BanQu and blockchain for small farmers

US and South African based started-up, BanQu, is using blockchain to help independent farmers participate in the global market.

CEO and founder, Ashish Gadnis, started BanQu after witnessing a farmer in the Democratic Republic of Congo being denied a bank account as the only proof she had of her work history was a paper receipt. This prompted the inception of BanQu (“bank you”), as many workers such as farmers and waste collectors are often excluded from the global economy as they are unable to prove their role in the supply chain.

BanQu records each transaction in a supply chain on a blockchain. These can be delivered through SMS, ensuring users do not need a smartphone to use the platform.

BanQu now records 300 000 transactions each day and is used by 600 000 people in more than 40 countries.

Zambian Breweries is utilising BanQu to buy cassava from small farmers with impressive results. Farmers earned an income of $1.5 million, with one woman tripling her sales from 3 800 kilograms of cassava to more than 12 000 kilograms a year.

Zambian Breweries recorded a 17% rise in revenue through using the platform, taking its earnings from $98 million to $114.8 million in a year. The platform allows the beverage company to streamline its buying process while boosting the local economy and tackling issues such as the importation of illegal alcohol.

Chile launches a blockchain renewable energy registry

Chile’s national electricity coordinator (CEN) is rolling out a blockchain solution that tracks renewable energy, giving miners a way to show their ESG credentials to global markets.

The platform, called Renova, tracks each megawatt hour of renewable energy from when it’s generated until it’s consumed, and records this data on a blockchain.

Chile is the world’s largest producer of copper and as the electronics industry expands, demand for the metal is growing. However, companies are now facing increasing pressure to reduce emissions. Resources giants like BHP and Anglo American are using solar and wind power to obtain green energy for their mines in Chile.

“With Renova, companies will be able to know with total certainty if their production processes or products have been effectively made with electricity from the renewable energy sources that they have contracted.”

Juan Carlos Olmedo – CEN PRESIDENT

Renova will also help Chile in its ambitions to become carbon neutral by 2020.

The world’s first genomic NFT

Co-founder of Nebula Genomics and Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, George Church, is partnering with music artist Akon and his NFT platform, AkoinNFT to auction off the world’s first genomic NFT.

Don’t know what an NFT is? Find out here.

Professor George Church’s complete genome will be auctioned off and visually conveyed through a high-res artistic representation. Called ERC-1155, the NFT “will encode the digital location of George’s full genomic data” and be hosted on a decentralised server.

The highest bidder will officially own the ERC-1155 artistic medium and the proof of ownership of the data. Professor Church’s genome was one of the first ever sequenced and holds an incredible amount of historical and scientific significance.

So why create a genomic NFT?

By auctioning off one of the most studied genomes in history, Professor Church and AkoinNFT are aiming to kick-start a conversation around fair, transparent and trustworthy methods to share health data.

The auction will be held on Thursday, June 10, 2021 with a portion of profits set to be donated to rare disease research.