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Argentina, one of the world’s largest agricultural producers and exporters, is witnessing the birth of cryptocurrencies backed by agricultural commodities such as soybeans or sugar, a novelty that promises to give advantages to rural producers and generate an investment alternative for locals and foreigners.
The budding revolution is taking advantage of the real boom that cryptocurrencies are having in the South American country, with more and more investors interested in buying them and the appearance of new trading platforms and alternatives for using virtual currencies as a means of payment.
To this wave has been added the recent appearance of “cryptos” with a very Argentine seal: virtual currencies whose backing are physical agricultural assets in which the country is internationally distinguished.
Soybeans are tokenized
Soybean – and its derivatives – is Argentina’s “green gold”. It is one of the country’s main sources of income and its “star” product in international markets.
Now it will also distinguish Argentina in the effervescent world of virtual currencies as an Argentine company, Agrotoken, has just launched Soya, the world’s first stablecoin (stable cryptocurrency) whose backing is a ton of soybeans per unit.
“Agrotoken is a platform focused on ‘tokenizing’ agricultural commodities. ‘Tokenizing’ is converting a physical asset into a digital one with the objective of giving it liquidity in the transaction,” explained Fernanda Pascual, Agrotoken’s Chief Operating Officer.
Each “crypto-soybean” can be traded on digital currency platforms, where it can be bought by any investor, or used by a rural producer to, for example, purchase agricultural inputs.
The ton of soybeans that back it will be deposited in stockpiling and exporting companies with agreements with Agrotoken.
Pascual said that they have already received inquiries from foreigners interested in investing in Argentina’s soybeans through Soya, while Agrotoken plans to create the Brazilian version of the “crypto-soybean” and a virtual currency backed by corn.
Sucoin, the sugar-backed currency
Sucoin, whose virtual marketing will be launched imminently, is the other great novelty in the market and was created by the financial firm Bitnoa, based in the northern Argentine province of Tucumán, the main sugar cane producer in the South American country.
In this case, each token issued is backed by a 50-kilo bag of sugar stored in Bitnoa’s custody.
Holding the token gives its holder the right to claim the asset backing it at any time, as well as its sale through the cryptocurrency market.
Sucoin gives to a sugar producer the possibility of storing bags of sugar for free, and to an investor, it allows him to keep his savings linked to a market quotation and a food production industry. For example, it enables him to have sugar at the moment he needs it for his processes.
“We are aiming at a simple public, common people who in Argentina have the culture of investing in dollars or the real estate market and who today do not know what to invest their money in, offering them an asset that is not a simple cryptocurrency, which often gives more doubts than certainties, but based on a production input such as sugar,” Marcos Ragone, owner of Bitnoa, told Efe.
Wines and cows for digital assets
The novel experiences of Soya and Sucoin are preceded by other “tokens” developed in Argentina backed by agricultural assets, although in these cases they are alternatives oriented to specific production projects.
One of them is BitCow, a token launched in 2020 by the firm OpenBit and backed in each unit by a pregnant cow, with an initial investment that is capitalized naturally through the growth of a real herd.
The other example is that of the Costaflores winery, in the province of Mendoza and owned by American Mike Barrow, which since 2018 has been marketing its production of organic wines by converting each bottle into a “token” that is bought and sold and traded on a platform.