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Cryptomatoes, Blockchain Pigs & Habanero Coins: Crypto in Agro

Cryptomatoes, Blockchain Pigs & Habanero Coins: Crypto in Agro 101
Source: iStock/HadelProductions

Blockchain and crypto are everywhere, even in the places we would not expect them to be, such as agronomics. The science of soil management and the production of field crops does not seem to have much in common with digital assets designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to secure transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets.

But, as is the way with the world, there is everything for everyone: a cryptocurrency called Agrocoin is giving buyers a chance to invest in some of the world’s spiciest peppers. Amar Hidroponia from Mexico grows only habanero chilis, for which it created the Agrocoin as a means of investing for those who cannot afford more. One Agrocoin is backed by a square meter of hydroponic production in Quintana Roo state. A yearly dividend of around 30% is expected, Bloomberg reported.

Some go for blockchain instead of crypto itself: a Taiwanese startup intends to use the technology to revolutionize animal husbandry and travel. It would establish the provenance of things, like hotel bookings or pigs from birth to market. The startup is called OwlTing and they have built a blockchain-based system for 400 clients that eliminates double-booking of hotel rooms, by recording real-time inventory as customers book through online services. Its OwlChain, on the other hand, tracks animal births, vaccinations, feeding routines: employees at fisheries or pig farms input that data into an app, which the company then converts into QR codes and adds to the blockchain once verified, for all to see, according to a separate report by Bloomberg.

And if you’d rather be mining than trading, why not use the one frequently cited downside to having loads of computers constantly running and consuming electricity, its negative impact on the environment, to do something good for your surroundings? According to CNBC, that’s what one crypto entrepreneur is doing: Prague-based Kamil Brejcha, co-founder of Czech digital currency trading platform NakamotoX, is using the excess heat given off by his mining equipment to help grow greenhouse vegetables. Some of them are tomatoes, affectively called cryptomatoes. The heat from his mining rigs is blown into greenhouses containing five acres of tomatoes, so he is not using traditional heaters.

As to why tomatoes, exactly, he tweeted in a reply to a question, “Unfortunately, because of local strict rules, we were unable to obtain a license for medical marijuana growing so we had to choose tomatoes and other vegetables instead.”

With this way to offset the growing cost of crypto mining, it would be possible to make mining sustainable again, as revenue-generating businesses utilizing the byproducts of mining could be part of the answer. This also means that blockchain and crypto are well on their way into every aspect of our everyday lives, either as means of investing, ways to track whether livestock was bred and grown to good standards, or making your own little farm while mining whatever you fancy.

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