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.

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

Dragonchain – Integrating business applications onto blockchain, via serverless architecture.

Dragonchain was originally conceived as the Disney Private Blockchain Platform (DPBP) back beginning in 2015. Joe Roets and his team of developers came up with around 20 different use cases that was originally sent as an email, then released as open source to the W3C blockchain community group back in June 2016. Some of these cases include:

  • Decentralized processing, computing and storage infrastructure.
  • Identity systems, including privacy, confidentiality and security factors. (Now lifeID is a soon to be incubated product)
  • Audit – Reporting and compliance. (recently implemented by the Canadian government)
  • Intellectual property marketplace. (LookLateral just completed an ICO under the Dragonchain platform)
  • Peer to peer financial derivatives.
  • Configuration management for enterprise systems.

The full list can be found here. In the end, the DPBP was set free as open source software under the Apache 2 licence in October 2016. From this team, the Dragonchain foundation was born only four months later. The foundation is based in the techhub of Bellevue, close to Expedia, T-Mobile, Microsoft, SAP, and Valve.

The aim of the foundation in its current form is to make it simpler for firms to utilise blockchain with existing business applications and to foster adoption of blockchain in products that would benefit from it. Some of the key aims include:

  • Protection of business data
  • Fixed 5 second blocks.
  • Currency Agnosticism
  • Interop features.
  • Simple architecture
  • Easy intergration

And these goals boil into three fundamentals for Dragonchain, the platform, incubator and the ecosystem.

Dragonchain Platform

The Dragonchain platform is not based on the BTC or ETH network like most coins or tokens ($DRGN token however is), but was created from the ground up in Python and also uses Java, Node & C#. The architecture is a hybrid blockchain with levels of trust, the base level where the business logic resides is trusted, and such allows the running of an independent blockchain. It also allows the hosting of the blockchain on serverless or cloud platform. In an interview with CEO Joe Roets over at Inc.com, he explains:

Amazon AWS is the first of several integrations that are planned. The interesting point there is that our hybrid architecture allows a best practices approach for deployment and security, and we are able to leverage AWS for scale.

The architecture also seeks to leverage the value of public blockchains, especially those with huge amounts of hash power such as BTC. Integrating current enterprise software with blockchain is currently difficult and not particularly secure, as you would need to build a separate internal and centralized system to maintain business data, and then use BTC specific-knowledge to combine that system with tokenisation. With Ethereum you would also need specific knowledge, in addition to the risk of community forks according to the FAQ.

The whitepaper (page 8) details smart contracts will be deployed as AWS Lambda services. Further down the line, porting the system to the Google App Engine and Apache OpenWhisk is the priority for internal datacenter deployment.

Incubator

The idea behind the incubator is to avoid the old style tech funding path, where companies would pitch to venture capitalists in Silicon Valley or NYC and suffer massive dilution of their business in order to receive funding to take their projects further. Instead of spending time on the product, founders would become marketers instead. What Dragonchain offers is early access to startups technology via project utility tokens sold to Dragonchain customers. To put it a little more simply, it’s an ICO platform for startups, that are vetted and aided in integrating blockchain to their business that are then sold at a discount to Dragonchain holders who have passed the KYC requirements.

LookLateral were the first ICO out of the incubator, a digital platform for contemporary art, where the art is priced, tagged and tokenized. With Dragonchains expertise they can now sell art via tokens against dividends or other rights. Part of that will be the creation of a financial market for art regulated tokens (FINMART). Holders of Dragonchain were entitled to discounts on the presale as detailed below, with pretty steep discounts for long time holders with a high slumberscore (See later for more detail on the $DGRN token).

The next project due to be ‘dragonscaled’ is lifeID (Twitter here) a project seeking to replace Equifax and the like with a digital platform for securing ID. While there is no whitepaper yet, their blog will be the first place to have it. the lifeID product will have an ERC20 token with the symbol ID. Presale dates and more information is on the Dragonchain FAQ here.

Ecosystem/Marketplace

The third prong of Dragonchain’s product is the ecosystem they hope to build. The idea is hiring or creating partnerships with other developers, software engineers and having opensource software libraries with prebuild smart contracts to enable businesses to hit the ground running with blockchain tech. Other professional services such as legal and marketing experts would also make up part of the ecosystems to further expedite growth of businesses within the Dragonchain ecosystem.

Token Utility & Mechanics

So how will $DRGN actually be used? Ss from what we know so far Dragonchain’s platform is not based on the Ethereum blockchain, but holders have $DRGN, which is an ERC20 standard token. The short video details it pretty well for all three parties, those being founders, developers and community members. The token in the Dragonchain FAQ is described as a tokenized micro-licence for interaction with the dragonchain platform. The token also captures current legal guidance regarding US law covering securities and there is a patent pending on the micro-licence.

One of the more interesting mechanics is the slumberscore that was mentioned above. The number of $DRGN you hold, multiplied by the number of days held in the same wallet is equal to the slumberscore. If you have your wallet address handy, here’s a link to check yours out. As we’ve seen in the LookLateral ICO image above, holding a large amount of dragons for a long period of time can result in enormous discounts to ICOs held on the platform. It’s a fantastic incentive for the long-term holders even if there’s not much price change going forward as the opportunity cost from not holding other coins or tokens could easily be made back from the discounts on ICO tokens.

Dragonchain has a total supply of 433,94 mil $DRGN, with circulating supply sitting at the 238.42 mil. It’s currently ranked in the top 50 tokens by marketcap ($645,96 mil) USD according to Coinmarketcap at time of publish.

Dragonchain’s initial ICO raised just over $13 mil USD. The team over at Blockchain-Trust however did note something pretty interesting when it comes to the belief and trust in the platform:

For those who were watching the project like me, a wallet belonging to the GENESIS block, perhaps an ETH foundation team member purchased 3600ETHs worth of Dragon tokens during the ICO, which at today’s rates is worth about $1.5 million. For someone from Ethereum to invest in a small project like this, gives it huge credibility, as no doubt they would of looked over the Github code, whitepaper and realize the potential gem that lies within Dragon Chain..

Dragonchain is currently available at KuCoin.

Dragonchain’s Twitter can be found here, along with their Telegram. The whitepaper can be found here, please read it fully along with the very detailed FAQ on their site. Always perform your own research, this is not financial advice.

Coinlion – A potential onramp for users new to crypto trading. An exchange platform with portfolio management and strategy sharing features.

Blockchain and its associated technologies have opened up a new deregulated financial market across the globe. Millionaires have been made, billions raised in ICOs and now everyone wants a piece of the action. Getting started in crypto is without a doubt difficult, it’s a new frontier of technology that doesn’t typically mesh well with traditional financial institutions. 5 years ago getting a hold of some BTC to pay a hosting provider or to support a shady torrent site would take hours of signing up across a dozen different payment processors to find a company that would sell you it direct. It was that or trading on forums with EVE ISK or a World of Warcraft timecard.

These days it’s a little easier, but still difficult in comparison to other digital goods. You have Coinbase or Cex.IO where you can instantly purchase with a credit or debit card after waiting for your Know-Your-Customer documentation to be verified, or rely on long established bank transfer systems such as SEPA which can take several working days. Then once you’ve got your crypto, it’s then figuring out what the hell to do with it to make money. Using exchanges for the first time can be intimidating to those who aren’t used to share-trading or forex. This is where CoinLion hopes to make an impact.

The Product

The firm hopes to create a user-friendly exchange that combines education, research, and tools for newcomers to the market. The platform will consist of three key systems:

  • An exchange that delivers a best in class trading experience.
  • A portfolio manager that allows simple creation and control.
  • Portfolio sharing and strategy discussion.

If Coinlion can position itself as a home of newcomers to crypto trading, it has a fantastic opportunity to grasp a large chunk of incoming retail investor money. Coinbase is probably the best-known onramp into crypto, but with its premium pricing and high fees, there’s certainly room for a competitor. Especially a platform that could has the support of a community incentivized by the $LION token to help newcomers trade profitably.

The token itself will be used on the platform for a variety of functions, such as: tracking and duplicating other users portfolios, paying for trading fees (ala $BNB, $KCS), creating and managing multiple portfolios, accessing research and data within the CoinLion Library, advertising own user content or portfolios on the market. Coinlion has stated their ambitions to host other tokens ICOs on the CL platform, and $LION could be used to contribute at a discounted rate. Users of the platform can earn $LION by allowing others to track your portfolios, sharing strategy, research, analytics, and allowing advertising on your public profile.

Audience, Exchange and Competition

CoinLion has a clear target market in mind from what I can gather from interviews with the CEO and the whitepaper. Retail investors, who are new to trading  and keen to make good returns on their funds. In the past year with previously Bitcoin and now Ripple and Ethereum hitting mainstream the press on a daily basis has seen a huge influx of customers to exchanges, with several (even Binance) having to temporarily close to new users while their infrastructure is upgraded or patched. A few years ago, the Forex market underwent the same influx as crypto is now seeing now, retail investors, unfamiliar with trading who fell for the marketing of making a quick buck with individuals reselling “signals” with apparently guaranteed success. In the whitepaper, section 6.4, CoinLion states:

CoinLion believes that users should be able to easily interpret the risks within their portfolios. The platform tools allow users to better understand the risks they are exposing themselves to within their holdings.

Crypto is in its infancy and the less dodgy marketing (for example, Youtubers who will remain nameless that shamelessly plugged BitConnect, then deleted their videos) the market fosters, the better it will be taken seriously by traditional institutions. If CoinLion can market itself properly in a respectful manner, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t so far based on the slick ICO marketing, then becoming the new on-ramp onto crypto isn’t unrealistic. That’s not to say they don’t face some huge challenges based on their aims stated on their roadmap. I believe these challenges are:

  • Kickstarting initial volume on the CL exchange
  • Dethroning Coinbase
  • Attracting experiences traders to the CL trading element (is the $LION token enough on its own?)
  • Maintaining enough trading pairs to be competitive and attracting FOMO traders with the latest ICOs tokens
  • Beating other exchanges with processing of KYC data and withdrawal/deposits

Binance and KuCoin are both fairly new exchanges. Binance within 6 months has shot up to #3 based on overall exchange volume, and a big part of it, and KuCoins success is down to its quick additions of trading pairs for hot new altcoins, and its trading contests that awards lavish prizes. These so far have included an BMW i8, a Lamborghini Huracan RWD Coupe and a Masertai 3.0T Levante Classic. Not a bad idea for attracting larger traders right? It can come across a little tacky however and makes it look a little like a casino website. These traders though, will they really be attracted to start trading on the CoinLion platform for some $LION though? Is the CoinLion platform features enough to power the value of the token? It’s going to be tough to keep the value of $LION high enough to be seen as a good deal for experienced traders to move onto the platform, and to warrant creating content for.

The whitepaper states the desire to support a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, fiat and digital assets. CL will maintain markets in BTC, ETH and $LION. New pairs will have a simple and efficient access to the platform but will undergo strict due diligence, keeping liquidity and volumes across these pairs could be difficult. The best way previously for exchanges to establish volume was by have first-mover advantage on new pairs, and keeping this process of addition streamlined could be key in CoinLion getting its foot in the door. Another angle of attack is the proposition of underwriting future ICOs:

CoinLion will offer an ICO underwriting service which will list new coins to the platform. LION holders will have access to purchase these ICOs at a discounted rate. CoinLion will use a rigorous due diligence process when evaluating adding a new coin to the platform.

All that being said, Coinbase and it’s exchange service GDAX only offers a total of 11 trading pairs, across four cryptocurrencies and three fiat. Starting small and building up once the portfolio manager and exchange has had proven volume experience would seem to be the smart move. Every major exchange with any kind of volume has experienced downtime during major price fluctuations, and if CoinLion exposed the same kind of outages at peak periods to first-time retail investors could leave a bad taste in their mouths. Finding the right balance between trading pairs and volume with uptime is key to building the reputation CoinLion will need to succeed.

Portfolio Manager

So, the portfolio manager and exchange is not actually a working product yet, but a UI demo is here to view. It’s pretty nice, and the portfolio-sharing feature has the possibility to be huge. Some of the features touted in the whitepaper are:

  • Portfolios can be created using quantity, amount or percentage parameters.
  • Trade multiple positions with a single click.
  • Create and manage multiple portfolios (ideal for those who have a holding stack and trading stack).
  • Research and analytics available from community contributors
  • A built in digital assets screener.

Crypto has been crying out for a good portfolio manager and Blockfolio and Cointracking have done a fantastic job in filling that need with easy-to-use apps. The lament of Blockfolio users at peak price-moving events as nothing updates for an hour is something i’ve experienced all too often. However, can CoinLion be that next level in portfolio management as it combines analysis and exchange features all on the same platform. If they can, users will flock to it for easy of use. Keeping the platform consistently working over spiking periods of trading will be key to retaining users, just like with the exchange. 65% of the ICO funding is earmarked for platform development, which seems great. But considering they are hoping to launch in July, and the sale ends in February I just hope CL are not being too ambitious with its project, and doesn’t end up throwing money at it to hit deadlines with a poor product.

Team

Having a Solid Team is a bit of a running joke now when it comes to ICO marketing, but lets see if the experience listed by the firm can atleast match their whitepaper ambitions.

The CEO Joshua Dewitt is a former employee of Merrill Lynch’s wealth management team, and a legit miner judging from the rig he posted on BitcoinTalk. Justus Luthy the Chief Technical Oficer is the guy i’m really interested in though, with experience in designing and maintaining scalable applications for some big names such as Citigroup and HSBC. He has also previously maintained financial applications for managing over $1mil USD in daily transactions. This will of course be invaluable in developing a platform as complex as CoinLion is aiming for. The rest of the C-level team such as Zach Neugebauer, Nathan Pitz and Caleb J. Veldhouse also post impressive CVs with solid corporate experience, and a mix of blockchain background with Isaiah Croatt. The other members of the technical team also have some fantastic levels of experience when it comes to webdev and systems engineering. The creative director Kia Adams,who I imagine is responsible for the terrific logo must have already earned her salary judging by the whitepaper and identity the brand already has at an ICO level. The mere existence of a customer services lead in the form of Erin Zimmerman speaks volumes regarding the level of customer engagement the firm wants, building it into the platform as it develops. Most ICOs rarely mention customers, but CoinLoin with it’s 5% ICO funding allocation and service posts already filled, clearly has it as a priority.

My only concern is Mark Eaten and other such names being on the advisory team. Is someone a big Utah Jazz fan or something? I’m guessing he must have come into the CoinLion office and hosted a leadership event or something as it just seems to cheapen the ICO a little, along with Judge Alex. Don’t get me wrong, it might appeal to the typical retail investor market CL is aiming for, in fact I think the sponsorship recently of the two-time Bellator champion Michael Chandler was great as it was a clear plain sponsorship, but having just plain celebrities on your advisory page when you want people to take your high-tech crypto exchange seriously for me doesn’t work. I mean, it’s not as bad as Stoxx with Floyd Mayweather or LydianCoin with Paris Hilton, but still.

ICO & Token Economics

CoinLion’s base goal was to reach 15 million $LION tokens sold, with a token sale hard cap of 250 million $LION. If 15 million $LION did not sell, purchases would be refunded via the smart contract. The base exchange rate being 1 ETH to 2500 $LION with a pro rata distribution at the end of the token sale. However during the beginning of the token sale, it reached as high as 3000 $LION per ETH in the first week, and in the penultimate week of the sale it will again rise to 2625 $LION per ETH.. There is a hard cap of $18 million USD, and a fixed total supply of 500 mil LION tokens. The pro rata distribution of 24.75 million $LION will be distributed with the following formula at the completion of the sale.

$LION is an ERC20 standard token housed on the Ethereum blockchain, and the token allocation between CoinLion and purchasers set at 50-50, with any excess held burnt via smart contract at the end of the token sale. So with a fixed supply of 500 mil, and 250 mil available for the token sale, the total supply following the token sale could be much less if the token allocation is skewed heavily. The tokens reserved for the team can only be sold after a lockout period, 25% every 6 months for 2 years, funnily enough they can begin selling just before the launch of the platform according to the roadmap! That’s assuming the lockout began from the opening of the token sale however.

The allocation of the funds can serve as an indication just how seriously CoinLion respects the regulatory bodies and any regulation that could be coming over the horizon. The 5% dedicated to customer service looks like they are serious of their whitepaper declaration to processing KYC documentation in one business day and the 15% earmarked for security seems natural considering the amount of crypto and fiat they are looking to handle on the exchange.

Allocation of tokens is as follows:

 

You can find the LionCoin telegram group here, and can participate on the ICO on their homepage. They are also very active on BitcoinTalk (the CEO being an active miner!) and Twitter. Do not consider this financial advice, please read the whitepaper and do your own research before contributing any form of fiat or cryptocurrency.

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

So, what is modum? Luckily for me, there’s a little video here which is a great showcase for the tech and what it does. Briefly, Modum is a supply-chain monitor for the pharmaceutical sector that enables companies to comply with legislation from the EU regarding the delivery of medicinal products. Modum’s tech is a passive monitoring device that sits in with shipments to monitor the temperature. During the shipping the temperature is monitored, and when received by the customer, the data is reported back to the blockchain and is publically viewable to the distributor, and the customer. Currently some drug companies are shipping in temperature-controlled containers which are expensive, or use other data-logging devices like used in food distribution, which is unnecessary.

According to Modum’s whitepaper there are over 200 million shipments a year in the EU which would need to be monitored to comply with EU law, and if Modum can capture just a fraction of that market, it’s big money. Modum believes cost-per-shipment can be reduced up to 60%, that would be around 10 USD per shipment. They’ve stated the business has the potential to reduce the industry’s expenses here by up to 3 billion USD. Fairly impressive right. What’s even more exciting is since 2016 has already conducted several pilot programs with off-the-shelf tech, recorded over 10K datapoints and have close contracts with a $5+ billion revenue company. The whitepaper is clearly states the Modum system is being integrated with the leading last-mile logistics service provider in Switzerland, and three pilots completed. Announcements of partnerships with companies is now common in crypto, with developers working together, but this is a huge step in a company having blockchain tech adapted on such a large scale.

In the latest CEO update the first 200 prototype sensors have arrived, and mass-production of 10,000 has been set up. One of the issues brought up in the whitepaper from the first pilot was the need for quicker connectivity between the logger and mobile application, data transfer speed boosted, and a proper UI for data analysis created. This was addressed in the two further pilots, and the production of 10K sensors is an enormous investment by the company. Combined with the news of a contract signing, this is a strong message of confidence in the product from the customer and modum.

 

Modum’s prototype asset tracker was chosen by Canadian company Nordic Sensors as one of eight products for demonstration at the Consumer Technology Association, a huge technology conference held in LA. Variosystems was mentioned in a previous update as being involved in the production of the prototypes back in August. Modum on Dec 12. was announced as the latest member of the Trusted IoT alliance, the open source software consortium. So far the group consists of some huge names in technology, such as Bosch, Cisco, and UBS. Other recognizable names in crypto such as QTUM, vechain, IOTA and consensys are also members.

Alongside its announced partnerships, Modum’s physical location could also be an important factor to its future success. They are currently based in Zurich, near to Basel – European pharma hotspot. Novartis, Hoffmann-La Roche, Basilea Pharmaceutica, Straumann and Actelion have their HQs in Basel. Pascal Degen, the Head of Sterile Packaging at Novartis is also a member of the Modum team. Nearby is Zug, home to Crypto Valley which has KPMG as a strategic partner, and Crypto Valley Labs, where Blockchaingers, organizers of previous hackathons are based. From an academic perspective, partnerships with staff from University of Zurich and University of St. Gallen, such as Prof Burkhard Stiller (the communications chair at Zurich) and Prof Erik Hofmann (expert in strategic supply chain management and author of Supply Chain Finance and Blockchain Technology) all point towards a top-tier product based in reality.

What we can see here is a clear business model that concentrates on a specfic market, that also has potential for large and consistent revenue stream. The product is proven and has real backing across the pharma industry and academia. If you haven’t already I highly recommend you read the Modum Whitepaper.

Part 2 will contain token structure, performance in the market so far, concerns around its potential classification as a security and potential competitors in the cryptosphere and across the industry.

You can purchase Modum at Binance and KuCoin.

Part 2 is located here.