A new mainstream coffee brand has emerged thanks to a collaboration between Denver-based tech startup Bext360, the Amsterdam-based FairChain Foundation and its sister company, Moyee Coffee, which originally established roasters.
The new brand, which FairChain says is the first âfully blockchain-poweredâ line of coffee products, is called Token. The collaboration is designed to enable farmers to add value to their products and retain a higher share of profits by controlling pre-export roasting, while directly connecting consumers to producers through blockchain traceability . Greater hope is also to increase public confidence and comfort in blockchain systems in general.
Token’s work towards the latter goal is its title feature, as each purchase includes a ‘token’ worth â¬ 0.50 that consumers have the option of redirecting either to the FairChain Foundation, directly to farmers, or towards themselves in the form of a discount on the coffee. Completing their selection will be an act of participation that will likely be the first voluntary and practical interaction many clients have with the blockchain.
Bext360 provides the equipment and software originally that handles cherry and green coffee analysis and blockchain-based traceability from that point of purchase. Moyee operates its original roasters and handles the packaging and export of roasted coffee, while FairChain’s blockchain system provides efficiency, security and transparency with every trade, from harvest to consumer – and sometimes back, a time the token comes into play, according to the company. However, with a value of â¬ 0.50 cents, the financial impact of the tokens is almost irrelevant.
“It’s completely irrelevant,” FairChain founder Guido van Staveren told Daily Coffee News of the financial impact at this early stage, with the initial number of participants capped at 100.
The generous distribution of revenue already remaining at the origin where coffee is both produced and roasted also contributes to how ‘tokenization’ itself is currently more important than the monetary value of tokens, albeit with the over time, the impact could be “potentially huge,” according to Staveren.
âWe have 60,000 kilograms of blockchain coffee in the system, but we are now testing tokenization with 100 people,â Staveren said. “We are going to deploy at festivals with 100,000 people, then increase in 2019.”
The first set of 100 bags of 250 grams of Token coffee is sold out. Token’s first appearances at the festival so far have included the World of Coffee 2018 event in Amsterdam and will soon include the Dutch traveling art, music and dance festival De Parade.
Consumers do not need any prior experience with blockchain, tokens, or cryptocurrency to participate. If one chooses to hold and accumulate tokens, a secure âwalletâ of tokens is automatically generated for them. Sealed, nitrided roast coffee typically reaches buyers in the United States or Europe about three weeks from the date of roasting. Staveren said consumers who end up buying Token coffees at a grocery store or other physical store can still redeem their tokens online via NFC chips implanted in the packaging.
FairChain facilitates payments and tokenization through its own blockchain-based platform called KrypC Technologies, with a team also currently on the ground in Ethiopia consisting of 25 people overseeing the receipt and distribution of payments, while teaching locals how maintain the process.
The first Token product is grown in Limu, Ethiopia, and roasted on a 120 kilogram Probat at a Moyee facility in Addis Ababa. Staveren said the next origins to be launched by Token will include Kenya, Colombia and Rwanda in 2019.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.