Category Archives: Coffee

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Blockchain To Bring Transparency and Wealth to Coffee Farmers in Ethiopia

Blockchain To Bring Transparency and Wealth to Coffee Farmers in Ethiopia (1)

Reuters reported earlier today on the initiative of a roastery in Ethiopia under the brand Moyee to use blockchain in supply chain management and improve coffee farmers’ incentive.

Most coffee exporters process the beans elsewhere and among other things, price fluctuations make the business an uphill battle for farmers. Despite the business being a very lucrative one, most farmers in the area are left at the bottom of the earning chain.

More so, “One reason why buyers from faraway places or different countries go through middlemen is because they rely on them to make sure farmers are following these good practices,” says Vijay Kandy whose company will build the blockchain platform.

Co-founder of Moyee Coffee Killian Stokes said “It’s the world’s favorite drink. We drink over 2 billion cups a day,” and being a huge industry, it’s rather bizarre that farmers are treated the worst. “The industry’s worth USD 100 billion and yet 90 percent of coffee farmers in Ethiopia live on less than USD 2 a day,” Stokes added.

In an attempt to bring economic relief to farmers, Moyee created unique digital identities for 350 farmers working with the company. The aim was to create transparency and allow buyers access to how much each farmer was being paid. Despite the prices being 20% higher than market prices, still farmers’ livelihood could still be improved, at least that’s what Moyee thinks since it wants to introduce blockchain to its business.

According to the company’s blog, it had been working on a prototype with bext360 and the FairChain Foundation since November 2017, and said that blockchain will “bring about a revolution in transparency that certification programs cannot currently offer.”

Blockchain continues to offer traceability, transparency, and trust which break barriers in economic distribution, and also promises to be the future technology of supply chain. Further, its underlying asset class – cryptocurrency – creates value as an incentive instrument for most business environments, and now, Moyee intends to apply that logic to the Coffee supply chain.

Blockchain will open up a new economic model for the farmers, allowing buyers to tip farmers, fund projects using a mobile app. Also, every transaction across the supply chain will be logged to the blockchain, ensuring transparency.

In a report by the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization, it concluded that emerging technologies like the blockchain in the agricultural sector shows promise of inclusive market participation for smallholders and Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs).

Blockchain innovations in the agricultural sector transcend technological benefits in managing supply chains alone, however, it has an overwhelming socio-economic impact. “It’s an innovation that is poised to empower local farmers in the Caribbean region,” said Pamela Thomas, executive director of the Agriculture Alliance of the Caribbean (AACARI) referring to the blockchain initiative to be adopted by fruit farmers in the Caribbean.

Apart from economic empowerment, blockchain has phased its way into improving food safety, export security and animal welfare as to be demonstrated by BeefLedger in its partnership with Australia’s National Transport Insurance (NTI) to trial blockchain monitoring of beef handling from Australia to Shanghai.

 

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Rosetta Coffee Adopts Crypto for International Export, Improved Farmer’s Pay

The Rosetta Coffee Company has announced that it will begin accepting Bitcoin, Bitcoin Diamond, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Litecoin, and Zcoin. This will allow Rosetta Coffee to export internationally for the first time, and to increase their farmer’s wages by sending cryptocurrency directly to them, cutting out middlemen.

Chargebacks had been such an issue when exporting coffee internationally that Rosetta Coffee had cut off all potential international clients. Now that the company is accepting cryptocurrency, which is immutable and irreversible, it can export coffee to anywhere in the world without risk. Co-founder Aaron Skeen says, “We have always been restricted from selling to international customers due to poor merchant protection from Visa and Mastercard. We are excited that cryptocurrency allows us to start offering our coffee to new international customers, knowing that the purchase is guaranteed no matter which country they are located in.”

Beyond this, fiat payment networks regularly deal with payment delays, lack of security and high fees. Accepting cryptocurrency will mitigate all of these problems.

Rosetta Coffee’s network of coffee bean farmers will see this as steps towards more efficient payments and lower fees, translating to higher income. Skeen says, “Cryptocurrency allows them to receive payment directly and immediately without paying a middleman. They will be able to take home more of what they earn. We think this is awesome and it aligns directly with our mission. In the coming weeks and months, we will be working with farmers to iron out this process and make it more accessible.”

Rosetta Coffee is a small batch coffee company based in the United States that has only been around since 2006.

 

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Start Your Morning Right With Some Bitcoin Coffee

Now everyone can start the morning right with a steaming hot cup of Bitcoin coffee, thanks to Ricardo Reis of Brazil. He has been a Bitcoin enthusiast since 2016 and created this automated Bitcoin-powered coffee machine to prove the ease of using Bitcoin as a currency.

He used the popular programming language PHP to develop the code for the Bitcoin coffee machine and connected a Raspberry Pi to the entire setup to provide the processing power.

The user of the coffee machine simply scans a wallet capable of reading QR codes on the coffee machine, and the Bitcoin address and amount to be sent is auto-filled into the transaction fields. The user then sends Bitcoin to the coffee machine, and the coffee machine uses blockchain.info’s API to detect that a transaction has come in and starts spitting out a cup of coffee.

The whole process is quite seamless and fast, basically the user scans their phone over the machine and it instantly starts pouring a fresh cup of morning joe.

In this example, a cup of coffee costs 0.05 USD (0.00000662 Bitcoin), and transaction fees are 0.06 USD, which is actually quite low for the transaction fee, but since coffee is poured at the moment a transaction is detected without waiting for confirmations a low transaction fee is ok.

It would be much more ideal to use the Bitcoin lightning network for these sort of microtransactions, since on the lightning network there would be practically zero transaction fee and a user could buy 2 cups of coffee instead of spending their money on 1 cup of coffee and the transaction fee. Ricardo Reis has built a test website to experiment with purchasing coffee using the lightning network, but hasn’t implemented a physical version yet.

This technology demonstrated in Ricardo Reis’ video could perhaps be useful for vending machines. There are vending machines that dispense coffee at some gas stations, and they could theoretically start accepting Bitcoin.

The Bitcoin-powered coffee machine is similar to the Sweetbit candy dispenser developed by Swiss inventor David Knezic in May 2018, which dispenses candy for a small amount of Bitcoin instantly after the user sends a transaction by scanning the QR code on the machine.

Ricardo Reis’ Bitcoin coffee machine and David Knezic’s Sweetbit candy machine prove that Bitcoin can be used as an everyday currency for fast and efficient transactions, even for micropayments of a dollar or less.

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