The founder and CEO of Kik made some controversial statements about blockchain this month at a tech conference in Canada – comments that would normally have been just another voice in the energetic debate that surrounds blockchain.
However, this wasn’t just another voice or an outsider to the blockchain. Kik CEO Ted Livingston questioned the relevance of blockchain after raising $100M USD in a cryptocurrency ICO for his app. That provides significant interest, and scrutiny, on his comments.
Here’s the key quote from Livingston:
“What does blockchain do at the end of the day? It allows you to have a database that’s trustless. That can be applied in a bunch of ways, but most of those ways, you still need trust”
Those quotes attracted attention, and in the subsequent reporting, technology journalists gave examples of why this matters. Take the Financial Post’s James MacLeod:
“Blockchain can create an indelible public ledger that tells customers, say, every stage along the way from the point a fish is caught to when it arrives on your table at a restaurant. But that’s not much good if the fisherman lies about where he caught it.”
The remarkable thing is that Livingston and MacLeod are right. And Ambrosus agrees with both sets of comments.
That’s why their team is doing something about the issue of trust, starting not only with blockchain.
Ambrosus is building the world’s first universally-verifiable ecosystem on blockchain to ensure the quality, safety, and origins of a variety of consumer and valuable products. Think about how important that can be for items like the food and pharmaceuticals we consume. And, in the age of amazing fakes and frauds, a true record of ownership and production of high-value items like aviation, electronics, or military parts, along with valuables and commodities such as precious metals, stones, and jewelry, add significant value.
The European Union Intellectual Property Office estimates more than 20 billion EUR is lost annually on counterfeit food and medicine alone.
This isn’t a new problem, but the supply-chain industry currently runs on barcodes, stickers, and IR scanners. Ambrosus is going to the next level to incorporate more data via sensors and measurements at each step of the supply chain.
It’s ambitious, it’s demanding, and it’s going to build additional trust back into elements like food and pharmaceuticals that matter. Using a decentralized, scalable, and multi-layered blockchain built on open-source infrastructure makes Ambrosus a world leader and gets to the very heart of the supply chain problem: quality data.
The Ambrosus model also uses its own token known as Amber. This is not just another unique coin or token but a data-bonded token which offers real utility. An Amber token is associated with each item in the supply chain, even physical items, and underpins all transactions on the Ambrosus network. It also provides incentives for stakeholders, and is locked in Smart Contracts along each step of the supply chain:
All of this means that Ambrosus can’t use Ethereum or Bitcoin or some other well-known cryptocurrency – instead, it’s unique ERC-20 compliant token built-for-purpose, and not just another coin by another name.
Ambrosus isn’t just building the software for the system and leaving the rest up to third-parties. From the unique Innovation Lab, in Zug, Switzerland, the team has deep roots in technology and core blockchain experience, sensors, and hardware, along with an experienced Advisory team.
The first glimpse at an early 3D-printed prototype was provided just last month, with the Ambrosus mobile sensor hub revealed for the first time. Built on top of Raspberry Pi framework, with huge IoT connectivity capabilities, the hub can power and communicate with any sensor on the market today. The platform is also developer friendly, to connect other legacy systems, or integrate other physical devices such as barcode scanners to the platform.
This hardware allows Ambrosus to develop Events on the Ambrosus blockchain, known as AMB-Net. A single data Event could contain readings of temperature, humidity and location. Nothing is left to a single sensor – smart contracts almost immediately cross-check the data for real-time quality control, unlike anything seen before. This is where a cost to suppliers comes in, and the Ambrosus economic model proves out.
Ambrosus is already testing out these techniques with large corporate stakeholders in the food and pharma sector, working hard on Proofs-of-Concept and Pilot Projects with corporate stakeholders.
With all of that background, and with the Ambrosus project moving forward rapidly, we can get back to the original problem. What if a company tries to sell coffee beans as arabica, when they’re robusta?
Six of sixty ground roast coffee labelled as 100% Arabica contained significant amount of Robusta. Ambrosus, through its partnership with the Swiss Coffee Alliance, is integrating sensor systems that will help consumers identify the composition of coffeehttps://t.co/V4s89smqna
— Ambrosus (@AmbrosusAMB) May 24, 2018
Or, to the point, what if the fisherman can’t be trusted?
Vlad Trifa, Chief Product Officer at Ambrosus, explained that there has always been this battle between producers and wholesalers, let alone fishermen and seafood wholesalers who need a quality product.
But incentives for providing data along with a catch might be one answer to this problem.
“Of course it’s an effort in multiple parts. What Ambrosus can do is incentivize fishermen to be guaranteed to purchase 10-20% more from a seller if he can provide data as early as possible. Maybe that’s GPS location data, maybe that is installing a camera on his boat that can provide guarantees for his catch. Maybe if the fish that is caught is placed in a proprietary box that monitors and compares temperatures to a smart contract, rather than in a general hold.”
“Of course, he doesn’t have to do all of these things or may choose to do none of them, but if he earns a premium by collecting early data and supplying that data, that starts to be an option.”
Knowing where your fish is caught (and what the fish actually is!) beyond what a handwritten label at a fishmonger might say is just one small example of game-changing technology being developed by Ambrosus, the world’s leading blockchain and IoT platform for quality assurance in food and pharmaceutical supply chains.
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