The Blockchain subsidiary of Overstock.com, Medici Ventures has invested in a grain tech firm. Medici bought equity worth $2.5 million in GrainChain, an agricultural Blockchain based project.
With this investment, Medici now owns 10% of GrainChain, with an option to buy another 10% in the future. For GrainChain, this investment now allows the agriculture company to expand its footprint in Central as well as South America.
Tracking Distribution in Agriculture
GrainChain, founded in 2003, has created a Blockchain based financial settlement system which allows different players in the agriculture supply chain to track the distribution process of a crop harvest.
According to the CEO of GrainChain, Luis Macias, when they originally tried digitizing the supply chain using the Internet of Things two years ago, their systems were not able to handle the sheer number of variables involved. The systems had to coordinate with thousands of trucks on a daily basis due to the number of contracts that had to be manually filled out and executed.
Which is why they looked at a Blockchain solution.
This new system lets producers, buyers as well as sellers to create smart contracts so that funds can secured throughout the distribution process.
GrainChain says this platform gives small- and medium-scale farmers the opportunity to do business outside their immediate geographies without having to rely on middlemen. 500 farmers are already piloting the new Blockchain network now and another 3000 are on a waiting list.
Blockchain in Agriculture
This is not the first time that Blockchain technology is being applied to the agricultural sector. In November, Sweetgreen, a US-based fast-casual salad chain, stated that it was initiating a second round of funding to raise $200 million, which the company would use to develop solutions for its supply chain.
The company stated that part of that funding would be sued to develop specifically Blockchain based solutions for its food supply chain so that transparency and efficiencies were improved.
Prior to that, in October, ABCD, which is comprises of the four largest agriculture companies in the world. Joined hands to digitize and improve grain trading at an international level by using Blockchain and AI (Artificial Intelligence) based solutions.
Blockchain and AI based technologies would first be implemented in the grain and oilseed sector. The focus would be on digitizing the post-trading execution process, since these were currently highly manual and were also one of the most expensive parts of the food supply chain.
In the same month, Medici invested in the Israeli tech company called VinX to develop a wine-futures platform based on Blockchain technology. The Israeli company is planning to develop a token-based wine futures platform, which would be based on the futures model used by Bordeaux.