In 2017 there was a real “run” on information about Bitcoin and Blockchain, the number of search queries increased by several 100% in each case. The value of all crypto currencies – in addition to Bitcoin, by far the leading crypto currency, there are more than 1000 other crypto currencies – increased fortyfold within a year, not a few reminded of the time of the gold rush in the 19th century.

In the meantime, the excitement around the account currencies has calmed down, the clearly overheated market capitalization of all crypto currencies at the turn of the year 2017/2018 (at the beginning of January this was an amount of more than 800 billion USD) has decreased to a value of a little more than 200 billion USD by the end of September 2018. This may look like a real crash, but on the one hand the market for crypto currencies is traditionally very volatile and on the other hand this USD 200 billion still means an increase of more than 1,000 % compared to the value at the beginning of 2017.

In addition to the crypto currencies, the possibilities of the blockchain technology on which the crypto currencies are based are increasingly becoming the focus of interest. Because: with the ingenious combination of different technologies, which today is called blockchain, it is possible to transfer values directly and securely from one point to another via the Internet without the use of intermediaries. And, of course, this is of great interest especially in the business world.

Bitcoin was the first application to use blockchain technology, and in the meantime the technology field has developed and professionalized at an extreme speed. An important step for the development of the technology field was the launch of Ethereum in 2015. So-called Smart Contracts offer extended possibilities to automate business processes and thus make them safer, faster and more efficient.

Ethereum today has by far the largest developer community, and many companies have successfully completed initial tests and prototypes. It is expected that in 2018/2019 the number of Ethereum-based enterprise applications will increase significantly.

There are several very promising further developments in the blockchain area, which will successively solve the still existing challenges of blockchain technology (e.g. transaction volume and speed). At this point, however, we will not go into this further development.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are so-called “public blockchains”. With public blockchains, there are no access restrictions – anyone who wants to can write and read data in the distributed system. This is called “permissionless” – i.e. without access restrictions. This blockchain type is considered the safest way to store data unalterably.

But this publicity is rejected for many business applications, understandably not everyone should be able to see who does which business with which company. Against this background the variant of an “Enterprise Blockchain” (also called “private blockchain” or “permissioned blockchain”) was developed. Here, access rules and procedures are defined according to the desired procedures, so there are – unlike with public blockchains – central entities that define the set of rules. With leading enterprise blockchains, such as Hyperledger, an enterprise blockchain developed within the Linux Foundation, it is also possible to program Smart Contracts.

For many business processes, the possibilities of the Enterprise Blockchain are completely sufficient; in principle, one can synchronize data stocks securely and automate business processes with such systems. However, the security of these enterprise blockchains is not on the same high level as with public blockchains.

In the meantime, very good solutions have been developed for the requirements described above regarding the confidentiality of transactions and other company-specific requirements for public blockchains. Furthermore, the emerging possibilities of the so-called token-based economy, in which various assets in public blockchain systems receive a digital image on a blockchain system, probably cannot be implemented to the same extent with enterprise blockchains.  It will be interesting to see which of the two blockchain philosophies will have which part in the corporate environment: the enterprise blockchains following the classical enterprise philosophy or the philosophy of distributed structures and networks of public blockchains.

In the few years since Bitcoin was the first blockchain application to see the light of day in the digital world (2009), the possibilities and relevance of blockchain technology have been explored.

Guest article by Dr. Kadri Bashi, CHAINSTEP Blockchain Consultant Istanbul

The Future Logistics Summit, organised by the International Association of Transport and Logistics Service Providers UTIKAD, took place on 19 September 2018 in the Elite World Europe Hotel. The summit, which is intended to shed light on the future of the logistics sector, was very well received and attracted the attention of representatives of the logistics sector, the supply chain and also the pioneers of the Turkish economy. In addition to representatives from the logistics sector, representatives from a wide variety of sectors, ranging from supply chain managers, producers, import and export companies to foreign trade companies, software and technology companies and insurance companies, came together. New business models and practices waiting for sectors in the e-world were assessed at the summit, which highlighted the future of the logistics industry.

In the first half of the summit; “Stay in touch with Blockchain” Dr. Kadri A. Bahşi, Chainstep Project Manager Turkey, spoke about the approaches to Blockchain based projects in the logistics industry, founder and Managing Partner of Chainstep GmbH in Hamburg Frank Bolten presented the new initiative “COBILITY” to the participants, and the co-founder of the wider network Further, Kadir Özgür Oguz, informed about the applications and effects of Blockchain technology in aviation.

Ege Özsaygılı, Director of Trans.Eu Eastern Europe and Eurasia Group (the main sponsor) met the participants at the presentation “Innovative investment in the new era of logistics”. Özsaygılı spoke about Tran.Eu’s new services based on working principles and artificial intelligence. Another panel discussed the impact of global warming on the logistics sector. The panel was attended by the Chairman of the Sustainable Production and Consumption Association (SÜT-D) Prof. Dr. Filiz Karaosmanoğlu, the Regional Environmental Centre (REC) Turkey Unal Treasurer and Director Rifat Piri Reis University Lecturer , Long Distance Captain Barbaros Büyüksağnak, who assessed the potential impact of climate change on the logistics sector.

In the second half of the summit, the following topics were discussed:

Industry 4.0
SCM in the logistics sector
New business models
The summit, which attracted the attention of media members as well as various industry representatives, ended in the hope that the participants would bring a vision into the future in which the awareness of the effects of technological developments on the industry would be strengthened. UTIKAD Logistics Summit will be repeated next year with various topics and speakers.

The statistical result:

274 participants
141 Companies
14 panelists
2 keynote speakers
6 panel
2 Innovative investment meetings

Dr. Kadri Bahsi prepared the presentation for the target group in Turkish:

BLOCKCHAIN_LOJISTIK_ve_SCMI

The presentation on COBILITY from Frank Bolten in English:

180919 COBILITY UTIKAD

To the video recording of Frank Bolten two photos from the perspective on site and from the computer.

And here you find a photo gallery of the event. In addition you can find a short clip on YouTube:

5 days after the presentation of COBILITY we had the opportunity to pitch the initiative we started together with XAIN and evan in front of an international audience. At the SMM in Hamburg, CHAINSTEP was one of 13 companies invited by the PortXL Accelerator from Rotterdam to present their ideas in 2 minutes. Cool atmosphere and very interested audience. Hamburg News reported here about the pitch event.

The goal of COBILITY : Together with market partners from the industry, we want to develop concrete applications that are to become part of a future decentralized transport logistics platform. The vision is a platform for which the users are responsible and on which standardized “plug&play” services that can be used by the participants are available. Individual offers of the participants will then be connected to the platform via standard interfaces.

COBILITY is based on established and open technology and should be compatible with all major systems on the market. Further information is available here on the website and via the pitch presentation.

 

After a good year in Mindspace at Rödingsmarkt, the Digital Hub Logistics Hamburg – CHAINSTEP’s “office home” – moved into its own coworking space: since August 2018, the address of the Digital Hub Logistics Hamburg has been: St. Annenufer 2, 20457 Hamburg. The logistics start-ups have now pitched their tents directly above the Kaffeemuseum Burg in the Speicherstadt.

On 30 August the celebrations took place: “1 year Hub”, “new location” and “new “Managing Director Digital Hub Logistics” – two days after the event Johannes Berg started in this new position. On this date, political and economic celebrities gathered at the hub: Angela Titzrath (HHLA) and Senator Frank Horch, among others, honoured each other and emphasised the importance of the innovation factory during the panel discussion. The keys were then flown to the hub with a drone for the handover (see video here).

CHAINSTEP had two appearances at the event: on the one hand, the COBILITY initiative launched jointly with XAIN and evan was presented on August 30 (click here for the press release). On the other hand Noah Winneberger and Leo Mustafa presented the Last Mile Demonstrator to the “Co-Hubber”.

On the 28th of March 2018 a workshop with the ZVDS (“Zentralverband Deutscher Schiffsmakler” – German Shipbrokers´Association) took place in the Digital Hub Logistics at Rödingsmarkt in Hamburg. The initial presentation part focussed mainly on the differentiation between public and private blockchains. As the next step the current blockchain related developments in the sea freight were presented followed by a discussion about the meaning for the shipbrokers´ business. Finally the group worked out ideas, how the shipbrokers should develop their role to strengthen their position when it comes to the deployment of blockchain in the freight businesses. Dr. Alexander Geisler, Managing Director ZVDS, said: “The workshop was extremely helpful and successful for our members. You could literally hear the ´click in the heads of the participants´.”

It was a successful experiment: for the first time a “Blockchain MasterClass” was held during the “IT-Strategietage” in Hamburg. The responses was very good – due to high demand the space for the class had to be expanded twice. The participating IT managers came from an impressive spectrum of industries: automotive, finance, medical, media, real estate, trade and transport logistics were represented.

Frank Bolten started the MasterClass with a brief introduction that focused on the tension between “private” and “public” blockchains and the fascinating possibilities of token-based economies. Furthermore, Frank gave an overview of useful tools to support the evaluation of use cases, where blockchains might be helpful. The next presentation focused on the technical aspects of blockchains.

Volker Skwarek, Professor at the HAW Hamburg and a technical adviser to CHAINSTEP, gave an overview of how blockchains are technically defined. This was followed by an introduction to smart contracts. A key element was a list of criteria that help to decide under which circumstances smart contracts should be used. In the following explanation Volker Skwarek concentrated on Industry 4.0 applications. This was followed by a live demonstration that illustrated how a smart contract works on the blockchain. The exchange after the presentation highlighted the current importance of this topic.

The third part of the MasterClass was taught by Sebastian Beyer, product manager at CERTIVATION. It is the latest spin-off of the ROSEN Group. With help from CHAINSTEP they launched their new service “BEC” (blockchain ensured certificates) just in time to present it at the Blockchain MasterClass – it was a world premiere. Please find more information on the BEC service in a separate blog post on this site (here).

All three presentations shown during the MasterClass you find below.

 

… that was the title of the DVZ when they reported on the “16. Hamburger Logistiktage”. There definitely was an impressive silence among the 300 listeners in the “Kuppel Hamburg” when Reinhold Messner held his actual talk “wild – the last trip on earth”. The encouraging message: never give up.

It was a real challenge to present such a complex topic like blockchain directly after such a fascinating talk. But most likely the popularity of the topic helped that the presentation “Blockchain – game changer in transport logistics” was well accepted by the audience.

The 34th annual summit meeting of the transport logistics branch gathered the impressive number of 3,400 participants in the Intercontinental Hotel Berlin. On the third day the session “Blockchain for Supply Chain Management” was held. With more than 200 attendees the room was bulging. At the begininng Dr. Christian Grotemeier, Head of Research and Events of the BVL, surprised the moderator Frank Bolten with a birthday cake, then the planned agenda started.

After an introductionary presentation on blockchain in transport logistics and supply chain management Martijn Siebrand, Program Manager Supply Chain Finance TKI Dinalog, reported on a dutch consortium around the Habour of Rotterdam. In total 16 institutions – among others the TU Delft, ABN-AMRO and Royal Flora Holland – are working on blockchain based projects in Chain Finance, Supply Finance and on new business models.

Thomas Müller, co-founder, concentrates with his company contractus on the utilization of smart contracts. He presented how blockchain can be used for company relevant proccesses taking the example of procurement logistics.

Finally Martin Aramann, MD of Sovereign Speed, Oliver Leopold, MD of SHOTLOGISTICS and Frank Bolten from CHAINSTEP presented the project HANSEBLOC, which had been initiated by the “Logistik Initiative Hamburg”. Under this title a grant application has been submitted to the Federal Ministery of Economics. end of August 2017. The target of the application: secure the consignment note by blockchain using smart contracts. The start of the project is planned for February 2018, the positive answer of the lead partner was still outstanding, when the presentation had been held. Below you find a video, which makes today´s complexitiy especially in international airfreight obvious and the presentation, which has been presented by the consortium

Last not least some impressions from the event.

In the Cathedral City of Cologne on Oct 20th the – well-organised by a students team – event “Is Blockchain the Revolution of Supply Chain?” has been carried out. More than 250 participants from companies, organisations and academia had followed the invitation to Cologne. The press information below summarizes the event in a good way.

On Oct 10 the “Verband Deutscher Reeder (VDR)” (Association of German Shipowners) executed an event together with CHAINSTEP. Around twenty participants followed the invitation for the half-day workshop. At first the basis of blockchain technology and possible use case areas where imparted. After this the participants entered group discussions on key questions, which should give rise to the potential of blockchain. Finally the groups worked on concrete use cases with the target, to describe achievable improvements with blockchain tehnologies.