Blockchain pioneer suspends operations
Date: Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Source: Lloyd's List
300Cubits aimed to solve the problem of no-shows and cargo rolling by using a cryptocurrency. Low uptake has led to the service being suspended
Container freight blockchain pioneer 300Cubits has pulled the plug on its token-based service following weak uptake.
Launched in Hong Kong in 2017, the company aimed to use blockchain tokens, known as TEU, as a means of preventing no-shows and cargo rolling by using the cryptocurrency as a means of deposit.
But despite some successful trials, and the participation of carriers including Maersk’s Sealand unit, CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Co, along with more than a dozen shippers, transaction volumes have failed to reach commercial levels.
“Only a couple of hundred containers have gone through the system, which, although may seem plenty among shipping blockchain projects, is not sufficient to keep the system going commercially,” the company said.
It also blamed the lack of regulatory clarity concerning cryptocurrencies for the failure.
“Many potential users simply shied away from trying, being not sure about what regulatory measures the authorities may take,” it said.
A potential partnership with cargo booking portal INTTRA was stopped because of regulatory concerns, it added.
But 300Cubits has also admitted that shippers faced bigger worries than only cargo rolling, which the system is designed to solve.
“Shippers complain that they often could not get their bookings confirmed during peak season despite their booking volume being still within contract commitment,” the company said.
Moves to introduce blockchain technology to container shipping have moved towards carrier-based solutions in recent years, with TradeLens, the collaboration between Maersk and IBM, gaining wide adoption, including five of the world’s largest container lines.