Polling is now open for our proposal through the NEM NanoWallet Voting feature (located under Services). Please use the poll address:
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!
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.
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.
VisionBringing 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
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- Farmer brokers
- Farming cooperatives
- Logistics companies
- Logistics brokers
- Manufacturers (dairies, flour mills, breweries, etc)
- Suppliers of agricultural inputs (chemicals, fertilisers, etc)
- Importers/exporters of bulk commodities
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BlockGrain is asking for 800,000 XEMs to be utilised as follows:
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
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
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
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
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
How supporting BlockGrain benefits the NEM Community
Summary of how this Community Funding Proposal will positively benefit the NEM community and beyond:
- 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.).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- StartUp House (San Francisco) Battlefield - Winner: Best Pitch
- Pitch @ Palace - Queensland Finalist
- Queensland Gov Ignite Ideas - Grant Winner
- Bond University Accelerator - Best Accelerator
- Startup Catalyst: Mission Israel - Selected Business
Testimonials and videos
- Visit our YouTube Channel
Business and marketing leads
- Graincorp Ltd
- Australian Wheat Board
- Glencore Grain
- Clear Grain Exchange
- Riordans Grain
- Pearsons Grain and Transport
- Faymac Logistics
- Geo Commodities
- BCS Solutions
- Marty Van Edgmond
- Wesfarmers Landmark
- World Vision Australia
Feedback and voting
Polling is now open see the top of this whitepaper for details.
Please visit our Telegram channel.