300cubits, a Hong Kong-based blockchain start-up, has announced that it will begin giving out its cryptocurrency called TEU to a selected group of container shipping lines and freight forwarders as from 1 February 2018. The world’s first crypto tokens of the shipping industry will be distributed for free, on a first come first served basis, to promote their use as shipment booking deposits. Besides, 18 mln TEU tokens will be sold to the public starting from March 15 through to April 12, informs Splash 24/7.
The company launched in August 2017 aims at relieving “industry pain points”, as 300cubits calls them, which it sees in well-known “no-shows”, i.e. cases when a customer makes a booking with a shipping line but does not show up with a container in due time. The lines, in their turn, in order to safeguard against such events, often overbook container space on their vessels, which in busy seasons results in “cargo rolling” to the following voyages and customers with confirmed bookings do not get their cargo loaded on board on time.
With the view to stop this vicious circle of mutual overbookings, 300cubits suggests to make shipment bookings using TEU token as deposit. The carrier will be compensated with the TEU tokens if the shipper does not turn up with a container, whereas the shipper will be compensated with it if his cargo is rolled over. To govern the transactions of the TEU tokens the company intends to employ Ethereum-based smart contracts which will be coded with a set of immutable conditions. Thus, the payout of TEU tokens will happen only if the shipment booking is fulfilled or not.
300cubits believes that the functionality of the TEU tokens may be further enhanced into the so-called TEU Ecosystem, a set of blockchain-based modules for container shipping industry where TEU tokens will act as industry cryptocurrency. According to the project’s Whitepaper, the first ones – The Smart Contract Builder Module and The Booking Module – are to be developed and go live by April this year. However, Splash 24/7 indicates a later date – June 15.
The two main founders of 300cubits are Johnson Leung and Jonathan Lee, both with extensive shipping and financial experience. Johnson Leung worked at Maersk Line in Denmark, Brazil and China, including his last assignment with Maersk on the eCommerce project, before joining Hutchison Port Holdings as an Investment Manager specializing in acquiring and negotiating port concessions in the Middle East. He has also a substantial experience in starting up new businesses: he led the start-up of Damco Brasil and that of Hutchison’s Oman International Container Terminal in Port of Sohar. Jonathan Lee is a Banking and Finance professional who spent over 20 years of his career with private, commercial and investment banks, Union Bancaire Privée, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and China Construction Bank among them.
300cubits managed to raise 1588 ETH (Ethereum) during its pre-ITS (Initial Token Sale) from 16 August 2017 till 20 September 2017, which at that time was equivalent to just USD 476,000 but today amounts to about USD 2 mln.