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Ethiopia Explores Blockchain Role in Tracking Coffee Exports

Ethiopia is exploring the use of blockchain technology to track the supply chain for its largest export, coffee.

For the effort, the East African nation has partnered with blockchain research and development company IOHK to develop blockchain applications for coffee shipments and other areas of agriculture.

In a press release, IOHK said it is collaborating with the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology for the project, and will closely work with ministers, entrepreneurs and startups in the country.

Getahun Mekuria, the country’s Minister of Science and Technology said that the research is focusing on using the Cardano blockchain platform as a base for work by Ethiopian developers.

According to Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOHK, the company’s efforts go beyond the supply chain project.

He explained:

“We are also training local blockchain developers, some of which we will hire, while the rest will go on to plough their skills into the economy. The first class will be all female, and the goal is to have graduates of that class move on to create ventures in the cryptocurrency space using Cardano technology, the first venture of its kind in Africa.”

Coffee beans image via Shutterstock

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StarbucksCoin? Exec Says Coffee Seller Will 'Probably' Use Blockchain

Starbucks is likely to utilize blockchain technology as part of a new payments app, executive chairman Howard Shultz said Tuesday.

Speaking with Maria Bartiromo during a Fox Business segment, Schultz discussed the use of a “proprietary digital currency” in conjunction with the payments app. When asked whether the coffee retailer would use blockchain in conjunction with the initiative – as opposed to a more centralized system of accounting – Schultz said that the company “probably” would move in that direction.

“I think blockchain technology is probably the rails in which an integrated app at Starbucks will be sitting on top of,” he commented.

His comments come roughly a month after the former chief executive spoke broadly during an earnings call about the chain’s plans to utilize the tech, especially on the payments front (although he dismissed the idea that the company would use bitcoin in some way).

At the time, Schultz suggested that the tech may play a role in how Starbucks works to “expand digital customer relationships,” though it remains to be seen how blockchain is ultimately used in practice by the company.

“I believe that we are heading into a new age, in which blockchain technology is going to provide a significant level of a digital currency that is going to have a consumer application,” he remarked during the earnings call.

Image Credit: sitthiphong / Shutterstock.com

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