In Indonesia, a monsoon can suddenly wipe out a small farmer’s income, leaving them too broke to buy the seeds and fertilizer that are their only chance at getting ahead. It might take months to get their documents through the loan department of a bank, only to find out that their land title isn’t clear, and they can’t borrow. Their only choice is to turn to an expensive local loan shark for the necessary cash.
Indonesian tech entrepreneur Regi Wahyu is betting that blockchain technology can help these farmers. “Being digitally excluded makes it hard to be able to make the right decisions at the right time,” he says. Long before he cofounded Dattabot, the the largest big-data analytics company in Indonesia, Wahyu lived for several years with a group of farmers in a small Javanese village named Sumedang. He saw the challenges farmers faced trying to make a living, even as the society around them depended on their food. As Wahyu became a digital entrepreneur, he thought about how to make a positive impact on this bottom layer of entrepreneurial society.