TraderCobb Interviews Caile Ditterich Chief Executive Officer at BlockGrain @ Consensus Blockchain Week – New York
TraderCobb Interviews Caile Ditterich Chief Executive Officer at BlockGrain @ Consensus Blockchain Week – New York
Also this interview couldn’t have been possible without the introduction from Alex & the team at Nuggets News. Make sure you check out his youtube channel as its full of alot of amazing content with all things crypto related! Make sure to subscribe – https://www.youtube.com/user/australiaalex/
TraderCobb crypto podcast. G’Day guys! Welcome to TraderCobb crypto show. Today I’ve got another amazing guest in Caile from BlockGrain. Mate, the CEO here and tell us about the project.
Thanks Craig. So BlockGrain’s been running for about three years we’re business we’re out there. Basically, from a consumer point of view we allow people to get full traceability of what they’re eating, what they’re drinking. Any commodity that touches the food they consume.
We can get traceability over that. And we start at the farmer level. So we’re farmer agricultural focused business. Okay, so is it focused purely on getting grains from farmer to the plants and whatnot or how’s the link?
So, basically what we did we started at farmers, you know, they’re not, they are it savy, I mean, they’re not, they’re not living in the Stone Age, but they do have issues around the lack of technology that actually layers into deliver their commodities, to store their commodities, to contract their commodities to work with their traders and their brokers.
And so what we did we build a platform that two years ago that allows them to link link up and basically share information with their logistics providers and share information with each other. And what that then ended up basically doing is once you provide service to a big people at the foundation level, you end up creating, not deliberately you are not creating full supply chain traceability.
And so by but providing software to farmers who need it, all of a sudden, once they use that software and then you have you know, the means to go forward. And so now we have full traceability you can take that supply chain through the consumer and give them overview what’s going on what’s best, right on what chemicals. Ah.
So we did that with fruit, wool and, and commodities. So what’s your background at the moment you obviously come into saving in three years so you get into farming background, right? It is? Yeah, absolutely.
So I started at I was a fifth generation from the Melian Victoria. Farm was big enough. was never, you know, my grandfather had it and it got passed down and sort of. Look I loved it but it was never going to happen. So I went to university I think I dropped out of my first course was AG science.
And I thought all this is not for me and I went away and I went into pubs and did that sort of stuff and I went back to Uni in the business degree. And then i ended up working for the largest commodity commodity brokers or commodity buys in Australia which is Grancor.
And then from there I thought Jesus, but they do provide value and you know, in their business certainly doesn’t cut them out but basically their methodology that they use adequate. So I’ moved out to start this business.
So what was the what was the actual vision to start off I mean, you obviously every business starts with it was an idea and it has a didn’t tends to have a growth spurt and then there’s always working towards that end goal. What’s the end goal? What are you trying to achieve here?
The end goal for us is to bring as much value as we can back to farmers. Whether it’s fruit, vegetables, wooll, livestock or ground. We, you know, we’re here to say well as a farmer not necessarily all the time do you need all the intermediaries between you and the end consumer.
So we want to try and reduce that where possible. We also work. What do you understand is people talk about the buzzword today is all about disintermediation. You got to cut these people and cut. Yeah, it is. And that’s not how the world works.
Not all the time. Not in… Commodity industries have developed in a way over thousands of years. And they do work in a certain way, because it’s the most efficient way to do business. Yeah. So we’re not out there saying we will remove all the steps.
Wel provide an opportunity that that allows for another option to go direct, but we also accommodate for the traditional business. And if you can do that, then you have 100% of the market. So the idea for us is to give farmers the opportunity and the choice to make their decision.
Do I want to do the traditional route or we want to sell direct. And that’s that’s what we do. And so the technology obvioulsy up on the blockchain it’s it’s it’s relatively straightforward. We we also understand that in the sense that it’s you can’t hack it.
It is what it is. It’s there. And you know you’re going to have once it’s in there, it’s there forever. Yes, it can’t get taken away. How does that help the end consumer? How does it help the farmer? Does does it cut out the middleman doesn’t make it faster, more efficient, cheaper?
Why is this so good for farmers, as you just said, there’s already a system that works. So what makes this better? Yeah, great question. It does make obviously the blockchain is an enhancement to our business. We’re businesses in our own right.
Basically, what what I find in this business it was over. In the crypto world, there are so many people who are just trying to put blockchain to something. Yeah, absolutely. It is absolutely rough. For us this is a is a perfect alignment.
I mean we work in supply chains. We’re working contracts you work in big money and about 12 months ago, or 18 months ago we heard about this thing called blockchain. And we’re starting to understand it. We started to you know as you probably did, you got the deep dive into it. Yeah, yep.
And you realize Jesus this solves one of the questions I’ve been trying to sort out this, this answers things. And so we went in there and basically realized that if we can adapt this into our system, all of a sudden, farmers can finance what they’re doing. They don’t have to worry about going to a bank for a for a you know an overdraft at 7% or 14% interest.
They don’t have to go to the financing. They don’t have to sell to the local guy, all of a sudden, they can talk to someone in China, we can build an international relationship back by cryptographic contracts to ensure that payment occurs. And not only that, we can actually finance against that contract.
Because if the buyer has been vetted, and and salaries of credibility, which is what our system dug up all the credibility. All of a sudden you have two willing parties who don’t know each other, who can do a contract together. And we can actually finance against that contract. And that’s what crypto is all about.
It’s about bringing people who don’t necessarily trust each other on any other given day together to form a relationship where they have an immutable contract and basically and over there. The problem with the commodity industry is, it’s called commodities hence the word commoditize.
Because everyone puts their grind together, and they sell it like a commodity. But if you actually keep your grind separate, neutral and build a relationship with the end consumer, all of a sudden you find it. You mills in your breweries assignment. I want to buy Craig’s grain because I understand what he does.
I understand what’s on it. I know the what the chemicals are, I understand everything that I need to know that my consumers want to know about that product. I know because I buy direct, I’m not buying from a big pool of brands by mingled or commingled or, or fruit for instance.
I know that I’m dealing direct with the person who makes it. Yeah, and that’s value because when those mills go on, like we’re doing a pilot now with a rather large brewery, who want to show the consumer. So a consumer walks into Dan Murphy’s in Australia, which is our local boozer.
And you go in there and they can scan the bottle, and all of a sudden they say this is who brewed it, this what chemicals went on. They went to this logistics company, it went through this procedure. And it’s ended up in your hand. And that’s a story that the breweries and anyone else wants to tell.
So what our product does is allow that to occur. If you if you use the traditional routes, you just put in your grain together like a bank. Putting your money in the bank and hoping to get… you never gonna see the some money back.
So this helps to sort of bring up a boutique market within grains and commodities? Yeah, yeah. It sounds like I mean, we know the world that we’re living in now everyone wants to have, do yoga drink the right coffee, trade free. But you know, all this stuff sort of evolving at the moment.
From from your point of view, if we can link the consumer based product, which the grain that comes across and you go, this is all organic, and it’s provable. There’s a lot of rubbish out there. They say it’s organic, but it’s the same stuff that these… all sorts of marketing ploys. Yeah.
This is allowed potentially for these individual boutique farmers to potentially ask for more money for their product because it is more. It is special, it’s different. You’re right what you’re hundred percent right on so many fronts.
The I don’t think the farmer can ask more. I think what happens is the consumer ends up paying more. When the consumer pays more economics kick in, which means the middleman who might be the big manufacturer in the middle is willing to pay more for that commodity. Yeah.
So everything is supply and demand. Agrie commodities, it’s the greatest law that we have is supply and demand. So you’re actually right. But it started with the consumer. Once the consumer gets value out of paying an extra dollar or extra 50 cents for his beer, or even loaf of bread or whatever. He then looks through the supply chain, and says, well, I’m happy to pay that.
The manufacturer says okay a little bit more here, I’ll pay more to be able to provide that service to my customers. And once the manufacturer in the middle says that he pays the farmer more. And the farmer gets more than we’ve achieved what we’re trying to do.
And is it is sort of like creates futures from it too? As in you can sell futures stock down the track on a blockchain? Yes, yes you can. I mean, our ambition is to I mean, if you look at our token sale 30% of it’s locked up in a commodity fund. Never to be tradednever to go on the market.
And what that does is if you take 30% out of your whole pie, yep. The whole but the other 70% grows in value all of a sudden, may or may not know, the 30% that sits there grows and go and use that to leverage to place futures contracts to to, to ensure that when a buyer from one side of the world and a seller from Amazon when they come together.
If you can do that in a way that allows, you know, without the paperwork without all the crap that goes on today, by leveraging it at 30% as it as a backup basically security backed up security is leveraging as finance. All of a sudden you don’t have an issue with a farmer and buyer, you don’t have to worry about US exchange.
You have to worry about, you know, what’s the future price of grain and the fluctuation. So yeah, absolutely. Okay, cool. And I mean, you you’re in what where are you at with the raise now? Yeah, so we went out. We didn’t have any big institutional guys.
We skipped over all of that. We were lucky enough through Nuggets and people like yourself. Yep. We went out and raised that $3 million, $4 million Australian I think. Plus 1000 you know, people who want to start doing. So we did that.
And now we’re off the ground with two of our public sales. It’s ticking along. You know, we, again, we certainly we haven’t gone out to the big guys, it’s it’s sitting out there, I think we’ve got maybe 6-700 ETH they’ll roll in the door at the minute.
We’re open for another 30 days. Yep. It’s going pretty well. Okay. And when you list a minute, it is everything already working. You sort of touched on the fact of this is already an existing business. You’ve been running this business for a while before going on the blockchain.
Is it already running? If you already got clients, have you got the beginning and end length for everything? From the grain from the farmer to going through to say an example that you said with the brewery or is it still working on usecase?
No, no. Let’s to clarify. So we have we are an existing business. Weve been running for about three years now. We’ve been I mean, the problem is, the problem is, people go out and they try and say I have a solution and they build the whole thing. Yeah. I never gets uptight.
Yeah. So SCT I used to work for rather large Australian company built ….. I think in it’s three years, I think he had one app that was successful. Wow. Out of I don’t know how many. It’s pretty big…. 600 apps that came through the door. And that’s the app that was successful.
They created apps it would scan for cancer. They created apps, you could do all sorts of wonderful. Yeah, really cool stuff. Well, the one that was successful was was a flexural app. It was for spelling your name, and make it sound really funny. And that’s the that’s the app that was successful.
And I suppose the point is, the problem is, people go out and they create their whole solutions solution and say, this is what needs to happen. And it doesn’t work that way. We’ve been out there for three years, we’ve been trailing.
We’ve been working with farmers, we got 1000 farmers, we got 10 brokers who were contracted to our system. And those 10 brokers I mean that the CEO of that company, independent brokers is our business development manager. I mean he’s come on and said, I understand what you guys are doing.
I want to be involved. So our customers already involved in our business. I mean, he’s our biggest. He is out there talking to the cargos of the world to Louie Dreyfus as everyone else saying, this is a great business. And so he represents both 10 independent brokers who represent 1000 farmers over how many millions of dollars worth of quantities they move.
And so we’ve been working with them to adjust our system and with over time, we’ve been building shaping molding and learning what they need. And if you can do that, then you have a foundation of business. Yeah. So we don’t have the whole supply chain. Absolutely not.
Are we doing trails and blockchain right now? Yeah, we are we, we haven’t decided which blockchain we’re going to go with. At the moment. I think it’s called [inaudible] Yeah. We that’s what our current system is built in for our trial pilots that we use.
But that doesn’t mean we’re going to use it in our real system. And I suppose to a long answer, your question is, you know, yeah, we we have the start the foundation of the business. If you don’t have a foundation, you really got two options.
You can go to the customer and trailling, started that end and work back which never works. What.. May work but it’s a long way. It’s a long way, because the farmer doesn’t get it. Yeah, they don’t understand the connection between.
Why should I jump on this system? And the best way to do is solve the problem the farmer needs. And if you can do that, which is what we’ve done, all of a sudden the farmers on it and without even knowing it, that farmers involved in traceability. That farmer’s involved in blockchain.
He doesn’t know it. He doesn’t understand it. All he knows at the end of the day, if he gets more money by being on a system that helps him solve a critical problem, he’s happy. Yeah. And so that’s where we’re at. And once the farmer’s on all of a sudden, but people don’t understand and we haven’t pushed it, but and I hate to say it, but in bulk logistics.
We’re we’re, we’re an Uber of logistics. We got a full logistics system that manages grain from paddock to plate. Like people go out there. There’s a company that the other day raised $60 million to do a freight operation that allows them to move fridges and all sorts of consumables.
Noone’s touch bulk freight which is the best part about bulk freight is, you pick up from a farm and you deliver it. There’s no you know, six drop offs here five drops. It’s just up and it’s down. Yeah. So we provide a full system that does everything.
And so we have that, that mixes when we’re the farmers data. That mixes in with his broker and his traders data. So all of a sudden, if anyone comes and tries to attack us and says, you know what I’ve got the logistics at.
I’m going to do this, that’s great. But if it doesn’t talk to the farmer, and he doesn’t update his stocks, his position, he’s trading positions, you wouldn’t know. Yep. Then your app’s irrelevant, mate. Because you’re not passing you you’re breaking the chain.
And that’s the problem with the logistics and the commodity industry is everyone tries to come in and build these apps. And they say oh, you know, the Cargo comes out and builds one. Monsanto we had a meeting with them the other hand again, well, no doubt their idea will bill we can just build this.
I don’t want to be involved in your system. I want an independent, trustworthy platform that I can do business with. So farmer building the system talking to other farmers is essentially what BlockGrain is. That the obvious question would be you talking about grains now?
Yeah of course. The problem is farmers don’t trust any of those guys. And they shouldn’t. Neither the people and more and more anyway. But I mean is at Grainco great guys, and they do deliver value. And I AWB they all come out and they build these apps and say we’re gonna do that ourselves ….. I am not giving my name.
I mean, can you just do everything? In terms of? In terms of wool in terms of beef? Yeah, yeah. I mean, if you’re only farmers do more than just grain. I mean, farming is a huge industry. Can you not just take care of the whole shebang and and dominate the entire industry eventually, eventually?
It’s blue sky thinking but if you can get there, right? Lucky young footballer who starts out the objective is to play AFL or the objective to play NBA we do have those goals in mind. But we started at the foundation level we picked the hardest one. Grain grain is the hardest. Is it?
Well because it’s it’s, you know, how do you if it’s a box of fruits box of fruit, you understand. Here’s where it goes at tracks. It goes in its own path. Grain gets mixed and blended all the way along supply chain. We started with the hardest.
But essentially every commodity industry be it coffee be it grain be it fruit wool. So we’re talking with the largest wool handles in the world. And and to trying to do a pilot. And theyre great guys but they don’t understand blockchain and then people come in and again, they realize that they need an independent system because they don’t get paid for all the marketing.
Yeah okay. They just get paid to handle the wool. But my point is, every single commodity in every country is the same. They all have a seller, a buyer. The seller has a broker, the buyer has a broker. The broker has financing for his buyer. It’s just the same.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s wool, grain, fruit, vegetables, anywhere in the world. So this can be applied to anything in theory. In theory yeah. In theory, and that’s the blue sky. But ultimately, we’re starting small we’re starting to. So if you can’t solve a core critical need for the people you’re trying to target then you don’t have a business. Agree.
Most people like yesterday, all great people there in the Consensus. Yep. You know, it’s all blue sky. They come in and you look at their white papers, it’s full of, you know, it’s full of crypto, these crypto crypto crypto. Well, how are you going to get your crypto into that business?
Look at our white paper! It’s it’s that the former head of the largest agricultural company Australia. AWB did the big deal with landmark you ended up with the largest trucking company Australia is Toll holdings or, you know. The CEO of Toll is one on white paper.
Like, we have business people. With business people who understand the value of crypto and what it can bring to us not crypto people who look at it and say, let’s make an industry out of it. And it’s the only way to do business.
Well, that’s we talked about a lot in the show now is a lot of them talking about the token token token token token. Well, if there’s no business behind it, it’s actually not going to work and tokens are not gonna be worth. You know. I asked every single person saying question Caile.
The internet gets you know the internet to blockchain sort of compared to each other a lot. Yes. Because of the rapid uptake of technology and the ability to change the world very, very fast. Yes. As we’ve seen in the internet, we still use the internet, obviously in blockchain.
As a sort of third arm of the internet right. Now, where do you think we are in 1993 thedot.com? Or 2000? whereabouts the middle between 1993 which was the first of uptake of the internet being actually used. And and not and not so much even aware of and 2000 where we saw it go kaboom.
And we saw thedot.com bubble. Where do you think we sit between ’93 and the year 2000? I hate to speculate. But are you going to? I am. You’re good at this. I honestly believe that there is a kaboom coming. Yep.
Because you can’t. We initially weren’t going to do token sale. We we we didn’t know what the Australian government was doing. We didn’t know what they were thinking, which was a big factor for us.
We abide the law and we have everything’s KYC we have all the you know, it’s it’s a hard process. The reason we did is that with what if we don’t do this now, there’s gonna be a kaboom. And there’s going to be a lot of a lot of bloodshed across the industry.
And the reason is, we’re sitting there in October and listening and saying these white papers. Now, our objective really, our business is pretty small. I mean, we have a great team of developers at 15 or 16 of them. And they’re really good people, and they understand what we’re trying to do.
And we only have a small objective, it’s hard. It’s hard to get it wright. We’re at there. Last night was a big night, if you probably will know thgat by now but prior to that, we’re up every night on talking to our developers. Trying to get this business right.
And that’s a small part. And we read these white papers and everyone’s out there and they’re not only are they trying to put man on the moon, they’re trying to bring men on the moon with hydroponics with a fully civilized like, they just their ambition is great and I don’t hold that against them, but try and deliver on it.
When you go in and write these white papers about, I’m going to do a, b, c, d all the way through to Zed and gonna deliver and the consumers going to love it. And that’s going to be cheaper and… And it’s not working yet. And it’s just going and and and.
I think how you gonna deliver on this, and when the time comes that you’re not delivering on this, which for us, we thought maybe 12 – 18 months, and we’re now through that six of those months, so probably another 12 month time when people aren’t delivering on these projects, and the cows come home with chickens come home to roost, I should say the cows not gonna.
There’s gonna be a boom, there’s gonna be a blow up because all this money has been invested. And what I found Craig and I really found this last night and Nuggets’ been talking about it for a long time. And it didn’t click until last night.
The people in this industry are just good, genuine, honest people and a lot of them have a story that they started from the 2008 crash. Oh, yeah, yeah. I met Danny from the crypto show last night and I like this guy’s building homes in Mexico with the money that he makes. Wow.
You know, this then I met Joe from Joe from tryna get this right. He’s gonna kill me, Joe from Alabama. Yeah. You know, these guys are just people who had enough. Yeah. And they just came into this industry because they wanted an alternative. Yeah.
So all the people out there like when I did my KYC is and I’m looking through the images of all the people that are pouring in. They just good people they tradies. Electricians plumbers are but the problem is when all those people eventually some of those they’re going to get burnt. Of course they are.
There will be an avalanche. Exactly right. So again, as always do a long answer to your question is… Give me a year. I think.. ’93, 2000 give me a year. What are we in now? I would say by the end of this year or potentially midway through next year, there’s going to be a blow up.
Because all the projects… So that would be 2000 when will be the blow up. So you reckon we are at ’98, ’96. ’99, ’98 I think. You are the highest one. That’s interesting. Well, only because I lack of experience in my judgment around this.
At least you are honest. I think I think, you know, apparently crypto the crypto has grinding from 3000 last year to…. Yeah. The prices has going nuts. Not just the price, the number of people that are crypto at cCnsensus is that Oh yes. Blowing up. Absolute.
And look, you know, there’s so yes, it is an amateur industry. But, you know, you think of the web, think of think of dot.com. none of us knew what thedot.com bubble was until we actually that’s how I learned about the internet was through thedot.com.
Everyone talks about thedot.com bubble. I wasn’t there. I just heard about it afterwards. I got I didn’t get the internet until probably 2000. Probably 2000. Yeah. After that big boom and bust. So I think we’re getting closer to that then than most people.
I think that eventually all these projects came out. I mean, look, you take me 12 months ago and I didn’t know what it was what. It’s evolving in a very very very fast rate. I love what you’re doing with BlockGrain. I support it and how you do really, really well guys.
What I want you to do last thing is just let everybody know at home listening as well, where they can find more information about you and the project. Thanks. So go to blockgrain.io you know, join us on Facebook. We’re on Facebook, were on Twitter. We don’t do slack. We keep it simple.
We’re on Telegram as well. Blockgrain.io Give me a call. Give us a call on the phone I’m always there. Yeah, that’s what’s where you can find more information about we’re doing. Great. Well Caile the CEO of Blockgrain. I’m great to have you on the show. Apprecite your time.
Thanks so much Craig. I appreciate the yeah, Craig actually actually paid for my taxi this morning. Another you know another crypto thing. NAB canceled my credit card this morning becasue I am overseas.
Thank you very much NAB. And so I’m there trying to ring NAB and I couldn’t even ring NAB and I’m sitting in a taxi outside and I think you know I just want to get a crypto. All garbage out and Craig actually so Craig has sponsored me to come on the show today.
Not the other way around. Exactly right. Good on ya mate. Thanks for being here. Thanks, guys. Cheers. Have a good one!