By Tim Nelson December 19, 2017
Despite the concept’s popularity, we usually just have to take the farm’s word for it when it comes to assessing farm-to-table practices. But if a new venture in China combining free-range chicken farming and facial recognition software is any indication, diners could soon enjoy unprecedented insight into the life cycles of our meals.
Launched by Chinese insurance tech company ZhongAn, “GoGo Chicken” will use blockchain technology (the same anti-data tampering tech that makes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin so valuable) to power facial-recognition software that connects consumers with their pre-ordered chicken via smartphone app. GPS tracking will also show off just how far the free-range birds travel, and other tracking systems will monitor their diet over the course of their four to six-month lifespan (compared to just 45 days for factory-raised poultry).
More at: Chinese Company Wants Consumers to Track Chickens from Their Smartphone – Extra Crispy
By David Pimentel November 22, 2017
Australian grain exporter CBH Group and Sydney-based startup AgriDigital have successfully completed a blockchain pilot in Australia’s grain industry.
CBH’s partnership with AgriDigital was first announced in August of this year. Both companies worked together to determine whether blockchain technology was appropriate to monitor niche products, such as organic grains, or the whole grain crop. In addition to settling origin and quality assurance issues, the companies was also investigating how the technology can manage title matching and payment transfer.
More at: CBH Group, AgriDigital Complete Grain Industry Blockchain Pilot – BlockTribune
By Shivdeep Dhaliwal November 19, 2017
Do you trust your vehicle service centre? More importantly, should you? According to comparethemarket.com, the average car owner in the UK has paid £350 or $462 on repair shop bills over last 12 months. They also figured out that 75 percent of the drivers had no clue what they were being charged for. Things are not better across the Atlantic either, with USA Today saying that the average cost for just a “check engine” light being $435.
It seems that most drivers are completely at the mercy of repair shops and service centres, as they lack the necessary know-how. Adding to the woes of the drivers is a complex and inefficient ecosystem that surrounds the automobile industry, which is made up of manufacturers, banks, insurance companies and repair shops who don’t always work well and most often not in conjunction with each other.
CarFix, which is issuing VLB tokens is now using Blockchain technology to change that scenario. The automotive industry has yet to benefit from the verifiability, immutability and clarity that Blockchain can bring with it.
More at: Vehicle Lifecycle Blockchain Can Save You From Inflated Garage Bills – The Cointelegraph
By Anna Massa November 9, 2017
Intrigued by how blockchain was changing finance, an ex-banker at Wells Fargo & Co. and a former executive at Nasdaq Inc. began looking for other opportunities. They looked at applying the technology to insurance, law, even music.
Then they hit on farming.
Raja Ramachandran and Phil Harris met when they were both working on Wall Street, in 2005 after Citigroup Inc. acquired electronic trading company Lava Trading. The pair remained friends for more than a decade, and decided to leave finance to start Ripe.io, which uses blockchain in agriculture, and has big aspirations to weave it through the food supply chain.
“We left financial services to find a more meaningful application of blockchain. We knew it was going to be profound,” said Harris. As Ramachandran put it, they “stumbled on food.”
More at: The Internet Of Tomatoes Is Coming, Starting With Boston Salads – Bloomberg Quint
By Sharon Lam October 8, 2017
CHENGDU, CHINA – FEBRUARY 25: (CHINA OUT) A policeman displays fake seals, diplomas and other certificates they seized from illegal producers at a building on February 25, 2005 in Chengdu of Sichuan Province, China. Police have arrested three people suspected of counterfeiting certificates after days of investigation. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)
In 2010, former president of Microsoft China Tang Jun, had his PhD from Pacific Western University called into question. Investigators found that not only was Pacific Western an unaccredited institution, but that his diploma had cost him $2,595 in tuition, and required no classroom instruction. A year later, legions of other high-ranking senior executives were, perhaps somewhat embarrassingly, caught up in widespread “degree scams”— dubious programmes offering enrollees credentials like PhD certificates for minimal, if any, academic work. The practice of academic forgery, where degrees from unaccredited or fake institutions are sold to customers both witting and unwitting, has long been popular among unscrupulous students in China, but is relatively new to the upper echelons of its business world.
Though not a uniquely Chinese phenomenon, a quick scroll through Chinese search engine Baidu reveals how easy it is to buy counterfeit certificates from websites like Yuhongzp and PhonyDiploma on the mainland. A fake diploma from The University of Hong Kong, for instance, costs only $250, and allows users to customize everything from the watermark to the quality of the paper stock (“aged,” “eggshell” or “cream” are all options).
More at: How Blockchain Can Stamp Out China’s Fake Diplomas – Forbes Asia #NewTech
Global consultancy PwC and the Northern Irish Arc-Net will gather their knowledge to help the food industry fight fraud. At the heart of their joint efforts is the use of blockchain, an innovative technology that has emerged from financial services.
The blockchain concept was originally developed as an efficient and secure way to manage and register transactions made with cryptocurrencies (for example, Bitcoin). Until now, it has mostly been of interest to individuals and financial institutions. However, with its distributed-ledger technology (DLT) and smart contracts, blockchain has great potential to benefit all companies across the supply chain – not just banks.
One area where the innovative financial technology was perhaps thought of as an unlikely fit at best is the food industry. Worldwide food poverty has hit society in a number of ways, with PwC research suggesting food fraud, as some look to capitalise on people’s desperation, appears to cost the food industry $40 billion a year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in ten people worldwide are ill from eating contaminated foods every year, and 2.2 million people die every year.
More at: PwC and Arc-Net use blockchain to combat food fraud – Consultancy.uk
Custos Media Technologies, a South African company that provides a globally effective solution to piracy by outsourcing the detection of pirated content using Bitcoin and its blockchain, announced on Wednesday 13 September 2017 that the company will be participating in a new blockchain-based anti-piracy solution for ebooks, following the recent news that content protection giant Digimarc and ebook publisher Erudition are joining forces.
This new collaboration debuts the combination of Digimarc Barcode for digital documents and Custos’ infringement detection technology. This provides a more effective, reader-friendly way to combat ebook piracy.
Erudition and Custos have worked closely together over the past year. The Stellenbosch-based media protection company provides technology that adds Bitcoin deposits to ebooks. These digital bounties enable Custos to rapidly detect piracy after the first copy of a file is shared.
More at: South African company to tackle ebook piracy with blockchain technology – IT News Africa