Coffee growers in Brazil could be soon be using cryptocurrency for their everyday needs, thanks to a plans by an arabica bean cooperative launch a digital token that will be backed by coffee supplies. The coin, which is due to launch this month, will allow members of the Minasul cooperative to buy fertilizer, machinery and other non-farm products, such as food and vehicles, in a move that illustrates the growing adoption of cryptocurrencies around the world.
Coffee on the Blockchain
A key part of the token’s ecosystem will be a digital marketplace, which will be backed by Minasul’s store of crop nutrients, machinery and other products, according to Jose Marcos Magalhaes, Minasul’s president. In an interview with Global Coffee Forum in Campinas, Sao Paulo state he added that farmers will be able to purchase the currency against current and future coffee production, with as much as 30% of the current harvest eligible for exchange, 20% of the following crop, and 10% the season after that. The ‘coffeecoin’ is being introduced as part of the cooperative’s larger overall digitalization project, which includes allowing farmers to sell beans in mobile phone transactions. Given that Brazil is the world’s biggest coffee grower and exporter, and Minasul is one of the nation’s largest arabica-coffee cooperatives, this is by no means a small undertaking, and could pave the way for other commodities to invest in similar systems.
A Growing Movement
Minasul’s move isn’t the first use of blockchain in the coffee supply chain – in January Ugandan coffee producer Carico Cafe Connoisseur announced that they were using blockchain technology to allow customers to verify authenticity of the beans they buy, as well as ensuring that they were farmed responsibly and that no child labor was used in the process. Supply chain has long been thought a prima use case for blockchain technology, and projects like this will only enhance this view.