A high tech startup led by entrepreneurs and former Deloitte blockchain executives has today unveiled an industry agnostic supply chain solution aimed at tackling transparency, efficiency, and product visibility in legacy systems.
Citizens Reserve’s SUKU project is a blockchain-based ecosystem aiming to make supply chains more efficient, transparent, and secure by delivering a supply chain-as-a-service platform to businesses. By doing so, it intends to open new markets, improve operations, and reduce running costs of supply chains. So far it has generated interest from five industries: vaccines, commodities, electronics, honey, and defense.
Speaking with CoinJournal, Eric Piscini, CEO of Citizens Reserve, explained that the company is transforming business platforms with blockchain technology.
“Its creation came from the realisation that blockchain was too focused on consumer needs and not enough on B2B activities,” he added. “In addition, most projects were focused on the technology layer and not enough on the business enablement layer.”
He went on to point out that the name of the startup is intended to show that “decentralisation and participation from everyone will transform the way we create and exchange value in the future.”
Now the CEO of Citizens Reserve, prior to this he was a partner at Deloitte Consulting. In 2012, he started the blockchain practice, which grew to 1,200 people by 2018. While there he developed strategies and platforms designed to drive blockchain adoption in the business world. He left in April 2018, joining Citizens Reserve as COO before becoming its CEO in July.
Through the SUKU ecosystem, it is aiming to provide key advantages to trading partners. These include access to real-time, transparent data around the precise location of goods, the privacy of partners, a bid and order marketplace, auditability of activities, and the automation of contractual agreements. The platform anticipates using two blockchains to achieve this: Ethereum and Quorum. The Ethereum blockchain is expected to handle supply chain payments, whereas Quorum will focus on transactions such as bids and offers where confidentiality is important.
According to Piscini, traditional supply chains have five issues that the ecosystem intends to fix: lack of transparency, low efficiency, lack of integration, reduced access to capital, and diminished trust. It is these that SUKU’s supply chain-as-a-service is aiming to solve.
“The current supply chain environment is complex and difficult to navigate,” he said. “Almost all enterprises require a supply chain to some extent, but the technology supporting them remains expensive, inefficient, and fragmented.”
At present, today’s companies are working with a great number of people worldwide. Consequently, the challenges presented with traditional supply chains are vast. Whether its trying to find a supplier in America or transporting a product from India to Europe, challenges are heightened by the fact that there are a lack of standards to ensure transparency.
Counterfeit products and fake goods are just a few instances where the blockchain could improve the provenance of items across the supply chain. According to the OECD, imports of counterfeit and fake goods is worth nearly half a trillion dollars each year, or around 2.5 per cent of global imports.
Going on from this, Piscini argues that China’s pharmaceutical scandals, reported on in July by Reuters, highlights the “need for one layer of connection for trading partners to communicate and transact.”
“From hardware to energy, all industries utilising a supply chain take risks working with untrusted partners,” he said. “The true value of a decentralised ecosystem comes in its nature of being trustless and having no single point of failure.”
With Citizens Reserve’s SUKU displaying the location and status of goods in real-time, all parties involved can act proactively, instead of reactively when an issue arises. Additionally, the platform is intending for companies to access new marketplaces and technologies through it, connecting to better suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
In order to bring people on board, SUKU’s native token will be used to incentivise and reward partners on the platform. According to Piscini, the token will have three functions:
- Pay for transaction fees on the platform;
- Access unique and premium features based on the number of tokens that the partner owns – features can be access to market data in real-time, access to supplier ratings – similar to a data service for financial institutions; and
- Vote on the future capabilities of the platform – if someone wins the vote, the requested feature will be developed and delivered by one of the platform’s technology partners.
Aside from its SUKU project, Citizens Reserve is also working on another: ZERV. This intends to be a decentralised commerce platform that enables frictionless transactions within the defense industry. In turn, it allows for new business opportunities and efficiencies in time to market and transaction costs.