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With crypto being such a fast-moving industry, project posts can quickly become out of date or even misleading.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

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