The top five blockchain startups set to disrupt the US economy
While the digital ledger technology known as blockchain is still in its relative infancy, according to Bernard Marr of Forbes Magazine, its implications for “virtually every industry” are staggering. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has described it as “a technological tour de force”, and John McAfee, founder of the antivirus software company, has said “you can't stop things like Bitcoin. It will be everywhere, and the world will have to readjust. World governments will have to readjust".
Business Chief takes a look at five blockchain startups that may have far-reaching consequences for the global economy, originally published on Invest In Blockchain.
Described by cryptocurrency journalist David Hay as “AirBnB for hard drives”, Siacom is a tech platform that is attempting to use the blockchain ledger to disrupt the information economy. By creating a formula for decentralizing data centers, allowing users “to rent out their disk space”. If successful, Siacom could enable “average people anywhere in the world could enter into the cloud storage race and compete with the likes of Amazon and Google”.
Created as an accountable tech transformation alternative to an expensive legal team, Kleros “is blazing a new trail by creating a protocol for decentralized dispute resolution”. Participating companies secure a contract with Kleros via deposit. If a dispute arises, then the deposit pays for a randomly selected juror service. According to Invest In Bitcoin, “the legal services industry is worth over US$1 trillion worldwide, but the impact of disrupting legal systems could actually be much wider. This is because a standard, international protocol could be established by which partners agree to abide before entering into a partnership, seriously reducing legal costs and uncertainty”.
Swarm is a blockchain startup working to use the technology to create security tokens “that represent real-world assets” to lower the entry requirements for accredited investors. Currently in order to receive this status, investors need either “a net worth in excess of $1mn or an income of $200,000 or more per year”. According to Invest in Blockchain, “creative legal workarounds to dysfunctional or biased regulations are another field in which blockchains are likely to reshape the world economy and patterns of wealth creation”.
Attempting to use the incorruptibility of the blockchain ledger to replace long-standing paper-based record keeping procedures is CargoCoin. By “digitizing the paperwork and providing a platform where suppliers, shippers, and buyers can all interact and exchange value in a secure manner”, this startup plans to lower entry barriers and administrative costs of international trade. “If CargoCoin is able to execute their plan and get the shipping industry on board, it could lead to a chain reaction setting off a major restructuring of the global economy.”
Designed specifically to address issues of financial inclusion, particularly in countries with little-to-no banking infrastructure, Stellar is a 100% pre-mined cryptocurrency managed by a non-profit. Similarly to for-profit cryptocurrency startup Ripple, Stellar’s focus is on making digital transactions quicker, easier, and more efficient. Stellar’s primary focus is on the African markets, where digital payments “have been in the news for the better part of the last decade, ever since M-Pesa in Kenya took off, making Kenya the world leader in digital payments before most people had ever heard of Bitcoin”.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.