Token is an attempt to use blockchain technology for something other than hefty profits for the inventors. It is a coffee brand, where the blockchain’s technology has to make it completely clear where the money in the chain goes from beans to consumers. This way blockchain is used not only for transparency and traceability, but also for determining ownership.
At the moment there is talk of ‘big coffee’, a number of very large companies that mainly invest in marketing but little or nothing in the farmers, say the founders of Token. There are about 25 million farmers who grow coffee and they all get it just settled in terms of costs, so something is not right. Token wants to improve that by giving us as consumers a choice what we do with the marketing money.
Good use of blockchain
Each bag of Token coffee is provided with a digital token. That token is worth 50 cents and you can choose to take that value as a discount on your coffee, put it back in the brand or help the farmers who produce the coffee. It is precisely in this type of construction that it has always been difficult to see where the money is going, but blockchain is a good solution for that. It is possible to look exactly where all those tokens go and so nothing can stick to the bow.
Of course it means that there is some extra hassle for consumers. You have to exchange that token to the CrypC technology, as they say to Token itself. Whether users will also do that for 50 cents at a time is still the question, just as it is unclear whether these tokens can be traded afterwards.
Founder Guido van Staveren says the company immediately goes all-in on this idea. A cargo of 60,000 kilos of coffee has been produced by small coffee farmers that are monitored via the blockchain and is being done in cooperation with Bext360, Moyee Coffee and FairChain Foundation, three mission-driven organizations aimed at disrupting the global coffee chain.
Whether they really make a dent in global coffee production is still the question, because 60,000 kilos of coffee is not very much on the worldwide consumption, but just like other fair trade coffee producers, the idea is good. Hopefully it will turn out and we will soon be able to enjoy the fact that the producing farmers also earn something while enjoying a cup of blockchain coffee.