Many industries often overlap and the story is no different when it comes to the intersection of cybersecurity, blockchain and mining. According to Softpedia, between 2010 and 2016, 22 mining companies reported major cyber-attacks. Accenture Consulting reported that attacks range from hacking private information, hijacking intellectual property, or knocking an M&A off course.
A PWC report called, “We need to talk about the future of mining,” touches base on what blockchain technologies can provide the mining industry. In the report, it states one of the biggest challenges miners will face in the future is the shift from-business-to-business mindsets to “one that gives greater consideration to the needs of the consumer and other stakeholders.”
That said, the report highlights that blockchain technology is already used in resources such as diamonds. As stated by PWC, diamonds are imprinted by a QR code linking to a digital token “verifying their quality, ethical extraction and authenticity.”
Much like blockchain applications, this process cuts down on fraud, theft and insurance costs, as well as creating a more transparent viewpoint of “the custody of goods.”
“What the internet did for communications, blockchain will do for trusted transactions, and the energy and utilities industry is no exception,” said Stephen Callahan, Vice President, Energy, Environment & Utilities, Global Strategy, at IBM.
The trend illustrates how blockchain is swiftly moving beyond financial services and cryptocurrencies, and offers a glimpse of a growing challenge to the $2 trillion energy market.
Blockchain is a database of transactions distributed among multiple computers. It solves two key problems in the online world: transacting without the need of a trusted intermediary, and making sure those transactions can’t later be altered, removed or reversed.
This appeals to the energy and mining industry in several ways. As the market liberalizes and renewable energy and mining grows in areas such Lithium, Graphite and Cobalt production, blockchain offers a way to better handle the increasingly complex and decentralized transactions between users, large- and small-scale producers, retailers and even traders and utilities.
Being able to add “smart contracts” onto a blockchain would also make it possible for actions to generate automatic transactions down to the smallest level, where meters and computers could autonomously reconcile supply and demand.