Agriculture In Ant Financial’s Blockchain Sights

Tracking agriculture activities via blockchain to digitize activities gains traction through joint Bayer Crop Science and Ant Financial efforts. Elsewhere, Overstock looks toward DLT for government and identity verification services.

As reported by CoinDesk yesterday (Sept. 30), Bayer Crop Science has struck a pact to work with Ant Financial, affiliated with Alibaba, in an effort that will develop a blockchain-underpinned system to monitor agriculture products. The companies, as noted, have entered into what is known as a letter of intent to use the blockchain technology to boost efficiency and digitize agriculture.

According to CoinDesk, the pact will bring portfolio and digital farming technologies on offer from Monheim am Rhein to Bayer Crop Science and the blockchain division of Ant Financial. As reported, 33 percent of Ant Financial is owned by Alibaba.

Terms of the pact were not disclosed.

“Together with Bayer, our exploration of blockchain in agriculture will improve the transparency and responsiveness of its supply chain, and bring more value to consumers, farmers and the society,” said Geoff Jiang, VP and GM of Ant Financial’s Intelligent Technology Group, in a statement that disclosed the partnership.

Ant Financial has said in past months that it has been developing blockchain systems for charity platforms, CoinDesk noted. Earlier this year, Ant Financial was an investor in a $10 million Series A round for QEDIT, which develops privacy solutions geared toward blockchain.

In mid-2018, Ant Financial announced that it launched a blockchain-based cross-border settlement service for consumers. The initiative enabled consumers to send funds between Hong Kong and the Philippines. Blockchain tech helped integrate AlipayHK with the Philippines-based mobile service GCash. Transactions have been settled in seconds, according to reports, and the firms said that the banking partner for the C2C services has been Standard Chartered.

In stats offered by CoinDesk, in one example of the audience for remittances, 200,000 Filipino domestic helpers reside in Hong Kong, and many of them send cash home to family.

Overstock Makes Blockchain Inroads

As reported, too, has been making strides with its blockchain technologies. Forbes noted yesterday that with Medici Ventures’ (a wholly owned subsidiary) Jonathan Johnson taking the helm, there may be a “growing intent” by Overstock to invest in DLT.

As noted, Medici has participated in Evernym’s Simple Agreement for Future Equity, which will let the company take preferred stock in Evernym, and has brought $2 million toward efforts to produce blockchain-based identity products.

“We have two main initiatives for both the short- and mid-term focus of Medici Ventures,” Johnson told Forbes. “First, supporting the companies that are in the Medici Ventures family. This includes support with software development, management, recruiting, public relations and fundraising as requested by the leadership at those companies. We believe we have found the best in breed in each of our six areas of focus (Identity, Land Titling, Banking & Currency, Capital Markets, Supply Chain, Voting), with Evernym squarely filling out the Identity focus. Our second initiative is to build out our Government-as-a-Service offering.”

Blockchain In The Food Supply

In Sicily, blockchain — for use in tracking the food supply chain — is getting legislative support. Cryptopolitan reported that the Sicilian Regional Assembly, defined as “an autonomous legislative body of Sicily,” approved late last month the use of blockchain in enhancing food traceability.

The site said the “extensive proposal” was put forth by the 5 Star Movement (M5S) political party. The proposal will let companies track “farm to fork” efforts across Sicilian companies.