Apple aims to adopt some basic blockchain tech

An SEC filing points to some tantalizing, if limited, news of Apple's interest in blockchain. The filing, available here, describes Apple's commitment to avoiding "conflict minerals" and outlines its goal of responsible sourcing. After a few paragraphs preamble, the document points to the blockchain guidelines at the Responsible Minerals Initiative at the Responsible Business Alliance Foundation.

The organization, which is partially sponsored by Wal-Mart, has created a blockchain that can be used to track resources. They write:

"The RMI Blockchain Guidelines seek to reduce the fragmentation of blockchain projects by recommending a set of fundamental attributes for projects to include at each stage of mineral supply chains. The Guidelines are inspired by the success of the RMI’s Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT) and its underlying data exchange standard. They are agnostic to the type of operations for mineral production, trade and processing as well as the mineral or metal itself."

In other words, they've released a basic JSON-style categorization system for projects and the associated mineral supply chains. Does this mean your iPhone will get a Monero miner built in any time soon? Absolutely not, but it does point to some interesting blockchain stirrings deep within the Cupertino behemoth. 

“The RMI Blockchain Guidelines are a helpful first step to promote interoperability of blockchain projects in mineral supply chains and to help us understand the impacts of this technology on supply chains and communities,” said Michèle Brülhart, Director of Innovations at RBA. “The Guidelines are a living document and we look forward to further developing it with our members and partners.”

About Author

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times. He runs the Technotopia podcast about a better future. He has written five books including the best book on blogging, Bloggers Boot Camp, and a book about the most expensive timepiece ever made, Marie Antoinette’s Watch. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Disclosure: Biggs owns and maintains cryptocurrencies in a private account and has been consulting with startups regarding blockchain-based products. He also edits and writes for startup clients.

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