Ignorance can sometimes be bliss, but often infuriating.
Eyes-rolled when the newly-appointed general manager of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) appealed to the “young” to “stop trying to create money”. Agustín Carstens argued even Isaac Newton had failed to create his own currency. “After he failed in his attempt to make gold, he switched sides and sent counterfeiters to prison.” Well, that’s settled, then.
As mainstream financial dons continue to fetishize peer-to-peer coins supplanting fiat currency, “the young” and “the middle-aged” and sometimes “the old” continue to build projects using the same technology to address proven problems.
The equine industry is the latest to benefit from blockchain technology
Fraud in the equine industry is common. Buyers aren’t made aware of veterinary problems. The horse may have behavioral difficulties. The conditions in which the animal is kept could have been poor. And these dishonest sellers take advantage of unsuspecting buyers that include parents buying horses for their children.
In the UK this year, where equine standards and regulations are among the highest in the world, two people were recently convicted of drugging horses to appear docile and given two years in prison for providing fraudulent clean bills of health. Passing sentence, the judge referred to the doped horses as “unexploded bombs”.
“It’s very easy to be dishonest in the equine industry”, said Danny van de Griend, the CEO of MustangChain. “Although horses have passports, there’s no requirement for owners to show injuries; and vaccination records can easily be forged”.
MustangChain wants to use blockchain and cryptocurrency in the equine sector. The project argues digital passports, held on the blockchain, would make the industry transparent, so people buying horses can do so with confidence.
The project has raised a few eyebrows, but horses are big business. Some estimate the global equine industry to be worth over $300bn., making it larger than the present value of the cryptocurrency sector.
Speaking to Crypto Briefing from the company’s headquarters in the Netherlands, Mr. van de Griend explained that horse-riding is the second largest sport in Holland, with over half a million people every year. “When you consider how popular and how valuable horse-trading alone is, it’s clear the current system doesn’t hold-up”, he said.
van de Griend became involved in the sector back in 2014. Having worked in multiple startups in Taiwan and China, his first business links blockchain companies based in Asia, looking at expanding to Europe with the relevant local authorities and business-figures. In February, he arranged a meeting between Sunny Lu, the founder of VeChain, and the Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander De Croos.
Established eight months ago, van de Griend explains MustangChain works by incentivizing honest behavior. A newborn horse will automatically be registered onto MustangChain, with each passport coming with a certain number of Mustang (MUST) tokens. A visit to the vet will be recorded onto the horse’s passport and satisfied owners can reward vets with the tokens.
MustangChain will offer positions for auditors in order to ensure honest recordkeeping. Tokens are held in escrow whilst records are assessed and evaluated and released once given the all clear. Bad actors, vets that give dodgy assessments on a horse’s health, face losing tokens and being removed from the platform.
Built On VeChain Thor
With an ICO scheduled for the end of the month, MustangChain is one of the first projects to launch on the VeChain Thor platform. “We looked at other platforms but we liked VeChain because they had good governance,” he says “They’ve supported us technically and the tools, like multi-payments, party protocol and software are already there.”
“We can just get on with developing our ecosystem. It’s like moving into a house which is already furnished,” he adds.
van de Griend was already in dialogue with Sunny Lu and the VeChain team through his other business, but MustangChain still needed to go through a critical selection procedure. The whitepaper and team were reviewed and VeChain considered whether there was a real need for the project.
“There are way too many cryptocurrencies out there with no utility or aren’t fit for the market,” van der Griend explains.“VeChain are serious, they only chose projects which they think add value to the market and the platform.”
Crypto Briefing reached out to VeChain’s Sunny Lu to ask them for his perspective. In response, Mr. Lu said:
“The Equine industry is one of the oldest in the world. The team of Mustangchain is the right combination of technical and business portfolios…they found their own expertise and passion to figure out a way to create the value fo r the real business which matches the vision on VeChain and the VeChain ecosystem.
A token designed to overhaul the irregularities in the equine industry is a niche use of blockchain technology. And since MUST tokens are unlikely to become a mainstream medium of exchange, Mr. Carstens can sleep easy tonight…
No night mares at all.
The author is not invested in MUST but holds various other cryptocurrencies.