Welcome to the BEEF LEDGER LIVE AMA with The Gem Hunters. We would like to kindly thank the team for sharing information on their new project with our community.
Q1)- To get this party started, Could you give us a brief description of what BeefLedger actually is?
Once again, great to be here! Hi everyone. We are a supply chain finance project that integrates asset tracking to minimise product losses (counterfeiting etc) and new democratised avenues for community investment in securing food systems into the future. Our aim is to reduce supply chain costs, increase ROI and democratise participation for community-led funding to offer alternatives to mainstream banking and non-bank agribusiness finance. We are more focused on asset-backed financial innovation where track& trace provides improved dependability and security of assets.
We often describe supply chains as “value in motion” systems so we focus on enabling flows of value between things, information and money.
A key focus for us is empowering whole supply chain communities to be involved and responsible for claims being made about product authenticity. So we have developed an organic Multisig protocol for data proposals and state updates, and soon will be introducing a community Attestation option. We see information as fundamentally a social artefact so agents must have ways of being responsible for it.
We kicked off in beef but are more than beef. Beef is high value and complex so that suited us. We also had direct experience in the beef supply chain so understood the issues and opportunities from the ground up. People often think we are a typical track and trace project but that’s kinda ancillary to our main purpose, which is to create a common knowledge ecosystem that enables supply chain financial innovation.
Q2) So as said above quite the unique project, if we can move onto the team, can you give us more information on who are they and what are their backgrounds and experience?
Wow, the team is very diverse.
We have some core teams - the development team, the community partnerships team, the R&D team and the executive team. We basically have an end-to-end capability in the supply chain - literally from paddock to plate - with a core team (which I introduce in a second) and industry partners such as cattle producers, abattoirs, packing and processing, distribution, retail e-commerce.
(1) The development team is coordinated by Tom Miller, and our core dev team is all in Brisbane - Santiago del Valle, Lucas Cullen and Barry Earsman. The experience is diverse, full-stack, multi-lingual. Some worked for Consensys in Australia before, others have been real path breakers in the local Ethereum and Bitcoin and blockchain community in Australia. We also have a dev team in China, some working in the WeChat mini apps world and others doing work mainly on hyperledger.
(2) lThe community team - Claire in Brisbane is focused on products and brands supply chain owners and is getting up to speed quick with our MorphChat collaboration. Mike in Guangzhou is one of our product sales partners, building group buying communities. We also have a distribution partner in Wuhu, Anhui Province. Patrick Wu is our VP based in Hong Kong, with a strong background in consumer electronics, IOT etc. Patrick works with IOT manufacturers in China and is also dealing with real product distribution channels in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan.
We also have a JV in South Africa focused on implementation in real meat, wine and seafood supply chains. They have a background in wine and agribusiness, corporate finance and marketing. We also have collaborators in South America, and are exploring a number of implementation cases there as we speak.
We work with leading chefs domestically and globally to source great partners including cattle producers as well as restaurant groups. We are particularly proud of our partnership with Chef Chris Wade who is a One Hat (Michelin Star equivalent) chef who is better known as SteakMaestro.
(3) Our R&D team is anchored out of Queensland University of Technology, in Brisbane Australia. The team is led by Prof Marcus Foth and has legal specialists (Dr Felicity Deane), behavioural economics (Prof Uwe Dulleck), supply chain analytics specialists (Dr Cao Shoufeng) and legal PhD researcher Lachlan Robb and community value researcher Jock McQueenie. Our cryptography team is led by Associate Professor Xavier Boyen who is spearheading some critical work for us in cross-chain ZKProofs.
(4) Last is the company directors - Charles Morris with 30+ years in finance including the last 13 or so years in managed investment schemes having raised and managed over $80m in funds under management. Xu Qilin is our China consumer-facing director, focused on social e-commerce channel development. And last is me - I’ve 25 years background in cross border trade and investment finance and project development, with industry background and experience spanning funds management, mining, energy, property, ITC and in the last 10 years agribusiness.
Q3) So as i said its quite the team and company! Your token $BEEF actually fits in really well with current popular coin names , but how is it different from all other food tokens ? And could you touch on token flows between ERC 20 and ERC 721.
BiT_SHaMaN | TGH, [16.09.20 20:28]
warwick Haha, yeah food coin names have hit the big time recently. But they’re just names. Ours is embedded into a supply chain architecture that has quite a lot of serious thinking behind it.
This thinking comes from our actual experiences in the beef supply chain (pre blockchain) where we invested in and operated a small abattoir and export accredited processing and packing facilities. We did cross border beef trade from the early 2010s. We also have a background in managed funds and understand how the licenses financial services system works. So our aim was to design a token architecture that could enable quicker, cheaper more convenient transfers of value built on a foundation of asset collateralised securities.
We have a Australian Financial Services License within the group companies so were mindful of designing something that the licensee could ultimately issue as a regulated security.
$BEEF is one of 3 different tokens within our overall ecosystem design. It is our general purpose means of payment token, and can be used to buy real products (beef, wine etc), as well as our other two token types - (a) Digital Asset Identification Certificates NFTs, which are minted when real assets are scanned into the blockchain registry, and (b) our collateralised Digi Units (ERC20) tokens that are issued under an Australian Financial Services License. Our aim is to progressively enable direct fractionalisation of assets for full decentralised investment and trading; there are some legal issues to work through as well as some technical issues but we are targeting March 2021 to release V0.1 of the Fractionalised Livestock Asset Token. We finally settled on the latest $BEEF contract which is managed by a Multisig.
Q4) We've read that you have the ability to buy and trade backed assets or collateralized assets with a 3 token architecture could you explain in detail about this including some tokenomics?
As described above the NFTs and Digi Units are assets strictly speaking whereas the $BEEF is a means of payment or value transfer. $BEEF has a cap of 888,888,888 and about 55% of effectively escrowed amongst early supporters (15% pre-sold 2018) and company directors and associates (40%). Another 30% is held as a liquidity reserve, and now 15% is progressively being released to partners who provide services or to the community generally who want to buy them.
The NFTs have to date been ERC721 but our team have recently deployed erc1155 within parts of our ecosystem (in the escrow payments contract). The collateralised securities are initially issued under license. They are from a legal point of view a Class of Units in a registered Managed Investment Scheme. These Units are available to anyone provided they satisfy KYC. There are no in principle limits on where investors in the Scheme come from. The Digi Units as we call them are subsequently tradeable on our own Exchange, which in effect functions as a secondary market for pre-issued Digi Units. You trade Digi Units with $BEEF.
$BEEF can also be used to participate in our Proof of Authority Network - asset tracking, escrow contracts and earn $BEEF as a Community Attester (coming soon).
Q5) BeefLedger's has always been substance over for, meaning that the team focused on system design and getting things to work even if not perfect but at least having it be real . Version 0.1 of your Proof Of Authority supply chain asset tracker network has just been completed. How will version 0.2 open things to a wider community?
V0.1 is anchored by our multisig architecture, which enables organic formation of multisig groups and those groups can take charge of the applicable multisig rule they wish to adopt. Groups can change their rules. Additionally a signatory an itself be a Multisig so we can operationalise an infinitely cascading federated system of decision-making authority. V0.1 also has our core RFID scanning integration directly into the POA. RFID is used for livestock tagging and also for inventory tracking, so we have enabled scanning to directly feed into the POA network where the scanner operator needs to have an login to the system. The login is enabled via Magic.Link so it’s as easy as an email these days.
V0.2 has 2 main new features - first is the escrow contract transactions tool. This supports complex multi-party deals where draw downs and deferred payments take place.
The second feature is the Community Attestation protocol. This is basically a “voting game” where Attesters earn $BEEF by voting with the majority on any data state update proposal. Voting with the minority sees the Arrester lose their voting fee. For those familiar with game theory it’s based on Schelling’s idea of focal points. We will continue to expand IOT integrations which is a never ending opportunity. The IOT space was actually no where near as mature as we had anticipated so much of this arena remains virgin territory, especially in the agri / food systems.
Q6) BeefLedger has recently won two national design awards for ecosystem design, development and social value creation work. What was it like to get recognised nationally for the team's hard work and why do you believe BeefLedger beat out the rest to win?
It’s always nice to be recognised by leaders in the design world. After all we see what we do as a work of creative design, joining dots that were previously not linked and creating new possibilities. We are a very multi disciplinary project and design is at the heart of making it all come together.
And that is why I think we stood out as well. We are all about supply chain financial innovation through mechanism-design-enabled processes to incentivise desired behaviours and value outcomes.
And importantly I think it’s because the project is so grounded in the real world of supply chains and food production and consumption so it’s possible to see how the “real world” and the “digital world” interact.
Q7) As this is a slightly older coin and still has huge potential and development planned, where do you see the project in a year from now after the token has been on UniSwap for a while and more people know about BeefLedger?
We committed time and effort to build real foundations in the food systems industry in Australia, New Zealand, China, South Africa, and now we are also expanding into South America. We have partners in Singapore and hope to expand into the Halal market space in 2021.
But if I was to summarise where we can be in 12 months time I think we can be a global leader in community-driven supply chain finance with asset-backed security for ordinary people to contribute to, and earn returns from, improving food systems and supply chains. There’s no reason why we cannot have upwards of US$100M (at least) in securitised livestock assets funded and under management delivering strong returns and reducing costs to supply chains and consumers.
We can therefore begin to transform supply chains for the better. Our next frontier will then focus on more incentive mechanisms to align desired outcomes with system change. For example better land care, better environmental management and outcomes in food production, fairer and stronger communities, better animal welfare, great nutrition. We are already working with precision health folk to create new value added opportunities that link beef production to the nutritional needs of specific groups and even individuals. This includes a network of over 600 pharmacies in China with over 3.5m clients, for example.
Q8) To end of the AMA, BeefLedger wants to drive real change by replacing banks and mainstream financial intermediaries with direct finance to supply chains, Quite the tall order, Could you elaborate on this further.
We can certainly bank the un-banked but how about unbanking the banked? Agrifinance is difficult to access from an investor perspective, because access to markets was difficult. Livestock finance in Australia charges 11-14% interest, and supply chain small and medium enterprise finance (including supply chain Cashflow lending) incurs rates ranging from 14.95% to 24.95%. This is because finance in this space is largely cartelised.
Imagine redistributing those margins back to producers and to community investors, and to consumers by way of savings on good food!
Decentralised securities and means of payments tokens *coupled with* robust blockchain-based asset tracking and verification opens up the path for ordinary people to get involved .... from as little as $50 investment or regular pre-purchasing of products through consumer aggregation, producers can be provided with finance directly from communities.
We focus on 2 supply chain finance products at the moment - both asset backed and secured. (1) no interest performance profit share with producers and investors; and (2) a hybrid of ongoing finance fees offset with profit share. We prefer (1) as it better aligns vested interests in overall supply chain performance.
In effect we have the means to enable ordinary people all over the world to take charge of food systems and finance the systems they want to see emerge. In uncertain times there’s not much as certain as the reality that people have to eat. That’s what makes this space a great securitisation opportunity by what I’ve called decentralised communitisation.
Full fractionalisation is next on the agenda!