Nick Seymour and Jon Southurst

Blockchain and IoT for agriculture: The Bitcoin Bridge talks to Farmo’s Nick Seymour

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Here’s a challenge: You have a massive farming property with vital information coming in from all round… and only a handful of people. On this week’s episode of The Bitcoin Bridge, Nick Seymour tells us how his company, Farmo, is making devices to collect as much data as possible—and trying out the BSV blockchain to make it more useful.

Agricultural Technology (AgTech) refers to the IT industry that’s been serving rural communities since computers first started to proliferate in the 1980s. But it’s seen a boom in more recent years thanks to improvements in long-distance wireless communications, and (even more recently) affordable IoT sensors.

These sensors can monitor everything from water levels and quality to animal feed/location and electric fences, checking that everything’s in working order and checking on various environmental conditions. This can make a huge difference to farmers, who previously had to monitor and record all this data manually. When you look at the size of some farms, particularly in Australia where Farmo is based, it’s a huge help.

So once you’ve gathered all that data, what do you do with it? How do you make it useful for other people as well, maybe for decades and centuries to come? Glad you asked, because that’s where the BSV blockchain comes in. Once that automated sensor-collected data is recorded on-chain, it’s there forever—and verifiable too.

Nick admits he hadn’t even heard of blockchain just six months ago, but thinks it could solve a lot of problems, if the hardware and software infrastructure works well.

Farmo has partnered with Australia’s MetaStreme to develop ways to make it easier to record all that IoT data in millions of nanotransactions. Nick tells us why he decided to try out BSV, and about some of the challenges he faces in introducing brand-new networking technology to farms. If it works well, farmers will use it, but it has to work well. And farmers, he says, also prefer to use technology they can maintain and fix themselves. This is a necessity in areas where it might take a week to get a knowledgeable technician out to look at things.

Recording decades of data that may trickle in, in small amounts and from thousands of different places, is exactly what the BSV blockchain excels at. In fact, it would be impossible to do this on such a large scale with any other blockchain—fees and network congestion would soon cause problems. Farmo and other companies are testing its capabilities for a wide variety of uses, all of which could be beneficial not only to present-day users, but others for years to come.

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