March 12, 2019

Cardano’s Strategy in Africa, Blockchain’s Benefits for the Supply Chain Industry & EMURGO’s Role in Driving Success

Cardano – the first peer reviewed third generation blockchain – is one of the few cryptocurrencies aiming to serve underdeveloped nations by banking the unbanked. To that end, Cardano has a vision for developments in Africa and EMURGO, as the official commercial arm of Cardano, will help drive Cardano’s success in Africa. Along those lines, a key use case for blockchain is in the supply chain industry and Cardano can penetrate the African market for betterment of the society. Cardano’s strategy in Africa, along with the key use case of blockchain in supply chain management, will be explored in this blog post.

Africa’s Digital Focus
Africa is an extremely young continent with a large focus on digital developments. The median age in Africa is estimated at being 19 years, and is home to over 1.3 billion people. Africa is also home to millions of digital-wallets, where individuals can make transactions rapidly via mobile applications as an alternative to cash. Of the 54 countries in Africa, 24 African states are members of SMART Africa. This alliance aims to transform all 54 African countries into a single digital market. SMART Africa is focused on investing heavily in digital infrastructure which will allow new industries to bloom and create massive opportunities within African economies. This includes investments in fiber optic networks, mobile broadband centres, satellites, data centres and many other initiatives. Investments in these areas will act as the foundation of a truly digital African market.

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SMART Africa is focused on investing heavily in digital infrastructure

What is the “Africa strategy”?
The “Africa strategy” is the strategy to drive Cardano’s adoption in the African continent to everyday users and businesses. This strategy will be achieved through accomplishing two goals. The first goal is to engage with local stakeholders in delivering projects that solve real issues in the market. Governments, NGOs and private sector companies recognize the potential for blockchain technology to improve trust, transparency and efficiency. The second goal is to train and educate local developers to create solutions for local problems. A success in both of these areas was the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between IOHK and the Ethiopian Government to train and hire junior software developers and use Cardano in its agriculture industry. This involved training an all-female class of Ethiopian and Ugandan students in using Haskell (the language Cardano is built with) during a 2 month period.

A key achievement for EMURGO has been the launch of Yoroi. EMURGO’s launch of Yoroi introduces the very first light wallet for the Cardano blockchain. Yoroi provides users with secure, fast and simple access to Cardano’s native cryptocurrency asset, ADA. Recent achievements have been Yoroi’s release as an application on Google Play and Apple’s App Store. For a population familiar with digital wallets and mobile payments, Yoroi has the potential to act as Cardano’s gateway into Africa. Users can instantly send, receive and store value in a secure, accessible way.

Blockchain Benefits for Supply Chain
The core solution that blockchain offers supply chain management is trust and coordination. All over the world, there are huge misalignments of incentives between different parties all along a supply chain. In many day to day business transactions, deals between businesses in a supply chain may be short term and predatory rather than long term and cooperative in nature. A seller may try to defraud a buyer by not being honest about the quantity of the products they received in a shipment. A buyer might try to defraud the seller by adding lower quality produce to a batch of higher quality produce. Blockchain aims to change that for the betterment of society.

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Blockchain Benefits for Supply Chain 

A company in the dLab/EMURGO accelerator program aiming to radically improve transparency in supply chains is Helixworks.

Helixworks integrates DNA-based ID tags to physical goods. When combined with digital ledger technologies, DNA-IDs are extremely robust and resilient ways of tracking goods along a supply chain, including goods such as medicines and food.

Cardano is building a platform that incentivizes and rewards honesty and not dishonesty through a decentralized, immutable ledger This solution does not require central coordination to ensure parties are honest. By using a distributed and trusted database, blockchain solutions reduce the barriers that impede business. Information about products, logistics and all parties involved at all stages of a supply chain can be added onto the blockchain. This decentralized ledger ensures total visibility across all parties involved at every step of the supply chain. A blockchain solution ensures the credibility of all the different actors.

The coffee industry has been targeted as a key area where Cardano could add value, specifically in Ethiopia. One such application within the supply chain is proving the origin of coffee. In the future, there is also the potential of using smart contracts to incentivize coffee farmers to adopt more productive farming practices. Coffee is Ethiopia’s largest export, and improving this industry would add massive societal benefits.

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Supply chain is proving the origin of coffee

Wrap Up: EMURGO’s R&D Facility
Many organizations, governments, and NGOs are exploring blockchain technology for its benefits in operations and security. EMURGO works with logistics organizations globally to help build, optimize and improve trust using the Cardano blockchain. EMURGO helps improve transparency and accountability by improving supply chain management. If you believe blockchain would help improve your business, reach out to us to learn more about the value Cardano can add to your organization.

EMURGO drives the adoption of Cardano and adds value to ADA holders by building, investing in, and advising projects or organizations that adopt Cardano’s decentralized blockchain ecosystem. EMURGO leverages its expertise in blockchain R&D as well as its global network of related blockchain and industry partners to support ventures globally.

EMURGO is the official commercial and venture arm of the Cardano project, registered in Tokyo, Japan since June 2017 and in Singapore since May 2018. EMURGO is uniquely affiliated and works closely with IOHK to grow Cardano’s ecosystem globally and promote the adoption of the Cardano blockchain. To learn more about the project, visit the EMURGO website.

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