Coca-Cola partnered up with the U.S government to shed more lights on the company’s workforce practices. They decided blockchains were the best tool to accomplish that. (Image via Pixabay)


Blockchains: many probably still don’t know what it means while those who have heard about it might not really know what they are. It is more likely that people have heard about bitcoins and cryptocurrencies than they have about blockchains. However, cryptocurrencies are just one use of blockchains. Other uses include contracts, records and other types of information. A blockchain is a chain of the real-time edited versions of a piece of digital information put together to create a database that would serve a specific purpose. Even though the definition resembles that of an existing tool in technology, blockchains present advantages that are unmatched. Some of which the U.S State Department and Coca-Cola might be looking to take advantage of using.


Blockchains are transparent and incorruptible. As a shared database among multiple entities, blockchains are considered public; and that could be an advantage for this new project of Coca-Cola. After the International Labor Organization blew a whistle on the twenty-five million of people around the globe working forcefully, it became necessary for some companies to make public their workforce practices. The food and beverage industry, in particular, is affected since KnowTheChain (KTC), a U.S organization, proved in a study that most of the ten companies of that industry don’t deal properly with forcefully-hired workers. So, there is a hope that the public aspect of the blockchain will clear any suspicion around Coca-Cola which already decided to organize some studies country by country to evaluate the level of their involvement into the wrongful employment of kids or adults. One might think that anyone can alter the data in the chain, but another advantage of using a blockchain prevents that. Given that a blockchain requires enormous computer power to create, it will be hard to corrupt it because any new entry needs to be a new block which would require the appropriate equipment to create. Plus, no alteration can’t be made to previous blocks in the chain.


Blockchains are decentralized. Even though blockchains involve many participants, no one is in control of the chain. The data in the blockchain is generated together and available for all to use. Essentially, a blockchain is a collaboration platform, which is perfect for the U.S government/ Coca-Cola partnership. Also, with the Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA) helping on the project, neither the government nor Coca-Cola can pretend to be leading the project. The BTA intends to supervise the proper registry of work contracts along with the information on the contracted workers. The role of the State Department in this partnership is to provide expertise on how to protect the workforce. The Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Busby confirmed the State Department commitment to the project in an interview with Reuters. Busby further acknowledge that this project might not oblige companies to respect workforce- related laws, but it will serve as a benchmark for compliance.


Now that the roles are clearly defined, the next question is: “who will design the platform for the project”? That role is already taken. Recently, the CTO of Emercoin and CEO of Bitfury announced that theirs companies will be respectively taking care of blockchain services and building the blockchain platform.


Now, let’s hope this leads to stopping any workforce violation.


Have a story tip? Message me at: cabe(at)element14(dot)com