Building a commodity ecosystem through blockchain

“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops but the cultivation and perfection of human beings” Masanobu Fukuoaka, legendary horticulturist

Fintech commodity trader Block Commodities — in a joint venture with FinComEco — launches FarmCoin with blockchain private equity Swarm to optimise the African agriculture ecosystem.

As the only and leading blockchain private equity, Swarm Fund comes in as a strategic investor providing regulated infrastructure to maximise agricultural production through a blockchain ecosystem. The initial investment ceiling will be in FarmCoin tokens to the value of US$45 million.

FarmCoin expands Block’s ecosystem to wider horizons. Building on the already-established alliance with platform Dala Wala — which is providing cryptocurrency loans to 50,000 smallholder farmers in their pilot project in Uganda — Block’s blockchain network is growing, as such providing more alternatives for farmers to sell and buy products.

FarmCoin is an asset-backed investment coin, representing fractional ownership in the FarmCoin infrastructure, making this a true asset-backed token. It is a security coin designed to provide a high impact and high return. Warehousing, truck and logistic support are scarce in the region and accentuate the barriers to agriculture production in Sub Saharan Africa. The inefficiencies in transport, storage, access to education and market allied to the opportunities through solar energy, big data collection, deep learning, irrigation technology and of course blockchain will create greater harvest yields will create self-sustainable wealth creation for farmers and investors alike.

The FarmCoin will leverage gains that can be created by internet of things, drone technology, smart pallets and linked to weather, soil and supply chain data.

It will supply farmers with the infrastructure needed to optimise their performance, while funding the development of wide farming networks and the agritech sector, building a seamless connection along the food distribution chain from the soil up to global consumer.

FarmCoin’s primary concern is to provide a fully regulated financial infrastructure to Block and FinComEco’s commodity ecosystem. It will help supply African farmers with the infrastructure needed to optimise their performance, while funding the development of wide farming networks and the agri-tech sector, building a seamless connection along the food distribution chain from the soil up to global consumer.

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are tools to address issues holding back growth in the developing world, such as bureaucracy, unreliable legislation, and poor access to financial resources. “This partnership puts Swarm in one of the most exciting places for crypto: ground zero for much of the world’s unbanked. Our strategy is based on using our unique ecosystem to create real value for hundreds of millions of people, enabling them to trade responsibly with an objective of increasing income for farmers. Blockchain and smart contract investments like FarmCoin enable market inefficiencies such as corruption, market access and perception-based debt costs to be removed,” said CEO and Co-Founder of Swarm, Philipp Pieper.

FarmCoin builds on Block’s current ecosystem by providing a fluid and scalable infrastucture to optimise production. Our pilot project is starting in Uganda with Wala, the leading blockchain-powered financial services platform in Africa — and launch partner of the Dala crypto token — which is providing cryptocurrency loans to 50,000 smallholder farmers in their pilot project in Uganda. Launched in March, Block and Dala Wala are offering U$10m in token loans to develop farming and agriculture all across sub-Saharan Africa. The project is the first of its kind and allows farmers to transact and cash in and out with Dala at over 100,000 merchants throughout Africa.

Dala is up and running in three key markets in Africa: South Africa, Zimbabwe and Uganda, with an aggressive growth strategy that includes pre-installing Wala on smartphones numbering in the tens of millions. The project will be live in an additional eight markets before year-end, bringing financial inclusion to 3.5 billion people.

Our Director, Stefania Barbaglio, who works alongside Block Commodities Executive Chairman, commented: “Blockchain is the real solution for developing countries. A revolution has started based on new technologies that can shake up the current global power structures giving countries like those in Africa an opportunity to grow and become key players in the global economy. The time for global democratisation has come, led by new technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies”.

Tricia Martinez, founder & CEO Wala and Director Dala Foundation, commented: “Today, cryptocurrencies like Dala enable us to invest in this region without the risks of cash, local currencies, and the subpar payment infrastructure. In addition, the focus on delivering zero-fee payments through the Wala Financial Platform brings the efficiency needed to make this programme work effectively.

Commodities Chairman, Chris Cleverly, commented: “A structural reform in African agriculture is much needed. Africa’s population is set to double by 2050, reaching 2.5billion. From supply to farm infrastructure like smart tractors and pallets, to big data collection through social networks and drones, to bio-waste energy powered processing plants and decentralised commodity exchange — African infrastructure will leapfrog old technologies to enable the earth’s last great arable lands to feed the world”.

About Swarm Fund:

Swarm Fund is the blockchain for private equity. A fully decentralised capital marketplace, it democratises investing by using the power of blockchain to open up high-return, alternative investment classes to smaller investors through asset-backed funds using cryptocurrency tokens. It makes traditionally exclusive investment opportunities — such as private equity funds — inclusive for Swarm, and provides fund managers access to an untapped capital stack. Swarm is open to crypto, wealth and everyday investors to turn their cryptocurrency capital into real-life assets.

Swarm operates similarly to a co-operative: the fund is owned by its members, who determine the direction of the business together. “Each member is driven by the vision to build a self-sustaining ecosystem of real world investments on the blockchain, funded by cryptocurrency, governed and owned by the community,” they said in their opening statement.

About Wala:

Wala, the launch partner of Dala, is a mobile financial services platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. Tackling financial exclusion, their mission is to close the gap between consumers and financial service providers in emerging markets. Wala works with specialist providers in each market itoperates in, including banks, to offer a full suite of financial services like transactional banking, remittances, loans and insurance. Partners benefit from the reach and low-cost access to previously unserviceable customers, enabled by the Wala platform. The Wala Financial Platform provides access to transactional banking, remittances, loans and insurance for the unbanked and underbanked. Wala works with best-of-breed specialist providers in each market it operates in, including banks, to offer a full suite of financial services. Wala will support this collaboration with software solutions and integrations into the Wala Financial Platform and the Dala ecosystem. For additional information, please visit:

About Dala:

To enable a zero-fee and borderless financial system for emerging market consumers, a new cryptographic token, Dala, was issued by the Dala Foundation. Dala is a general-purpose ERC-20 token that will support the operationalisation and further development of scalable, blockchain-enabled financial platforms for developing markets around a common unit of account and microeconomic incentive structure, to create strong network effects. Dala already has utility, through its launch partner Wala, within the Wala Financial Platform. The Dala ecosystem expands through partnerships across borders and financial services, enabling consumers and enterprises to transact, save, lend, and invest with Dala. For additional information please visit:

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