Modern agriculture has stretched into an unintelligible supply chain with a global reach, leaving consumers unable to make fully informed decisions related to their food. Additionally, such complexities confound adequate regulation. Blockchain technology, a data system using a distributed ledger on a peer-to-peer network, boasts various theoretical applications born of its ability to deliver security via decentralization and other unique information management strategies. In stark contrast to this technological innovation, the regulatory mechanisms the United States deploys to manage its supply chains lay stagnate. The antiquated and reactive posture with which the United States regulates and controls its food safety and supply is of particular significance. This Article explores the untapped potential in blockchains as supply chain management tools, capitalizing on data abundance to improve transparency for regulators and consumers alike. Because the food supply is one of the Nation’s most vital industries but is also one of the most outdated, agriculture should be the first industry converted to a blockchain system. Additional benefits to modernizing the United States’ food supply chain include improved ethical transparency to consumers and shielding companies as well as government agencies from harmful cyberattacks. Because of the high underlying capital infrastructure costs for implementing such a system, and because blockchain infrastructure exhibits characteristics of a natural monopoly, a regulated utility would be best suited to create this agricultural blockchain: AgChain.
Author: Jacob D. Farrell
Volume 23, Issue 1