GRAIN – Redefining Work Agreements

GRAIN Overview

GRAIN redefines the way companies do business with workers by providing a blockchain solution that enables transaction partners to process work agreements. Moving these contracts to the blockchain removes the inefficiencies with existing workflows as intermediaries that currently govern these agreements are no longer required. The solution facilitates an instant payment mechanism and introduces digital savings account for workers contracted through the system. GRAIN aims to not only reduce company costs and overheads but also provide a streamlined and improved user experience for all parties within its ecosystem.



GRAIN Ecosystem

The GRAIN ecosystem consists of the following components:

Labour contract: Registers the agreement of when, where and how work will be performed. The details registered in the contract are below:

  • Who is responsible for delivering the work
  • When the work will be performed
  • Compensation for the work in fiat and GRAIN
  • Exchange rate between fiat and GRAIN
  • Payment conditions
  • When consensus for the work is reached


Payment: Facilitates the transfer of compensation from employer to worker. GRAIN tokens are instantly transferred to the worker once consensus has been reached.

  • Transaction system: The employer pays an additional percentage of the transaction (1% by default) to the worker’s personal Harvest fund
  • Transaction Fee: 0.25% charge to the GRAIN foundation and transaction partner
  • Payment Conditions: Three payment scenarios exist that is decided upon:

Escrow: employer pays for work upfront with GRAIN. This amount is stored on a smart contract until consensus has been reached. All parties retrieve their part of the escrow funds

Currency Option: Payment is made after completion of the work. A currency option locks in the exchange rate of GRAIN to fiat at contract creation. Once the work is complete the employer has the right to buy the amount of GRAIN at the original exchange rate

Just-in-time-payment: Employer receives a payment obligation at the time the money is due

  • Fiat Payment: The GRAIN wallet will automatically perform the required conversions to ensure users are paid in fiat currency by default. This will be done initially at the beginning to mitigate expected GRAIN volatility and encourage employers to use the protocol.


Liquidity insurance: Protects participants from fluctuations in the value of cryptocurrencies. The insurance wallet is the main reserve fund of GRAIN and is used as a buffer to mitigate any exchange rate volatility. The insurance wallet reserves 150% token value of all contracts in escrow until the settled. The foundation will always hold 25% of all GRAIN tokens in the insurance wallet.

  • Liquidity Insurance Conditions:

Escrow: After the contract value is prepaid and put into escrow it is possible the rates will change. The smart contract automatically recalculates its value at consensus to ensure the worker is paid the right amount.

Currency Option: Employer has the right to buy GRAIN tokens at the original exchange rate to fiat instead of the rate post work completion. The employer pays a premium that is dependent on the size and duration of the agreement.

Harvest: Allows workers to benefit from the success of GRAIN.

  • Escrow insurance profit sharing: If the value of GRAIN increases over time, the insurance wallet will collect more than it spends. This profit will be returned directly to the ecosystem and divided amongst all participants.
  • Direct Compensation: With every transaction that is conducted through GRAIN, the worker receives a percentage that goes into their Harvest fund.


Governance: GRAIN will provide placeholders related to the contract written on the blockchain to ensure they adhere to all regulatory and compliance requirements. Transaction partners can take advantage of this feature by modifying smart contracts.


GRAIN Stakeholders

GRAIN is an ERC-20 compatible token used for transactions in an efficient and transparent manner throughout the ecosystem and involves the below stakeholders:

Workers: Represents a worker responsible for delivering work and receiving payments

Employers: Hires workers and pays them on successful completion of work

Transaction Partners: Connects workers and employees, uses GRAIN to process work agreements and automatically process payments. For each successful transaction processed the partner receives a small fee.


GRAIN Team and Delivery

Established in 2017, the GRAIN team currently stands at 9 people consisting of experienced professionals, formerly of Microsoft, and blockchain experts. Outside of his time at Microsoft, Onno Hektor, GRAIN CEO and President of the Board, has experience working and founding companies involved in the hiring of staff and signing of labour contracts. The team have also listed 6 advisors who specialize in key fields across the financial, academic, entrepreneurial and risk landscape. There is no explicit mention of anyone who specializes in employment law but there is a lot of synergy with GRAIN’s parent company Flexentral, a platform that helps with the headhunting process and labor contracts.


Below details the GRAIN roadmap:



GRAIN Token Sale

Name: GRAIN Token

Symbol: GRAIN

Blockchain Platform: Ethereum (ERC-20 Compatible)

ICO Hard Cap: $36.8M (40K ETH)

ICO Soft Cap: $3.68M (4K ETH)

Total Tokens: 3.6BN GRAIN

Available for Token Sale: 1.08BN GRAIN (30%)

Contribution Method: ETH, BTC

GRAIN token: 1 ETH = 27000 GRAIN

ICO Date: 7 March – 28 March 2018

Whitelist: Sign up here


GRAIN Strengths

  • Reduction in costs through GRAIN, cheaper cross-currency payments and transaction costs for transferring money
  • Mitigates overdue payments, instant payment on work completion ensures workers receive funds on time
  • Employers and workers protected against possible GRAIN volatility 
  • GRAIN enables participants of the ecosystem to share in the success of the platform
  • GRAIN provides a Harvest fund to workers that allows them to automatically build up savings as part of each transaction.
  • Transaction partners receive payment for each transaction
  • Workers paid in fiat initially and given the choice of payment


GRAIN Weaknesses

  • The team had no specialized labour or employment law advisor which may impact the team later down the line
  • Unsure if labour contracts operated through smart contracts will be legal globally
  • No company partnerships announced outside of their parent company


CryptoLingo Verdict:

GRAIN tackles a real-life problem using blockchain technology. CryptoLingo sees potential in the vision and will certainly be keeping a close eye on their progress. The protocol helps businesses reduce their overhead costs whilst also simplifying existing workflows for all participants involved. For GRAIN to be the industry standard of work agreements the team needs to execute on their BETA pilot with Flexentral and provide tangible metrics identifying cost reductions. Proving GRAIN can consistently and securely streamline current work processes through the use of smart contracts has the potential to open new possibilities and lay the foundation of blockchain technology in the payroll industry for the better.

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