures that the consumer will not have to pay heavy transaction costs but it would be the dealers who will do so.
In conclusion: It’s A Midas Touch
There is no denying that there is still an obsession amongst the common folks with gold and gold jewellry. Blockchain Technology enabled platforms are sure to increase transactions and which may result in an increase in the demand of Gold and create an ethical work environment for the miners. The other side of the coin still remains a matter of concern. With the increasing number of cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency exchanges that are under attack from hackers, these budding organizations need to be extra alert in regard to its operations. Blockchain technology ensures greater consideration is given to the needs of the consumer and all the other stakeholders involved. Digital Gold and its process is the new midas touch has the potential to make every investor the next Goldfinger!
Let us know which sector implementation of Blockchain technology would you like to read about.
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