Richard Verkley - on the Transformative Potential of Blockchain for Mining Industry

HOUSTON, TX / ACCESSWIRE / May 2, 2018 / Originally created as a way to facilitate transactions of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, blockchain is quickly making its way into other applications and sectors, with seemingly endless possibilities. The mining industry now stands to be one of the biggest beneficiaries, as integration of this modern ledger platform presents the opportunity to provide astounding changes to the way business is conducted on all levels of operations. Richard Verkley, CEO of Farpoint Metals and Mining, discusses the core aspects most likely to be altered by the use of blockchain, spanning from the tracking of materials, to redefining how value is assigned and subsequently traded.

Blockchain first came to prominence in 2008, and allows for the creation and maintenance of a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are fully secured from tampering and revision. In regards to mining, it is currently being utilized for materials such as diamonds, which are imprinted with a QR code that links to a digital token for quality verification and authenticity. This emerging solution has assisted in reducing theft and insurance costs, while also ensuring a more transparent transaction from start to finish. Further blockchain expansion could lead to use with more complex supply chains worldwide. For example, raw materials could be tracked from the moment they are extracted all the way to the point of sale, meeting a rising consumer demand for better supply chain transparency and more environmentally friendly processing. As for advantages geared towards actual miners, Richard Verkley points out how blockchain-based tracing can offer peace of mind on products that have been sourced in regions of the world with lax regulations, while identifying any supply chains with notable security risks.

Perhaps the most radical change posed by the blockchain involves completely altering the actual mining process altogether, redefining what raw material ownership entails. A gold mining company could identify ore body in the ground, and then assign value in equal parts. The information would then be verified by a third party that records the value in a blockchain as a digital token, which investors could then purchase, representing a gold vault quantity. The end result is gold that will never be actually mined in a physical sense, but traded on an exchange nonetheless. The blockchain record would allow direct tracking of ownership, and also pinpoint the exact geographic location of the ore. It could then link to a physical tag that detects if the ore body is physically moved or disturbed, sending an alert to a third party on the blockchain that would notify the token's owners, or nearby law enforcement.

Richard Verkley is an entrepreneur and renowned mining executive, and CEO of Farpoint Metals and Mining. Originally established in 2012, the company oversees operations in Ecuador, with an ongoing commitment to ecologically friendly and sustainable gold mining practices. Richard and his wife Sheryle are also the co-founders of Hearts of Gold, a nonprofit that works to boost the capabilities of various local Ecuadorian charities in order to achieve their unique objectives through workshops, community dialogue, and mentorships.

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