It was really interesting to hear Liam’s presentation yesterday regarding blockchains, crypto, and more. It was really illuminating to hear about a lot of the issues in this space going forward. If I am completely honest, a lot of it is very confusing to me but nonetheless, I find it very fascinating.
I recently came across a Ted Talk that is somewhat related to yesterday’s topic. This Ted Talk (which I have linked below) is about rural farmers, their goats, and an “inclusive economy.” I think the speaker glosses over a lot of the concerns Liam brought up – especially about the tension between decentralization and scam prevention. The speaker seems to really tout how great the decentralized aspect of a token economy is, which might be true in the case below but of course, there are issues with a decentralized world economy, regardless I thought the whole premise was interesting enough to share.
The speaker starts the story by detailing how a small rural village in Pakistan had to import their water from 2 hours away in nearby Karichi. This drove up the price of water and made farmers have to withhold water from their livestock every second day. The solution was a solar water pump for the village but this pump came at the cost of $10,000 and in a village where the average family makes $70 a month, it made the prospect of buying the pump inconceivable without help from the government or an NGO. Enter our speaker, Fariel Salahuddin, who would become to be known in the village as the Goat Lady. She observed the village had an ample number of goats but little liquid capital and pitched the idea to the head of the village to exchange goats for a water pump. She then flipped the goats during Eid and recovered her money and the village got a water pump to solve their water issues.
How does this relate to yesterday’s topic? From this event, Fariel came up with the idea to tokenize goats so farmers in rural villages could trade goats as currency to purchase things they needed like water pumps, solar installations, etc. Farmers already were selling livestock for currency to pay for various things locally but never were they able to extract higher value from their livestock for “larger more productive assets” as Fariel puts it. The company she set up allows farmers to sell their goats to her company. The company receives the goats at the time of the solar pump installation. They then “tokenize” the goat by recording its various attributes and assigning it a dollar value. The company then sells the goats to supermarkets and larger meat companies to get a return on their investment. Fariel claims that they have worked with 45 communities of 6000+ farmers to allow them to convert their goats into water and electricity.
If you’re interested in hearing the talk you may listen to it here: https://www.ted.com/talks/fariel_salahuddin_goats_blockchain_and_the_future_of_money
If you want to learn more about the company visit their website here: https://uptrade.org/#whatwedo