The popularity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin has made a huge impact upon the financial industry.
So much so, in fact, that it’s only a matter of time before the technology behind these virtual currencies (blockchain) will make itself known in every industry. While the revolution began in finance and banking, other industries such as supply chain, governance, retail, energy, and healthcare, will all likely be subjected to blockchain disruption.
What is blockchain currently disrupting?
It has already been proven that blockchain benefits many industries besides finance. In the music industry, for example, we’ve seen a blockchain-based platform from Myceria, which has established a method for musicians to push smart contracts for free-trade music sharing, which ensures that the artists receive the vast majority of the profits. Blockchain is also enjoying success in the online casino industry. Websites such as Gamble.io provide numerous casino games, for instance, that are powered by blockchain technology and bitcoin. Blackjack is among the more popular casino games and you can even play live dealer blackjack with bitcoins.
So how can blockchain help farmers, exactly?
One of the more interesting applications of blockchain is in the agriculture industry, which is currently experiencing a number of challenges. With an increase in food safety consciousness among consumers, there is an opportunity for blockchain to play a key role in resolving many of the issues facing agriculture.
Transparent of subsidies
Around the world, the farming industry is heavily reliant upon government subsidies. What percentage of these subsidies actually land in the farmers’ bank accounts is continually in doubt. Blockchain, however, allows more transparency with regards to the distribution and delivery of any subsidies. While the process may be complex, as it would involve numerous stakeholders coming together, it is at least possible – many say promising.
Transparency of produce sold
Often farmers are unaware whether they are buying authentic inputs or not. Retailers at the local level sell fake products to farmers, in order to make more profit. Even the retailers are, at times, unsure as to whether the products they receive are authentic. Big input players in the sector are losing millions of pounds as a result of duplication or pilferage, which also affects the image of their brand. Blockchain can help in this area by creating a more transparent supply chain, from the manufacturer to the end buyer. Farmers and retailers would simply need to scan a barcode on the products and they can instantly find out about the source and authenticity before they buy.
Transparency of land data
Registration for land transactions can be a very tedious process and is prone to fraud. With blockchain, land recording can be made to be more accessible and efficient, as any recorded data is freely available, making the system transparent. Further, smart contracts between farmers and corporate farming companies can lead to simpler contracting for land leasing.
As is the case with any movement, if the technology is valued and people can see how it can improve their lives, they will support it, and blockchain will make its way into the mainstream in most sectors in the coming years.