Toronto-based startup Convergence.tech has successfully concluded a blockchain-based pilot to help Mongolian nomadic herders track and certify sustainable cashmere.
The supply chain project, which was conducted with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), is powered by Convergence.tech’s Ethereum-based traceability platform, Backbone.
Convergence.tech chose to focus on cashmere herders for its pilot, as many of these individuals face harsh working conditions and income instability. Moreover, the fashion supply chain lacks transparency, making it difficult for consumers to understand where cashmere products originate.
Convergence.tech CEO, Chami Akmeemana, told betakit:
“The nomadic community is one of immense pride but one with a volatile and unstable income. Leveraging blockchain technology within the transformation of the cashmere industry can provide numerous benefits for Mongolian herders, buyers, and sellers alike.”
A mobile application to track sustainable cashmere
In order to solve the lack of transparency facing the cashmere industry, Convergence.tech created a mobile application for Android devices. The app allowed farmers to register their cashmere bales. At the same time, bales and packing slips were equipped with radio-frequency identification tags used to track data to ensure the location of products.
The tracking data combined with Backbone’s blockchain technology allowed users to see the path the cashmere took during its production lifecycle. Users could also view the environmental impact data generated to ensure that ethical raw cashmere was being sourced.
Akmeemana told Betakit that the company’s findings were big enough to inspire plans to expand the app to other regions:
“Our learnings are pretty significant on this, and that’s why everything was around watching from afar. But now that that’s completed, we’ve been going around the world. We were in Singapore and Bangkok a couple of weeks ago presenting to the UN, USAID (the United States Agency for International Development), the World Bank, et cetera. So now we’re going to start seeing a lot more applications coming out.”
Founded in 2018, Convergence.tech has already developed a blockchain-enabled land registry for the state of Haryana in India. The company also conducted a project in Afghanistan to apply blockchain within existing police payroll systems.
Convergence.tech plans to announce more projects in coming months, as the company recently received a proposal to conduct work in Peru and are looking for opportunities to scale climate action.