300cubits Completes First Cryptocurrency Booking Deposit
On Sunday, Hong Kong-based tech firm 300cubits announced that it has facilitated the first trial shipment of containerized cargo using its "TEU" cryptocurrency token booking deposits. Brazilian textile importer LPR used "TEU" tokens to book space for two 40-foot high cube boxes on a vessel operated by Malaysian liner West Port.
“It was a pleasure to be the first in the world to participate in this trial, for a technology that will change the way ocean shipments are done around the world,” said Felipe Bittencourt, CEO of LPR.
The shipment booking was confirmed on March 8, booking deposits in TEU tokens were placed by both the shipper and the liner on March 9 and returned on March 15 upon successful completion of shipment loading. The TEU tokens are digital shipping booking deposits, and 300cubits says that they can solve the no-show and rolling problems that cause billions of dollars in inefficiencies in the container shipping industry each year. The principle is simple: both the liner and the shipper agree to a deposit amount in units of "TEU" tokens; both make a deposit; and if one party doesn't fulfill the contract, the other party receives all the deposited tokens. If everything goes to plan and the box goes onto the ship, both parties get their deposit back. These "TEU" transactions are conducted on the Etherium blockchain platform, and can be viewed by the public in the Etherscan portal, creating transparency.
“I think that eventually, the TEU will replace the (cash) deposit for the booking," co-founder Johnson Leung told ThirtyK in February. “In the long run, we’ll see this as a common practice in the industry.”
300cubits launched its platform in February by giving away tokens for free. 20 million are currently available to the industry at no cost, and are being apportioned based on 2016 transaction volumes. The remaining 80 million tokens will be sold off in batches. 20 freight forwarders and other industry players are already signed on to start trialing the system, and 300cubits expects to roll it out in full by June 15.