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Landmark liner blockchain solution to debut in June

300cubits, a Hong Kong-based tech initiative launched last August, has set a June date for what could be container shipping’s very first blockchain system to go live.

The firm is in dialogue with 12 of the 14 top container liners as well as eight of the top 15 freight forwarders regarding its cryptocurrency called TEU.

The company has announced it will start distributing free TEU tokens to industry participants from February 1 this year on a limited, first come, first served basis. The window to register for token acquisition will last for six months.

300cubits will also sell 18m TEU to the public starting from March 15 through to April 12.

The start up’s booking deposit system is scheduled to go live on June 15 with several industry participants signalling they are prepared to trial what could be container shipping’s first blockchain system.

Splash has carried many reports over the past 12 months about how leading liners are pursuing blockchain technology, often in association with IBM.

Johnson Leung, co-founder of 300cubits, told Splash that 2018 will mark the moment where blockchain for liners becomes a reality.

“We believe we will see the first blockchain solution go live for liner shipping instead of just concept tests and trials, which may likely be 300cubits,” Leung said.

According to Leung, the TEU token as a currency for container shipping allows the industry to reconstruct discipline for agreements. In the short term, the TEU tokens could be used as a booking deposit to reduce the so called ‘ghost bookings’ or ‘rollings’. Long term, Leung sees TEU tokens providing better forecast and hedging tools against the volatility of the industry cycles.

As booking deposits, the TEU tokens’ value will be linked to the value of actual freight rates, Leung explained.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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