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.

 

On August 7, 2018, BVL and CHAINSTEP held a second joint webinar entitled “First Steps to Implementation”. After a short introduction to blockchain technology, the focus of the presentation is on three essential steps in implementing a blockchain-based project:

  • Determine main motivation
  • Identify Use Case
  • Technical implementation

This is followed by a brief analysis of the status of blockchain-based projects in the area of SCM/transport logistics. Currently, most projects are initiated by market leaders, followed by infrastructure projects (technology or platform). Currently, consortium approaches are gaining in importance, with the relevance of public blockchains increasing. The reasons for this are the interest in decentralized governance models and token-based business models.

Please find below the links to the recording of the webinar and to the deck:

Full house, great weather, very good-humoured participants and a remarkable speaker line-up – that was the DISTRIBUTE2018. Tobias Worzyk and his team organised the “hands on” conference for the second time at Bucerius Law School. CHAINSTEP was happy to be a sponsor again.

Also at this conference one could see very well how fast the development of the professionalization of the blockchain scene is progressing. On the one hand, the presentations of the Blockchain experts were on a high level, even more impressive was the number of company representatives who reported on their first steps with the Blockchain strategy. Well-known companies such as TUI, Schenker or Kühne&Nagel were involved.

CHAINSTEP and the MINDCHAINS team had the opportunity to report on the development of the “Last Mile” prototype. Leo Mustafa and Noah Winneberger explained in an entertaining way how the project was set up and what next steps are planned.

The DISTRIBUTE2018 concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Thomas Worzyk, in which Thomas Müller (contractus), David Klein (Taylorwessing), Sam Liban (The Sun Protocol and also active for CHAINSTEP) and Frank Bolten (CHAINSTEP) took part. The round agreed that the Blockchain infrastructure projects have made good progress in recent months, but realistically there is still a great need for development.

We are already looking forward to the DISTRBUTE2019, please enjoy this great location again in the perfect weather that we had in 2018.

The European Chemical Distributors Association Fecc had invited to the French Riviera in Nice in early June. Current topics of the industry were discussed during a two-day congress. The members had set themselves the goal of using Blockchain as a field of technology for this year. CHAINSTEP had the honour to give an introductory lecture on this technology and to point out possible fields of application of the blockchain in chemical distribution. Richard Zbinden of CoreLedger then presented the visionary marketplace idea of the start-up.

In the concluding round of questions, it became clear that the industry is intensively examining the potential of the blockchain, particularly in the area of platform economics. The approach of a consortium presented by CHAINSTEP for such applications was also intensively discussed at the evening event at the Mark Chagall Museum.

„Blockchain for beginners – how technology can change your businesses“ – under this slogan, the Blockchain event took place on 30 May at Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. The Albert-Schäfer-Saal was very well filled with over 50 company representatives. After Christine Stumpf, Vice-President of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the guests, Dr. Ingo Fiedler explained the basics of blockchain technology in a simple and understandable way.

Building on the common understanding of the technology, three presentations of use cases followed, which generated great interest among the participants. Martin Schreck explained the use of the Ethereum blockchain for hotel management at TUI Group. Sebastian Beyer and Ralf von Rahden reported on the CERTIVATION service, it was implemented with the help of CHAINSTEP and manages the authenticity of certificates on the blockchain. In the third presentation Claus Sprave from LichtBlick SE reported on the use of Blockchain in process optimization in the energy market.

These examples formed a good basis for CHAINSTEP’s presentation. Jan Christoph Ebersbach explained the procedure for introducing Blockchain in companies. In the subsequent exchange, the need for further information was immense. The originally estimated 30 minutes were not sufficient and so the planned time was spontaneously extended by 15 minutes.
It was an all-round successful event. I would be pleased if the important exchange on Blockchain would take place regularly in this context.

BREAKBULK Europe took place for the first time in Bremen at the end of May. With daily maximum temperatures of well over 30 degrees Celsius, a total of 12,000 visitors were counted on the three days of the event. Thus the already optimistic estimation of the organizer before the event (10,000 visitors) was clearly exceeded. Breakbulk is the area of transport logistics where the goods do not fit into a standard container. Examples of this are complete factories or pipeline systems. Thus, each breakbulk order is a separate project. It was impressive how international the halls were. Ports and project logisticians from all continents were guests in Bremen.
On the second day, two super sessions on Blockchain took place as part of the conference programme. First, Frank Bolten, Managing Partner of CHAINSTEP, as a partner of BVL, explained the basics of Blockchain technology. Especially the response to the interview published in the accompanying magazine in which Frank Bolten (here on SoundCloud) drew parallels between the IT distribution and the breakbulk project business was remarkable.
In the second supersession, four project logistics experts and Frank Bolten discussed the potential of Blockchain technology in project logistics that can already be used today. It was interesting here that three of the four project logisticians explained that they are already in the implementation phase of using Blockchain technology in their processes. The focus is always on the efficiency gains that the distributed systems bring.

Some pictures courtesy of Breakbulk Events – click here for the Breakbulk picture gallery on Flickr.

The meeting of BITKOM AG Blockchain on 24 May could have been held under the motto “Lessons Learned“. More than 30 participants made their way to NuremTberg to exchange experiences from pilot projects and to learn from each other. Jan Christoph Ebersbach presented the prototype “Reliability on the Last Mile”. The feedback was very good and a longer exchange between experts and users followed the presentation. CHAINSTEP’s Technical Adviser, Prof. Dr. Volk Skwarek, was also present. In his presentation he reported on the status of standardization of Smart Contracts.

We were particularly pleased by the presence of many new participants, who stimulated the exchange and encouraged us to look beyond our own horizons.

On the website of the event there is a detailed summary of the all-round successful event – therefore only a few additional impressions and the link to the CHAINSTEP presentation “Potentials of Blockchain in Retail”. The 4 approaches to blockchain-based projects (Chart 16) were particularly well received:
– Process optimization
– Value-added services
– New business models
– Consortium formation
Examples are given on Charts 17-20.

Most of the attached pictures were made available to us with friendly recommendation of  www.retail-conference.de