Community Fund Proposal: BlockGrain - Automating the grain supply chain with NEM


#1

:white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: Polling is now open for our proposal through the NEM NanoWallet Voting feature (located under Services). Please use the poll address:

NBOOZMXZMKQMCYLRH4R5CTOIGRVYQFNQ677K7VLK

If you find the Voting feature has been disabled, you can still vote by sending a 0 XEM transaction directly to one of the addresses below:

YES - (I support): NB7KKK3BVHHYTVP2X5WYA475GLAUDXQS6CDMKT4G

NO - (I do not support): NDDMCPR4RIDKRIYXRCRV5JMBXOXZQG5RZJNYHYIL

Thank you NEM Community!


:ru: Русская версия


BlockGrain is automating the agricultural supply chain through a powerful application suite that improves connectivity and facilitates transactions between farmers, brokers, buyers and logistics companies.

To enhance contracting capability and enable the tracking and traceability of grain (proof of origin), BlockGrain needs an industry-leading blockchain to support the growth of our system. This proposal has been vetted and approved by NEM’s technical trainer as it uses key features on Apostille and the NEM blockchain.

We encourage all NEM followers to join the discussion and our community.

Please visit us at our Telegram channel.


Please note: This proposal is not only an idea - customers are already using our MVP.

We have so far invested $150K USD of our own money and obtained limited private funding to successfully create a minimum viable product (which is currently being used by early adopters), and are in the final stages of developing a full-scale product. We are seeking the support of the NEM Community to develop blockchain features and grow our product.

BlockGrain has already established a market that are ready to adopt our product as soon as it is available. We are currently working with Rise Agri - Australia’s largest independent grain brokerage group, responsible for managing more than 1000 farmers nationally. With an annual production value of $500M USD, Rise Agri and their farmers will be some of the first customers to use the BlockGrain system.


Executive Summary

With a suite of web and native mobile apps, BlockGrain will revolutionise the way farmers, brokers, buyers and logistic providers do business. This technology is solving key agricultural supply chain issues.

Vision

Bringing all key participants into one, common system, providing access to a global agricultural market that is worth more than a trillion dollars USD with partnerships using the NEM blockchain

Mission

  1. Supply chain tracking: Improving efficiency and productivity by allowing key participants to plan and execute logistics operations (Use case for Apostille/Messaging features powered by NEM).
  2. Recordkeeping/Proof of origin: Providing visibility/traceability of all stock (proof of origin) and minimise loss, as grain moves through the supply chain (Use case for Namespaces/Mosaics features powered by NEM).
  3. Smart asset contracting: Reducing contract risk by providing a secure and easy-to-use platform to create commodity and freight contracts (Use case for Multi-sig contracts feature powered by NEM).

We are a private Australian company with one patent nearing final approval and another soon to be filed. Our team comprises an experienced group of business, agriculture and technology experts with a proven track record of industry success, and the integrity to deliver this project.

BlockGrain is scheduled for release to the market by Q2 2018. We are seeking 800,000 XEMs to scale our product and continue operating as a standalone, self-funded business. With support from the NEM Community, an enhanced product incorporating NEM blockchain features will be developed, tested and released to market by Q4 2018.

Our recommendation is that our proposal is supported by the NEM Community to scale our product into a global, blockchain-enabled application which showcases the power and utility of NEM.


Introduction

To advance the NEM Community, BlockGrain aims to highlight the real-world utility of the NEM blockchain across the entire agricultural supply chain. This project will demonstrate the adaptability of the NEM blockchain to integrate with an existing software-as-a-service (SaaS platform) to create immediate value. The successful integration of BlockGrain on NEM will create a powerful case study to attract future projects to use the NEM blockchain.

Through a successful integration with BlockGrain, NEM will get immediate access to the Australian agricultural industry through more than 1,000 farms, 100 trucking companies and the largest group of independent brokers. As grains are Australia’s most valuable agricultural export commodity (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), working with BlockGrain would provide the NEM Community with direct access to the largest arm of Australian agriculture (29.8% of total revenue).

The BlockGrain technology is the culmination of two years of design, development, testing and refinement. BlockGrain now requires a multi-layered blockchain environment, with users transferring custody of grain between each other, in addition to securing freight contracts and commodity contracts using the NEM blockchain.

Please support this proposal so that together as a community we can all benefit.


Industry problems

1. Lack of visibility

In the commodity supply chain, grain from multiple farms or regions is blended and transported to end users who have no visibility of its origin or the farming practices involved.

  • Traceability: With the growing affluence of consumers around the world, paddock-to-plate traceability and full disclosure of the production and supply chain is playing a greater role in consumer purchasing decisions.
  • Transparency: For consumers, ensuring transparency over what chemicals, pesticides and gases were used in the production and transportation of food products across the entire supply chain was simply not possible, until now.

2. Complexity

Global supply chains are incredibly complex ecosystems with high barriers of entry for smaller market participants.

  • Inefficiencies: It is estimated that 30% of the value in bulk commodities in western economies is lost due to inefficient supply chains and intermediaries. This figure increases to 50% in the developing world (Deloitte).
  • Risk: Supply chain risk and traditional bottlenecks in import/export currently prevent farmers from realising the true value of their product. BlockGrain streamlines the supply chain to reduce the number of intermediaries and minimise administrative overheads and shrinkage. The ability for smaller, local farms to deal directly with end consumers is often unviable. Buyer payment defaults, heavy documentation processes and currency risk are just a few of the factors that force local farmers to sell via large intermediaries.

3. Information and data

There is currently no common platform for key participants in the agricultural supply chain to create, share and store information and data.

  • Poor recordkeeping: The majority of farmers and logistics providers currently use basic spreadsheets, paper records and dockets to manage their production, stocks, marketing and general operations. As a result, poor recordkeeping can lead to loss of stock, contamination, and critical business decisions being made with poor and inaccurate data. These shortfalls have led to a lack of consistent, accurate recordkeeping across the agricultural supply chain.
  • Technology fragmentation: Although new agricultural technologies continue to emerge, they have failed to solve the major problems with post-harvest operations. These activities are impaired by systems that only manage a small component of the supply chain, or are proprietary applications created and distributed by single bulk handling companies and grain marketers.

BlockGrain solution (Powered by NEM)

Imagine if the agricultural industry could make better-informed decisions, eliminate unnecessary paperwork and dockets, open up markets and increase the bottom line by conducting business in one simple platform. This is what BlockGrain is all about.

BlockGrain customers

  • Farmers
  • Farmer brokers
  • Farming cooperatives
  • Logistics companies
  • Logistics brokers
  • Buyers
  • Manufacturers (dairies, flour mills, breweries, etc)
  • Suppliers of agricultural inputs (chemicals, fertilisers, etc)
  • Importers/exporters of bulk commodities

Solution

Investigation by the BlockGrain technology team has confirmed the technical feasibility of using the NEM blockchain.

Please note: the BlockGrain / NEM architecture is open to community feedback and design changes, particularly as new capability is introduced. The introduction of Mijin will likely enhance a number of features in BlockGrain’s current design and further improve our technical solution.

1. Smart asset contracting (multi-sig contracts)
BlockGrain is the first industry-wide platform to provide seamless contract solutions between farmers, grain brokers, buyers and logistics providers. Our aim is to build the best automated software solution for creating both commodity contracts and freight contracts.

The BlockGrain system allows buyers, sellers and freighters of commodities to interact in a blockchain backed environment, ensuring both sides of the sale are protected. The XEM token can be leveraged as the underlying asset for such commodity contracts. Using the NEM platform, BlockGrain will create the first global marketplace for the buying and selling of physical agricultural commodities. XEM will be used as the core cryptocurrency through which the buying and selling of grain can occur. The culmination of the above two initiatives will exponentially drive up the demand and price of XEM.

2. Supply chain tracking (Apostille and messaging)
Combining user-friendly native mobile applications for farming and logistics operations with a powerful web application for business administration, BlockGrain provides end-to-end visibility of the agricultural supply chain. As BlockGrain manages and tracks all commodity stocks, users know exactly how much grain they hold, where it is going, when it is getting there, and what the value is.

BlockGrain will be the first application in the world that allows farmers, brokers and logistics companies to transfer data and automate the delivery process, from the paddock to end user. A broker or farmer can simply send a freight order to a logistic provider, stipulating the pickup site, destination site, tonnage and price to transport grain. The logistics company can accept the freight contract details and plan all the individual truck movements that need to occur in order to fulfill the tonnage stipulated in the freight contract. As loads are picked up and delivered, all data is collected and time-stamped at each point along the supply chain using the Apostille notarisation features. All parties are then updated in real-time as each transaction takes place.

3. Recordkeeping/proof of origin (namespaces, sub-namespaces and mosaics)
As grain moves along the supply chain, proof of origin can be established by creating an immutable record of its journey from paddock to plate. Key supply chain participants (such as farmers, logistics companies, bulk handlers and buyers) will be identified by namespaces on the NEM blockchain. The supply chain nodes owned and controlled by each of these entities (such as fields, silos, trucks and delivery locations) will setup as sub-namespaces. Commodities will be captured using NEM mosaics and pass from one entity to the next along the supply chain until they reach their destination.


Development pathway

Phase 1 - Minimum viable product (Complete)
The MVP for BlockGrain has been built and is currently being trialled by users to inform product design. The current system allows farmers, their brokers and logistics companies to track grain from a farm field at harvest time to an end user of the grain. It also provides farmers the ability to create commodity contracts and record deliveries against those contracts, ensuring that a farmer’s total marketing position can be kept up to date at all times. The MVP has been used for two consecutive harvests with excellent results. Our team has used the feedback and lessons learned to develop the first release of our full-release product.

Phase 2 - Full-release product (Current)
With the small investment BlockGrain has received to date, the team has been busy developing the full-release product, which will be ready for a soft launch in Q2 2018. The full-release product expands on the functionality of the MVP and allows users to:

  • Link to farmers, brokers and logistics providers
  • Record and manage grower stocks
  • Create, manage and track commodity contracts
  • Create and manage freight contracts
  • Track freight operations (including GPS)
  • Digitise paperwork

Full-release application suite includes web apps for Farmers/Brokers/Logistics Companies, as well as native mobile (iOS and Android) for Farmers/Logistics Companies.

Phase 3 - NEM integration
The BlockGrain platform will be enhanced by the NEM blockchain to support:

  • Supply chain tracking (Apostille and messaging)
  • Recordkeeping (namespaces)
  • Proof of origin (sun-namespaces and mosaics)
  • Smart asset contracts (multi-sig contracts)

Phase 4 - International expansion
Phase four will see BlockGrain expand from being a primarily-Australian platform into a global end-to-end grain trading and logistics platform through ‘BlockGrain Lite’. BlockGrain Lite will introduce core system functionality to other major grain producing regions including North America, South America and Europe. In addition, our buyers module will expand to all major global markets, particularly in Asia and the Middle East.

To achieve this, we will leverage the NEM chain to automate/replace:

  • Export documentation
  • Letters of credit
  • Import documentation
  • Contract settlement
  • Disbursement of fees and charges

BlockGrain is a system that supports industry trends, with more and more users moving to home storage and away from bulk handlers. By harnessing the NEM blockchain, users of the BlockGrain platform will be able to buy and sell their product domestically or internationally in a safe, risk-free environment. This can be achieved by removing ambiguity at the transaction points between market participants, by providing transparency and traceability

Phase 5 - Social responsibility
The team at BlockGrain believe wholeheartedly in the creation of a level playing field and access to markets for all farmers in all regions of the world. To achieve this goal, BlockGrain aims to leverage a significant market presence in the developed farming economies to move the BlockGrain technology to the developing economies completely free of charge.

The inability of smaller farmers in developing economies to manage stock, as well as reach broader domestic and global markets results in a loss of up to 50% of the value in their produce between harvest and the final point of sale. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, it is estimated that 50% of food produced in Africa is lost to waste and spoilage - this is enough to feed 300 million people.

Once BlockGrain has established itself as a global company, the next phase will be to focus our energy on providing a free platform for farmers and logistics providers in developing economies. By providing a platform for small farmers to manage their stock, network with other farmers to form cooperatives, find logistics providers and access global markets, BlockGrain can transform the way developing world farmers do business.

The funding from this community proposal will make this important phase in our business a reality.


Business model

BlockGrain has five models to generate revenue as well as increase the use of XEMs:

1. B to C

  • User subscriptions: A monthly subscription fee will be collected from BlockGrain users based on their subscription type. BlockGrain has developed an adoption strategy that will facilitate maximum uptake of the platform without compromising long-term revenue.

2. B to B

  • Marketplaces: BlockGrain will be able to earn commissions through the operation of an online marketplace for commodities. The NEM blockchain will be used in lieu of a traditional clearing house, with the option to complete transactions using XEMs.
  • Freight tendering: BlockGrain will operate a logistics freight tendering service. This feature will leverage the NEM blockchain to support freight contracts and pay freight providers as jobs are completed.
  • Insurances and futures contracts: BlockGrain will provide direct access to a suite of financial products. This will include the sale of insurance on grain contracts, as well as access to futures contracts offered by global commodity exchanges. Currently, the process involved and cost of insurance products and future contracts is prohibitive to the farmer.

3. B to B / B to G

  • Data and information: The data that is captured by the BlockGrain platform is exceptionally valuable. Data will be used by a variety of industry participants, including banks, lending providers, real estate companies, government agencies, as well as domestic and foreign investors. Data gathered by the BlockGrain system includes:
    – Accurate valuation of farming enterprises
    – Financial reporting for farmer borrowing
    – Area yield reporting - production levels, inputs v outputs, and ROI

Our team

Caile Ditterich - Chief Executive Officer
Born on the family farm near Swan Hill (Victoria), Caile has 15 years experience in the grains industry. Planting his first crop at the age of 12, Caile has worked with a variety of Agricultural companies in key positions including Australia’s largest grain handler GrainCorp. With an MBA from Bond University, Caile has been the driving force behind this business for over 2 years. Prior to BlockGrain, Caile has been in business several times and worked as a consultant to numerous startups and IT companies.

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Sam Webb - Chief Technology Officer
With an MBA and MPM from Bond University, Sam Webb brings a wealth of IT and project management experience to the BlockGrain team. Drawing on over 10 years experience, Sam has played a key role in the BlockGrain system development, as well as the implementation and expansion strategy. Originally from the healthcare industry, Sam has worked on large-scale, high value projects in ICT infrastructure and software.

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Professor Baden U’Ren - Chief Finance Officer
Baden brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team. As an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Bond University, Baden is a thought leader in the Australian entrepreneurship community. He is also the Director of the Bond Business Commercialisation Centre. Prior to this, Baden was the Head of Structure Finance for Atlantic 3 Funds Management where he performed numerous capital raising activities for business acquisitions, managed pooled investment funds, and helped to launch QIC’s Private Equity program.

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Ian Dalgliesh - Business Development Manager
Drawing on 35+ years’ experience in the agricultural industry, Ian confidently builds relationships with farmers and the broader agricultural sector as our primary Business Development Manager. Ian has championed and developed numerous successful agricultural IT projects and has held a number of key positions in grain supply chain management including Origination Manager for Cargill Australia, Accumulation Manager for Noble Grains and General Manager for Australian Grain Accumulation.

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Gerard Toscan - Strategic Advisor
Gerard is a fifth generation farmer from Coleambally in the Riverina (NSW). Utilising his 35+ experience in agriculture, Gerard revolutionised the popcorn industry by developing an market-leading supply chain operation and marketplace for his operation to export popcorn and grain directly to end users in Australia and Asia. Gerard was also a key founder of a $28M USD greenfield cotton gin that transitioned from idea to production in under 12 months.

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Don Telford - Strategic Advisor
Don currently serves as Chairman of the Australian Logistics Council and is an exceptional asset to BlockGrain team. He has served for many years as the Chief Operating Officer of Asciano Group, and was also the Divisional General Manager of Pacific National Intermodal. Prior to that, Don served as Director of Logistics at Toll Holdings Ltd.

Don’s expertise in transport and supply chains is highly regarded throughout the industry. As a result, he has held advisory management positions at both Monash University and RMIT University.

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Brendan Stewart - Strategic Advisor
Brendan is a highly-experienced agricultural expert and previous head of Australia’s largest agricultural company (and largest grain handler/exporter) AWB. Brendan is a multifaceted, results-driven business leader with comprehensive experience demonstrating quantifiable achievements and expertise encompassing all facets of management within the agricultural industry.

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Jing Su - Strategic Advisor
Jing has been managing her family business for 10 years and is now CEO and Managing Director of her own clothing empire based out of Shanghai. Jing has been involved in a broad portfolio of business management throughout Asia and the United States and provides Blockgrain with major pathways of expansion into these markets. Jing holds an MBA from Bond University. She is a board member and early-stage investor of Lalabobo clothing, which has just received significant investment from Sequoia Capital China.


Milestones

BlockGrain is asking for 800,000 XEMs to be utilised as follows:

Milestone 1
25% (200K XEMs) to be disbursed upon completion of the following:

  • Complete BlockGrain Web App alpha testing phase 1
  • Complete BlockGrain Mobile Apps (Android and iOS) alpha testing phase 1
  • Develop and launch press release for BlockGrain supporting the NEM platform
  • Conduct at least 3 interviews on BlockGrain using the NEM blockchain
  • Commitment from BlockGrain to support agriculture-related blockchain platforms on NEM
  • As a NEM brand ambassador, promote NEM to aspiring blockchain companies at Blockchain Centre Melbourne
  • Present to and engage with university students in Queensland on the application of NEM and BlockGrain

Milestone 2
30% (240K XEMs) to be disbursed upon completion of the following:

  • Complete BlockGrain Web App Beta testing phase
  • Complete BlockGrain Mobile Apps (Android and iOS) Beta testing phase
  • Launch first-release BlockGrain Web App
  • Launch first-release BlockGrain Mobile Apps (Android and iOS)
  • Launch BlockGrain marketing campaign to attract customer usage including promotion of NEM and upcoming features
  • Develop tier 1 user support materials - user manuals and FAQs
  • Post at least 5 blog posts on BlockGrain’s progress and development on the NEM platform
  • Hire additional development resources
  • Commence development of NEM backend for BlockGrain platform
  • Confirm at least 10 farmers with Blockgrain to use system
  • Confirm with at least 5 logistics companies to use the system
  • Start conversations with potential international customers

Milestone 3
25% (200K XEMs) to be disbursed upon completion of the following:

  • Complete development of NEM smart signing contracts backend for the BlockGrain platform
  • Successfully execute NEM-enabled smart signing contracts on mainnet via the BlockGrain platform
  • Post at least 3 blog posts on BlockGrain’s progress and development on the NEM platform
  • Commence Case Study for an existing product integrating with NEM for promotion of NEM technology
  • Share about the NEM blockchain with agricultural trade shows

Milestone 4
15% (120K XEMs) to be disbursed upon completion of the following:

  • Complete development of NEM supply chain tracking backend for the BlockGrain platform
  • Successfully execute NEM-enabled proof of origin trial on mainnet via the BlockGrain platform
  • Launch BlockGrain + NEM marketing campaign to increase user adoption and promote utilisation of the NEM technology
  • Complete Case Study for an existing product integrating with NEM for promotion of NEM technology
  • Complete design of Buyers module for Web App
  • Commence development of Buyers module for Web App

Milestone 5
5% (40K XEMs) to be disbursed upon completion of the following:

  • Complete Beta testing of Buyers module for Web App
  • Launch Buyers module for Web App to increase volume of NEM transactions
  • Establish international office for BlockGrain in new market
  • Hire additional sales and support resources
  • Launch BlockGrain to international market
  • Continuous marketing campaigns, including in new market

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How supporting BlockGrain benefits the NEM Community

Summary of how this Community Funding Proposal will positively benefit the NEM community and beyond:

  1. First use case in the agricultural sector for NEM - this will unlock other industry areas with further opportunities for integrations with other sectors like financial services, other agricultural products besides grain (fertiliser, chemicals, cotton, corn, fruit and vegetables, etc.).
  2. Agricultural case study to showcase NEM integration - the successful NEM/BlockGrain integration will showcase the speed and success of adopting NEM by existing, real-world applications.
  3. Roadshows - available to be part of any NEM delegation to speak about use cases on NEM blockchain anywhere in the world as part of the NEM partnership.
  4. Engagement availability - open to engagement with NEM community in target regions related to economies with agriculture as a core focus - North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Asia.
  5. Integration support - integration code elements will be available in order to contribute to the knowledge base on which more applications can be built on NEM.
  6. Branding of NEM - BlockGrain’s success will highlight the success of the NEM Foundation and the NEM Community Fund on a global scale. The BlockGrain team is happy to engage in any speaking events and will fully acknowledge NEM’s support by displaying the NEM logo at all public events and marketing materials.
  7. Unlock strategic alliances - Being a global supply chain business, BlockGrain currently has (and will continue to build) an exceptional network of business partners, all of which will be accessible to members of the NEM Community.
  8. Increase of demand and transaction volumes for XEMs - On the frontend, this platform will accept XEMs as well as fiat currency. On the backend, transactions will utilise XEMs. Therefore, not only will this platform contribute to increased demand for XEMs, but it will also increase transactions on the NEM blockchain, thereby contributing value back to the NEM Community.
  9. Support to other organisations who would like to develop on the NEM blockchain - the BlockGrain team are happy to support other companies to develop on the NEM blockchain when building their ecosystem.
  10. Increased visibility of the NEM blockchain - the success of this project will contribute to the return of investment of every NEM supporter through increased visibility as a business-focused, smart-asset blockchain as well as growth in XEM value.

Feedback

From the NEM Team

  • Jason Lee - Global Director, Global Partnerships & Strategic Alliances (NEM)
    “I am glad to support the BlockGrain team as an Australian innovation for the world. We have been looking for a company with real use cases and BlockGrain is a natural fit. This team is clearly on a mission to succeed. Their business model and platform are a perfect match for the core features of NEM blockchain. The BlockGrain team understands the NEM architecture and I am confident that they will be able to integrate their current business into the NEM platform and continue to grow the value of NEM.”

  • Nelson Valero - Council Member for NEM.io
    “BlockGrain is well-positioned to go international and scale very quickly due to the large number of early adopters that are either using the beta system or contracted to use the new BlockGrain platform. BlockGrain is an established business with great potential. After seeing how fast the team embraced the NEM technology, I have met them in person and can see them executing the final stages of their strategy. The real world application of BlockGrain is sure to add tremendous credibility to the NEM network.”

From the Blockchain community

  • Martin Davidson - Global Director and CEO, Blockchain Centre
    “BlockGrain is the most promising enterprise in Blockchain Centre Melbourne. Both Caile and Sam are highly dedicated, passionate entrepreneurs who have embraced the blockchain space with open arms. The best part about BlockGrain is that they are close to launching their go to market platform, having already been testing their beta for more than 12 months. BlockGrain presents solid use cases as it solves problems for the entire agriculture and horticultural industry. I am confident that the team’s business-centric approach will see this project continue to thrive and will no doubt increase the adoption rate of the NEM blockchain.”

Awards and media

Testimonials and videos


Business and marketing leads

  • Graincorp Ltd
  • Australian Wheat Board
  • Cargill
  • Glencore Grain
  • iGrain
  • Clear Grain Exchange
  • Riordans Grain
  • Pearsons Grain and Transport
  • Faymac Logistics
  • Geo Commodities
  • GrainWise
  • BCS Solutions
  • Aglink
  • Marty Van Edgmond
  • Wesfarmers Landmark
  • World Vision Australia

Feedback and voting

:white_check_mark: Polling is now open see the top of this whitepaper for details.

Please visit our Telegram channel.


#2

Hi guys, I like the project. AgTech is huge in Australia. There are other competitors using blockchain but you are the first using NEM, so It can be really useful to be adopted for more business in the future.
I have some suggestions though.
Is it possible to show some of the use cases and features with the testnet, so you can make some mockups as example. (apostille, name domain, mosaics). Also, how your customers can use NEM. Are you planning to develop and API or a platform use friendly for the farmers?
Thanks!


#3

Hi Trikar, thanks for your feedback.

We are aware of one other competitor looking to use blockchain in this space, however our feature set, value proposition and go-to-market strategy is fundamentally different - hopefully the whitepaper helps to explain our approach.

In the paper you will see our platform is releasing in the first half of this year. BlockGrain is a complete platform incorporating Web, iOS and Android apps. It will have many touch points including farmers, buyers, brokers and logistics companies. When the proposed NEM features are introduced, all parties will be using NEM in some form - whether it be contracts or supply chain tracking/traceability.

In terms of our technical solution, we have included our current architecture in the whitepaper but expect elements of this to change/evolve - particularly with the introduction of Mijin. I will be opening up a forum thread in the Technical Discussion section to discuss our solution. I would love to get your thoughts on this. :slight_smile:


#4

A topic that really interests me and one that I believe is ripe for using blockchain technology. I’ve been thinking for a while how NEM could be used for just this sort of project and you guys come along with a very well packaged product.

Traceability of our food and improved efficiencies is very important far too many stories going around Europe in the last 12 months of food being manipulated in one way or another. Beef products being mixed with horse meat, huge mileage incurred from point of origin to point of consumption. Inaccurate advertising with commercial meat breeds being sold at a premium as rare breed meat.

NEM is starting to see a number of projects in the AgriFood and Digital Agriculture (Whiskey authenticity, Beef authenticity and traceability), the functionality of the NEM blockchain appears to lend itself nicely to this use case.

Taking an existing MVP product and NEMifiying it so that it can scale and be used globally is a good use of funds, especially as it is a use case for so many of NEM features. I’ll be voting for this project.

King Cole


#5

This is a very good proposal. You guys have put in a lot of thought into implementation. I will be supporting this project as I believe it’ll be a great use case to highlight the versatility of NEM.


#6

Thanks for your support KingCole - and we completely agree with your assessment of the industry.

We are also hoping that our application of NEM is something that others in the community may be able to use for other supply chain projects. If all supply chains can apply a consistent approach to blockchain, then it will unlock additional benefits for traceability.


#7

Thanks David. The NEM team have been very helpful and supportive of our project and it’s certainly appreciated.


#8

Milestone 2. The first mention of doing something development related with NEM. And the word commence means " to initiate" for those who aren’t native speakers :wink:

Other NEM related tasks regarding NEM are coming in milestone nr. 3. So the first milestones are completely unrelated to NEM development, would like to see the change in that. I even asked BlockGrain representative why milestone 1 is so easy to reach and why are they starting anything NEM related at milestone 2. The answer was they first need money from milestone 1 to start doing something related to NEM development. (BlockGrain representative didn’t agree for a strict citation of his words, this is my own description based on his words)

Maybe BlockGrain should run an ICO? Looking at the proposal, it looks like BlockGrain is trying to build its app and just fit in NEM “particles” somewhere to gain funding from the community. I wouldn’t call it a NEM project.

I am yet away from making the decision to support it or not, just concerned with some details.

Barłomiej (Tony) Sanak


#9

Hi Tony, thanks for your comment.

As our whitepaper explains, BlockGrain is an existing business (with an existing MVP) that is looking to implement NEM blockchain features.

Throughout Milestone 1 we will be continuing with our technical design to implement NEM and are working closely with key members of the NEM technical team (and their partners) to achieve this. Milestone 1 will still be a challenging Milestone as we move through our Alpha testing and launch community and marketing activities with key people on the NEM team.

Please note that Milestone 1 is fully funded by BlockGrain. NEM Community funds are not being used to deliver this Milestone. As our whitepaper explains, Milestone 2 is where the NEM development begins.

We like to be completely transparent with our business and welcome any questions from the NEM Community. We have been working with the NEM team in Australia for a few months now and they know we are a committed business.

I invite anyone who would like to speak about our project to join our Telegram channel.

Thanks,
Sam


#10

So the funds from milestone 1 will go directly to the marketing of your own company and not the NEM project because you stated:

So only thing you are alpha testing based on your words is your current app without NEM. That’s why I want to see more tasks regarding NEM in earlier milestones. You are marketing ‘NEM project’ without even starting development process. Looks familiar? (ICOs!!! :wink: )

I see that you are asking 200.000 XEM for completion this milestone. So if you succeed it will be funded by NEM Comunity Funds.

Bartłomiej (Tony) Sanak


#11

Hi Tony,
As I mentioned, please note that the Milestone 1 is fully paid for by existing BlockGrain funds. No XEMs will have been used to complete any of the activities listed under Milestone 1.

Thanks,
Sam


#12

Oh, ok got it! Please edit the first post then, there is a total of 800 k XEM that you are asking for and without milestone 1 it’s 600k XEM. Now you have my full endorsement, I will vote in favour of BlockGrain :slight_smile:
Good luck!


#13

Hey guys, a couple of questions that I had in the Telegram group, it was pointed out that this would be a better place to ask.

Q1:
What makes the blockchain the ideal technology for this project?. The model in your video could easily be accomplished using traditional database app. What advantages does blockchain provide?

Q2:
If you are potentially planning ICO after launch, why do you need community funding? Especially if you already have a paying customer base? How long do you envisage you need to run before being self sufficient? how many customers would you need for that to happen? Will the project fail if you don’t receive community funding? Or would you go straight to ICO in that case?


#14

Hi Beedge,
Thanks for your questions – they are very important and allow us to explain our business in further detail.

A1:
Some components of our business could operate without blockchain technology in the short term. However, we need NEM for several key features that can only be achieved through blockchain and strengthen the value of our product.

As you will appreciate, one of the core reasons for the development of blockchain is to allow two parties (who may or may not be known to each other) to transact in a secure, immutable, transparent environment. Our platform has a multitude of parties interacting on a daily basis to form both micro and macro contracts. Whether it be a buyer and seller engaging in a multi million dollar commodity contract, a logistics company engaging with a buyer, seller, freight broker or grain broker to transport an order to its destination, currently there is no assurance of payment in any instance for these services.

Integrating with NEM brings an enormous amount of transparency to all participants using our platform. Not only does it provide users with a real-time understanding of the current standing of the transaction state, it also enables users to participate in a trustworthy environment, one by which payments can be automated based on key triggers as they occur, or the NEM multi-sig functionality.

Real-world use case for commodity contracts:
There are currently major issues for farmers looking to export grain to international buyers. Presently, farmers have two options for selling their product in an international market:

  1. Sell to a domestic bulk handler (who will then export). In this case the farmer will receive a less competitive price and any proof of origin is lost as the grain is blended in large stockpiles and any traceability becomes virtually impossible. In this scenario value is lost at two points – the farmer does not receive the true international market price or the premium for a single-origin, traceable product.
  2. Attempt to export the grain themselves. This carries high levels of contract risk as buyers/sellers often seek to renegotiate the terms of the contract once the grain is at sea or in a foreign port (this is particularly the case when the market price drops between agreeing the contract and delivery of the grain). There may also be disputes around quality, specifications, etc of the grain upon arrival. The current methods to avoid this common occurrence are exceptionally costly, time consuming and are far from effective. As such , farmers elect not to participate in paddock to plate export.

Without blockchain capability, our system does not solve either of these problems. The traditional (database only) system will not reduce contract risk beyond the current situation.

Blockchain not only plays a part in our technology, but also allows us to create immutable records from data passed to us by our third party APIs. Fertiliser, pesticide, fungicide, herbicide applications can now be put onto the blockchain, ensuring that end consumers have an accurate immutable understanding of what it is they are actually purchasing.

Furthermore, from a consumer perspective, to have a transparent, immutable record of the origin of grain we need to move supply chain data onto a blockchain with public access to allow consumers to know what they are buying. (I am happy to go into more detail about this point if anyone would like to know more. But as this is being done by dozens of businesses and is not unique to BlockGrain, I would guess that many people have already read extensive articles/literature about the importance of proof of origin).

Finally, the integration with NEM will allow us to:

  • Incorporate secure financing options for our user such as inventory finance and purchase order finance
  • Introduce “triggers” into our supply chain to support emerging IoT solutions
  • Remove the need for costly, complicated and corruptible LC’s, allowing farmer to deal direct
  • Expand farmer access to agricultural markets, from a purely domestic nature into a global end-to-end solution

A2: (split into the individual questions)

“If you are potentially planning ICO after launch, why do you need community funding? Especially if you already have a paying customer base?”
Our obligation is to deliver our customers the best possible solution for a real world issue that currently exists in the agricultural/horticultural industry. We will do this regardless of any funding that may or may not come from the NEM Community Fund. To ensure that we can deliver the best possible product, we need to integrate with NEM for the reasons explained in our first answer. This is not a decision we take lightly as it means diverting current resources to ensure that this can be achieved. Should the need arise, there are a number of funding avenues that we can explore at a later date, all of which are aimed at expanding the business and growing the community, which in turn will ensure that our project is a global success and a clear example to the blockchain world of how NEM is providing pathways for real world businesses and their customers to grow and prosper.

“How long do you envisage you need to run before being self sufficient? How many customers would you need for that to happen?”
You are correct that this is both a case of ‘how long’ and ‘how many users’. There is also a difference between being self-sufficient and growing our business, expanding to global markets, and achieving our ultimate business goals. A moderate, steady customer base would ensure we are self-sufficient, but without growth and adding value in the ways we describe in our whitepaper, we feel this would only be short-term solution. Our objective is to grow exponentially, thus increase the value of our underlying blockchain - NEM.

“Will the project fail if you don’t receive community funding? Or would you go straight to ICO in that case?”
No, the project will certainly proceed without community funding. The NEM Community Funding allows us to develop blockchain features for our product much sooner than we had originally planned. The funding accelerates the blockchain component of our business.

Thanks,
Caile


#15

I live in Australia and I know this is a project that solves real world problems! I had the privilege of meeting Sam at the blockchain center in Melbourne, I think it makes a big difference when you can look into someones eyes and shake their hand, something I know many on this forum won’t be able to do :slight_smile:
The community fund is exactly for these kind of projects, by integrating the NEM blockchain into a real world problem in a country as technologically advanced as Australia will only bring positive press to NEM as a whole.

My only concern is the ICO mentions here, we understand that funding needs to be acquired in order to execute a project like this but and ICO after community funding feels like a “double dip”, have you taken any steps to approaching the Australian Farm institute (and others) here in Australia (apart from Rise Agri?).

Overall definitely interested in this project - I will be supporting it!


#16

Hi Dan,
Thanks for your support and meeting with us in person.

We are in talks with many businesses in the agricultural and grain space and there are several large, well-known companies looking to become customers of the BlockGrain system. We are also receiving new calls every day. For commercial/confidentiality reasons I won’t list the names of other interested customers at this point. However, there is a list at the bottom of our whitepaper of some of the companies we are engaging with in one form or another (not necessarily as customers).

We are a growing business that has evolved from a start-up, and like any other we may look to raise capital in the future should we need to. An ICO would require huge amount of money, effort, time, planning, marketing, etc. At the moment we are focused on getting our final product to market and making it a commercial success.

Thanks,
Sam


#17

Looks a good project and i will be voting yes to it :slight_smile:


#18

Thanks for taking the time to answer my queries in such a detailed way.


#19

Thanks for your support. It’s also great to get feedback from our friends in NZ.

No problem and thanks again for your questions. We want to provide as much information as possible to the community.


#20

How do we vote? Please show at this page because I don’t want to use telegram. thanks