BeefLedger Briefing: BeefLedger + Asta Solutions Power Forward 

4 June 2019

Software developers and data architects are often the unsung heroes of major project implementations. In some ways, of course, this is also true for BeefLedger and our core Australian software development partners at Asta Solutions. We hope to remedy this a little in this brief overview of our evolving collaboration.

Design Thinking

The team at Asta, led by company founder Bill Angelidis, has been walking side-by-side with BeefLedger for the past 18 months. They’ve rolled their sleeves up and have gotten stuck into understanding the complexities and nuances of the red meat supply chain. They’ve been active participants in two in-depth design workshops curated by the team at Food Agility. 

That’s Asta’s Chris Moore talking at the design workshop last year, pictured below.

The BeefLedger project is a complex undertaking, integrating IOT-driven data collection with decentralised ledger consensus protocols.

Through this collaboration Asta has become the leader in Australia for delivering blockchain solution end to end (development and infrastructure management).

All this ultimately to drive payment systems that can incorporate the incentive systems we are now researching and designing with behavioural economists at Queensland University of Technology.

Asta are required to have their heads around the micro and the macro, all at the same time. Navigating the view from the sky with the messiness of on-the-ground requirements is something the team has been relishing. 

Much of our work with Asta over the past 6 months (and more) has focused on data topology design and a high level conceptualisation of how we plan to navigate between the existing world of conventional cloud databases and the future of decentralised ledgers. 

From day one, we’ve also been undertaking deep research on the application of a multi-chain configuration, recognising that different users throughout the complex supply chain that is the red meat sector will have different functional performance needs. 

A multi-chain architecture enables the provisioning of solutions that can meet the varying demands, balancing speed, privacy and security. We’re looking forward to working with folk in the broader crypto community developing cross-chain atomic swap solutions, to smoothing the pathway to cross-chain interoperability.

Respecting Existing Technologies

We have invested a lot of time and energy into deeply understanding the existing industry landscape, and ensuring the software team are well briefed on what is there and the real-life environments the tech solutions need to operate within. 

This is a design-driven approach that will serve the whole supply chain well. Indeed, through an iterative approach, we are able to implement short-cycle experiments enabling testing, validation or pivots as needed.

We’ve found some solutions to be not so “fit for purpose” as what laboratory-driven conceptualisation would lead one to presuppose.

The demands of industrial scale applications, in tangible physical settings of feedlots, trucks, yards, boning rooms, packing houses and cold storage facilities, must feature prominently in any genuine solution. (That’s BeefLedger’s Warwick Powell (L) and Charles Morris, pictured above, on the boning room floor for the 5am shift.)

The Asta team is well-drilled in their commitment to designing solutions by listening to, and understanding, the practical needs of industry.

We have, thus, consciously respected the work of those who’ve invested significantly over the years in varying aspects of supply chain traceability, provenance Verification via laboratory testing, logistics and inventory management. 

Re-purposing for Internet 4.0: blockchain paradigm

Much technology already exists, which can be readily re-purposed into the “Internet 4.0 Blockchain Paradigm”. 

This is especially the case in inventory management and tracking. We’re also finding practical solutions that cost-effectively and practically bridge existing paradigms and technologies with where we are heading in terms of a Smart Contracts-enables mechanism design-driven future.

Blockchains and supply chains are much more than decentralised records of past events. BeefLedger, together with its software partners at Asta, recognise the power of crypto-economics as mechanism by which the demands and expectations for authenticity and integrity can be “powered by behavioural economic drivers”, validated and made possible by data-validated and smart contracts-executed transactions.

Asta Solutions is a co-funder of the Export Smart Contracts Project being undertaken as a collaboration between Asta, BeefLedger, QUT and Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre.