CBA applies blockchain and IoT to agribusiness

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The bank has been working on a Smart Assets experiment with a South Australia farmer who decided to split the purchase of a tractor with two neighbouring farmers. The three farmers formed a legal entity for the finance and ownership of the new tractor, and fitted it with sensors.

However, the data received was hard to read and review, prompting them to call in CBA, which developed a proof-of-concept asset management and sharing platform using IoT devices connected to a crop sprayer and machinery, enabling the farmers to view real-time location, usage and performance of the asset.

As part of the platform, CBA built a dynamic dashboard that visually presented the operational performance of the crop sprayer. The data was instantly captured and presented back to the farmers, allowing them to make on-the-spot decisions on how to best operate the machine, as well as guide decisions on maintenance and renewal.

Working with East & Partners, CBA is also looking into how farmers can more efficiently buy and use high-cost assets such as crop sprayers which are often left idle for large parts of the year.

The farmers’ dashboard was built on blockchain technology allowing a possible future state of sharing and fractional ownership. Managed through smart contracts, the platform provides a smart-lock functionality that could automatically lock or unlock the vehicle when a payment is made – making it easy to share without requiring any intervention from the owner.

Tim Harvey, GM, strategy, innovation and operations for regional agribusiness banking, CBA, says: “The interplay between blockchain, smart contracts and IoT with high-value assets is a significant development towards maximising the value that businesses get out of their assets.

“By developing a platform that offers fractional ownership as well as a sharing marketplace, customers will be able to reduce costs of asset ownership and maximise utilisation.”

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