Blockchain enabled marketplace app for coffee

Prelims level : Economy Mains level : GS III - transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers
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The commerce ministry Thursday launched a Blockchain based coffee e-marketplace to help farmers integrate with markets so that they can realise fair prices for the commodity.
The app is intended to bring in transparency in coffee trade and maintain the traceability of Indian coffee from bean to cup so as the consumer tastes real Indian coffee and the grower is paid fairly for his produce
The blockchain will also reduce the number of layers between coffee growers and buyers and help farmers increase their income
Anyone willing to participate in the marketplace will have to register on the app and will get a smart contract number. But, the pilot project has about 20 participants, including 14 coffee growers, and will run for four-to-six months.
India is the only country in the world where entire coffee is grown under shade, handpicked and sun dried.

About Blockchain:

  • A blockchain is a database (is a growing list of records) that is shared across a network of computers. Once a record has been added to the chain it is very difficult to change. To ensure all the copies of the database are the same, the network makes constant checks.
  • The idea was described in 1991 by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta.
  • • When information is to be stored, the record lists the details, including a digital signature from each party.
    • The accepted records are added to a block. Each block contains a unique code called a hash. It also contains the hash of the previous block in the chain.
    • The block is added to the blockchain. The hash codes connect the blocks together in a specific order.
    • Any change to the original input will generate a new hash. The changed hash breaks the chain.

  • Unlike traditional ledgers, a blockchain database is decentralized and has no “master.”
    There is a lot of hype about blockchain, but some promising uses are under development.
  • • Cryptocurrency: Blockchains are the basis of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
    • Banking: Financial institutions have been investing in blockchains to simplify their record-keeping for payments.
    • Supply chain: Recording trades on a blockchain offers a way to check the history of a product.
    • Property records: Storing land records on a blockchain could cut down on costly title research and increase transparency
    • Voting: Blockchain records could create tamper-proof election returns.
    • Healthcare: With blockchain, medical history could be securely stored and controlled by patients.

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