Peer Ledger: Redefining The Power Of Blockchain

Peer Ledger: Redefining The Power Of Blockchain

CIO VendorDawn Jutla, CEO & President Encircling verdant hills, ill-planned and under-developed roads lead to the gold mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some mines here are a chronicle of impoverished children and women, suffering gross human rights abuse, servicing the hunt for gold. The impact of conflict gold paints a sordid tale of hackneyed lives; a dichotomy that showcases the darker side of the lives of the indigenous people. “Conflict gold today is financing some of the world’s deadliest wars," states Dawn Jutla, CEO and President, Peer Ledger. In the wake of such events, institutional investors, large banks, governments, and private investors involved in the gold trade market need to ensure that the gold they are dealing with is coming from sources that exercise responsible business conduct and stringent accountability. “Lack of transparency, and business confidentiality across the chain of custody of gold obscure the visibility for the upstream beneficiaries in the precious metals supply chain, which may inadvertently fuel unethical funding used for war crimes,” Dawn adds. Measures have been taken in the form of section 1502 of The Dodd Frank financial regulatory reform bill, international OECD guidelines, and the impending EU regulation—slated to be effective Jan 1, 2021—to deter the exploitation of conflict gold for funding the war in the African region. However, companies across the supply chain face a dearth of effective track and trace systems to authenticate the identity of the various parties involved which inadvertently fuels human rights abuse. “With a strong focus on corporate values, Peer Ledger is resolute to eschew the bad actors from the end-to-end supply chain,” says Dawn. Leveraging the power of blockchain technology combined with identity, Peer Ledger enables institutions to invest in clean minerals with a certainty that their buying power is not being translated upstream to harm children, women, and men in the regions where the minerals are being mined. This is achieved by bringing in direct connectivity between various stakeholders and ultimately helping companies meet compliance mandates while validating the supply chain provenance. “Blockchain brings transparency and trust as a single powerful distributed database, allowing stakeholders to collaborate seamlessly,” affirms Dawn.

As the founder of Master of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program at the Sobey School of Business that has several students from the African region, Dawn has a natural inclination to work for the betterment of people. Coupled with her deep expertise and decades of experience in the constituent technologies of the blockchain, Dawn and her team aim to make a substantial impact on many lives and industries across the globe through Peer Ledger.

Using blockchain, Peer Ledger brings high level of transparency to the whole supply chain, eliminating any fraudulent behavior in the process.

Our approach toward ensuring foolproof identity is to map the identities from the existing system to the blockchain system by leveraging interoperability of public-private keys

Mimosi—Peer Ledger’s track and trace supply chain solution powered by blockchain technology provides a registry of clean gold. It ensures that the gold is coming from non-war jurisdictions by tracking it throughout the supply chain. “Mimosi produces an incorruptible record of transactions, to trace gold, or other mineral of interest, through each step of the downstream supply chain— from the refiner and processors to the end user in the electronics and jewelry industries,” says Dawn.

As gold can be melded into bars, unlike diamonds, tracing their origin is an arduous task. Mimosi deals with these challenges through stringent audits, intelligent certificate management, and automated Conflict Mineral Reporting Templates (CMRTs) to curtail any mishandling of the gold, tin, tantalum, and tungsten. With this, companies gain deep and accurate insights about the source of the mineral with ease. A buyer can now check the end-to-end sources in their mineral purchases and ensure that it has come from legitimate producers. “We intend to work with the financial, electronics, and jewelry industries to root gold, cobalt, and other conflict minerals out of the supply chain,” says Dawn.

Mimosi allows all the stakeholders to comply with international standards including the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals, London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), Responsible Gold Programme, and World Gold Council’s Conflict-Free Gold Standard at a fraction of present costs. Business confidentiality and transparency are enabled simultaneously on the Mimosi blockchain, which is a powerful combination. There are added benefits as well to curtailing practices like money laundering. As Mike Durland, former CEO of Capital Markets, Scotiabank, and now the Board Director at Peer Ledger points out, "As a ‘key risk management tool’, Mimosi allows investors to comply with a chain of custody requirements in the precious metals space by conducting due diligence when dealing with precious metals dealers.”

"We plan to expand our platform incrementally by gaining more customers onto the blockchain and building an ecosystem which will be game-changing in responsible sourcing of minerals,” adds Dawn.

Identity Management in the Digital Space

Leveraging blockchain as a common theme, Peer Ledger's ability to solve the challenges of ensuring foolproof identity goes beyond the complex supply chain to today’s online-driven, decentralized world of capital markets. “Identity is the ‘king’ of the digital services,” says Dawn.

A Ph.D. holder in access control, Dawn envisions that blockchain will bring cryptography to mainstream, which will help directly in authenticating an individual’s identity and enhancing security. By mapping cryptographic identity to real world identity, banks can improve their KYC as different nodes in the blockchain can seamlessly exchange the data and complete the transaction without depending on any third-party, which enhances process efficiency at significantly lower costs. Based on this capability, Peer Ledger has built an ‘Identity Bridge’ that maps real world identities to blockchain identities existing on various fabrics such as Hyperledger, Ethereum, or Bitcoin—using the strongest assurance standards. It is also an identity system-agnostic, bridging Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and OAuth 2 systems alike. “Our initial approach toward ensuring identity is to map the identities from the existing system to the blockchain system by leveraging existing public key infrastructure including the checking of government issued IDs,” says Dawn. Some of the key capabilities of Identity Bridge include mapping real user identities to digital identities and ensuring PKI and blockchain digital signature interoperability for secure document access. Additionally, the solution provides multi-factor authentication, flexibility in building groups according to roles, and default authentication factors per application for groups, while facilitating users with portable identity.

“We intend to work with the financial, electronics, and jewelry industries to root conflict gold out of the supply chain”

Blockchain—a ‘Swiss Knife’

For Peer Ledger, blockchain is the gateway for innovations across industries. For instance, Peer Ledger empowers healthcare providers to offer the right care services to the right person. “With Identity Bridge, patient and other health stakeholder identities—clinicians, administrators and clerks, nurses, and health insurers—are verified to a higher level of assurance that further improves blockchain efficiency,” says Dawn. By coupling a verified digital identity to a permissioned blockchain, and anonymizing and de-anonymizing it when needed, challenges such as double invoicing, counterfeiting, and inability to track and trace goods can be eliminated. Further, the access to a single ‘source of truth’—the golden record—gives way for disruption in the traditional practices for drug discovery, patient engagement and monitoring, payments, and participatory healthcare delivery.

“Blockchain is at the same phase where eCommerce was 20 years ago which is absolutely exciting,” says Dawn. Considering the fact that most companies are working on building their intellectual property in blockchain space at a faster pace, there is a tremendous opportunity for the Peer Ledger team to work with the breadth of stakeholders across industries to tackle the real-world operational challenges.

With deep commitment and involvement in corporate social responsibility and the overall good of the society, the leadership at Peer Ledger is excited about bringing the value-driven technology to redefine human lives at the global level. “At Peer Ledger, it’s all about leveraging the team’s technology entrepreneurship and innovation expertise coupled with an effective business strategy to creating blockchain solutions that have a purpose,” concludes Dawn.

- Syed Haseeb Ahmed
    June 30, 2017