In their latest article for Mongabay, journalists and Amazon Aid consultants Charlie Espinosa and Charles Lyons investigate moves to use blockchain to bring transparency and rigor to a risky industry with consumers increasingly eager to know where their gold comes from.

Inside one of Fênix’s mines. Image by Charles Lyons.

While it has promise, some warn that blockchain is not a panacea.

“Blockchain isn’t synonymous with responsible mining,” observed Christina Miller, who runs a sustainable jewelry consulting service and works for the nonprofit Amazon Aid, which is supporting this series on gold mining for Mongabay without editorial input. “It’s not telling you communities are able to invest in other livelihoods, or that there’s a remediation plan,” Miller continued, “or if women are being exploited or have fair access to economic opportunities. It just tells you that a purchase was made and ownership of the goods was transferred along a documented path.”

Read the full story via Mongabay:

Can blockchain clean up the gold industry in Brazil and across the globe?


The interview and article are part of a series appearing in environmental news platform, Mongabay, each article focused on some aspect of gold mining in Amazonian countries, all funded by Amazon Aid. Lyons and Espinosa are developing the stories as independent journalists, without input from Amazon Aid.

At Amazon Aid, we envision an Amazon free of destructive mining practices where people have access to safe, dignified livelihoods and ecosystems thrive. By raising awareness, independent journalism supports our work to cultivate a cleaner gold supply chain to preserve and protect the ecosystem and biodiversity, and to strengthen human rights in the Amazon.