The government of Ethiopia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with crypto/blockchain company IOHK, according to founder Charles Hoskinson. The country is beginning to explore use cases for IOHK’s Cardano blockchain in their agricultural industry as well as collaborate with the company on educational programs.
Ethiopian Coffee Industry as Test Case for Cardano
IOHK also tweeted out the news:
According to reporting by the Bankless Times, the Ethiopian government is looking at ways to use IOHK’s blockchain technology to track the supply chain in the coffee industry. Coffee exports are an important part of Ethiopia’s economy, accounting for 35% of the country’s total export revenue between 2000 and 2014, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute. IOHK, established in 2015, will work with the government and private sector to determine how blockchain technology can benefit the country’s agricultural industry.
Additionally, IOHK said it will be offering free training courses for between 30 and 100 Ethiopians in the Haskell programming language, which Cardano uses.
IOHK is involved with education already, having invested up to $1 million in research labs at the University of Edinburgh and the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Students will be taught in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa and at the University of Edinburgh. IOHK’s director of African Operations, John O’Connor, told The Next Web that local Ethiopian developers should be using Cardano by the end of 2018.
IOHK and Cardano Make a Play for the Developing World
The IOHK team was in Ethiopia as part of an event run by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Science and Technology. IOHK has previously indicated an interest in working with governments in the developing world, saying in a March blog post that blockchains could be used to create land registries which safeguard property titles.
Cardano is an open-source smart contract platform which Hoskinson himself described in an interview with Bitsonline as a “Japanese take on Ethereum.” It is being developed by IOHK and managed with help from the Cardano Foundation. Hoskinson was one of the co-founders of Ethereum, but left the famous Turing-complete “world computer” project after disagreements with other founders in 2015 to start IOHK. Last month, Hoskinson announced the publication of a research paper in which he claimed it was proven that Cardano’s as-yet-untested proof-of-stake consensus, called Ouroboros, was secure.