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Overstock-backed GrainChain adopts Symbiont’s Assembly blockchain

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Today, the agricultural commodity blockchain platform GrainChain announced it is moving to Symbiont’s enterprise blockchain platform Assembly. GrainChain aims to expand and scale its platform by making this technological shift. Both firms have investment from Overstock-owned Medici Ventures, and Symbiont has more than $35 million in financing, including from Nasdaq and Citi.

While the move is portrayed as a switch in technology, it also opens up a new avenue for finance-focused Symbiont in supply chain finance.

Texas-based GrainChain is currently operating in Texas, Honduras, and Mexico, and plans to tap other global markets. One of its better known projects is a solution for the Honduras coffee industry. 

The Texas-based blockchain firm went into production in 2019. GrainChain’s platform facilitates ease of payments to suppliers and farmers and enables the traceability of agricultural commodities. 

GrainChain’s solution eliminates the numerous middlemen in the agricultural supply chain, ensuring farmers get a better price for their produce. Meanwhile, buyers get to choose which farmers to buy from and can meet the market requirement by tapping into other sources. 

“By pulling the agriculture supply chain onto blockchain technology, we’re helping every participant in that ecosystem — from farmers to bankers to grain elevators — get fairer value, faster payment, and a bigger participant pool,” said Luis Macias, Chief Executive and Founder of GrainChain. “We cannot be constrained by technology —which is why we moved to the Symbiont network.”

Initially, the company leveraged Hyperledger Fabric. The technology switch was described as a move to “a more scalable network with full enterprise-level support.” 

Using the Assembly blockchain, GrainChain claims it was able to improve the performance of its platform and service a more significant number of farmers and buyers. The platform currently processes over 20 different commodities, and GrainChain plans to add new agri products within its offering. 

Apart from facilitating better payments to the farmers, the platform also enables the traceability of agricultural commodities. It makes this possible by using the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which record things like temperature weight, etc. This also reduces the risk of fraud and develops trust between trading partners. 

GrainChain recently raised $8.2 million in a funding round led by Medici Ventures, the investment arm of Overstock.com. Until now, the company has raised a total of $10.7 million. 

Meanwhile, New York-based Symbiont is one of the earliest blockchain fintechs and developed the Assembly blockchain platform. The company claims Assembly offers better privacy features and scalability for financial transactions. 

Nasdaq, Citi, and Vanguard are currently using Symbiont’s blockchain solutions. Early last year, Nasdaq and Citi participated in a Series B funding round of the company, which raised a total of $20 million. 

Additionally, Medici Ventures also has an undisclosed stake in Symbiont.


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