Tuesday, October 19, 2021

State Dept. and Coca-Cola in Blockchain Team Up to Fight Slave Labor

State Dept. and Coca-Cola in Blockchain Team Up to Fight Slave Labor

As of 2016, approximately 25 million humans were trapped in the throes of forced labor. It’s a tragic, soul-crushing problem that should be met resolutely by the societies of the world. To that end, the U.S. State Department and powerhouse company Coca-Cola are teaming up with Blockchain Trust Accelerator to bring transparency to labor in a pilot project. 

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Labor Auditability Through Blockchain

Unfortunately, modern slavery remains a huge problem all across the world. But in a testament to the age of transparency that may be coming, Coca-Cola and the U.S. State Department are now turning to blockchain tech to fight forced labor.

Both organizations will be joining forces with Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA) — itself backed by BitFury, New America, and the National Democratic Institute — to generate a “secure registry for workers and their contracts using blockchain’s validation and digital notary capabilities,” per Reuters.

In recent years, Coca-Cola has been under mounting pressure along with the food and beverage industry in general to take more proactive and prophylactic measures against forced labor in supply chains. Coca-Cola’s participation in this blockchain initiative comes on the heels of the company putting in place nearly 30 studies to focus on modern slavery.

To that end, Coca-Cola’s director of workplace rights Brent Wilson told Reuters:

“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.”

Bettering the World

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has consistently said in recent months that the blockchain space needs to be intently focused on improving the world — not just lambos, lambos, lambos.

Accordingly, one would be hard pressed to find a better cause that blockchain tech seems more perfectly suited for than rooting out forced labor.

In tracking who worked on what, when, where, and why, companies like Coca-Cola can leverage the blockchain for guaranteeing that their supply chains aren’t relying on forced labor anywhere up and down the line.

It’s promising, real-world possibilities like this that seem to suggest blockchain tech will end up revolutionizing our societies for the better in many ways.

What’s your take? Do you think Coca-Cola is wise or off-base for turning to the blockchain for tackling this terrible problem? Sound off in the comments below.

Images via Fortune, Coca-Cola Bottling Company United

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