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With crypto being such a fast-moving industry, project posts can quickly become out of date or even misleading.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.

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.