This past weekend, I spent 24hrs with my favorite blockchain developers competing in St. Louis at the Distributed: Trade 2017 Hackathon. The goal: to build the future of finance, supply chain, and trade networks using blockchain technology. By the end of the hackathon, we had built Depot. This post will dive into how we approached the problems facing supply chain and logistics and how we solved them.
Let’s start with the problem. Supply chain and logistics is going to be a $15.5 trillion market characterized by manual entry. Our goods get from point A to point B through spreadsheets and emails. Second, the vast majority of companies don’t have full visibility across the supply chain. This means that once the goods are in transit, companies don’t know for sure where the goods are. And, finally, because goods are shipped manually with low visibility, the system is very rigid. This prevents the system from handling any sort of disruptions. This has lead to $350 Billion in economic loss over a year’s time period.
Depot solves these problems by coordinating global trade with tokens through decentralized networks. We built a supply chain and logistics protocol that could connect every company across the globe. This required creating a protocol capable of vertically and horizontally integrating customers and competitors in a collaborative way. But, how?
We decided to find the common thread across all of the supply chain: space. Depot quantifies and qualifies all of the available space from warehouses and semis, to shipping containers and airplanes through time and space and put it on a public blockchain marketplace.
To do so, we used a non-ICO ethereum ERC20 token and agreement protocol that anyone in the world could access. Within the protocol, we have tokens that represent cubic space. This cubic space is put on to the blockchain marketplace as available for use by those entities who have it. In our syst...