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Mitsubishi metals trading launches blockchain solution with Skuchain

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Yesterday Skuchain announced the launch of the ECO blockchain platform in association with Mitsubishi Corporation RtM, the company’s metals and minerals trading division.

The aim is to create a shared log of transactions, initially between Mitsubishi RtM and its customers, but this will later be expanded to other suppliers. The digital solution is important for the remote working environment triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’ve asked whether the blockchain will be extended into a full post-trade solution or sustainability tracking, but didn’t receive a response in time for publication.

“ECO is an entirely new challenge for us to create a digital network shared directly with our customers. Trade verification is just the first step and we will optimize ECO as a channel with customers,” said Takehito Nagashima, General Manager of New Business and DX Office in Mitsubishi Corporation RtM Japan.

Silicon Valley-based Skuchain’s EC3 blockchain platform is based on Hyperledger Fabric. 

Several blockchain solutions are exploring the metals and minerals sector. For post trade processing, there is Singapore based Forcefield with members including Anglo American, Hartree, Mercuria, ING and ABN Amro, amongst others. 

Canadian startup Minehub is also developing a Hyperledger Fabric platform and recently conducted a transaction between BHP and Baosteel. Other partners include ING, Wheaton Precious Metals, Ocean Partners, Capstone Mining, Newmont Goldcorp, Kutcho Copper and Kimura for commodity trade finance.

And Russia’s Norilsk Nickel and Trafigura are involved in Atomyze to tokenize commodities.

Additionally, several solutions are exploring sustainability. There’s the IBM Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN), which includes Ford, VW and companies involved in cobalt supply chains for electric car batteries, although we believe the platform is not yet live.

Startup Circulor also has an offering targeting cobalt and other minerals and was recently backed by Volvo, which uses the solution in production. 

And almost a year ago, the World Economic Forum launched the Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative with big names such as Antofagasta Minerals, Eurasian Resources Group Sàrl, Glencore, Klöckner & Co, Minsur, Tata Steel and Anglo American/De Beers (Tracr). 

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