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Blockchain in Fair Trade Coffee

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Kartic Rakhra

July 22 · Issue #2 · View online

A weekly roundup of everything Blockchain & Crypto Currency curated with a lot of sarcasm, memes and gifs


This past week has been fairly hectic since we’re in the final stages of closing sponsors and speakers for the India Blockchain Week. I almost forgot to send this out!
Know someone who might be interested in speaking at the conference? Connect away :)
Shout out to my good friend, Archana, for suggesting this week’s topic/theme. She’s created a conscious consumer brand, called Kowdi Kutumba, that helps underprivileged women in North Karnataka get an added source of income and support their families. Cheggit! 

All right, then. 
What is Blockchain?
Ummm… Kripya Google ka istemaal kare 
Where can it be used? Boom! That’s the question…
One of the biggest use cases of Blockchain is fast, low-cost and secure remittances. But how does that apply practically? 💭
Jeez! Relax. Getting there
Jeez! Relax. Getting there
Let’s talk about Fair Trade, more specifically, Coffee and the lack of transparency in its supply chain. 
Wait, how big is this market?
Coffee is measured in 60 kg bags. Last year, the world produced 151 million such bags. All of this came from Asia, Africa & Latin/South America aka poor guys. The rich guys - Europe, North America, Russia and the likes, imported 107 million of those.
“Whaaaaaaaaaaat” - you
Why Fair Trade? The concept essentially came up to help improve the economic conditions of poor farmers by eliminating/becoming the middle man that pays a ‘fair price’ for their produce.
Consumers loved the idea, and in most cases, were/are willing to pay a premium for Fair Trade products as well. Unfortunately, while the intent is noble, none of the Fair Trade organisations have been able to show a considerable impact. 
I’ve shared an interesting article, in the links section below, on the reasons Fair Trade hasn’t worked till now.
While the impact can only be seen over time, a company called Bext360 seems to be heading in the right direction like an interesting idea… despite that name.
See that illustration up there? Well, that’s the key component. Farmers can simply put in their produce into the machine, which relies on AI and Machine Learning to sort the coffee beans into different quality grades.
Each grade has its market value attached to it. The farmer can see the split on her mobile app and instantly get money in her account based on the calculations. 
The same transaction, at the moment, can take up to months to complete. And that’s where Blockchain Technology comes in play. 
These contracts have been developed in partnership with Stellar - a Blockchain platform designed for low-cost financial services/solutions like the Bext360 to be built on top of it.
But what about transaction fees? 
As low as $0.01 per ~600,000 transactions
Hey, this Stellar thing seems interesting. I want to know more!
Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to do next week - a breakdown of Stellar, and how it’s able to lower that transaction cost.
Feedback is an essential ingredient to improving this newsletter, keep it coming!
Interesting stuff others are writing
Issues with Fair Trade Coffee. Easy read.
ICO madness. Fun read.
Simple & interesting read.
Use Case. Overview. Simple read.
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