Tech giant Apple has been interested in blockchain technology for quite a while if sources are to be believed. However, Apple has not shown any real signs of tapping into the technology so far. Today, however, in their most recent filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the company made a note about their involvement in creating blockchain guidelines for the Responsible Minerals Initiative in a document titled ‘Conflict Minerals Report’.

For those wondering what this document is all about, this is basically a document which talks about Apple’s business practices and ethics regarding obtaining the minerals which are used across the various devices that they create. This has been a controversial matter for Apple in the past, but more on it later.

What was quite interesting in this recent document from Apple was the mention of their blockchain guidelines. Apple, in this document, pointed out that they have played a role in formulating the blockchain guidelines for the Responsible Minerals Initiative. These guidelines will be used to establish the principles, as well as terms and conditions for the deployment of blockchain technology for the use of due diligence in supply-chain management when it comes to mineral resources. The blockchain guidelines were being developed since March 2018.

The document filed to the SEC reads:

In 2018, Apple also supported the development of certain industry-wide standards, including the Responsible Artisanal Gold Solutions Forum’s Artisanal Gold Due Diligence Toolkit[…]and the Blockchain Guidelines of the Responsible Business Alliance’s Responsible Minerals Initiative (“RMI”).

This shows that Apple does have an active interest in the world of blockchain technology. So far, Facebook has been among the rare few ‘big names’ in tech to actively join the blockchain bandwagon. Microsoft and Amazon have been the other major name to express an active interest in this technology. Hopefully, we’ll hear more from Apple in the near future. 

Before this document, Apple was mentioned in the world of cryptocurrencies or blockchain only when they updated their App Store guidelines regarding the topic of cryptocurrency mining or blocked a podcast which talked about cryptocurrencies. Interestingly, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is interested in cryptocurrencies - and is also a part of a crypto startup

What is the Responsible Minerals Initiative?

The Responsible Minerals Initiative is a collaboration between 360 companies including leaders from the world of technology such as Apple, Acer and Best Buy among many others. All the members of this initiative work towards ensuring that the process of obtaining mineral resources is safe for nature and for the workers, as well as non-exploitative. 

However, when it comes to managing minerals, Apple has a controversial history. A couple of years ago, the company found itself in a major controversy where Apple was found to be obtaining Cobalt directly from the mines in Congo. A number of human rights firms had disapproved of Apple’s practices in the region. 

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