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Budweiser Owner Uses Blockchain To Help African Farmers

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Budweiser Owner Uses Blockchain To Help African Farmers
Budweiser Owner Uses Blockchain To Help African Farmers

AB InBev, the company behind the Budweiser brand, is helping local African farmers to prove their income using blockchain, Yahoo Finance reports on Jan. 21. A blockchain-based system developed in partnership with BanQu tracks all the local suppliers of AB InBev, replacing the paper trail. AB InBev is a multinational conglomerate born out of the merger of several established beer producers. It includes Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona as some of its most recognizable brands. 

The company has adopted a strategy of using local suppliers, receiving tax breaks for their added contribution to the country’s economy. However, this proved to be more challenging in Africa, a continent where banking infrastructure remains underdeveloped and paper documents are difficult to obtain for rural farmers. Partnering with BanQu, a company specializing in blockchain supply chain solutions, AB InBev introduced a distributed ledger system that tracks all the local farmers that supply barley and malt to the company. This allows them to prove their income to local banks, and thus open bank accounts and lines of credit. The CEO of AB InBev, Carlos Brito, explained at the World Economic Forum in Davos:

“And now this farmer, who was never bankable — because she couldn’t prove income of any source, had no reports, or material or paperwork — now in a flip phone, she has in the blockchain proof that she is a supplier to AB InBev, a global company.”

Access to banking allows the local farmers to finance more efficient farming tools, increasing their yields and receiving more money. The system also helps to curtail corruption introduced by middlemen who consolidated the shipments to the breweries. Brito noted that they were “not necessarily passing the money we were paying to him or her to [the farmer].” A tamper-proof blockchain system ensures that the farmers are able to prove what they are owed. Brito further elaborated on the benefits of the system:

“They become commercial farmers and everybody wins. Consumers are safer and we create more formal jobs. The government collects taxes. Instead of sending the money to Europe, or Australia, or Canada buying barley or malt, we keep the money there.”

The BanQu product has reportedly been implemented with thousands of farmers across Uganda and also India. Uganda is one African country where blockchain is taking hold. Binance opened a local branch in 2018, though the country’s central bank remains skeptical of decentralized cryptocurrencies. Crypto-based Ponzi schemes are also present, with the Dunamiscoins pyramid recently defrauding over 10,000 users for $2.5 million.

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NBA & NFL See a Future In Non-Fungible Tokens, But Not Contract Tokenization

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NBA & NFL See a Future In Non-Fungible Tokens, But Not Contract Tokenization
NBA & NFL See a Future In Non-Fungible Tokens, But Not Contract Tokenization

NFT NYC, is a crypto event taking place a couple of hundred feet from Times Square dedicated to non-fungible tokens. While most of the companies at NFT NYC are early-stage startups still looking for their users, two attending organizations have hundreds of millions of fans around the world. Adrienne O’Keeffe, associate vice president of partnerships at the NBA, and Sophie Gage, counsel at the NFL Player’s Association, joined a panel to discuss the value of blockchain technology for big brands. 

“This is a new way for fans to connect with our games”, says O’Keeffe. But Gage, who is a lawyer, notices “there is a lot of uncertainty: are these utilities, are these securities?” Panini, who is a giant in the traditional players’ cards market, has issued blockchain-based cards for NFL, MLB, NBA as well as for various soccer teams. “It’s a new area for growth. There is a lot of untapped potential”, observes Gage.

The NBA has experimented with both public and private blockchains, each with its own pros and cons. Public blockchains allow more freedom and greater engagement at the expense of control. Private blockchains give you greater control, but you trade freedom and engagement for it. O’Keeffe also shared her advice to blockchain entrepreneurs looking to sell their products to the NBA:

“We have met with dozens of companies in the space. They were coming to us with capabilities, not products.”

Many NBA and NFL players are into crypto. Perhaps the boldest venture in the area was Nets player Spencer Dinwiddie trying to tokenize his NBA contract. The NBA eventually shut it down — Gage and O’Keeffe both believe we won’t see contract tokenization anytime soon.

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Dubai Government Set To Launch KYC Blockchain Consortium In Early 2020

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Dubai Government Set To Launch KYC Blockchain Consortium In Early 2020
Dubai Government Set To Launch KYC Blockchain Consortium In Early 2020

One of the financial hubs of the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is continuing to expand blockchain-driven developments. The Department of Economic Development (DED) of Dubai has established a Know Your Customer (KYC) blockchain consortium with six major banks. Dubbed “KYC Blockchain Consortium,” the new blockchain-powered regulatory platform is designed to accelerate processes like an exchange of digital customer data and documents while ensuring security. 

Scheduled for launch in Q1 2020, the KYC Blockchain Consortium will purportedly become the first project of its kind in the region, the report notes. Ali Ibrahim, Deputy Director-General of the DED, outlined that the effort aims to bring more investment to the region:

“Our strategic alliance with banks to launch the first KYC blockchain platform in the UAE is an important step towards continuing to attract investors to this market.”

Additionally, the consortium-powered ecosystem hopes to boost business as well as regulatory compliance in the UAE. According to the report, the UAE Central Bank and Smart Dubai authority will be monitoring operations of the KYC Blockchain Consortium. The UAE’s newly reported blockchain comes in line with the general growth of blockchain spending in the region. 

Image result for kyc blockchain

Governments across the Middle East and Africa region are projected to see at least a 400% surge in their investment to blockchain-based solutions in four years. In October 2019, the UAE accepted cryptocurrency regulation after releasing the draft law for public comment. As reported, the UAE has taken a very positive stance to the crypto and blockchain industry as the country is already hosting a number of blockchain-based initiatives such as digitized trade projects the “Digital Silk Road” and the document exchange platform known as the “Bank Trust Network.”

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CBSG PoB Transactions With Their Cross-Carrier Payment System Successful

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CBSG PoB Transactions With Their Cross-Carrier Payment System Successful
CBSG PoB Transactions With Their Cross-Carrier Payment System Successful

Further developments to blockchain technology are being tackled every day. One of the biggest challenges is how best companies working on blockchain can make their services not only accessible but also practical for users in different countries. The Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) Consortium is one such collaboration doing just that. Launched in September 2017, the group provides a secure way for telecom customers to make digital payments directly with their carriers using blockchain technology.

Blockchain platform TBCASoft, a founding member of the CBSG, announced in a Feb. 18 press release that Taiwan-based Asia Pacific Telecom Co. Ltd. (APTG) and a US mobile carrier successfully completed Proof-of-Business (PoB) payment transactions. Using the Cross-Carrier Payment System (CCPS), a blockchain network developed by TBCASoft, transactions can be paid directly in the user’s currency through their mobile carrier. 

Image result for Asia Pacific Telecom Co. Ltd.

The CBSG worked with local merchants in Taiwan to complete transactions through APTG’s payment system, Gt Pay. All participants were mobile subscribers with a US-based carrier. APTG Vice President of Marketing Mei-Hui Teng commented on the success of the PoB:

“[We] will be one of the first carriers to launch the cross-border payment service and commercialize it in the Taiwan market. We foresee the strong growth of overseas travel and the popularity of the e-wallet service; our cross-border mobile payment service will create a considerable benefit to APTG’s subscribers. The service can help travelers reduce foreign transaction fees and enjoy the benefits of mobile cashless payments.”

They’re not the first blockchain platform to see the advantages of working together. Samsung Pay partnered with the payment platform Finablr on Oct. 3 to offer cross-border payments to its users.

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