Blockchain is a word many link with banking and financial services but it is a technology commentators are increasingly championing as the natural “gatekeeper in the emerging trust economy.”
The ledger system of blockchain technologies allows for transparency and secure transactions. In a digital age characterised by what feels like a conveyor belt of disruptive technologies springing up from the innovation economy, trust is everything.
“Simply put, blockchain is a distributed ledger that provides a way for information to be recorded and shared by a community.”
Blockchain has the potential to revolutionise how a whole host of industries do their work. One startup in San Francisco, for example, is applying it to the food and agriculture business.
“We believe the application of blockchain technology will have a profound impact within the ag and food industry,” explained Raja Ramachandran, Founder and CEO of ripe.io.
The Californian company says it is creating the ‘Blockchain of Food’ to build a “dynamic scorecard system that measures growing, transportation, and storage conditions to improve understanding of food provenance, alert the ecosystem for spoilage, and enable automated food purchasing based on optimal ripeness.”
And ripe.io has been recognised as one of the “industry’s most disruptive startups” and selected to join the first Terra Food + Ag Tech Accelerator.
Raja added: “We are honoured and thrilled to be a part of the Terra Food and Ag Accelerator. We are looking forward to working with such a strong group of corporate collaborators and driving positive changes in the food supply chain.”
And the big names see the potential too. Last year IBM, Walmart and Tsinghua University announced they would collaborate to look at ways of using blockchain technologies to bring “safer food to dinner tables across China”.
“Advanced technology has reached into so many aspects of modern life but it has lagged in food traceability, and in particular in creating more secure food supply chains. Our collaboration with Walmart and Tsinghua University is a step of global significance to change that,” said Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice President, Industry Platforms, IBM. “Food touches all of us, everywhere, so we are experimenting in China with Walmart and Tsinghua given the size and scale of food consumption in this country.”