Blockchain: connectivity and decentralization

by Angela Baker

Trade finance. Unless you are an importer or exporter, you probably wouldn’t use this term.

When a company in one place sells its goods to a company in another place, there is a complex process that takes place. And it often involves the importer of those goods borrowing money from a lending institution to purchase those goods – money that is to be paid back later, with interest. The exporter may need up-front cash as well, in order to pay shipping costs until he is paid by the importer.

A lot can go wrong in this process. There are a number of intermediaries and shipping points. At any of these points, loss or theft can occur. Shipments of goods, especially by sea, for example, can require as many as 36 documents and as many as 27 parties involved along the way. It’s all inefficient and risky.

Can Blockchain Provide a Solution? Other Industries Have Found it to Be So.

While blockchain technology became popular when related to cryptocurrency trading, it has expanded exponentially to become a solution for a wide variety of industries, as in legal contracts and other agreements, healthcare and education records, data government, travel and insurance, retail and finance.

In short, any transaction or documentation can be entered into a “block”, time and date stamped and becomes a part of a chain of records that may not be changed and that provide accountability.

This technology has proven to be especially useful, in addition to the industries above, in logistics, especially inventories and shipping of goods from one point to another. At each step of the way, receivers must document receipt of goods and date and time of shipping on to the next point, where the receipt is recorded, and so on, until the final destination is reached.

With this use in logistics and the ability of financial institutions to record transactions, it only stands to reason that blockchain can provide a huge benefit to trade finance.

Consider a typical scenario:

  1. An importer desires to purchase a large number of goods from an overseas supplier. He goes to a lending institution to borrow the funds to pay for this purchase and its shipment.

  2. The lending institution crafts a contract, which is signed by both parties and then recorded in a blockchain.

  3. The purchase is made, and then, the contract too is entered in a blockchain.

  4. The supplier puts together the order and contracts for shipment. This contract is also entered in a blockchain, including all of the stopping points and intermediaries along the way.

  5. At each point in its journey, the shipment is tracked, with each receiver entering the date and time of receipt, contents of the shipment, and date and time of movement to the next point.

  6. Finally, the shipment reaches its destination.

  7. This type of tracking reduces most risk of loss, fraud, or theft. If this should occur, it can be traced to the exact point at which the incident occurred.

Obviously, the entire transaction is more secure, more transparent to all parties, and much more risk-averse. The trade finance institution knows that the importer has received the goods and can then begin the collection process for the loan, as agreed upon – details of which are securely stored in a block.

Global trade is only increasing, as purchasers and suppliers all over the planet are connecting and doing business. And as this increases, so does fraud and risk. In its annual risk and fraud report for 2017-2018, for example, Kroll reported that 84% of surveyed executives stated they had been victims of fraud in international business transactions. Blockchain can certainly provide a viable means to mitigate this risk.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Horyou.

Angela Baker is a self-driven specialist who is currently working as a freelance writer at GrabMyEssay writing services and is trying to improve herself and her blogging career. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden horizons. That’s why Angela develops and improves her skills throughout the writing process to help to inspire people. Also, she writes for LiveInspiredMagazine, rounding out her professional writing career.

A recently launched documentary shows how a couple of artists is changing the landscape of the dying rural ‘pueblos’ in Spain

The documentary is directed by Alfonso Kint

After many years living in the city, Alfonso and Lucía were tired of the busy, dirty streets, the noise and the lack of connection that define virtually any metropolis in the world. Like all artists, they needed inspiration and space to create – also like most artists, they didn’t have much financial means. Then, Lucía has discovered herself pregnant and that changed everything. After little Greta was born, the couple moved to Torralba de Ribota, a 100 inhabitants’ town in Aragon, Spain and went to live in an old house that belonged to Lucía’s grandmother.

How many of us have a country side heritage?”, asks the recently launched documentary “Soñando un Lugar” (In English, Dreaming of a Place), presented this week to a selected audience in CCCB, in Barcelona. Through the 7-year filming and editing process, Alfonso has realized he was telling a bigger story than his family’s: the one of the dying pueblos, small rural Spanish towns that are almost deserted.

Fields are not worked anymore, as the young people moved on to more “reputable” jobs in the city. The dry earth is shown as a scar of old times, when the land provided all the food: potatoes, beans, nuts. Some of the remainders still breed bees and goats, but they are few. There are not enough hands anymore.

Full of empty houses and kept alive by the old neighbours’ memories, Torralba de Ribota had no children, though no future. The arrival of the small family started to shake things up – as Alfonso filmed the documentary, Lucía was creating an innovative project that aimed to transform the ancient pueblos in stages for artistic residencies and projects, while little Greta built her own fantasy world among hills, art and meaningful conversations with the elders. After them, many others came: musicians, performers, painters started to search for houses in the town. One of the biggest challenges was to find houses to buy: telephones didn’t work anymore, people were not reachable. Most buildings were kept closed and empty. Many of them remain so.

As the project “Pueblos en Arte” flourished, the life of the town has changed – connections between old and new started to be made, artists had space and time to create, children had access to nature and played ‘like the old times’. More towns were added to the project, that now has 6 ongoing projects, a patronage funding plan and high hopes for the future. “We want to start a dialogue between city and town”, said Alfonso, who’s now touring though Spain to promote his film.

Horyou, the social network for social good, promotes artistic projects with social impact related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The documentary “Soñando un Lugar” helps communities and cities to become more sustainable and self-sufficient (Goal 11).

A global claim has been echoing for many years: since 2000, when the UN launched the Millennium Development Goals, the world hasn’t seen such public debate about the need to commit to social and environmental targets. As the years have passed and global leaders have complied with the reviewed and renamed Sustainable Development Goals, society started to be bolder about expanding the commitment to a better future.

In the last few years, more companies have been vocal about their own actions thanks to an increased responsiveness of their stakeholders: investors, clients and civil society who demand more engaged action for the SDGs.

Clients and consumers are the first group to put pressure on the private sector, carefully choosing ecofriendly products and brands. Last September, 87 companies, including Danone, Amazon and IKEA, committed to set climate targets across their operations and value chains, setting zero net emissions by 2050. A recent Accenture survey shows that 80% of consumers believe it’s important or extremely important for companies to design environmentally conscious products. It affects the whole supply chain: from lighter and smaller packaging that will require less material to components that are recyclable and reusable.

Jobseekers are another important group that influences companies’ commitment to sustainable actions. MBA graduates are now able to see if corporate social responsibility strategies are legitimate or pure PR – and choose companies they want to work for accordingly. A 2015 survey covering more than 3,700 MBA graduates shows that 64% of them don’t think businesses are making enough efforts to address environmental challenges. Recruiters are getting used to questions about these CSR policies and are feeling the need to develop their employer’s branding, the capacity to attract talented people, investing in real sustainable actions.

Finally, there is the deciding factor for many businesses: money. Asset managers are increasingly taking sustainability into consideration when shaping their investment strategies, according to a recently published article in the Financial Times. Some of them, like Hermes, are launching SDG Equity Funds focused on small and medium-sized companies engaged with the UN Goals. Others, like the Scandinavian investment group Summa, are focusing on some sustainable development areas like infrastructure and innovation (goal 9). These initiatives follow the launch of UN Impact, a program that aims to channel funds to SDG-related projects and companies.

Other funding opportunities like HoryouToken, the utility token 100% dedicated to inclusion and sustainability, are also spotting projects and actions that resonate with the UN SDGs. Built on the concept of Blockchain with a purpose, HoryouToken supports and promotes social and economic inclusion while enhancing a positive circle of interactions benefiting civil society, social entrepreneurs and social good doers.

To know more about HoryouToken, click here.

L’humanité et la nature sont en péril et qu’en particulier les effets néfastes des changements climatiques, l’accélération de la perte de la biodiversité, la dégradation des terres et des océans, constituent autant de violations des droits fondamentaux des êtres humains et une menace vitale pour les générations présentes et futures.

– Gabriel TCHANGO, Maire de la Commune de Port-Gentil – LEPAGE Corinne, Ancienne ministre et Présidente de l’Association des Amis de la Déclaration Universelle des Droits de l’Humanité – PEISSE Michel, Président de l’OMECA – GIOVANNETTI Christophe, Vice Président OMECA – MEREHJ Julia , Vice Présidente OMECA – Prof TEHINDRAZANARIVELO Alain, Former Ministre de Madagascar – LASMARTRES Yves, Trésorier de l’OMECA – HUGLO Christian, Docteur en droit, Avocat au barreau de Paris – SWAGATH LEYOUBOU Ingrid Marina, 1er Adjoint au Maire du 1er Arrondissement de la Commune de Port-GENTIL ; – MOUVENGUI Serges, 2ème Adjoint au Maire du 4ème Arr ; – BABONGUI-NIANG OUMI Arielle, Conseillère Municipale 3ème Arr ; – MOUKIELOU Georges, Conseiller Municipal 2ème Arr ; – ONANGA Sylvestre, Secrétaire Général de la Mairie de la Commune de Port-Gentil ; – LEWOURRAH Patrick, Aide de CAMP Principale de Monsieur le Maire de la Commune de Port-Gentil. – BIAGGINI Amandine, Ambassadrice de la DDHu – SIQUILINI Jean Roger, Président de l’Institut Français de l’Intelligence Artificielle et de la Génétique (IFIAG) – PARIENTI Yonathan, Founder of Horyou and Expert OMECA

Constatant que l’extrême gravité de la situation, qui est un sujet de préoccupation pour l’humanité tout entière, impose la reconnaissance de nouveaux principes et de nouveaux droits et devoirs, rappelant son attachement aux principes et droits reconnus dans la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme, y compris à l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes, ainsi qu’aux buts et principes de la Charte des Nations Unies, rappelant la Déclaration sur l’environnement de Stockholm de 1972, la Charte mondiale de la nature de New York de 1982, la Déclaration sur l’environnement et le développement de Rio de 1992, les résolutions de l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies « Déclaration du millénaire » de 2000 et « L’avenir que nous voulons » de 2012, rappelant que ce même péril est reconnu par les acteurs de la société civile, en particulier les réseaux de personnes, d’organisations, d’institutions, de villes dans la Charte de la Terre de 2000.

Après Strasbourg, Paris, et de nombreuses villes partout dans le Monde, Port Gentil est la première ville d’Afrique à reconnaitre l’impérieuse nécessité de signer la DHHU. PortGentil est un port maritime du Gabon, pays situé sur la côte centrafricaine.

Cette ville à l’activité pétrolière importante se trouve sur le cap Lopez et possède un port abrité ainsi que plusieurs plages, notamment celle du Dahu. Édifiée en 1927, l’église Saint-Louis est l’un des monuments emblématiques de la ville.

Au bout de la péninsule se trouve le phare du cap Lopez, construit au XXe siècle. Au sud, le fleuve Ogooué est connu pour les nombreuses espèces de poissons qu’il renferme. Monsieur le Maire a souligné dans son discours la nécessité et le devoir de participer a cet élan Mondial pour protéger nos générations futures. L’OMECA qui soutient la DDHU depuis le 13 Fevrier 2018, date officielle de son engagement, était largement représenté à la signature officielle de Port Gentil et participe activement à la promotion de la DDHU dans le Monde. 90 Ambassadeurs, présents sur tous les continents et faisant partie des personnes influentes participent à cet élan de diplomatie environnementale.


    By Angela Baker

    Whether you already have a registered startup or organization of your own, or are looking for funding in terms of starting your own business project, crowdfunding can be a prospective method for financing innovative ideas. According to Startups, the average success rate of crowdfunding campaigns is 50%, with business and entrepreneurship ideas raising the majority of funding compared to other niches on the market with 41.4%.
    However, finding the right platform and approach to present your innovative project to the public isn’t as straightforward as it seems. With that in mind, let’s dive into what makes crowdfunding such a viable source of financial aid and how you can kick-start your own campaign without any difficulties along the way.

    Crowdfunding might be an effective tool to finance innovation projects

    Crowdfunding 101
    Let’s take a look at what crowdfunding actually stands for before we dive deeper into what makes this method of financing innovation projects so intriguing. Crowdfunding is a process which involves raising funds for a project through public donations and backers. It revolves around your presentation of your ideas, what the final product can do for the consumer, as well as the viability of its creation through funds.
    Coupled with a written pitch, crowdfunding will more than likely help you finance your project easier than if you went through sponsorships and B2B investors. It is a social, public process which involves the final user of your product or service in a personalized manner, unlike any other form of advertisement or pre-launch hype buildup.

    1. Define your End-Product

    The first order of business in terms of creating a prospective crowdfunding campaign which people will back financially is to define your end-product as best as you can. What is it that you are trying to accomplish? Do you intend to launch an experimental and disruptive new product on the market? Do you aim to launch a new cloud-based service and offer backers exclusive features as a reward for their financial aid? How much money do you need exactly, and how will that money be spent in your development?

    Your end-product is the first piece of information potential backers will come across when looking for projects to back through crowdfunding. Make sure to write short, descriptive and informative briefs on your innovative projects before you go public. The easier it is for people to understand your product or service, the better your odds will be at reaching the financial goals you’ve set for the project early on.

    2. Create a Development Timeline
    In addition to your project brief, potential backers will want to know more about your development cycle and how you intend to go from inception to conclusion of your idea.
    Break down your development into segments, with clearly defined milestones, deadlines and a timeline of delivery. This will assure potential financiers of your legitimacy and professional intentions in terms of the crowdfunding campaign. The more information you provide the public with, the more likely you are to receive the funds you need.

    3. Present Demos & Data
    Likewise, potential backers might want some form of multimedia content as a means to visualize your ideas before pledging financial aid to your project.
    This is especially important if your project revolves around digital goods and services which require multimedia content as part of their development cycle. This type of crowdfunding content will paint a positive picture in regards to your brand and help you earn the trust of future and existing backers more easily.

    An inspiring and innovative project will always find its backers on the right platform

    4. Provide Timely Updates
    Once you start receiving financial support, you should keep the campaign updated at all times. It’s unwise to simply create a crowdfunding campaign and not provide it with progress information or anything in regards to internal developments behind the scene.
    Provide your followers with timely updates on your current progress, financial stretch goals and other developments in regards to the project. This type of forward-thinking project updates will provide backers with further insurance of your legitimacy and commitment to the project.

    5. Follow up on Promises
    Lastly, the best way to ensure your brand’s longevity and positive PR is to follow through on your initial crowdfunding project promises. It’s important to gauge your promises according to available resources and the skill of your development team without stretching the definition of your end-product.
    Failing to deliver promised goods or services can have dire consequences for your business both in terms of reputation and legal worries. Maintain your professional integrity by delivering a one-for-one project from your initial crowdfunding brief and you can rest assured that the public will be even more receptive to your future campaigns as a direct result.

    In Summation
    Crowdfunding may seem like a risky prospect with its pros and cons to businesses and individuals without pre-existing PR or public recognition. However, an inspiring and innovative project will always find its backers on the right platform. Outline your project in detail and develop a realistic timeline for its delivery before looking for backers. Before you know it, the right crowd will flock around it and help make your innovation project a reality.

    Angela Baker is a self-driven specialist who is currently working as a freelance writer at TrustMyPaper writing services and is trying to improve herself and her blogging career. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden horizons. That’s why Angela develops and improves her skills throughout the writing process to help to inspire people. Also, she writes for LiveInspiredMagazine, rounding out her professional writing career.

    16-year-old Swedish Climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks at the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri – HP1EF9N1AIFX9

    I must confess that I was disturbed by Greta Thunberg’s speech at the UN Climate Action Summit, which took place last September at the UN Headquarters in New York. I’ve seen many teenagers angry for whatever reason, but never for such a genuine and clear purpose as the future of their own kind. It’s not about the planet anymore, it’s about the hundreds of thousands of climate refugees, it’s about the species that are under threat and whose disappearance could unbalance the environment só strongly that it would cause famine and chaos. It’s about us, the ones who have a few more decades ahead to live.

    Although I’ve seen many angry teenagers before, I’ve never seen a 16-year-old be so disruptive with her words and receive so much criticism for being too «bold and pessimistic». But I know I’ve never seen such mobilization of so many young people. It was beautiful to see millions of children going on strike for the climate just a few days later, inspired by a clear message that said we must create other rules because the current ones are no longer working. I saw it as a call to re-create capitalism and rethink our consumption and production system, as well as our way to reassess national growth and wealth. Isn’t there a better way to be rich than to always seek to produce more and more?

    It was the first time than I saw such anger coming from someone so young and, yet, so right that she strokes hearts all over the world. She disturbed some, angered others, inspired and caused strong emotion on many – I haven’t heard of nobody say they were not touched by her words.

    A few days later, surrounded by business people from an industry that is marked by their not-too-sustainable methods, all I’ve heard was: we need to change the way we work, the raw materials we use, our waste management. Greta was right, they say, and Greta is the future: she is the angry face of new consumers who are not happy about how the current system goes and demand change now. Greta’s generation might not have the smooth personality we expect from our children, but they know what they will face if we don’t act now. And we don’t dare not to.

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    by Angela Baker Trade finance. Unless you are an importer or exporter, you probably wouldn't use this term. When a company in one place sells...