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Agriculture giants team up on blockchain platform to track grains in Brazil

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The world’s largest grains and oilseeds companies, American giants Bunge and Cargill, have joined together to create the joint venture Covantis, which will use blockchain technology in the agricultural sector in Brazil.

The unprecedented project foresees the exchange of information between all members of Covantis, which also includes the participation of other agribusiness giants such as the French Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), the Chinese state-owned company Cofco International and the Dutch multinational Glencore Agriculture.

Together the companies that make up Covantis move around 550 million tons of grains and oilseeds every year.

The goal of the partnership is to unify the sector’s data and facilitate communication between all participants, improving the logistics processes at the ports, among other things, all using blockchain. The official platform is expected to be launched next year.

Companies negotiate around 500 thousand contracts for purchase and sale each year in Brazil and the first tests for the platform were carried out at the Port of Santos between July and August this year and involved 11 companies, including trading companies, originators and grain producers. Covantis CEO Petya Sechanova said:

“Covantis should become the leader of operations in our sector and will be able to streamline processes, modernize and digitize them.”

According to the CEO, the choice of Brazil was due to the complexity of its market. Speaking to the Valor publication, Sechanova said the country saw “chain sales” or “string sales” taking place, in which dozens of intermediaries needed to act for the shipments to happen, even though only final buyers and senders have contact with the physical shipment.

Marcos Amorim is the director of the contracts committee of the National Association of Cereal Exporters (Anec), whose associated trading companies are actively working with Covantis. He said it’s a complicated and difficult process:

“Imagine that each shipment has both a purchase contract and a sales contract, that there are phytosanitary certificates attached to them and a series of other documents required by different countries. And that ships form lines and must have a certain loading rate. This greatly escalates the operation at the port and the delay at any end implies losses for the entire chain.”

Within the trading companies, the process generates a somewhat messy work flow, that is currently managed by email, phone and WhatsApp. Arrival and departure dates, ship flags and cargo volumes circulate non-stop, especially during peak seasons. But with mistakes happening daily, so too expenses and fines mount up.

But with Covantis all this information circulates using blockchain technology, which, according to its participants, helps the flow of information, prevents fraud and ensures the security of shared data.

Sechanova also says that Covantis’ ambition is to gradually bring together all the grains and oilseeds shipments in bulk from its founding companies in the world.

Argentina and the United States are the next countries in which Covantis plans to use its blockchain solution.



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Blockchain

Enjin joins Crypto Climate Accord, goes carbon negative

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Enjin, a blockchain gaming and nonfungible token platform, has stepped up to decarbonize its footprint by joining the Crypto Climate Accord, a move that adds further credibility to the industry’s growing environmental mandate. 

The Crypto Climate Accord is backed by 20 firms from the blockchain, fin-tech and greentech industries. Inspired by the 195-signatory Paris Climate Agreement, the Accord was established in April to address the “large and growing energy consumption of cryptocurrency and blockchain, and the climate impact of their energy use.”

Enjin claims that its JumpNet blockchain has already achieved carbon-negative status nine years ahead of schedule. In March, the company said it planned to enable carbon-neutral NFTs by 2030.

“The creation of new forms of technology should never come at the cost of destroying our environment,” said Enjin CEO Maxim Blagov. “Carbon neutrality for JumpNet is an important step toward our vision of a sustainable NFT ecosystem for Enjin and our partners.”

In addition to decarbonizing newly created tokens, Enjin’s environmental sustainability plan includes supporting the tokenization of the physical economy and decarbonizing existing digital assets. Other measures include upgrading to carbon-neutral nodes and incentivizing carbon reduction technologies.

Environmental concerns have virtually hijacked Bitcoin’s narrative this year, with the likes of Elon Musk casting shade over carbon-intensive mining. The Tesla CEO briefly embraced Bitcoin earlier this year before deciding that BTC payments are no longer acceptable due to environmental risks. Now, he states that his firm is willing to accept payments of the virtual currency, provided there’s more evidence for sustainable mining.

Related: Elon Musk lays out when Tesla will begin accepting Bitcoin payments

Other environmental sustainability efforts within crypto are also underway. As Cointelegraph reported, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’ Gemini exchange has purchased carbon credits to reduce Bitcoin’s carbon footprint. Separately, U.S. miner Stronghold Digital Miner recently announced that it raised $105 million to divert waste coal to cryptocurrency mining.