Or, at least where’s my beef been.

Though we mentioned it in the links last week, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Ministry of Science and ICT’s announcement last Tuesday of a joint project to use blockchain to track the supply chain of beef probably deserves a closer look.

The government project brings together two emerging technologies, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT), to eliminate human error by eliminating the human element. Ranches and even individual cows will be equipped with IoT sensors that record data automatically sans human intervention. The certificates needed to distribute beef in the market, too, will get saved into the blockchain, hopefully making fake certificates and other shenanigans a thing of the past 

A trial program will go live at ranches and slaughterhouses in the province of Jeollabukdo from January.

As Max Yakubowski points out in CoinTelegraph, the agricultural sector has been an early adopter of blockchain technology:

“The use of blockchain tech for tracing agricultural products is one of the common implementations of the technology worldwide. In August, Australia’s largest grain exporter, CBH Group, partnered with a local startup to use blockchain tech for tracking oat shipments.

Last month, the four largest agriculture companies in the world — Archer Daniels Midland Co., Bunge Ltd., Cargill Inc., and Louis Dreyfus Co., commonly known as ABCD — agreed to use blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to reduce costs and to make trading more efficient and transparent, Cointelegraph reported Oct. 25.” 

The program can also serve as a testbed for something often discussed but little tried, at least in the real world – the marriage of blockchain and IoT. From IoT For All:

“Despite the fog of confusion and misinformation around blockchain, it has exciting potential applications in IoT. Ranging from secure device communication (and device identity validation) to distributed data creation and automated data selling, blockchain applications in IoT have many possible benefits. The keyword here, however, is possible. Many if not all of these applications have yet to make it out of a pilot test—or even a laboratory setting. Some roadblocks remain before blockchain applications in IoT can become a scalable standard.”

The project also highlights something we’ve talked about here, possibly ad nauseam. Namely, though the Korean regulatory environment remains far from perfect – the Hyundai Research Institute recently released a report complaining about regulatory bottlenecks stifling the blockchain industry – the government has been eager to take advantage of the what blockchain has to offer. And this probably bodes well for the sector in the long run.

Other Korean Crypto News

(In BTCManager.com)

(By Luke Thompson, Asia Times)

(By Helen Partz, CoinTelegraph)

(In CCN)

Editor’s Note

Beef safety is a big issue in Korea. In 2008, then president Lee Myung-bak set off a media firestorm when he near unilaterally allowed US beef imports, without certain safety protocols that the public saw as necessary. The result was weeks of massive candlelight street protests over the summer. These were a model for the street rallies in 2017 that led to the ouster of president Park Geun-hye. 

Here are a few photos of the 2008 protests from my own personal library, for your enjoyment.

Erik Cornelius / Editor in Chief / The Iconist