End of FY17/18 Update: Including blockarray masternodes, Smart Containers FINMA compliance and Cargo X smart Bill of Lading launch.

With crypto being such a fast-moving industry, project posts can quickly become out of date or even misleading. With the close of the financial year and current bear market, it seems appropriate to revisit featured projects and have a look at any key partnerships, developments and releases.

 

blockarray

Blockarray is a smallcap token (market cap of under $10 million USD at time of posting) undergoing somewhat of a rebrand to target specific sectors of the trucking market. Previously looked at in this post, Blockarray have released a new website, aimed at enterprise solutions to issues in the trucking sector.  Based out of Chatanooga, Tenessee,  part of their offering is helping logistics firms deal with the Electronic Logging Device mandate that recently came into force. Their work with Tennessee reps have borne fruit with a bill passed that recognises the legal authority to use distributed ledger technology and smart contracts in conducting transactions.

They’ve announced their co-sponsorship of the ETHMemphis hackathon with FedEx and released more details for the Blockarray masternodes on the mainnet last week, beta testers have also been selected. This includes confirmation that rewards will be paid out on top of hosting costs has seen a huge response from the community.

A new whitepaper is expected to be released within the month to reflect the shift in direction, and the new 3 month rolling roadmap linked here. I would highly recommend following their Medium, as it is updated on a consistent basis with lots of information on what is currently a rapidly transforming project. This post goes someway to describing the direction the project is taking, and more information about the token utility is posted here.

 

smart containers ico

The Smart Containers project is still in it’s pre-ICO stage, but there have been a few developments that look to be positive steps for the firm.

The revenue-sharing model the SMARC token is using (like Modum) has caused a fair bit of discussion around the token-as-a-security issue. Smart Containers responded with this recent tweet:

We’re proud to announce that Swiss authorities have confirmed to us the legal compliance of the to Swiss Financial Market Law. This is the basis of Smart Containers’ goal to be a role model in the ICO space.

During the Modum ICO, similar messages came from them, and no backlash from regulatory bodies has happened as of yet, although importantly neither has any acutal revenue sharing. However considering  FINMA recently set out its guidelines, it’s probably safe to assume everything is above board.

AmaZix, noted crypto community project managers who are probably most well known for working on ICOs for Salt and Bancor,  have been brought on to run the BitcoinTalk bounty thread and Telegram. The Telegram group membership has spiked from around 80 to 2.1K in the past month, a testament to both the word of mouth getting out around the project, and to AmaZix.

Richard Ettl, the co-founder and CEO of Smart Containers Group recently featured on the Futuretech Podcast, it’s only 20 minutes so definitely worth a listen to some insight on the project. The firm’s business development manager Carla Bünger pitched at the Blockchain Leadership Summit, held in Zurich. Here’s a video of the presentation, again worth a watch for a little more up to date information than in our previous post back in February.

origintrail

The team at OriginTrail have been hard at work to maintain the roadmap and launch their mainnet on schedule. Recently, release V0.5 – Ranger was launched, the third to six official releases before the testnet launch. This included a major rewrite of the network layer, a restructured codebased to provide more scalable and testable architecture, and an improved version of the payment mechanism.

The next release will include the bidding mechanism, and initial implementation of the zero knowledge layer. OriginTrail is still improving the team, recently adding two new senior software engineers. OriginTrail also maintains a high level of transparency on their GitHub with major releases every two weeks. Recently they’ve posted an OriginTrail Implementation Kit, a guide to how firms can set up pilot projects over on their Medium, and is a great read.

My favourite recent update of theirs though is more information on one of their pilot projects I first mentioned back in January. The pilot consists of using TagItSmart sensors to provide supply chain authencity to Plantaze’s award winning wine range. It’s the first time OriginTrail will be used for data coming in from smart tags. and will start with tracking 15,000 bottles of wine. Cementing authenticity of goods is one of my key use cases of blockchain and this is recognised by other bodies.

Wine is one of the most counterfeited products in the world. This not only poses harm to brands and wineries that are producing wine of the highest quality, it is also a public health hazard, since some of the counterfeit ingredients can be poisonous. In China, by some estimates, as much as 50% of all wine sold is counterfeit or mislabeled to deceive consumers.

Read the study of the pilot program here.

And finally, Žiga Drev, the founder of OriginTrail tweeted last week he would be helping to discuss smart farming and EU agricultural policy with European Commissioner Phil Hogan and agricultural minister Zidan Dejan at the European Action for Smart Villages event. It’s great to see involvement like this with top-level government officials.

cargox $CXO

CargoX has also made rapid steps since it’s ICO at the turn of the year to become a well established project. To kick things off, a partnership was inked with Milsped Group, a European logistics leader, based in the Balkans, to test and evaluate the CargoX blockchain solution to bills of lading. The Milsped Group has an annual income of 102 million euros, with over 147300m² of storage space. With close to 2000 employees, and 57 customs branch offices, its a serious contender in the European logistics space.

Last week the CargoX Smart B/L bill of laden slution was launched to a live audience at the 6th International Logistics Congress in Slovenia, and to members of the French Transport and Logistics Association in Paris. In Slovenia, the audience included over 250 managers from logistics firms across the globe. The press release states:

The startup has already signed up several logistic companies as partners, including the European logistics leader Milšped Group from Serbia, and is in talks with other major freight organizations.

A working product, with confirmed customers and more potentially in the wings, not even 6 months following the ICO? Sounds like a project with real fundamentals to me.

Any thoughts? Follow me on twitter!

If you liked this, you may like this article: Smart Containers ICO – Temperature controlled containers & IoT sensors on the blockchain.

Eximchain – Supply chain infrastructure on the blockchain.

eximchain

Eximchain touts itself as a bold solution to some of the $5.2 trillion dollars it claims are lost in potential revenue because of the lack of agility and transparency in the global supply chain industry. Eximchain’s main products are blockchain enabled apps to reduce barriers, increase coordination and establish trust in cross-borders transactions.

The supply chain of the future, which Eximchain plans to be key part of, consists of a few major aspects. Firstly buyers will be able to easily verify supplier reliability and reputation. Suppliers will also have access to immediate credit they will require to fulfil buyers orders. Partners then can share demand and inventory data from suppliers and buyers across a shared ledger. Finally, companies will then be able to visualise their entire supply chain, and build applications that can improve efficiencies and even monetize these solutions.

Eximchain (literally export import blockchain!) has three key features that will enable their blockchain apps to fufil customers objectives.

  • Private: Eximchain’s public blockchain uses smart contracts that are private, so encrypting transaction and trade data and keeping it away from competitors eyes.
  • User-Friendly: Eximchain’s solutions integrate into existing processes and applications without a need for blockchain technical knowledge.
  • Secure: Eximchain uses a unique consensus mechanism, that utilises quadratic voting to incentivize users to participate in network governance and eliminate bad actors.

So that last part may not make much sense to traditional token holders who don’t have a great deal of technical knowledge. Under the hood, Eximchain uses a fork of Quorum (JPMorgan’s enterprise-focused version of Ethereum, that is private-permissioned) and Go-Ethereum. Not branching too far out enables Eximchain to develop with $ETH but retains other qualities such as scaleability and privacy. It also allows Eximchain to change governance rules to prevent bad actors, and change permission values to incentivise developers and enable transactions to be private.

Eximchain will utilise masternodes, it’s been stated 1000 EXC will be required to participate as a node, but can be voted off the conensus mechanism no matter what quantity is staked via the aforementioned quadratic voting governance to push out bad actors, nodes will claim 100% of the transaction fees in blocks they create.

Supply Chain Finance Solutions

The Eximchain whitepapers makes a key point about supply chain management in recent history, being that supply chain finance is just as important as the traditional flow of material goods. Supply chain finance is described as:

..one of the most exciting and promising new products emerging in the banking industry, is a set of technology-based business and financing processes that allow financiers to fund an organization’s operations through its supply chain relationships. SCF enables buyers to optimize working capital and suppliers to generate additional operating cash flow while simultaneously minimizing risk across the entire supply chain. More specifically, SCF enables buyers and sellers to shrink their inventories, collect money from customers faster and delay payments to their suppliers.

The paper also cites a study by Citi that showed firms managing working capital could reduce assets by up to 30%, and increasing earnings per share as a result. Improvements in share price were also cited for firms in the top 10% of market cap who reduced their cash conversion cycle. Clearly, there is room here to make an impact. Furthermore, small to medium-sized enterprises in developing countries face a huge financing gap, China along has 40 million businesses are cited as being undeserved by existing financial resources. In the UK late payments to suppliers have been targeted by the small business commissioner in the past few years. Advantages to cash flow management have also been noted as being important to small businesses in the first world, not just developing nations.

The Eximchain solution is described as:

….a platform to implement smart contract based SCF solutions on a permissioned fork of Ethereum supporting data privacy. Our ecosystem will enable SMEs to gain access to affordable capital sources by giving financiers visibility into the supply chain cash flow.

So, buyers and suppliers can create supply chain contracts designed to maximise profit with more visibility into demand, inventory and other relevant operations through a secure network. These transactions are saved (via immutable blockchain) with a traceable record. Financiers are brought into the network with now aligned incentives. The platform will allow credit providers with visibility into supply chain operations and smart contract history. This will allow creditors to better estimate risk, and possibly bring in new entrants to the market to fund and create value from these transactions.

Smart Contract SDK

The smart contract SDK is one of the most exciting aspects of this project. This layer will allow developers to build applications from basic components, accelerating development of future supply chain finance solutions.  The aim is to show how developers can support complex multiparty transactions on top of the Eximchain ecosystem.

Some examples from the whitepaper of what could be achieved:

Supplier Management: Using smart contracts and a token system, Eximchain can help buyers to gain visibility over the whole supply chain by interacting with upstream suppliers but still maintain privacy on each transaction level.

Risk Mitigation: Eximchain enables dynamic, real-time monitoring of supply chain processes to provide visibility into the whole supply chain’s operations. Participants can manage risks in one place.

Inventory Management: By sharing real-time demand information cross the supply chain, participants can make better inventory plans and automate the reconciliation processacross  different ledgers and systems to save time and reduce cost.

Financing: Through instant and transparent proof of order verification on blockchain, suppliers seize early payment discounts to improve working capital and buyers seize credit arbitrage opportunity

More can be found of page 8 of the Eximchain whitepaper.

Team

Hope Liu is the CEO and one of the founders of Eximchain. She holds a B.A. from Peking University and an MBA from MIT. Her CV includes some impressive postings, including 6 years at UBS Asia where she handled cross-border transactions, this included overseeing offshore teams and managing settlement across 14 countries. It was this experience that highlighted just how inefficient global banking processes were and inspired some of the processes within Eximchain.  Hope is also the current Lab Lead of the North America Blockchain Association.

Juan Sebastian Huertas the CTO and other co-founder met Hope at MIT, where Eximchain was born out of the MIT Media Lab. Juan was a computer science major at MIT, and has experience with NGOs, and consulted with several early stage startups to build up their network infrastructure. In 215 he started Cloud Poker Casino, and online bitcoin poker venture. For this he built a program to process anonymized payouts. This led to his next venture with exchange rate hedging for Venezuelan customers. After that he returned to MIT and looked for exciting blockchain startups, and met Hope Liu and Can Kisagun.

Recently the team have added some heavy hitters in the form of Jia Zhang, an experienced business analyst and Louis Lamia as Director of Engeering, who previously worked as a software development engineer at Amazon Web Service.

Roadmap & Partnerships

Early on in the concept stage, Eximchain attracted accolades from the Legatum Center Seed Grant, Plug and Play accelerator program and was a finalist at MIT’s 100K Accelerate program.

9 letters of intent have been signed with 9 firms so far, including SMEs, a listed company in China and a cross-border e-commerce platform. A Strategic Cooperation Agreement with Guiyang High-tech Industrial Development Zone Management Commission and Guiyang Big Data Development and Management Commission, China have also been completed, much in the same vein as previous agreements with WTC and VeChain.

A recent codereview by Andrew Cronje revealed the Eximchain testnet currently has around 250 machines running the protocol on real infrastructure live in the US, Canada, Brazil, England, Ireland, Germany, France, Singapore, Japan, Australia and India. This is automated and managed through Infrastructure as Code. Also noted was an upcoming 10 part video tutorial series of how to support Eximchain applications to develop decentralised enterprise infrastructure on Amazon Web Services soon.

Q1 will see the first proof of concept in supply chain sourcing, and governance hardening. Q2-Q3 2017 will see the first SDK release and the mainnet released, with a second proof of concept in supply chain financing. Q42018-Q12019 will see the second SDK release, and a third proof of concept in logistics management.

Token Generation Event & Token Details

Originally, a token generation event was planned for Eximchain however in Q4, it was announced $20 million USD had been raised by a group of investors. FBG Capital (who have previously contributed to NuCypher, Stream Token and MakerDao) led the funding, alongside INBlockchain (noted as CoinDash backers) and Kenetic Capital. Eximchain will instead now host an airdrop to reward early community members, address the risk and longevity of the project and leverage the Eximchain network.

The $EXC token is a utility token, and used to validate state changes, execute governance and pay network fees. They will also be the key to access apps built on the network, including those built on the Eximchain SDK. Originally, the total supply was set at 150 million $EXC, and 60 million was earmarked for the ICO, however this event was cancelled on the securing of private finance. Out of 150 million tokens , 1.5 million tokens will be airdropped to whitelist participants who have passed KYC requirements

$EXC tokens are currently ERC20 standard, and will be exchangeable for native tokens when the mainnet is launched in Q2 2018.

The Eximchain executive summary can be found in PDF format here, and the full format whitepaper here. The Telegram chat group is linked here and you can follow them on Twitter @EximchainEXC. The Eximchain website is linked here: https://www.eximchain.com/.

The Eximchain airdrop KYC/whitelist has closed unfortunately, and the token is not listed on any exchanges yet. Another opportunity to gain some EXC is the upcoming Community Reward Plan, taking the form of LinkedIn referral program, Bug Bounty program, and Content program.

Any thoughts? Follow me on twitter!

If you liked this, you may like this article: SophiaTX – Blockchain for business. Blockchain integration with SAP and enterprise software.

Smart Containers ICO – Temperature controlled containers & IoT sensors on the blockchain.

smart cotainers skycell

The upcoming Smart Containers is a fantastic use-case for blockchain technology by combining IoT sensors and passive temperature-controlled containers with the blockchain to provide a immutable record of cargo temperature as it’s being transported.  Smart Containers Group AG. is actually a holding company for two firms, SkyCell and FoodGuardians.

SkyCell has used cutting-edge technology to develop containers that use IoT sensors connected to their data cloud, that utilises blockchain technology to remotely monitor each container to ensure the product temperature is consistent during transport. SkyCell transports some of the most expensive and temperature-sensitive goods in the pharmaceutical industry, this monitoring is absolutely essential as it enables companies to comply with legislation from the EU regarding the delivery of medicinal products.

The FoodGuardians business has a similar offering – reusable containers and boxes to transport sensitive food products across regions or the globe. Their patented cooling technology is a big selling point (The holding company holds over a hundred patents at time of publish), with the vision of having secure food safety through track and trace on the blockchain. The firm also touts cost efficiency, and a reduced carbon footprint as the storage units are reusable.

This article will mostly focus on the SkyCell aspect of the business, and the initial token offering for the SMARC and LOGI tokens, rather than the the FoodGuardians business.

Links with Modum

For those who have read the two previous articles written on Modum.io, may be seeing some similarities creep in through the SkyCell business, with IoT sensors monitoring pharmaceutical products. They both even have offices in the same building at Technoparkstrasse! The initial token offering FAQ clears up the confusion around this quite clearly though:

Modum rents/sells devices for track and trace to customers, whereas Smart Containers rents/sells containers, not the data. Of course the containers have sensors that record data for quality control, but Smart Containers does not sell these data sets. In the end Modum and Smart Containers will address to the same clients – Smart Containers provides the container and Modum will put a sensor in it.

SkyCell – Not just a whitepaper

One of the most exciting aspects around the initial token offering is that SkyCell is a fully operational business already making use of blockchain technology, with revenues and partners in place.

There are a variety of different sized containers, all plug and dry ice free. They’re easy to handle, and made from recyclable materials. The patented-in house developed cooling technology stores five times more energy than traditional methods to keep the container at a consistent temperature. After use, they are ‘recharged’ in a cooling chamber without any need for manual intervention, increasing productivity of the business and reducing cost.

sky cell containers

An example container used by SkyCell.

SkyCell customers order a container, which SkyCell deliver to usually the production facility. The customer then ships it via one of over 30 airline partners, SkyCell will then collect at the destination airport, or other preferred location. Currently SkyCell has two key partnerships with airfreight firms, Cargolux and Emirates SkyCargo. This enables SkyCell to currently serve over 150 destination airports.

The Cargolux media release found here shows why this partnership in particular is a huge win for SkyCell.

Cargolux is the world’s first GDP-certified airline, as well as the world’s first ‘Lean & Green’ carrier and operates from one of Europe’s most modern pharma and healthcare shipment centers, operated by its partner LuxairCargo at Luxembourg’s Findel Airport. Its expert staff is highly trained and motivated with a thorough knowledge and experience in their field. Its fleet of modern 747 freighters ensures the safe, fast and efficient transport of high-value, temperature-sensitive shipments across a global network. Adding SkyCell’s patented containers to its portfolio gives Cargolux an additional effective tool that benefits its customers’ specialized requirements.

Partnering with Europe’s leading cargo firm that has experience with pharma shipping is a huge step for SkyCell and demonstrates absolute faith in the product and service. The Emirates SkyCargo business is also key to making the product available for a wide-range of potential customers, as they are the second largest cargo airline worldwide by freight-tonne kilometres flown. In total, over 30 airlines currently fly SkyCell containers, according to the FAQ.

We know the Switzerland is a major hub for the European pharmaceutical industry, Basil alone has HQs for Novartis, Hoffmann-La Roche, Basilea Pharmaceutica, Straumann and Actelion. Securing contracts with these key firms, or their product distributors in the industry is essential to growing the business. From the Smartcontainers whitepaper, we know they already have Novartis as a client, along with some big names such as Roche, Takeda, Kedrion, Grifols and Alagan. We’ve already stated Modum are based in the same office as them, nearby is also Zug, home to Crypto Valley which has KPMG as a strategic partner.

For its palletised division, there is significant competition in the market. However, in just a 5 short years SkyCell have grown to #4 in this market, and their product is:

tested as technologically superior to Envirotainer (5x more runtime, up to 35% lighter) which translates into safer pharma distribution and cost savings.

Envirotainer is currently the market leader, but as we can see there is significant scope for SkyCell to compete. With the injection of funds the initial token offering will raise, it could be the catalyst needed to increase market share.

Future Products – SkyCell One

skycell one crt

In the future, SkyCell is looking to bring a business-to-consumer solution to market, that was developed and tested with one of the top 20 pharma companies in the world. The direct to patient market is estimated to increase to a 2.5 billion USD market in the future, with no other competition yet aside from styrofoam containers that are disposed of after one use. The SkyCell ONE can also be co-branded by a partner, such as a pharmacy chain that could rent it out for home delivery, business trips or even holidays.

The product is temperature stable for up to 72 hours, can be recharged passively in a fridge, or temp-controlled warehouse or truck. Currently it’s best in class for size and weight, but that’s probably down to there being no competition! Trials have been undergoing since June 2017 with an orphan drug product, and go live is expected in Q2 2018.

Initial Token Offering – Two Tokens?
$SMARC

In total, the Smart Containers Group AG. (holding company for FoodGuardians and SkyCell) is seeking to raise 40 million USD. This would be across two coins.

36 million USD would be raised through the issuance of the SMARC token, and the funds used to scale the SkyCell & FG business.  This is a profit-sharing token (much in the vein of the $MOD token), with 20% of future dividends and any exit profits from subdivisions paid out in ETH proportionally to tokens in circulation.

Total Supply – 150 million SMARC
Tokens Available in ICO: 120 million SMARC
Hard Cap – 36 million USD.
Token Price – 0.432 USD per SMARC
Presale – March on invitation, 25% discount.
Public Sale – End of March, staggered discount to first come first served. 1/3 – 15%, 2/3 – 10%, 3/3 – 5%.

Use of funding split as below:

smartcontainers

 

$LOGI

While operating in the shipping industry, the Smart Containers Group have identified several opportunities to improve efficiency by creating a fully integrated logistics ecosystems, based on the blockchain. The idea is various documents, such as invoices, bills of lading for containers, customs documentation, licences, datasheets could be stored on the blockchain for all parties to use without the need for a human coordinator to tackle email chains and manually generate documents.

logi token

This would be enabled with a mix of technologies to meet requirements. Some documents would need to be public and would be available on a blockchain such as Ethereum. Other more sensitive items would have to be on a permissive blockchain such as Hyperledger’s Fabric technology. When shipping a SkyCell container, the Smart Containers Group has identified atleast 12 documents used between parties, leading to 200 total communications and document actions, much of which manually processed by a coordinator. This on the blockchain can heavily reduce overheads and thus increase profit for those using the ecosystem.

We have seen several recent ICOs looking to build on the same inefficiencies in this market such as CargoX (focusing mostly on Bills of Lading) and SophiaTX (SAP-blockchain hybrid solution). Clearly if someone can master this area, which several SAP based projects have failed to do effectively there would be widespread uptake. We also know IBM is operating in the same field with Maersk with Hyperledger Fabric, so time will tell if they can compete with this existing competition.

The LOGI coin is used to fuel the payment of smart contract transactions and its initial offering breaks down as such:
Total Supply – 100 million LOGI
Tokens Available in ICO: 20 million LOGI
Hard Cap – 4 million USD.
Token Price – 0.285 USD per SMARC
Presale – March on invitation, 25% discount.
Public Sale – End of March, staggered discount to first come first served. 1/3 – 15%, 2/3 – 10%, 3/3 – 5%.

Use of funding split below:

logi coin

The Smart Containers ICO will be aided by Lykke, who also served as partners for the Modum.io ICO back in September. I would highly recommend reading the ICO FAQ linked here, as it answers some great industry specific questions traditional ICO contributors may not consider.

The SmartContainers overview paper can be found in PDF format here, and the full format whitepaper here. The Telegram chat group is linked here and you can follow them on Twitter @SMARC_ICO. In the past month the team has also unveiled their website at https://smartcontainers.ch/. The BitcoinTalk announcement thread is located here.

The Presale is slated to being mid-March, with the public offering beginning at the end of March.

Any thoughts? Follow me on twitter!

If you liked this, you may like this article: Modum – Real blockchain utility, in a sea of vaporware. Part 1 – From the whitepaper to mass production.

Block Array – Logistics tracking and business data on the blockchain.

blockarray block array
Blockarray is a Chatanooga, TN based firm seeking to develop data protocols, IT infrastructure and smart contracts to improve item tracking and product information through the supply chain to the end user. A more narrow example of a problem they seek to solve is that barcodes (GS1 standard codes) do not provide much information apart from the firm that produced the item, and its ID. The solution to this is to create a data protocol and infrastructure that allows business-to-business communication by the use of barcodes. This product would be a semi-centralised barcode system that offers the standard GS1 barcodes used by over two million businesses globally, and a unique anti-counterfeit barcode. Furthermore, the barcode and blockchain system can be used to track the product through the supply chain to ensure accountability to suppliers and shippers and provide live tracking and information with the IoT.

To pull this all together, we can condense this down into a few key goals. Blockarray will enable GS1 industry standard barcodes to point to URLs or URIs to make obtaining information easier. The protocol will also anchor the barcode generation to the blockchain and associate it with an Ethereum (or other platform) wallet address. The actual action of scanning a barcode can be recorded as a transaction of the blockchain to enable better accountability.

Furthermore, Blockarray will allow information to be distributed across supply chain companies through the entire chain that they may not have had access to before. Assets could also be tracked without RFID, unlike other RFID-based solutions like Waltonchain or VeChain – all that would be required is updated software. Another key goal is reducing the barrier to entry for new businesses accessing existing sales platforms like Amazon or eBay by allowing purchase of GS1 barcodes with ARY tokens. The firm also targets smaller enterprises that may not have their own blockchain ambitions realised due to the expertise required to utilize the tech. This product is designed to be deployed both the Ethereum blockchain and Hyperledger Fabric. Eventually, there are plans to use Cardano in Q3/Q4 2018, and to further use Chainpoint and Oracles POA.

Transport Use Cases

So, we’ve talked broadly about one Blockarrays goal to track items across the supply chain, Hackernoon’s Tommy Wilkinson nails an example process as below:

  • A HGV driver is ready to leave with a container of product from a warehouse. The Blockarray mobile app will be used to scan a Bill of Lading barcode (see more on Bills of Lading with another startup, CargoX here) and via an Object Name Service a document is pulled, and other data collected such as GPS and local time.
  • The shipper and carrier sign off on the run, and when the driver leaves, a Geofence trigger is activated,and records the time. This data is written to the blockchain and is thus immutable.
  • Any violations of contract terms is clearly recorded and disputes can be settled quickly and breaches resolved. All parties will then receive receipts and copies of data via blockchain.

blockarray block array

Standardising approaches between businesses is a key goal for Blockarray, and it’s been confirmed they are a working with Tennessee State Representatives to create a framework and possible pilot study for smart contracts. The firm is also a member of BITA, the blockchain in transport alliance. This group has some large multinationals as members, including UPS, McLeod Software, FedEx and Bridgestone. A cornerstone of their approach is the use of GS1 standards, just like other supply chain protocol developers OriginTrail.

One of the big shipping use cases Blockarray points out is a solution to a detention payout problem where having reliable evidence is an issue:

When a truck driver arrives at the time they are suppose to, but the cargo is not ready to be loaded, they are entitled to a detention payout. Detention was ranked as one of the five leading business problems by 84 percent of the 257 carriers surveyed, including trucking companies and owner-operators.

Having time and geostamps on an immutable, shared ledger can quickly resolve these claims, act as a prompt to reduce incidents of detention by cargo loaders, and ensure recompense is given to affected parties.
Another case is putting daily trucking logs onto the blockchain. In Europe, tachographs are a legal requirement for goods and passenger carrying vehicles, to ensure driving time speed limit laws are adhered to.  EU regulation No 165/2014 is an incredibly serious piece of legislation policed throughout Europe heavily, and can result in large fines for both companies and their employees. In the U.S, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the electronic logging device rule in December 2015. This required the use of an electronic logging device to automatically record the driver’s Record of Duty Status (i.e if he is driving and for how long).

Visual Smart Contracts

The use of visual smart contracts is how Blockarray, through their Badger consumer app can link information from firms to their products for public consumption.

Goods in supermarkets have different label standards. For example the reporting standards for what “is and is not” organic differs from company to company. With badger these are just some of the features you can see with products:

See the organization that actually certifies the product

See reviews of the product

See hazards that have been listed (e.g. choking for children)

Poison Control Information

Safety Datasheet

Product Recalls

For example, you could purchase a fridge from a store, and it breaks after a period of time. The consumer could use the badger app to scan the barcode on the product, which then could list product recall information, warranty dates, the items repair history if it has any and lists of authorised repair centres. It could even provide links to instruction manuals or other documentation. So far this platform is being developed on Ethereum, and the proposal details creating a standard barcode system like GS1 to be used with the blockchain. Further platforms such as Hyperledger Fabric are also being developed for.

Token Economics, Utility and ICO

At ICO, 1 ARY was priced at 0.18 USD. The total supply sits at 88,409,933 ARY and a circulation supply of 68,430,738. Blockarray currently has a market cap of just $11,525,105 USD (0.168 USD per ARY).

40% of tokens were available in the ICO, with 55% of funds raised being used for product development, 10% held in reserve, 20% on marketing and 15% earmarked for business expenses. Not much detail here which is a shame. Tokens held by the team have a 9 month cliff, so if an employee leaves before this period they receive no tokens, with a phased 4 year vesting period following this. Blockarray also retains first right of refusal before selling onto exchanges.

Token holders will have the opportunity to host full nodes or partial nodes for the blockchain network. Blockarray will have its own GS1 Prefix, allowing us to issue codes for those who wish to use our own prefix for their products. Token holders will be able to purchase ONS2.0.1 compliant barcodes using our prefix, and domain name service will be provided by us for such issuances. A proportion of the tokens used in the issuance of such barcodes will be burned, providing an anchor to the blockchain by means of the timestamp of the transaction.

So a couple of key points to take from that quote that contain value for token holders.

  • Proof of stake/masternode potential down the line to generate income.
  • Purchasing of barcodes – creates demand for the token, thus can create positive price action for holders.
  • % burn of tokens used at issuing of barcodes reducing supply.

You can buy Blockarray $ARY at KuCoin.

Active Partnerships & Future Activity

Blockarray currently has a small pilot study with a local carrier consisting of 15 trucks. Also recently announced was a partnership with qlink.mobi, a decentralized mobile network constructing an open-source telecom infrastructure on blockchain. The core aim of the partnership is to implement Qlink’s dapp functions for Blockarrays customers.

This means trucks will be able to communicate engine data and electronic logging device data to their owners while en route. In return, Block Array will help to deploy Qlink Chain Full Nodes to ensure network uptime, reliability, and stability for its users.

qlink blockarray

With one of the platforms Blockarray is working on being a secure proof of logging and proof of arrival/departure ledger, this partnership will allow an always online transparent immutable blockchain, that could open up data to explore further with the Internet of Vehicles.

Badger – the planned consumer app will be launched in Feb 2018, with the enterprise app in March. Also in this month will see the beginning of electronic logging device records being anchored to the blockchain, with visual smartcontracts in April/May. Furthermore in April will see e-commerce intergration plugins for woo-commerce and Magento released.

You can buy Blockarray $ARY at KuCoin.

The Blockarray overview paper can be found in PDF format here, and the full format whitepaper here on their github. The Telegram chat group is linked here and you can follow them on Twitter @blockarraygroup. In the past month the team has also unveiled their new website at https://blockarray.com/.

Any thoughts? Follow me on twitter!

If you liked this, you may like this article: OriginTrail – A purpose-built, blockchain agnostic protocol for supply chains.

CargoX – Replacing traditional shipping Bills of Lading with smart contracts on the blockchain.

cargox $CXO

 

CargoX is a firm seeking to disrupt the global shipping process, by replacing the traditional Bill of Lading (B/L) with a smart-contract on the Ethereum blockchain. This will replace the old paper format with a product that is cheaper, faster, transparent and comes with the immutability of a blockchain. By doing this, CargoX could save customers millions of dollars worth of courier fees, and reduce the 400,000 trees used every year in printing traditional B/L and other essential documents. This method would also provide a high level of security, traceability and a more efficient process to archive past transactions – all key issues in the logistics industry.

The global shipping industry is a colossal beast, handling over 80% of the worlds trade. If CargoX can succesfully disrupt this market and obtain a strong customer base, there is no reason they cannot be hugely successful.

At any given moment there are approximately 20 million containers travelling across the oceans, bringing goods from producers to local markets. The total annual global volume is 200 million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit = 20’ container). There are over 50,000 merchant ships trading internationally, transporting every kind of cargo. In 2015, for the first time in history, world seaborne trade volumes surpassed 10 billion tons. The world fleet is registered in over 150 nations, and manned by over a million seafarers of virtually every nationality.

What is a Bill of Lading?

A B/L is a mandatory document that is a requirement for any container that is shipped across the ocean. It is used to claim the container at a destination port, and is therefore equivalent to the value of the shipped goods. If lost or stolen, replacement documentation can be issued, but on average takes over 20 days to be re-issued. If the goods are time-sensitive, this could cause financial loss, breach of contract. cause issues further up a supply chain and damage customer relationships.

CargoX.io have identified three key areas that are particularly applicable to global shipping logistics, that could be improved by utilizing blockchain technology.

1 – Speed
A Bill of Lading  must be exchanged between exporters and importers to acknowledge receipt of cargo for a shipment. These paper documents have an average travel time of over a week and could swap between a number of courier services, especially on longer journeys.

2 – Lost Documentation
The longer the journey, the more chance the B/L can be lost or stolen. Replacement documents are not easily obtained as previously mentioned, they are representative of the value the cargo, these can take over twenty days to be reissued.

3 – Cost
Transporting the issued B/L can cost between $100-$180 USD, this can vary depending on exporter charges, couriers used, and distance travelled.

CargoX believes by utilizing blockchain technology they can reduce cost to $10 USD, or the equivalent $CXO token value with a discount. The change of ownership, previously completed by exchange of B/L would be reduced to the transaction time on the dapp (about 20 seconds). Archiving would be free for token holders, and cargo information such as location and temperature data could be incorporated into this. As it’s on the blockchain, there’s no original ‘sending cost’ from firms (usually in the region of $100 USD), and no ability to lose the documentation, it’s its stored on the immutable blockchain. The $10 fee is mostly to cover the cost of transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.

cargox $CXO cargoxio

Competition

We know from recent ICOs that firms such as SophiaTX, Modum, OriginTrail and others are looking to utilise blockchain technology within supply chains, and each has a slightly different approach or niche, and at a glance, CargoX looks like another one of these firms. But the whitepaper is extremely clear, they are are a digitised solution to costly B/Ls, not a full solution to supply chain tracking. There is a significant competitor in the shape of IBM, who have partnered with shipping behemoth Maersk to create:

A global trade platform using blockchain technology aimed at improving the cost of transportation, lack of visibility and inefficiencies with paper-based processes

The trailing section of the article’s subtitle is the main concern here. While many potential users of CargoX might not be interested in a global trade platform, if IBM have a section of that platform for dealing with paperless transactions, it could be a serious competitor if available separately.

Since the collaboration started in June 2016, multiple parties have piloted the platform including DuPont, Dow Chemical, Tetra Pak, Port Houston, Rotterdam Port Community System Portbase, the Customs Administration of the Netherlands, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

A broader group of global corporations have already expressed interest in the capabilities and are exploring ways to use the new platform, including General Motors and Procter and Gamble to streamline the complex supply chains they operate and Agility Logistics to provide improved customer services including customs clearance brokerage.

Some huge firms are listed there, alongside the busiest container port in Europe, Rotterdam. While it is concerning that a tech titan such as IBM are well into the pilot stages, where CargoX only really has a whitepaper – there is one upside. It’s a clear confirmation that potential customers of CargoX believe in the benefits that blockchain can bring to the logistics industry, not only the firms who ship, but the institutions such as U.S. Customs, the Dutch customs authorities, and the ports of Houston and Rotterdam. It’s important to note that 45HC’s (the partner company of CargoX) target market is small to medium sized businesses, to enable them to ship goods from China into Europe – not huge multinational firms such as Dow Chemical.

Token Economics & Utility

cargox cargoxio $CXO

The initial token distribution is as the above image. 40% to contributors in the ICO, 25% are locked in the smart contract for 12 months for future development. 15% of tokens will be given amongst the team and founders – these are locked for 12 months with quarterly releases. 10% is reserved for ambassadors and advisers to the firm, with 2% for the bug bounty. 8% is reserved for future partnerships and to incentivise early adoption. The whitepaper states the first 100 logistics companies that partner with CargoX will recieve a portion of tokens, which I would assume is the 8%

The CargoX ICO had a soft cap of $1,500,000 USD, with a hard cap of $7,000,000 USD, with 1 ETH equal to 10,000 $CXO. 40% of total supply was devoted to the ICO. Following the end of the ICO, total supply was listed as 215,119,016 CXO, and at time of publish, the marketcap sits at $38.7 million USD.

An encouraging sign is the token utility is a key part of the whitepaper, something not always seen in ICOs, where often the utility is somewhat of a concern for token holders.

We will issue the CXO token that will be used as a core part of our digitalised business model; it will have multiple intrinsic utilities, such as: system access, payment for usage fees, gas for running Smart B/L contracts, usage incentives, bounty and reward mechanism, access and payment for advanced features (e.g. document archives, logistic and shipping services provided by partners on our platform, personalisation)

 

The Team & Partner Company

The founder and CEO of CargoX is Stefan Kukman, who is also the CEO of partner company 45HC.com, a container booking platform. He has 10 years of experience, previously working for Kuehne-Nagel – one of the leading leading global freight forwarding companies.

The blockchain developer is Janez Kranjc, who has a Ph.D in computer science, and has much experience authoring and auditing smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. Peter Merc heads up legal, and is also the lead coordinator of the Blockchain Think Tank, supported by the Ministry of Public Affairs of Slovenia.

The partner company 45HC.com is a container booking platform, that successfully pitched for the ABC Accelerator program then shortly received their first Angel investment. The firm later found a second angel investor, won the PODIM’s Pitch Challenge, became Websi champions, and won the EBAN Winter University competition. It prides itself as being the ‘skyscanner for cargo transport’, and is a transparent, user-friendly platform that provides instant shipping rates for customers from port to warehouse without any hidden fees. The progress of the partner company is an encouraging sign, as while CargoX has no working product of yet, they do:

  • Have a wealth of experience in creating a business
  • Previously developed tech products
  • Obtained private investment before, not leaping straight into ICO as no alternative
  • Direct industry experience and contacts they can carry forward

All very encouraging signs that CargoX can deliver a product to a standard they have set out to do, and create a customer base.

Next Steps

The CargoX B/L exchange protocol is on the roadmap as being released in Q1 2018, and in this same quarter a beta sea-freight shipment will also take place. Q2 2018 will see the release of the Smart B/L exchange dApp, and one of the top 10 carriers in sea logistics have been signed for the test trial. The Smart B/L will be issued for a long distance shipment, from Asia to Europe. Q2-4 will see the adoption of first non-vessel operating common carriers, and import/export firms. Future features will be added in 2019, such as accommodating insurance agreements, and other data such as temperature readings.

The CargoX.io website can be found here. Their twitter account is @cargoxio, and you can chat with the Telegram group here. At time of publish, $CXO is only available on one decentralized exchange, IDEX.

As always, this post is not financial advice, please do your own research. The whitepaper can be found here and is well worth the read. I would also recommend reading the FAQ on their site, as it answers some fantastic industry-specific questions around shipping that traditional crypto investors may have not considered.

Any thoughts? Follow me on twitter!

As CargoX is just out of ICO, you may have to add it as a custom token in Metamask or MyEtherWallet, details are below.

Contract Address: 0xb6ee9668771a79be7967ee29a63d4184f8097143
Decimal Places: 18
Symbol: CXO

If you liked this, you may like this article: Blockchain and Logistics: Its most promising use case?

OriginTrail – A purpose-built, blockchain agnostic protocol for supply chains.

origintrail

 

If you’ve read my previous post on Blockchain & Logistics, you’ll have guessed i’m a huge fan of the potential blockchain has in supply chain. The recent ICO for OriginTrail.io is a fantastic example of a use case that isn’t just a hollow whitepaper. The product itself has actually been in development since 2013, starting with an alpha version for organic beef products, that then lead to a beta in 2014 for dairy products with integration for Microsoft Navision. In a 2015 a beta version of OriginTrail for poultry and veg products was tested that featured integration into SAP and other 3rd party enterprise software. This early melding with often-used enterprise software, really demonstrates to me a company that has a real product with real end-users in sight – and that this is not just a quick ICO to raise capital and then start working on a product. This is a serious product with serious goals. OriginTrail is also open-source, and actively seeks industrial and technical feedback to grow stronger. OriginTrail is currently in pilot programs (in a centralized state) in Europe and China, according to the whitepaper.

The Product

The OriginTrail protocol was designed specifically to eliminate the main barriers that prevent the effective exchange & validity of data in supply chains. Concerns over the few increasingly fragmented and costly current solutions being another prime motivator for the development of the product. So what do customers actually get out of the product? Essentially, all stakeholders in the supply chain will be able to share all their sensitive data in a secure manner. In the below image we can see part of the issue OriginTrail looks to solve, by combining all of these individual data silos its one comprehensive format. that can be accessed by all stakeholders to ensure traceability, accountability and audit/legal compliance.

origintrail

This might not sound impressive off the bat, but lets take a look at the Horsemeat Scandal that hit Eurpoe back in 2013. Essentially food advertised as containing beef were found to contain horse meat instead, with as much as 100% of the meat content not what was advertised in numerous cases. Some of the undeclared meat was also pork, which obviously raises a whole host of religious and cultural issues with the Muslim and Jewish communities, that view pork is a prohibited food. Major breakdowns in traceability of the food chain were discovered following authorities investigations, and OriginTrail is one of the solutions being brought to market to combat this. With rising trends in organically grown food, allergy-ingredient clear foods (i.e nuts), vegan and gluten free foods, it’s now imperative that suppliers have clear tractability and thus accountability across the supply chain for their products. VeChain, one of the competitors OriginTrail will face, have been working with the Liaoning Academy of Agricultural Sciences to:

Eliminate the trust crisis regarding green agriculture authorization among consumers.

Compatibility with Enterprise Software

OriginTrail from their beta onward have sought to integrate their product with existing enterprise software (notably SAP and Microsoft Navision), and this is clearly set out in the vision section of the whitepaper – “OriginTrail assures compatibility with existing ERP systems, making implementation process quick and efficient.”. Ensuring this compatibility with customers systems will encourage quick adoption in order to meet existing legislation requirements, to increase communication and efficiency between steps in the supply chain, while reducing costs with the protocols scalability ability. Other areas the protocol will add value could be product recalls, chain of custody accountability, freshness for perishable lines, customs compliance and inventory management. SophiaTX is another blockchain startup seeking to utilize existing enterprise software within supply chains. Clearly there is an opportunity here for big business.

Pre-ICO Recognition

In a real statement of belief in the product, OriginTrail back in November was awarded the “Food Safety Innovation Spark Award”, by Walmart’s Food Safety Collaboration Center in China. The firm was one 12 companies selected to join the first generation of the Walmost Food Innovation Program, and the only project steeped in blockchain. We know Walmart is investing heavily in blockchain to improve its efficiency and transparency in supply chain,

At Walmart, Mr. Yiannas is more optimistic. His company has already completed two pilots with IBM — moving pork from Chinese farms to Chinese stores, and produce from Latin America to the United States — and he is confident a finished version can be put together within a few years. “I think this is our one best hope for getting it right,” he said.

If OriginTrail can convince Walmart they have a promising product, after already completely pilots with tech behemoths such as IBM, (who have been exploring projects in blockchain since early 2014), then it’s an incredibly promising sign for the company at such an early stage.

Token Utilisation & Economics

The $TRAC token enables the OriginTrail ecosystem to function by incentivizing data exchange. The system is a number of nodes, and supply is met by the demand of users of the protocol, such as supply chain data producers and consumers, that seek to share their data. The token is a way to reward supply chain data producers and consumers on one side, with the node holders on the other. It’s the incentive for the nodes to function on the network to pay for their outgoing such as computing power and electricity.

OriginTrail is blockchain agnostic, so whichever blockchain tech they utilize, some other costs may incurr, such as GAS if run on the NEO blockchain, or however many units of gwei required for Ethereum. Currently, the $TRAC token is an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, in the future this could be converted to the ERC223 token spec if approved as standard.

There are a total of 500 mil $TRAC tokens in the total supply, with 50% available for the token sale. The ICO price was set at 1 TRAC = $0.1 USD, and the hardcap was hit after only two days. 2% was kept for bounty programs, 5% for the team and advisers (being released over two years in stages). 5% was set for a liquidity pool, 18% for founders and PreICO contributors, and 20% for future development.

Future Roadmap

The future looks bright, with pilots and live cases with the test network coming up in a few short months. Feb 2018 will see a Hong Kong office open to generate partnerships with the Asian market, and a European wine pilot project finishing up (Vechain recently completed a pilot like this with a Chinese importer to counter fake wine.) In Q2 will see the launch of the OriginTrail test network, and an open call for use cases voted on by token holders – a little like the voting right Modum holders have. The decentralized network will open on Q3 2018, along with a protocol update to meet additional IoT standards. The US office for OriginTrail will also open in this quarter.

Full list of planned developments can be found on their roadmap.

The OriginTrail.io website can be found here. Their twitter account is @origin_trail, and you can chat with the Telegram group here. At time of publish, $TRAC is only availible on two decentralized exchanges, EtherDelta (not recommended since they were bought out) & IDEX (higher fees, but seems to work well).

As always, this post is not financial advice, please do your own research. The whitepaper can be found here and is well worth the read.

Any thoughts? Follow me on twitter!

As $TRAC is such a new currency, if you’re looking to add it to MyEtherWallet or MetaMask:

Contract Address: 0xaa7a9ca87d3694b5755f213b5d04094b8d0f0a6f
Symbol: TRAC
Decimal Places: 18

Blockchain and Logistics – its most promising use case? An overview of upcoming projects including Shipchain.io, VeChain, Waltonchain, Ambrosus, Modum and SophiaTX.

When firms across the globe first starting hearing about blockchain technology for integration with logistics systems, the association was with bitcoin – as a payment processor, rather than the underlying disruptive technology that could reduce costs and complexity for carriers. Once the education piece had been completed with stakeholders, it was quickly understood how logistics firms could leverage blockchain to their advantage.

There was a fantastic article from the NYT published back in March, that effectively boils down as to why blockchain can have such an impact in logistics:

At its heart, blockchain simply refers to a bookkeeping method that “chains” together entries so that they are very difficult to modify later. It provides a way for large groups of unrelated companies to jointly keep a secure and reliable record of their transactions.

Nathaniel Popper and Steve Lohr, the author of the article gives the example that a single container being shipped could require approvals and stamps from up to 30 people or authorities. These could include tax revenue authorities, national shipping and public health bodies.

We know Disney first started exploring blockchain back in 2014, and so did IBM with their Blue Coin project, that eventually become Openchain. The director of research at IBM Arvind Krishna openly admits it took him a fair bit of convincing to even properly look at the technology.

“That was the ‘aha’ for me,” Mr. Krishna said. “This was not really about digital payments, but establishing trust in transactions in general.” He called it “a technology that can change the world.”

We know now firms across the globe are heavily exploring blockchain, and IBM alone has 650 employee working on it, and they have 400 clients testing their products – one of those being Walmart. One of the largest providers of enterprise software SAP, has launched its Leonardo project to utilise blockchain, and set in it three key use cases on which to focus its efforts on. SAP asset intelligence, SAP distrusted manufacturing and SAP transportation management.

SAP is also a member of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance, who’s mission is to engage in education the transport industry, to bring about extracting the full potential of benefits that blockchain technology promises. Some of the key members of this alliance include UPS, McLeod software, FedEx, Penske, TMW systems, Convoy, and Bridgestone. Clearly, we can see large, multinational companies are taking blockchain seriously and developing systems. What will be covered now are those smaller firms based in crypto that have raised funds via ICOs, who can help to facilitate those companies seeking to integrate blockchain with their logistics systems.

VeChain $VEN

vechain

VeChain has recently come to the attention of many as they have started being a bit more public with announcements, but it’s actually a bit of a slow burning project. The VeChain tech was designed back in the second quarter of 2015, and since then the team have built upon several smart contract templates, and their own custom hardware.

From a Medium post by the VeChain Team

VeChain has developed a powerful blockchain-enabled enterprise software platform. The VeChain platform enables manufacturers to assign products with unique identities, which then allow manufacturers, supply chain partners and even consumers to interact with the product through the platform. It uses blockchain technology to ensure the security of the data collected, allocating private keys to all participants within the supply chain.

These IDs are stored on the blockchain, and physically put on the product with a NFC chip, QR code, or like WTC/Modum – a RFID tag. During further manufacturing of the unfinished product, or shipping with a carrier, or arriving at a retail location the ID can be interacted with and data updated on the blockchain.

One of China’s largest importer of fine wines (Direct Imported Goods) have already placed one million bottles of wine on VeChain’s platform in an effort to counter the import of fake wine. This could further be applied to other luxury or high spec goods that are often counterfeited.

In an important step for the company, VeChain recently became the first firm to pass PriceWaterhouseCooper’s Cryptocurrency Disaster Recovery Plan

VeChain spearheaded the first Cryptocurrency Disaster Recovery Plan (CDRP) that meets the demands of accredited firms and approved by PwC. This is the first of its kind in the world and sets a standard for corporate level DRP and risk management of internal or external controls on blockchain solution and cryptocurrency assets both on digital and physical wallets.

While this fantastic press, it’s important to note VeChain were part of PwC’s incubation program back in May 2017, and have had their resources and research at their disposal. It’s pretty easy to pass a set of standards with a firm you have been working with for close to a year. Jay Zhang, the finance director for VeChain was also a senior manager at PwC. According to their ideas of development VeChain have also been working with PwC and the Liaoning Academy of Agricultural Sciences to develop a blockchain cloud project that is for the verification of organic agricultural projects. While I can appreciate the plan, it’s pretty easy to create positive press with this kind of clearly long term partnership.

You can buy VeChain $VEN at Binance and KuCoin.

shipchain.io

shipchain airdrop

Imagine a fully integrated system across the entire supply chain–from the moment it leaves the factory, field, or farm–to delivering the finished product to the customer’s doorstep; federated in trustless, transparent blockchain contracts.

Shipchain seeks to utilise the Ethereum blockchain, using a side-chain to track geographic waypoints across smart contracts. These waypoints will be encrypted so only involved parties can access the data, but still retaining the benefits of an immutable blockchain. This allows better communication across the supply chain for customers, carriers and creators.

As detailed in the whitepaper, Shipchain is looking to address the following issues in the shipping market:

  • Bad tracking for end users
  • Lack of transparency
  • Poor accountability across the supply chain
  • Freight broker markup
  • Misaligned incentives, especially for carriers at the tail end of the chain.

The team is led by CEO John Monarch, the founder of Direct Outbound, which is currently one of the fastest growing 3PL companies in the US. Roger Crook the Global Head of Sales and e-Commerce at DHL Global Forwarding takes the Chief Strategy Office role. One of the more noted advisers is Al Pettenato, a former VP of XPO logistics and Senior VP of North America for DHL. A fairly strong team looking at the experience listed.

The ownership of the $SHIP token will bestow membership to the token holder, and will grant access to the blockchain for booking freight and tracking shipments. These transactions on the blockchain for shipments will be paid, and settled in tokens, giving a high utility factor to the token. Interestingly, there is also an incentive for the carriers at the end of the supply chain –

Tokens valued at up to 20% of each freight transaction will be given to the driver/carrier as “gamified” incentives for safe and timely deliveries, as well as environment focused such as reduced idle time. From there, drivers will either be able to sell their tokens on exchanges, or redeem those tokens via partnerships ShipChain will form for various rewards, such as gift cards, fuel discounts, and more. Q2 2018 will see the first integration with government-mandated ELD devices.

The Shipchain ICO has closed, but an airdrop is currently available at time of publish to members of their telegram group, link is here to their official site. Please check URLs, and remember to never give out your private key in case the site is compromised.

Modum $MOD

Previously two in depth articles have been published regarding this niche blockchain project seated in logistics:

Modum – Real blockchain utility, in a sea of vaporware. Part 1 – From the whitepaper to mass production.

Modum – Real blockchain utility, in a sea of vaporware. Part 2 – Concerns regarding the token utility and possible classification as a security.

Simply, Modum is a supply-chain monitor for the pharmaceutical sector, that ensures shipments are meeting temperature requirements to comply with EU law. It can impassively reduce cost per shipment for hauliers and ensures transparency/audit compliance by keeping the data from its sensors on the blockchain.

You can purchase Modum at Binance and KuCoin.

Ambrosus $AMB

ambrosus masternode

 

Ambrosus looks like the most direct competitor to $MOD, focusing on food and medicinal shipments. There so far has been no showcase of any sensor equipment, but according to some of their updates they also have a focus on data silos and management to speed up compliance and process analysis. In practical terms, they do seem a way behind modum with no evidence of pilots or partnerships going live, while Modum has their fourth pilot going live with their proprietary technology, and 10,000 sensors hitting mass production in Q1.

According to the Ambrosus roadmap, they are planning on releasing the full API set and dev tools in March 2018, then in June 2018 releasing the sensors for Ambrosus. According to one of the content managers Aneesh, the team are:

In the process of patenting and protecting many of the sensor technologies and the smart packaging and product capsules.

In the Food Sensors and Tracers PDF published on their site, it seems Ambrosus will first start with traditional sensors, then move forward in developing new sensors that can allow assessments of various analytes in gases, liquid and solids, including 02 and C02 levels, glucose, ammonia.

Ambrosus combines the innovations and inherent strengths of the hardware and the software parts that it is a disruptive solution. Naturally, as with every breakthrough, stakeholders also need to have a multidisciplinary comprehension to accept Ambrosus. Therefore, the design of the hardware part will be carried out incrementally. There is more than one solution to a specific case. We can start with already in-place sensors, then propose new monitoring systems, and finally fully embrace the digitalization concept by entirely redesigning the system into one using modern food tracers and biosensors.

While Modum fulfils a niche, clearly Ambrosus is looking to disrupt the whole chain of integrity across logistics. Another key differentiation from Modum is the possibility of decentralising by going down the masternode route, although not confirmed yet, is an option the CEO Angel Versetti confirmed on Reddit the team were considering.

You can buy Ambrosus $AMB at Binance and KuCoin.

Waltonchain $WTC

Waltonchain is another RFID-based solution, and recently Boxmining visted Waltonchain’s reserach center in Xiamen to have a look at their product demo. Like Modum and Ambrosus, they are seeking to incorporating tracking of physical goods into the blockchain, and thus preventing counterfeiting an loss of assets during transit. WTC will have the ability to write information from RFID straight to the blockchain without any need for an API interface, as WTC holds a patent which integrates memory with RFID.

WTC also has some different token mechanics, as it has the possibility of becoming a masternode if holding 5K+ tokens. This feature coming online in Q1, possibly just after mainnet comes online and the token-swap and genesis block have been completed.

Waltonchain, out of all the ICOs in the past two years have probably the most amount of partnerships that are currently not under an NDA. An incredibly comprehensive list has been put together, and is well worth the read. A few of the highlights include:

Note that many of these projects are not just limited to logistics, which could either showcase the versatility of blockchain and WTC, or could be a concern the company is overstretching itself.

You can buy Waltonchain $WTC at Binance and KuCoin.

SophiaTX $SPHTX

sophiatx

Full article is linked below, but SophiaTX seeks to disrupt SAP-using businesses by integrating blockchain to increase inefficiencies between firms. They have recently signed a joint letter of interest with a Riydh based logisitics company that each year handles more than 2 million tons of cargo.

SophiaTX – Blockchain for business. Blockchain integration with SAP and enterprise software.

As always, do your own research, this is not financial advice.

Any thoughts? Follow me on twitter!

SophiaTX – Blockchain for business. Blockchain integration with SAP and enterprise software.

If you’ve ever worked for a business larger than 50 people, chances are they utilize SAP. SAP offers some of the top enterprise software Germany has to offer, with over 335,000 customers in 180 countries and revenues in 2016 of 22 billion Euros.

SophiaTX styles itself as blockchain for business, and their objective is to create a business blockchain platform and marketplace. The platform itself will contain open source APIs to connect primarily with SAP and other enterprise software, used by most of the biggest multinational corps across the world. A pretty ambitious plan right? According to one of their press releases, 87% of global businesses use SAP, along with 98% of the top 100 highest valued brands in the world also utilizing it. If blockchain can get its fingers into this market, SophiaTX could be a key tool for businesses.

Two companies are behind $SPHTX. DECENT is a blockchain-based digital medium distribution platform, whose token $DCT currently has a marketcap of 105 million USD. The other team are from Venaco Group, a ‘best in class’ SAP advisory and implementation firm.

The ICO was opened on 7th of Dec 2017, and finished just 10 days later on 17th Dec 2017, a fairly short run when most firms ICOs run for months. They did manage to raise the equivalent of $7.3 million USD, priced at 1 SPHTX = 0.00062789 ETH. A quick video used to market the ICO is here, but doesn’t have much content to be honest, their blog is a much better read to see some actual use cases.

The Product

As broken down by the SophiaTX whitepaper, there’s three core elements to the business.

  1. A blockchain built for business.
  2. a development platform to integrate blockchain and SAP/enterprise apps.
  3. Marketplace for companies and communities to buy/sell apps or data.

The blockchain itself is  a hardfork from the Decent coin,as stated in an interview with CEO Jaroslave Kacina by Bitcoin Magazine. Interestingly, the testnet blockchain is using Delegated Proof of Stake, so avoids costly mining in terms of both transaction fees and electricity. While proof of stake may not be ideal for a distributed consensus protocol, for a business app such as the one SophiaTX is developing it could be ideal. Being centralised also means they can bring the product to market faster, and is easier to keep secure. Data security is a key selling point to large firms with data breaches being all too common in the last few years. If you plug a email you’ve used over the past 10 years into HaveIBeenPwned chances are your data will have been exposed by atleast one company.

This does raise some questions about the utility of an ERC20 token on the ethereum blockchain, when the actual product is a private blockchain, with companies even being able to licence their own private blockchain. Isn’t that just a database?

However, from what the whitepaper says, and responses from the team in their Telegram chat, once the mainnet is online (Q3 2018 according to page 12 of the whitepaper), the ERC20 tokens will be swapped for those on the SPHTX mainnet, and used to purchase assets on the marketplace, licencing for private blockchain, reward for devs when customers are using dapps, and to payout transaction fees and rewards for miners validating transactions.

Partners and Projects

SophiaTX has recently signed a joint letter of intent with a Riyadh-based logistics company that every year handles more than 2 million tons of cargo. The intent is to bring blockchain to the pharmaceutical industry by facilitating a track and trace product across manufacturing processes, quality assurance points, shipment, and receipt of the products.

Sounds a little like modum but encompassing the entire supply chain, not just the shipment to end users from the manufacturers.

According to the press release from SophiaTX: “Each of the current top twenty prescription drugs (amounting to 10% of the global market in 2016) is produced by a company using SAP software products within their sourcing, manufacturing, or supply chain processes. SophiaTX’s integration with the system will allow pharmaceutical companies to write their products directly into the blockchain, thereby addressing issues of counterfeiting; compliance; supply chain conditions; traceability and recalls.”

Modum, Ambrosus and Waltonchain have all cited counterfeiting, traceability, recalls, and compliance as a key area they are seeking to disrupt with their business model, so it’s no surprise SophiaTX are seeking to do the same. However by integrating SAP into their model, it could potentially be much easier for firms to integrate blockchain into their existing systems.

Even more exciting than this, is the demonstration of a proof of concept at a recent blockchain seminar in Zurich, where the team demonstrated sending a variety of documents between SAP systems. An invoice was created within SAP, then transferred via the SophiaTX testnet to another firm using another SAP system. Read more over on their blog.

Competition – SAP itself moving into blockchain tech.

What is a concern is SAP is moving into blockchain tech, which poses the question – Why would you need a third party when SAP is already developing in the field? Surely they wouldn’t want to miss out on the huge revenue this disruptive new tech could bring to enterprise across the country.

Back in November, SAP announced the addition of 27 new members to the its blockchain program, from across major industries – including pharmaceuticals and logistics. At the same conference they announced three key use cases they hope to standardize across digital supply chains, these include:

  • SAP asset intelligence – a registry of equipment OEMs can use to share asset information to improve uptime and service.
  • SAP distributed manufacturing – An app to connect manufacturing with supplier and technical cert companies.
  • SAP transportation management – International trade on the blockchain to reduce fraud and theft.

All seems a little scary for SophiaTX. However, SAP’s project Leonardo (Blockchain as a Service) on which these 3 use cases are being built on, has been described as ‘relatively expensive‘ for smaller firms, and less transparent as it is cloud based by Kacina. We also MUST remember, the founders of SophiaTX (Venaco Group) are a company that specializes in SAP advisory services and implementation of SAP. These guys can target custom blockchain solutions and its integration with SAP, not just a few standardized use cases. This here is where SophiaTX can make a real name for itself.

Token Economics

Total supply currently lies at 350 million tokens, and the future total supply will sit at no more than 500 million tokens, with 70% of the tokens dedicated to development, operations, marketing, team will not be sold for 12 months after the initial SPHTX generation. Circulating supply sits at 202.5 million after adding the 30% of the team tokens, plus TGE tokens.

Currently marketcap is unavailable as ICO has only recently ended,  but ranked 1135 on coinmarketcap at time of publishing.

*Update*

Previously I didn’t list the marketcap as I couldn’t confirm if the 30% of the team tokens not required to be held for 12 months was to be included in the circulating supply. As of 20/01/18 it sits at $238 mil USD.

$SPHTX is only available on QRYPTOS, and Cobinhood, but hopes to be listed on Binance and KuCoin soon

Modum – Real blockchain utility, in a sea of vaporware. Part 2 – Concerns regarding the token utility and possible classification as a security.

After looking at what appears to be a solid business plan, it’s only fair to balance that out with any concerns and competition the project has, and will face.

One of the common criticisms of ICOs is the tokens investors are receiving in return for their funds. When the Raiden team announced an ICO with a token, there was some outrage at the idea of raising funds for a protocol that would allow further low cost, scalable token transfers. In the run up to the announcement of the ICO, it was assumed by the vast majority this would just be a next step for Ethereum, akin to the Byzantium hard-fork. Now to be fair, the Raiden team posted a fairly solid response over at their Medium, however it did put recent ICOs under a lens by the community for the utility of their tokens. Modum was no exception to that scrutiny.

Token Utility Concerns

Modum is no exception to this spike in scrutiny, and the main concern raised is:

The modum token is not a utility token, and as such is not utilised by the company in its product. Where is the value?

Completely true, the modum token is a vehicle containing profit-sharing and voting rights. The white-paper states – “The board of modum.io decides and declares the amount of dividends when there is a profit. A payment equivalent to this amount is converted to Ether and sent to the modum smart contract. The modum smart contract evaluates the current holdings and distributes the profits to the token holders in Ether. The voting and profit share smart contract is open source.” So, while the open source nature of the contract might make some of us feel better, what does the rest of that sentence tell us?

Startups outside of crypto typically take years to post profits. On top of that, the board of modum.io decides how much profit is distributed. In theory, even once modum posts a profit the board could just decline to payout any dividends. However, this is true of pretty much any publicly-listed company, and they still pay out dividends yearly. The key difference here is that owning shares of a publicly traded company is different from just a profit sharing token, as token-holders don’t own a share of the company. However we can see in the whitepaper in the next three years a third of the token supply (tokens locked here) will be distributed to the shareholders (some of those being on the board of directors). Thus, there is a clear incentive here for all parties to profit share.

The value of the mod token, like most publicly traded companies who payout a dividend is then directly linked to how successful (and profitable) the company is. Simple as that! Although there is no actual share of ownership, the voting right element does provide a component of control over some key steps listed on page 13 & 14 of the whitepaper, including further releasing of tokens locked by the smart contract on milestone 2, 3 and 4, with the last step hopefully completed in Q1 2020.

Previous profit-sharing tokens such as iconomi ($ICN) have actually moved away from a profit-sharing model, and instead opted for a token-burn. Iconomi’s main concerns were around the dividend ensuring regulators would take the token as a security and lead to heavier regulatory concerns. Also with the sheer quantity of token holders with poor data management, how to resolve the issue with ‘dead’ accounts receiving the dividend to no benefit, and the loss of others was a concern. The buyback was an easy fix to that issue. The full article is worth a read and will be interesting to see if modum’s model changes in the next few years.

Tokens as a Security

There has been a fair amount of discussion on tokens as securities as inevitably regulation starts to come into play. A couple of pieces worth reading are linked on their images, but to summaries, while nothing is formal YET, all tokens, not just profit-sharing ones like modum could be classified as securities. During the ICO modum confirmed they have been in discussion with FINMA (the Swiss regulatory body for financial market legislation, including tax law), and the below guidance was issued. ICOs are not yet covered by legislation.


Now even if you don’t even glance at the two PDFs linked above, there is just one quote I believe you can take from it:

“Due to the close proximity in some areas of ICOs and token-generating events with transactions in conventional financial markets, the likelihood arises that the scope of application of at least one of the financial market laws may encompass certain types of ICO model. This is also the case for ICO activities which aim to circumvent those provisions. Owing to the wide variety in structure of ICO models, FINMA can only carry out a conclusive regulatory assessment in specific cases. Currently, FINMA is assessing a number of such cases. Where financial market legislation has been breached or circumvented, enforcement proceedings will be initiated.”

So, modum have been clear since the ICO, they have been in touch with FINMA, and may indeed be once of the cases they are assessing. Nothing is set in stone as of yet, but its fair to say legislation is coming, and not just from the Swiss government. Markets are being disrupted across the globe, and being up to date on the latest legislation from your home country, and ICOs  you are investing in is essential. When the dividend is paid, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new wave of KYC requests for token-holders.

 

Token Economics

Image taken from whitepaper, page 13, figure 7.

 

Modum.io’s token split at ICO is seen in the above chart taken from the whitepaper. With the 30% of tokens held by modum being released at 4 different milestones across the next 2 years following a positive vote from token holders. Looking at the current etherscan breakdown of address holders, we can see a few points to touch on so far.

 

Modum so far is only listed on three well-used exchanges, Binance and KuCoin and EtherDelta. Binance’s hot and cold wallet, etherdelta, kucoin, and modum themselves hold around 35% of the total market cap, outside that only 3 wallets hold over 1% of  tokens. The vast majority of holders are small holders, hopefully pointing towards a market that is less likely to be manipulated. However with a a total supply of only 27.26 million tokens and with 94% of the volume only coming from Binance, we have seen huge sell/buy walls up. This token supply is also fixed.

Competition

There have been several recent ICOs looking to compete in the same market as $MOD, combining RFID sensors with blockchain tech.

Ambrosus $AMB

Ambrosus looks like the most direct competitor, focusing on food and medicinal shipments. There so far has been no showcase of any sensor equipment, but according to some of their updates they have a focus on data silos and management to speed up compliance and process analysis. In practical terms, they do seem a way behind modum with no evidence of pilots or partnerships going live, while modum has their fourth pilot going live with their proprietary technology, and 10,000 sensors hitting mass production in Q1.

From a token perspective, $AMB has a token supply of 361.5mil, with a market cap of 137.2mil USD.

You can buy Ambrosus $AMB at Binance and KuCoin.

Waltonchain $WTC

Waltonchain is another RFID-based solution, and recently Boxmining visted Waltonchain’s reserach center in Xiamen and had a look at their product demo. Like Modum and Ambrosus they are seeking to incorporating tracking of physical goods into the blockchain, and thus preventing counterfeiting etc.

WTC also has some different token mechanics, with the possiblity of becoming a masternode if holding 5K+ tokens.

You can buy Waltonchain $WTC at Binance and KuCoin.

WTC has a current market cap of 645mil USD, with a total supply of 70mil. This puts the valuation at $26USD per token, a massive sum. WTC has however just announced partnership with China Mobile IoT alliance, but the partnership has not been actually finialised, which caused a huge in the spike:

Modum is at time of publish is sitting at a market cap of 154mil USD, with a total supply of 27.26 mil tokens which can make it hugely attractive to potential investors with the small token supply. With partnerships to be announced in Q1, modum looks like a solid opportunity, even with a $10USD per token pricetag. While modum.io is focusing on pharma shipments to begin with, logistics integrity tracking is easily something that can be expanded or licenced out, and with relative first-mover advantage, modum is ready for big things this year.

You can buy modum.io $MOD at Binance and KuCoin.