October 14, 2022

Ep #2: Luis Macias

Replacing opinion with blockchain in farming
  • Founded 2018
  • 111 Heads

An early interest in programming evolved into a deep fascination with solving real-world problems. 

“It started at twelve years old when I picked up programming and saw I could create my own world with words and code.”

Having moved twenty-one times before he was eighteen, Luis spoke of how he adapted and developed his programming skills through the early Internet as a means of communicating. 

At twenty-three he started his first company, a cloud-based management system that captured the useful information living on documents and indexed it for easy retrieval. 

“We ended up developing a very unique underwriting system that transformed a highly manual process by pulling multiple public and private data points from across the internet. We conquered 30% of the American market and had a successful exit in 2005 that gave me and Fernando Campos the freedom to work on the meaningful projects we wanted to.”

Luis’s father-in-law was one of the larger players in South Texas agriculture and wanted a better way of storing and retrieving information than the shoeboxes and spreadsheets he stored them in. 

Nothing existed that was good enough, so Luis and his team built what they needed and digitized the entire process of recording grain in siloes with IoT. 

Everybody could see that large-scale innovation needed to be applied across the entire agricultural supply line, but hundreds of fatal tech startups before us had created a culture of distrust to tech.

“We realised we didn’t need to create a single app, but an ecosystem that incentivized the use of systems, ensured trust, and removed human errors.” GrainChain was born.

The world needs a sustainable environment to create sustainable food and the last two years have shown the havoc of a delicate supply chain. 

“Only two cents of that $6 Starbucks you buy are going to the farmers. How do we create a system that ensures they get paid more, that it’s been ethically produced, and that it’s chemically free.”

Luis spoke about the need of building everything on a bedrock of trustless and transparent data that provides every touchpoint in the chain with the information they need to make their decisions faster. 

“What better way to get rid of human opinion than to put it into code.” Make it law on the blockchain. If everyone is part of the process of creating a smart contract, then nobody will be surprised by the results

GrainChain’s north star points towards financial liquidity for both farmers and investors, total food transparency, and micro-insurance and security for the farmer’s products.

1:30: An entrepreneur at heart that always asked what “no” really means. 

4:01: Harnessing the ability to “create” in multiple formats.

5:40: Predicting the future with better data. Quality in, quality out.

8:05: Building our own thing and with the intention of making a difference.

10:46: Applying a digital solution with almost no connectivity in the agricultural industry 

11:30: Agriculture is in desperate need of sustainable tech innovation but has been successively abandoned by technology 

13:21: Creating the infrastructure of sustainable farming

14:42: The watershed for consumers choosing sustainable farming

16:30: Incentivizing the next generation of farming with technology and innovation

19:10: Most crops are sold in the future with a lot of variables using legacy systems

20:45: I needed to get rid of human decision

21:38: The vision of Fernando Campos and marrying blockchain to the problems in agriculture

23:3: A well-written contract never needs servicing

27:16: An emotional response to our first transaction on GrainChain

29:10: Flat earth and how we’re going to revolutionize the world with smart contracts

35:16: The challenge of deploying blockchain in an error-prone environment like agriculture 

37:01: Building an ecosystem on a bedrock of data trust 

39.40: Traceability in the food industry and the unachievable myths that surround it

43:40: Removing humans

49:10: When things go wrong

58:59: Convincing those that benefit from a lack of transparency in agriculture

1:02:50: The future of finance means relying on data, not people, and causes, not borders

1:04:48: The future solutions of GrainChain 

1:05:50: Increasing money to investors and reducing charges to farmers with automation

1.12.04: How replicable is GrainChain’s infrastructure to other verticals?

1.13.04: The more participation the more robust the structure. This is the future.

1.20:32: “People in my position don’t fail… they get tired”

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