Sentinel Chain to Promote Financial Inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean
Global food security and sustainability is of primary concern to governments across the world as a means to ensure economic stability.
Livestock alone account for trillions of dollars worth of global assets; being imperative to the livelihoods of a large portion of the global population. As such, agricultural authorities have provided significant investment and subsidies to assist the growing multi-trillion dollar livestock industry.
Of the 570 million farms worldwide around 4% are located in Latin America and the Caribbean, with Agriculture being a major economic sector in the region. Not only does Agriculture generate significant income but it facilitates the food supply which can reduce poverty and hunger. Furthermore, agriculture provides significant employment opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean, where high levels of unemployment have been plaguing the economies.
Many of the farms in the region are small family-operated business that suffer from a little or no access to full banking services. This lack of banking means farmers often have no credit history and are unable to access finance for their businesses.
In recent years, governments in the region have set up growth funds to provide micro-financing to farmers who then use these funds to improve and expand their businesses. The success of small farms is key in supporting the livelihood of low income families and some of the more economically vulnerable population. However, there has been no clear way for these farmers to access finance based on their livestock holdings. Sentinel Chain provides the solution to this problem in three ways:
- Address the livestock provenance problem by combining the use of tamper-proof livestock identification tag with the immutable property of blockchain.
- Facilitate attestation of ownership by livestock insurance companies and convert the livestock into collateralizable asset.
- The creation of an open and transparent marketplace that connects the unbanked to the network of global financial providers using livestock as collateral.
“Sentinel Chain is a truly exciting initiative because it is solving a major problem for financial inclusion, that is, creating proof-of-ownership for unbanked livestock asset that can facilitate access to secured loan capital. The Sentinel Chain is a globally open and transparent marketplace where farmers who would normally be excluded financially to access a network of global financial providers.” — Roy Lai, CEO, Sentinel Chain
The small open economies and developing states of the Caribbean have already started embracing the benefits of blockchain technology and welcome financially inclusive initiatives such as Sentinel Chain to help them solve the problem of ‘dead capital’. One such Caribbean company is Bitt.com based in Barbados who recently rolled out a mobile money ecosystem and is in discussion with Central Banks in the region to pilot a blockchain based Central Bank issued digital currency.
“The Government of Jamaica has an initiative to “digitize Jamaica”, and digitally tokenizing livestock assets will be a true game changer for forward thinking countries like this.” — Roland Haggins, Vice President of Bitt.com
Mr. Haggins has a long background in finance and investment. He sits on the United Nations International Telecommunications Union’s Financial Inclusion Global Initiative focus group and was invited to speak on blockchain and financial inclusion at the Annual IMF Meetings in Washington last October. He is also a fully licensed farmer in Barbados and sees the agricultural sector continuing to see strong growth over the next thirty years.
Livestock producers account for a significant proportion of the agricultural sector in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Sentinel Chain has been designed specifically to promote financial inclusion for these livestock farmers, by establishing the world’s first global B2B marketplace that accepts the use of livestock as collateral. Creating verifiable livestock assets on the blockchain will enable livestock farmers to attain the required capital to increase production capacity, boosting livestock exports and generate employment that will ultimately contribute to the Latin American and Caribbean economy.
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