300cubits, one of the first companies to focus on the use of blockchain applications for the container shipping industry, has opened up its sign-up scheme so that shippers can start registering for the Hong Kong-based company’s TEU token cryptocurrency.
As of today (February 1, 2018), all freight forwarders, beneficial cargo owners, non-vessel owning operators and third-party logistics providers are allowed to claim the 20 million tokens on a first-come, first-serve basis and at no cost.
The digital currency is meant to provide a solution to the problem of cargo no-shows and rollovers.
A similar sign-up scheme will be applied for the container shipping companies, except the registration will happen offline and on a one-on-one basis with 300cubits.
All successful registrants are guaranteed a minimum quantity of tokens, which may be higher than their market-share allocation.
The TEU tokens are custom designed as digital shipping booking deposits.
300cubits’ Booking Deposit Module, hosted on the Ethereum Blockchain, is described by the company as “a cloud-based, easy-to-use, secure TEU Ecosystem to manage and transact TEU tokens as booking deposit”.
In an announcement, 300cubits stated that the TEU token requires “zero system integration effort” as there is no need to write code, install software and re-architect systems.
It has also promised that there will be a no transaction fee as the TEU Ecosystem transaction costs will be calculated and payable in the very TEU tokens that shippers received for free.
Read a paper by Karim Jabbar, Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen, and Deanna MacDonald, CEO, Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration, on the opportunities for the use of container streams as an interoperable blockchain-enabled, DLT-based system for the shipping industry
Since the project was launched on August 1, 2017, 300cubits has minted 100 million TEU tokens.
It sold 2 million tokens over the August to September period, the equivalent of 1,588 Ethers — another digital currency — worth about $1.8 million at current valuation.
Of the remaining 98 million TEU tokens, 38 million will be sold to generate funding for its project development while 54 million will be distributed to the container shipping industry’s stakeholders.
300cubits recently addressed the volatile prices of cryptocurrencies in a discussion with shipping analyst Alphaliner, as it was quizzed on how shippers and carriers would obtain any certainty of the compensation that they will receive from using such systems.
In the Alphaliner interview, Johnson Leung, Co-Founder of 300 Cubits, said: “Firstly, once the booking counterparties have a financial stake in the booking process, they tend to fulfill their obligations when a booking is made i.e. the shippers will send in cargo and carriers will load the cargo.
“So the booking deposit serves more as a deterrence to default on a booking than a transfer of value from one party to another.
“Hence, value storage may not be an important function in a booking deposit.
“In the unlikely event that one party defaults and the value of compensation matters, having a deposit that is volatile in value is still superior to today’s status quo where the parties receive zero value in compensation.”