Last week, one of the world's largest industrial cobalt producers announced plans to join the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN). RSBN is a network of auto brands, refiners and miners that aim to use blockchain technology to promote responsible sourcing and production practices in the industry. RSBN will reportedly offer a highly secure and immutable record of relevant mine-to-market supply chain information that can be shared with members of a permissioned blockchain platform powered by Hyperledger Fabric. Also last week, a global food and beverage company announced a new project that leverages blockchain technology to facilitate responsible sourcing practices in the coffee bean industry. Participants will reportedly be able to store supply chain transaction records in a transparent, immutable and verifiable format and thus interact in a more trustworthy and efficient manner.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in conjunction with a leading national pharmaceutical manufacturer, a national professional services firm and a global technology firm, completed the Drug Supply Chain Security Act Interoperability Pilot earlier this month. The pilot reportedly demonstrated the visibility into the end-to-end pharmaceutical supply chain offered by blockchain technology. In a related development, the second-largest health insurance company in the U.S. recently announced plans to use blockchain technology to help patients securely store, share and access their medical data. According to reports, the feature is in the pilot phase but will be ready for commercial adoption in the next two to three years. Also this week, a leading professional services firm announced the release of its third-generation zero-knowledge proof blockchain technology for the Ethereum public blockchain. According to a press release, these updates significantly reduce transaction costs by batching up to 20 private transfers together into one transaction, which cuts the cost per transaction to $0.05 and reportedly makes public blockchains scalable for enterprise.

Diginex, a blockchain financial services and technology company, in conjunction with the United Nations Migration Agency, recently announced plans to launch a blockchain-based tool that aims to prevent the exploitation of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong and to facilitate ethical recruitment. Through the tool, agencies will reportedly be able to assess their current level of adherence to global ethical recruitment principles as set forth by the IRIS Standard.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation announced plans to explore blockchain technology as a solution for grant management. The solution would reportedly leverage a permissioned version of Ethereum to tokenize the details and payments found in letters of credit sent to grantees. By embedding all the grant information in the token, the solution will seek to reduce reporting burdens, improve transparency and reduce labor costs.

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