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With crypto being such a fast-moving industry, project posts can quickly become out of date or even misleading.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

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?