Platform or Framework?
T-Mining develops a smart contract framework for the maritime and logistics sector. Although we are often seen as a platform, T-Mining is a framework. But what exactly is a "framework"? Throughout this text, we will clarify who we are and what we do at T-Mining. We will then go into detail explaining why platforms exist and what their added value is. Finally, we will explain the differences and compare it to our framework.
Point to point
Information flows in the maritime and logistics sector typically covering several companies with very different types of activities and organizations. With the use of our experience, we learned that these flows are organized sequentially, in other words, point-to-point. The information is passed onto the next link in the logistics chain using relatively old techniques. This is typically done with EDI messages between larger parties. Web portals are regularly used by large companies to share data with numerous smaller parties. E-mail, telephone, and fax are often used for the transmission of information regarding certain transport orders. The use of paper is almost everywhere, for example, transferring official documents and certificates between different parties. To illustrate this, the information flow to pick up a container at the terminal is shown at the left.
Centralisation, the solution?
To improve this flow of information, there has only been one alternative for a long time. A centralized solution that brings all data together in one cloud where all parties involved can sign up to receive the latest information and updates.
Naturally, such an architecture offers many advantages. After all, the data can serve to facilitate a platform where users are able to use certain applications that allow them to work more efficiently and faster.
However, the question immediately arises as to who would manage this central solution and whether this party can be trusted. Ultimately, in this case, there is a central administrator who oversees everything. Most of the data is confidential and often of great commercial value. Additionally, you would be very dependent on one source. What would happen if it was not available? What if it is taken over by a competitor?
The limited success of certain applications in the past shows that commercially sensitive information will rarely be shared through these types of central platforms.
Decentralization as a way to avoid creating a new middleman!
Blockchain technology offers a solution to make the data flow more efficient by replacing the typical point-to-point or sequential flow with a peer-to-peer flow. This is completely controlled by the participants themselves, and therefore does not involve a new intermediary. Furthermore, with crypto tokens, you will be able to transfer certain (digital) assets and rights. This could be the right to pick up a container at the terminal in the harbor or transferring a phytosanitary certificate when importing apples.
Is T-Mining a platform?
The answer is simple: no!
Our smart contract framework allows third parties to quickly and efficiently build, maintain and provide a permissioned blockchain network infrastructure and blockchain-enabled services to their community.
The framework includes a library of reusable smart contracts that are specifically designed for maritime and logistics applications and contain a set of tools to manage a decentralized network. This would include monitoring, network governance tools and more. Which would then be integrated with existing solutions via REST APIs.
Our smart contract framework allows new and existing platforms to implement the benefits of decentralization and thus enable innovative applications. Existing platform operators will then be able to extend their service package to their community, based on the T-Mining framework.
With this framework, we focus not only on operators of these platforms but also on:
Independent Software Vendors, who can integrate blockchain-enabled solutions with their smart contract framework into their existing services (eg via dAPI) for players in the maritime and logistics sector;
ICT integrators, who support complex integration processes and typically offer solutions in which different parties are involved and where the blockchain solution is integrated into the existing ICT architecture of the various parties;
Technology consultants, who specialize in guiding innovation projects and where our smart contract framework can be used as TestNet to quickly set up Proof of Concepts or Pilot projects.
We hope this clarifies who we are at T-Mining and what the added value of our smart contract framework is. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or require more information.
PS We enjoyed this article from iSHARE,
which is clearly not a platform ;-)