Bitfury, the U.S State Department and Coca-Cola are launching a blockchain based project that aims to create a secure registry for workers.
“We are partnering with the pilot of this project to further increase transparency and efficiency of the verification process related to labor policies within our supply chain,” Brent Wilton, Coca-Cola’s global head of workplace rights, said.
They plan to create a “registry for workers” that will further store their employment contracts with the ostensible aim of addressing child labor or forced labor.
But how exactly the blockchain would assist in that endeavor is not clear. Nor is it clear what blockchain technology they are using exactly, with the only hint being that Emercoin is involved too.
Emercoin is an old bitcoin fork that lacks smart contracts as far as we are aware, making it unclear how they would store these contracts.
But BitFury invested in them, suggesting it is a centralized coin as in a statement back in January Bitfury said in an announcement of their investment:
“Additionally, Emercoin today announced the creation of a new advisory board. Board members include van der Chijs, renowned venture capitalist Bill Tai, a member of Bitfury’s board of directors; and George Kikvadze, executive vice chairman of Bitfury.”
Regarding the Coca-Cola project, Bitfury said: “Bitfury and emercoin are proud to work with CocaCola and the US State Dept on a ground-breaking blockchain pilot project to combat forced labor. Thanks to BlockchainTA for bringing this great idea to life!”
The Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA) appears to be an offshoot of New America, a non-profit think tank.
BTA received a grant of an undisclosed amount from The Rockefeller Foundation. The grant was announced at the World Bank Group.
“Understanding blockchain is a prerequisite for scaling solutions that expand opportunity, increase resilience, and build trust for vulnerable populations,” Saadia Madsbjerg, Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation said at the time.
Tomicah Tillemann-Dick is the Director of the Bretton Woods II program at New America. He is also a Co-founder of the Blockchain Trust Accelerator, Chairman of the Global Blockchain Business Council, and serves on the Advisory Board of BitFury.
Upon receiving the grant, Tillemann said “Blockchain provides a solution to one of the defining challenges of our time: how to rebuild trust in institutions.”
Tillemann also served at the State Department as a speechwriter and senior advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry.
Regarding the Coca Cola project, the State Department’s role appears to be limited to providing expertise on labor protection, with blockchain technology now seemingly being integrated at quite a high level.