Latest Florida food project wants to link Bitcoiners with cows

Another food-related cryptocurrency project is underway in Florida. A pro-Bitcoin organization and a beef trade group have formed a partnership that has drawn support from Samuel Armes, president of the Florida Blockchain Business Association (FBBA).

Bitcoin Bay and the Florida Beef Initiative (FBI) are working together to connect bitcoin (BTC) holders directly to local cattle farmers, making transactions over Oshi’s lightning network application.

Today’s cattle industry is dominated by the ‘Big Four’ meat conglomerates — Tyson Foods, Cargill, Marfig, and JBS Foods — who control most of the market and offer a level of transparency criticized by the FBI founder known only as ‘June.’

Bitcoin Bay is an organization based in the Tampa area that educates people about Bitcoin at workshops and promotes businesses that accept BTC as a tender. 

Efforts like this have been relatively common in the crypto marketplace. In the past, similar projects have attempted to combine blockchain technology, RFID tags, and other tracking methods to improve transparency in food supply lines. 

Bitcoin Bay and its new partnership are backed by the FBBA. Armes said in an article that the FBBA, “plans to support Bitcoin Bay as much as possible, and we hope to see other groups around our State replicate their initiative.”

Bitcoin Bay is led by Wesley Schlemmer, a biochemical engineer who became interested in Bitcoin through libertarian commentator Tom Woods. Protos did not receive a response when we asked Bitcoin Bay for comment on the type of support the group might receive from Armes’ FBBA in the future.

Joel Greenberg, convicted crypto fraudster and former Seminole County Tax Collector, hired Armes in February 2019 to be his “blockchain and legislative affairs director.” Armes’ tenure with the tax collector’s office coincided with the final transactions of an initial coin offering (ICO) linked to Greenberg and previously investigated by Protos — Organic Fresh Coin (OFC).

OFC executives claimed they had backing from the government of Belarus to source and track food from farm to table. While it was unclear exactly how this would be accomplished, it did result in some of the most astonishing promotional material produced in the crypto industry. 

The ether-based ICO was led by executive vice president Keith Ingersoll, who was also in the pay of Greenberg. Ingersoll’s K.I. Consulting held a contract with the tax collector’s office for which prosecutors said there was no evidence of work.

Read more: INVESTIGATION: Indicted Republicans and a dead Belarusian — what happened to Organic Fresh Coin?

In the year before Armes was hired, OFC executives claimed to have attracted a $15 million investment. They minted 350 million OFC, but the coins were never distributed. 

In the months after Armes was hired as blockchain and legislative affairs director for Greenberg, nearly all of the publicly available OFC was returned to exactly one wallet. Most of the OFC set aside for the executive team was put into a second wallet. It’s still unclear what the purpose of this operation was, but Ingersoll has since been convicted of bilking $12.7 million from an investor

While he has never been officially associated with the ICO, Armes’ knowledge of crypto shouldn’t be underestimated. He claims to have done presentations to US Special Operations Command about crypto as a terror and threat finance analyst. 

Armes was also questioned last year by the US House Select Committee about his role in drafting part of the strategic analysis used by Enrique Tarrio to plan the Proud Boy conspiracy that culminated in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021. Insurrectionists got their hands on his analysis because Armes gave a document to a colleague in the Miami crypto community who then passed it to Tarrio.

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