What is the beginning of a new year without a few predictions for the months ahead? For a glimpse into the future of the industry, skip the crystal ball and ponder the trends that are gaining traction right now.
Tracing metals on blockchain
Blockchain has moved beyond its origins in the cryptocurrency craze, and has demonstrated it can have value for multiple industries, including mining, where the technology has the potential to bring the buying and selling of precious metals into the digital age.
In simple terms, blockchain acts as a secure digital ledger that records all transactions publicly and chronologically. Already some companies are beginning to explore blockchain as a means to facilitate purchases of metals and minerals. In January, De Beers launched Tracr, a digital platform for trading diamonds, and partnered with Alrosa on its pilot in late October.
Goldcorp has similarly teamed up with Tradewind Markets, a private blockchain marketplace for buying and selling gold and silver backed by the Royal Canadian Mint. Lucara Diamond acquired Clara Diamond Solutions, a digital platform that uses blockchain to track diamonds through the supply chain, in February.
The process for buying gold typically involves going through a bank or to an e-commerce site, where specific denominations of the metal can be purchased and then shipped. Not the most flexible system.
“What we proposed is something quite different,” Tradewind co-founder Fraser Buchan said. “Don’t worry about what the physical format is, your only concern is who’s holding the physical metal.” Blockchain also allows a higher degree of transparency, giving buyers and sellers more information about what belongs to whom.
For the rest of this article: http://magazine.cim.org/en/news/2018/five-developments-that-will-shape-the-year-ahead-for-miners/