Blockchain shipping tech firm CargoX raises $7mn in seven minutes in Initial Coin Offering
Its Initial Coin Offe...
The shipping technology start-up, CargoX, has raised $7mn in just seven minutes for its blockchain-based Bill of Lading platform.
Its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) was met with overwhelming support from micro-investors, and puts the company “on the fast track to disrupt the global logistics industry”, according to its CEO Stefan Kukman.
CargoX says it is building a blockchained Smart Bill of Lading solution to offer low-cost, safe and reliable transport of this value-carrying document, featuring securely integrated financial services and cryptocurrency payments for the entire logistics industry.
In a statement, the company claimed its blockchain-based Smart B/L that will replace outdated Bill of Lading paperwork. “International container shipping remains one of the least modernised sub-sectors,” it added.
“CargoX’s blockchainbased Smart B/L solution introduces the most advanced data sharing and encryption methods, boosting supply-chain security, while also eliminating billions in waste and environmental impact.”
It went on to say that its Smart Bill, the logistics industry could save up to $5bn a year and cutyup to 10 days off the time it takes to transport documents between shippers and receivers. CargoX’s solution is being built on top of the Ethereum blockchain platform.
By the end of Q2 CargoX will offer shippers and a global network of logistics companies access to the blockchain-based Smart B/L, allowing them to transfer bill of lading ownership in a secure and nearly real-time manner.
And, the company claims, Later this year, CargoX will enhance Smart B/L with a blockchain-based payments system that will allow users to transfer money in accordance with their smart contracts, immediately releasing payment when the buyer receives the goods (or vice versa).
This peer-to-peer accountability eliminates the need for banks and current letter of credit (L/C) procedures such as escrows, saving billions of dollars in outstanding payments at any given time and allowing companies to recoup their money instantly.
“CargoX was overwhelmed with demand for our CXO Tokens from over 10,000 contributors representing 95 different countries,” said Kukman.
“While we had to stop the sale after the first 2,000 investors because we met our preset funding goals, there are thousands more looking to invest and that number is growing every day. That sort of enthusiasm reaffirms the viability of CargoX’s ecosystem, and we’re harnessing this momentum to revolutionise the way that supply chains operate.”
Japan Seeks to Revive Stalled Semiconductor Industry
Post-pandemic, Japan has seen the consequences of relying solely on foreign imports for its semiconductors. Over 64.2% of its chips are usually imported from South Korea and Taiwan, leaving the country dependent on its neighbours. Industries from auto manufacturers to consumer electronics firms wait for chips, to no avail. But now, the Japanese government looks likely to put real funding behind its semiconductor industry, with top officials emphasising their support.
Domestic supply chains have never been more important. Rather than remain tied to international shipping routes during shortages and delays, governments are doing everything in their power to develop local lines of supply. But the question remains: can Japan pull it off?
How Will Japan Pay For It?
Herein lies our first issue. Japan’s debt has rapidly increased over the past few years, and the semiconductor industry will need roughly a trillion yen—US$9bn—in this fiscal year alone. This cost, however, pales in comparison to what Japan could lose if it fails to keep up with Europe and the US. Both nations have launched aggressive funding measures to revive their local semiconductor industries. And if Japan refuses to invest due to its debt, it could slow down progress in fields ranging from artificial intelligence to autonomous driving.
According to Tetsuro Higashi, the former president of Tokyo Electron and Japan’s top government advisor in semiconductor strategy, ‘If we miss this opportunity now, there may not be another one’. Yet one advanced wafer fabrication factory can cost more than US$10bn, and any money poured into the industry will go fast. That’s why Japan, rather than invest trillions and trillions in failing domestic firms, is considering a second option.
What Do They Plan To Do?
Japan now intends to look abroad and convince overseas chip foundries to come to its shores. Its past failures mostly centred on trying to merge domestic firms that were already going through tough times. ‘This sort of made-in-Japan self-reliance approach hasn’t worked out well’, said Kazumi Nishikawa, a director at the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry’s IT division. ‘This time the goal is to offer a strong incentive for an overseas logic foundry to come to Japan’.
As follows, Japan will now reach out to industry partners and leaders in other countries, including the industry heavyweight Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), to build Japanese bases. According to the South China Morning Post, the heart of Japan’s mission is a US$337.2mn research and development project in Tsukuba that will involve TSMC and more than 20 Japanese firms. ‘I think we need to cooperate with our overseas counterparts’, said Akira Amari, a senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. ‘[And] TSMC is the world’s top logic chipmaker’.
Indeed, if that’s Japan’s strategy, the future looks bright. TSMC recently set up a venture near Tokyo to research energy-efficient 3D chips with several Japanese partners. And in the future, the multinational chipmaker may consider expanding its Japanese operations—that is, if government incentives pave the path forward.