MOVA Wants the Supply Chain to be Faster, Cheaper and Greener 0 2033

“How is this possible? It was supposed to be here last week!” Your books didn’t come in time for the author signing. Banners didn’t show up for the launch. A late replacement part for the printer means you missed your campaign window. Or you find operations suddenly hamstrung by a natural disaster, as was the case for some 50 thousand manufacturing, utilities, mining, and agricultural operations in Texas last year.

These kinds of glitches happen all the time in business. Sometimes it’s from poor planning, but sometimes ‘life happens’ and there’s nothing you could’ve done. Now you have upset customers, clients, or vendors, lost opportunities and revenues, and there’s your reputation to consider as well. Rebounding from a supply chain disruption is no easy task.

A study by Airmic Technical says of over 150 surveyed supply chain executives, 73 percent had to deal with disruptions in the past five years. That makes it pretty likely that your business will be dealing with them at some point, too. The same study shows that 60 to 70 percent of your business’s cost structure is likely embedded in your supply chain. So the stakes are pretty high when it comes to getting your deliveries fulfilled.

A smooth supply chain keeps your business fluid and responsive, but life’s little glitches, if unchecked, can threaten to sink you. Does the blockchain have a solution to this?

Blockchain, Meet Supply Chain

Recognizing that even up to date operations are still largely reliant on outdated logistical technology, a new app called MOVA executes Ethereum smart contracts to alleviate supply chain surprises. It incentivizes streamlined delivery systems on both the receiving and production ends. By removing communication barriers between producers, suppliers, vendors, transporters and retailers, it boosts efficiency in the supply chain process and hedges against potential losses.

For example, through the app you can set a sliding scale of payment for your delivery. An early delivery may earn a bonus and a late delivery incurs a penalty. Your supply company sees the terms, and the quicker your delivery arrives, the happier everybody is. Real time GPS tracking keeps everyone in the loop and means there are no dark spots in the process. Because it’s ledger-based, the whole system is transparent and everyone’s accountable along the way. You get your goods when you need them. Your supplier gets instant payment. Everyone knows immediately if any problems arise on the road or at sea.

Efficient is Green

Making shipping and trucking more efficient doesn’t just mean more timely deliveries, it means a lower carbon footprint. Consider that a normal diesel freight truck drives around empty for 14,000 miles a year. This converts over 2,400 gallons of wasted fuel into 26.4 tons of unnecessary emissions. If empty trucks were tasked for the trip back, or two half-full trucks were combined, we’d save on fuel and emissions. Tightening up freight efficiency will considerably reduce environmental impacts of business operations.

Making Blockchain Work in the Real World

MOVA co-founder and CEO Lachlan McDonald comes from a background of supply management for multibillion dollar manufacturers like Hastings Deering.

“I heard a lot about blockchain,” he says, “but I hadn’t seen any practical, real-world technology that’s working at the moment. The big guys that are using it are all optimizing for themselves. There’s Maersk, but they’re optimizing it for Maersk, not for global supply chains in general.”

He says that bring blockchain down to a practical, blue collar level is part of what motivated him to tackle the supply chain process himself.

“Having been on the business end of trying to make technical change happen for companies worth 30 or 40 billion dollars, I know it’s really hard. When you have to rely on people and behavioral change, that’s where stuff breaks down. The tech can be cool, but unless it works in a real-world environment, it’s pretty challenging.”

Because everything is connected in business ecosystems, a small problem here makes major waves there. By the same token, an app like MOVA could solve problems not just for your business, but for everyone along the supply chain. That will open up doors to a greener and more cost effective flow of goods worldwide.

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A tribal member of the Choctaw Nation, Brian grew up in the Silicon valley under the technological mentorship of Steve Wozniak. He's lived, worked and traveled all over the world, and now writes from the Pacific Northwest.

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Making the Swytch to Sustainability 0 10862

You might think a US President installing solar panels on the White House would signal a sea of change in renewable energy, but with Jimmy Carter’s loss in the 1980 election, the panels came down and haven’t been up since. It’s puzzling that an industry that has the potential to save the planet isn’t thriving, even after decades of development. Especially when one considers how much the technology has improved, with renewables set to be cheaper than fossil fuels in a few scant years.

The reasons behind this are numerous. Many governments remain suspicious of the technology, no doubt thanks to strident lobbying by the fossil fuel industry. When governments have taken action, as with the US under President Obama, the results fell short of admittedly lofty expectations. And the country’s CO2 emissions are set to increase 1 percent in 2018 after a brief period of decline.

However, even the most effective government in the world would find it hard to push the planet into a greener tomorrow. Governments only hold sway over the land within their borders, and even if a major player like China enacted sweeping reforms, it would do little to change matters in the rest of the world. Blockchain technology is uniquely poised to organize global governmental efforts, thanks to its inherent data security and decentralization.

“The main purpose of blockchain in governance, at least in its current guise, is data integrity,” says Jon Martindale in Digital Trends’ “Blockchain Beyond Bitcoin” series released this week. “If more government entities can rely on the integrity of data from partner agencies, then sharing information should make many facets of government more efficient, while also improving security,” Martindale continues.

If we’re going to see a fundamental shift in world energy production, a system that transcends local governments by democratizing data and adding efficiencies offers a significant step forward.

“It turns out that much of the world agrees that we need a reduction of carbon – that’s what cities, countries, and corporations like Microsoft want to achieve. But it’s a very tough objective function for the world to solve for, because if you think of the incentive structure – it’s local – it can’t be traded across geography, so it’s inefficient and temporal,” says Evan Caron, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Swytch, a blockchain platform that verifies and rewards the production of sustainable and renewable energy.

How Green is Our Valley?

Swytch solves one of the most significant factors in lagging renewable energy adoption – the lack of a global and easily tradable incentive mechanism.

The solution is four-fold. First, Swytch collects data from renewable energy producers using existing smart meter technology. This data is ‘stamped’ onto Swytch’s blockchain, then verified and evaluated by a collection of open-source algorithms. Once the algorithms determine the amount of clean energy produced (and by extension the amount of carbon displaced) a corresponding amount of crypto-tokens are minted and delivered to the energy producer.

The tokens are ERC20 compliant and can be converted into fiat currency, other cryptocurrencies, or invested into other renewable projects. In a way, Swytch is the opposite of Bitcoin. Instead of using proof of work, which generates an obscene amount of CO2, Swytch uses proof of production, rewarding reductions in carbon emissions.

The incentive model is scalable, too – everyone from homeowners with solar panels on their roofs to heavy industry leaders able to take part. Entire cities are on board, including six in South Korea, as well as parts of Austria and Germany.

Data is Power

Another issue plaguing renewables is the lack of comprehensive, trustworthy data. It’s currently difficult to gauge where the most energy is being produced and what types of energy is most efficient.

Swytch is seeking to change that through its data collection feature. Every bit of information gathered from energy producers will be made publicly available in order to provide a shared, objective system that anyone can learn from.

As Evan notes, “Anyone in the power business realizes that the more good data there is, the better the whole system is. The data that’s out there is not that great – it comes in slow increments. What we’re betting on is that people want to share the data and if they’re getting compensated for it, they want to do it even more.”

While Swytch’s data aggregation techniques have the potential to revolutionize how information is gathered and shared in the renewable energy market, it’s the platform’s ground-up incentivizing structure that has the most disruptive potential. Through tokenization and the blockchain, Swytch can do what others have not – transcend borders, local politics, and the lingering power of oil and gas conglomerates to bring the world closer to 100 percent sustainable energy.

Top 9 Crypto Buzzwords You Need to Know 0 3079

crypto buzzwords

The crypto world is in a constant state of flux. Innovative ICO after innovative ICO appears. Markets rise, markets crash. And as each day goes by, the crazy, hair-raising ride that is cryptocurrency becomes decidedly more interesting. Its abundant vocabulary becomes richer as well, and new crypto buzzwords crop up daily.

To really understand the ins and outs of this complex ecosystem (can anyone fully claim to do that?) you’d need an encyclopedia updating in real time. But, just to get you started, here’s how to hold your own in any cryptocurrency conversation.

These are the top 9 crypto buzzwords you need to know:

Bitcoin BTC 

Well, obviously, Bitcoin tops the list of crypto buzzwords. In fact, the vast majority of people automatically think of Bitcoin when they hear the word ‘cryptocurrency.’ Emerging shortly after the financial crisis, in 2009, you can read more about the ideology behind Bitcoin here. But, know this: If you don’t have this word down pat, you can’t even think about talking crypto.

Ethereum ETH 

The second largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, Ethereum in theory is not in competition with the world’s most famous digital currency. Running on its own blockchain, Ethereum supports apps and trade through a system of smart contracts.

Blockchain 

Dabble a little in crypto and it won’t be long before you’re hearing about the technology behind digital money–the blockchain. Actually, generating cryptocurrency is just one use case for blockchain, since the technology can record any information and keep it safe and immutable on its decentralized system.

We’re still discovering just how many uses this new technology has, but it’s widely considered the most disruptive technology since the internet.

Cryptography

This is the technology applied to all transactions in the blockchain. It’s essentially a process of scrambling information, making it unreadable, and allowing transactions to be kept anonymous.

Satoshi

While it sounds like a raw fish dish, Satoshi is actually the smallest fraction of a Bitcoin that you can buy. It’s also the first name of the suspected inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, (although this is something he denies).

Market Cap 

This term is used a lot and is a good indicator of how large a cryptocurrency is. You basically take the total supply and multiply it by the price to figure out its dollar value.

Mining

Beyond flashlights and hard caps, mining in the crypto world refers to the computational process of generating cryptocurrency on the blockchain. Each computer in the network uploads its power, and miners are rewarded for their efforts in digital currency.

Hashing

A “hash” is a computer program that basically takes any information and turns it into a set of numbers and letters of a certain length.

Forking 

Soft forks, hard forks, the concept is basically the same. Forking is when there is a split in the digital recordings on the blockchain, usually used to right a wrong, such as the hacking attack on Ether in 2016.

While you may not claim to be an expert after grasping these basic crypto buzzwords, at least you won’t look blank when you hear them thrown about in the office. From mining and hashing to forking and cryptography, little by little you’ll hold your own in the cryptocurrency world.

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