Once upon a time, a beautiful young woman named Cinderella married Prince Charming and, so we are told, lived happily ever after.

Yet what would have been the next part of her story, after their wedding, if Cinderella had been rescued from her slavery only 10 years ago?

Perhaps it is this.

The mice who had been her friends swiftly introduced her to their electronic cousin mouse, which enabled Cinderella to become a voracious reader, devouring information and attaining great knowledge of world events, technology, commerce, the environment and social awareness.

With an inquisitive and naturally intelligent mind, in 2009 she invested $10,000 in Bitcoin, despite the warnings of the male, pale and stale palace advisors.  Today, as at 12 December 2017, her investment is worth in the order of AU$$222,682.22.

Lest it be thought Cinderella used the funds of her treasured husband’s family, it should be made abundantly clear the $10,000 was a portion of the funds she generated from the early days of what is now her international business empire.  For while encouraging her husband to pursue his love of sustainable gardening, she built global brands in fashion design and mending, cleaning and wedding catering, the most lucrative of them all.

In recent years, her initial curiosity in Blockchain had transformed into a wholehearted devotion to the realm of possibilities offered by the new and emerging technologies. Since the immortal Fairy Godmother’s husband last cut his toenails, world economies have relied on siloed record systems of individual people, businesses and governments, which require a replication of the records of transactions within the silo of each person, business and government agency that was a party to a transaction.

However, the Blockchain technology, essentially as a shared, trusted, transparent and immutable ledger, provides vastly improved efficiencies, speed, security and, ever important, cost savings, particularly as middle operators can be removed from the transaction.

Indeed, cognisant of the disruptive impact of Blockchain on the financial sector, many banks are leading the development of Blockchain technology and solutions, to maintain their sustainable relevance.

Let’s consider a few examples together with Cinderella, shall we?

Chapter 1: Agriculture

Cinderella adored her husband, who continued to look upon her with devotion and respect for her business acumen and beauty, in equal measure.  She admired the long hours he toiled in the field, yet felt sorrow in her heart watching him wait 30 days, and often longer, to be paid after he delivered his grain and other crops to the collections silos.

So Cinderella recently introduced the Prince to the founder of Full Profile, Emma Watson, an impressive Australian businesswoman, who led the creation of AgriDigital.  The technology was used to successfully execute the world’s first settlement of an agricultural commodity on a Blockchain, to enable swift payment for the farmer.

Once more the Prince marvelled as his wife’s wisdom.  The voluminous paperwork and despised delivery slips could be deftly avoided through the “smart contracts” established by AgriDigital.  By executing automatically, the speed of the transaction to purchase grain and settle the agreement was vastly enhanced.

The Prince’s thoughts turned to his burgeoning winery, where the grapes themselves were crushed under the nimble feet of the forest sprites.  (The record should show his great-grandfather and great-grandmamma, had first employed the fairy ancestors to roll tobacco leaves on their thighs at dawn for the sweetest cigars of all.  But a nasty stoush with the fairies’ union and the discovery of the detrimental health effects of smoking, had led to an historic retraining of the entire workforce, quite unprecedented at the time.)

As a frequent guest speaker at international conferences, and particularly in China in recent years, Cinderella understood the growing demand for Australia’s wines abroad.  She encouraged the Prince to set his winemaking sights beyond the domestic market and into China.  She told him of Mark Toohey and his company TBSx3.

With her little-known propensity to tell risqué jokes and enjoy ribald humour, Cinderella thought Mr Toohey to be a delightfully entertaining and clever man, for his company’s name was inspired by the mythical Irishman (not Mr Toohey himself, of course), wearing 3 condoms, to be sure, to be sure, to be sure.  The three layers of protection built into Mr Toohey’s anti-counterfeiting solution are encryption, logistics tracking and Blockchain, as an immutable and transparent record of the transaction.

As verified by KPMG, in 2017 TBSx3’s pilot tracked a pallet of Coonawarra wine from its source to Qingdao in China, with the involvement of major transport and logistics companies DP World, DB Schenker and Hamburg Sud.

Beyond China, in south-east Asia the Prince was impressed to hear in September 2017 Singapore announced its intention to become a hub for Blockchain development in commodity trading.  (Privately, he wondered at the implications particularly for global rubber with its commercial trading base in Singapore, given the acquisition of RCMA’s polymer division by Halcyon Agri in late November 2017.)

The Prince marvelled that through the use of “smart contracts”, that provide immutable records of transactions and can be self-executing, greater transparency will be achieved, significant time and costs will be saved and the fraud in industries and sectors where counterfeit and inferior substitutes are commonplace, can be avoided.   The Prince contemplated the immense benefits and value of ensuring authenticity and provenance for food and other consumables through Blockchain, from paddock to plate.

As the sun set over his lands and the golden light of the magic hour transformed the natural beauty of the Prince’s farm, Bully, who the Prince had raised since a new-born calf, nuzzled against the Prince’s back.  With a “Hey, little buddy” and stroke of his long bovine face, the Prince fleetingly considered how many people in a land far, far away, would soon be able to track Bully’s origins as they sat down to their evening meal.

To Be Continued …