How RAAY Facilitates Zero-Based Budgeting

Zero-based budgeting ZBB isn’t the first thing you learn at the university, not even when specialising in controlling. However, developed by a practitioner in the 1970s, ZBB has evolved into a budgetary process that lives up to the promise of modern controlling: it supports not only cost-cutting, but also prepares the ground within an organisation for a profitable growth strategy.

Originally, ZBB was a process only large enterprises could implement, die to high initial investment and administrative costs. But digital transformation has allowed ZBB to be used for more organisations in a more efficient way. Blockchain technology, finally, may help ZBB to conquer at least the world of controlling. Below you find an article that was published first on our RAAY website. It explains how distributed ledger technologies could ba adapted for many more enterprises, and even SMBs.

Zero-based budgeting ZBB is a method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified and approved for each new period. It was created in the 1970s by former TI controller and advisor to  then Georgia’s governor Jimmy Carter, Peter Pyrrh, to embed top-level strategic objectives into the budgeting process by tying them to specific functional areas within the enterprise. 

ZBB starts from a “zero base” at the beginning of every budget period, analysing needs and costs of every function within an organisation and allocating funds accordingly, regardless of how much money has previously been budgeted to any given line item. Costs are grouped and measured against previous results and current expectations, enabling management to allocate funds by current need instead of by historical expenditures.

Cost-cutting and profitable growth

ZBB is a very useful budgetary process, especially in economically challenging times, when enterprises need to make reductions, and when there are significant and rapid technological changes. Its extremely detailed approach to budgeting as an opportunity to capture operational efficiencies, stimulate growth, and boost performance. In other words, ZBB is fundamentally different from typical budgeting because it switches the burden of proof for spending from those managers tasked with driving cost reductions to the business leaders, who must contribute to both identifying unproductive costs and eliminating them in practice: targets aren’t debated until they disappear,, but business leaders ask: “What does it take to hit the target?”

Advantage Digitalisation

However, ZBB come with some serious challenges: When Peter Pyrrh developed ZBB in the 70s, it was regarded as a budgetary process for large enterprises exclusively, that could afford significant investments to optimise the management of myriads of separated organisational databases. Digitalisation has made ZBB less burdensome: instead of having numerous controllers coordinating thousands of spreadsheets, today data is available at the click of a mouse. Still, with mostly central databases in place, there are serious synchronisation and consistency challenges.

Enters Blockchain Technology

In a project using tools and functionality of our RAAY Operating System, we explore the impact of blockchain technology applied to a ZBB process. Leveraging blockchain-inherent features, such as immutability and consistency of data, the hypothesis of this project is to allow for a streamlined, efficient zero-based budgeting that could be used not only by large enterprises but also by SMB in order to drive profitable growth. 

The essence of using blockchain technology for ZBB is not to sell old wine in new wineskins, but to leverage features that automatically come with decentralised distributed ledgers. Instead of looking for highly innovative new business or so-called ‘killer dApps’, we apply what we have in-depth experience in to what is an accepted budgetary process – and potentially save millions of Euros.

Blockchain In 2018-2019

DR_logo-bunt-4zu3

At Datarella, we had an extremely interesting year 2018: Our Building Blocks project that we have set-up on 1 May 2017 (and that we develop further), has received lots of credit, internationally. Since Building Blocks is one of the few global live blockchain solutions with apparent economic and social impact, has not only helped us to shape our profile as the Enterprise Blockchain solution company, but has motivated us to invest internal resources to develop RAAY, the new Operating System For Banking.

In 2019, we will leverage RAAY’s first applications, the RAAY Wallet and a real-estate backed security token to demonstrate the power and the variability of the RAAY OS. Together with partners, such as Wirecard and zeb, we will provide RAAY OS functionality to players in the finance industry helping them to streamline their processes, bring down informational and transactional costs and develop new business. 

Supply Chain, Security, Mobility

On the level of our Datarella core business, we’ve made great progress in the fields of Supply Chain, Security, and Mobility. With our partner Wirecard, we co-developed the blockchain-based supply chain solution Raw Coin that is supposed to play a major role in some upcoming projects in early 2019. We invested a significant amount if time and resources in research around blockchain security, namely in the field of multi-party computation. Here, our learnings will help us to provide our clients with solutions that fully comply with GDPR and regulations, and make blockchain technology future-proof.

With our Blockchained Mobility Hackathon in July 2018 with BMW, VW, Bosch, Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Bahn, Amadeus, IOTA and others, we demonstrated that the event‘s motto – Compete & Collaborate – isn‘t just a buzzy catchword, but a lived experience, if participants are strongly committed. The hackathon‘s results have not only demonstrated the power of hybrid teams – formed by different mobility players – but have triggered some concrete blockchain mobility projects and far-reaching cooperations.

Crowdstartcoin XSC

Our decision not to launch an ICO based out of Germany in late 2017, proved to be a wise one – regarding the emerging challenges of then apparently successful ICOs, with even the Ethereum ICO of 2016 becoming subject to scrutiny by regulators

After having decided not to ICO, we agreed upon distributing CrowdstartCoins XSC to developers in the blockchain community who add value to the ecosystem. In early 2018, we developed an automated process that enabled us to distribute free XSC to legitimate recipients with little effort. However, we had to abandon our original plan to develop Crowdvote, a community driven decision making model to compensate blockchain developers, due to its high complexity and scarce resources in our development team. Alternatively, we decided to donate a large chunk of CrowdstartCoins XSC to the newly founded European Blockchain Association EBA thta itself distributes XSC to its members, albeit in a broader sense: every new member gets a welcome bonus of 2,000 XSC, and XSC have generally been defined as the internal means of payment and rewards for transactions within the EBA member network.

Governance As A Service GaaS

The Datarella team has supported the European Blockchain Association EBA in creating its Governance Model that sits at the core of its decentralised semi-autonomous organisation DSAO. Many of the above mentioned actual and upcoming failures of ICOs and other decentralised models can be ascribed to flawed governance models. In some cases, there was a complete lack of any proper governance. There is a general difference between governance of decentralised and centralised systems: in decentralised systems there is no central authority that oversees, controls or manages the system. All this has to be done by the imdividual participants, or nodes, by themselves. Thus, there has to be a proper incentive system in place that incentivises participants to act in ways according to the governance model.

We at Datarella will leverage on the experiences of co-creating the EBA governance by offering a Governance-As-A-Service GaaS model to our clients that aren’t interested in developing a governance model on their own. They can plug’n’play with the Datarella GaaS!

From our perspective, 2019 will be the first really big year for blockchain: we will see more live solutions with significant impact and we will see more blockchain-based Compete & Collaborate – that in turn results in great economic and social impact!

Happy New Year!

XSC Wallet Driven Crypto Payments Available at the FI-Forum

The success story of the XSC Wallet continues as Datarella, for the second conference this year, offered visitors of the FI-Forum the possibility to use the XSC Wallet. This builds upon the our XSC Wallet deployment at the the DAHO.AM conference last July.

The Fi-Forum is the trade fair of Finanz Informatik, the IT service provider of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe. IT solutions, innovations and new services are presented there each year. There were also more than 90 speeches and a parallel hackathon with interesting topics to be addressed. 

At the fair, visitors got XSC Coins in their own private event-wallet which they could spend on merchandising products such as powerbanks, bags and notebooks, generously provided by partner ZEB (zeb.rolfes.schierenbeck.associates GmbH). To do so, the visitors only had to download the wallet from the App Store or from Google Play. They were instantly rewarded with XSC Coins which they could spend on the goodies. The ease of use and rapid transaction execution often opened a new and more positive view on crypto payment. Moreover people who didn’t spend all of their XSC were regularly asked by others to send them the unused XSC to their wallet in order to buy extra goodies. 

Together with ZEB, we held many discussions with prospects about topics such as blockchain-based financial systems, crypto payments and the future challenges of this technology.

A big thank you to the Finanz Informatik and ZEB for making it possible to help visitors explore the world of crypto payments by using the XSC Wallet on the Fi-Forum.

RAW Coin – A Joint Venture Between Wirecard And Datarella

Providing seamless B2B payments by connecting state-of-the-art payments infrastructure from Wirecard with battle-proven blockchain technology from Datarella.

Earlier this year, Datarella and Wirecard AG started a collaboration around a couple of blockchain projects. One of them was RAW coin, the trading of commodities made more efficient through the usage of blockchain.

We started by a thorough analysis of various commodity supply and trade chains, which led us to find the following challenges of supply chains:

  • rising pressure from global competition
  • many intermediaries and complex governance structures
  • the end-consumer is demanding ever-higher levels of transparency
  • struggle for supply chain stakeholders to maintain an adequate overview of their networks and the supply costs associated
  • difficulty to ensure the quality and integrity of raw materials

We decided to narrow the PoC down to one specific use case, namely coffee beans. The reason for this is not simply that we’re huge fans of (good) coffee, but actually, coffee is the second most sought after commodity after crude oil, globally. It has a trading volume of $100B per year and is grown in 50 countries (in some of which Wirecard offers financial services). Finally, the coffee supply chain has a large number of middle men and intermediaries adding marginal value but capturing a large amount of the end-price paid by consumers.

The coffee supply chain as it looks currently.

The basic idea of RAW.coin is to digitise trading mechanisms and replace middlemen. As a larger vision, we aim to establish the RAW.coin network to become the ecosystem for supply chains, ensuring the origin, quality, compliance and proper handling of items tracked by the network.

What the solution does is to connect the Producer and the Importer while providing a marketplace where any commodities can be traded. It’s based on Ethereum, using smart contracts and a modern decentralised architecture. We implemented smart contracts to represent the terms and conditions of the network as well as enforcing them at the same time through automation. Additionally, we integrated with Wirecard to provide truly seamless B2B payments and fiat interactions. All transactions are done using the cryptocurrency RAW, but which can be immediately exchanged into fiat using the Wirecard Gateway API.

The Product Journey of RAW.coin.

This is an actual screenshot of the current product:

RAW.coin as an application, prom the point of view of a Producer.

We are currently inquiring into the best way to scale up and apply it to other commodities and in which markets. If you wish to learn more, tweet us at @datarella or contact us!

Krypto AG acquires stake in Blockchain Solutions Provider Datarella GmbH

DR_logo-bunt-4zu3

Munich/Berlin, 07 September, 2018

Today, Datarella is welcoming a new shareholder, Krypto AG (www.krypto.ag).

Krypto AG is a listed company in Germany which has its registered office in Berlin. The company is a reputable and leading infrastructure provider in the field of blockchain technology.

The combined goal of Krypto AG and Datarella is to support its customers in leveraging the technological benefits of blockchain as well as investors in investing in the new asset class cryptocurrency.

“The Krypto AG team adds valuable expertise in the field of cryptocurrencies and ICOs to the existing blockchain business of Datarella, especially in our strategic key areas, the mobility and finance industries.”, says Michael Reuter, CEO of Datarella. Tobias Schröder, Board Member of Krypto AG: “We are very happy to join Datarella with its unparalleled track record in real-life blockchain projects in order to strengthen our portfolio.“

Customers of Datarella and Krypto AG will immediately benefit from this unique combination of sound technological blockchain expertise and an in-depth knowledge of cryptocurrencies. With offices in Munich and Berlin, Datarella is present in Germany’s crypto hot spots and  addresses both, the vivid Berlin community and the powerful Munich area corporate business.

About Datarella:

Datarella develops bespoke blockchain-based innovations for and together with its clients, providing full service consulting, development and implementation for business applications based on blockchain technology. Datarella’s new operating system for banking, RAAY, enables players of the financial industry to create new financial products profiting from benefits of blockchain technology. RAAY is inspired by designing, building and deploying the blockchain-based accounting and payment system Building Blocks for the United Nations World Food Programme.

About Krypto AG:

Krypto AG is an investment group focusing on blockchain technologies and investments in the areas Technology & Development (Datarella GmbH, Helix Cognitive Computing GmbH), Advisory & Consulting (Krypto Management Consulting GmbH) as well as Education & Communities (KryptoEducation GmbH). The Berlin-based company invests in a broad portfolio and strategically develops its investments. Krypto AG creates value for its investors and contributes to the growth of the blockchain ecosystem.

Tokenisation Of German Real Estate Fund – The First RAAY OS Application

Blockchain is a foundational technology, an underlying technology layer for applications built on top of it, allowing them to share a joint database and a ledger. It provides realtime access to an immutable and consistent data set. Based on our experiences launching the Building Blocks project on behalf of the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) in May 2017, we launched its RAAY project in early 2018. 

RAAY’s goal is to become a new operating system for banking. Since the finance industry hasn’t changed much during the last decades, and financial crises followed by new stern regulatory frameworks have made banking even harder, banks are faced with a multitude of challenges, from a degenerated trust to inflexible and overcharged IT infrastructures and processes. For the RAAY team, blockchain provides the ideal basis for renewing trust and making IT more efficient for banking. Therefore, RAAY has been working on a new operating system to enable players of the finance industry with a blockchain-based technology layer to build lean, efficient, trust-less applications on top of it.

RAAY is partnering with a German bank to create a blockchain-based token representing the ownership of a German real estate fund. The token is part of an immutable, trust-less and decentralised system built specifically for the new RAAY operating system for banking. The token and the auxiliary system achieves an improved model for ownership of real estate by applying blockchain technology, secure and scalable identification solutions and tried-and-tested account management software. 

The token is characterised by a smart contract defining key functionality (transfers, rights, etc.) and listing properties (ownership, price, fund information, etc.). The token smart contract is linked to another smart contract which manages the different tokens and allows users to interact with various tokens in a simple way. Ownership of a token is proven by the possession of a private key. The corresponding public key is publicly listed in the smart contract. Building on the immutability and security of blockchain technology allows any token holder to prove ownership to anyone, in real-time, without doubt. 

The auxiliary system contains three main components: 

  • Identification, 
  • Application for Tokens and 
  • Fund-Connection. 

The Identification takes place according to applicable KYC-regulations with the addition of the creation of a blockchain identity, in effect a public-private key pair. The secret private key is much like a password and can be either downloaded to a secure offline-storage by the client or can be stored in a so-called cold wallet managed by a future RAAY-bank entity. If investment amounts exceed a certain limit, tokens are stored in a multi-signature wallet for additional security. 

The Application for Tokens is a protocol for converting any type of funds (fiat or cryptocurrency) into tangible asset tokens. It requires an account with a depository bank for fiat currencies. 

The Fund-Connection is the direct correspondence between existing tokens and shares of the fund in question. This ensures the validity of each claim that a token holder may have, on any ownership/access to dividends from the fund. 

This is the first step in RAAY’s strategy to create the new operating system for banking. It is a needed use case that will be operational and reduce costs for the fund deploying it. By going stepwise from one application area to another, RAAY will build a modular and configurable OS for banking that removes inefficiencies regardless whether the partner is a fund, a bank or a fintech-company.

Cryptoexchange EtherDelta Officially Lists CrowdstartCoin XSC

As of today, 1 December 2017, our CrowdstartCoin XSC is tradable on EtherDelta, a decentralized cryptoexchange. 

We are very happy that, ten days after having issued the first CSC to IOTA developers at IOTA hackathon, in Gdansk, the tokens have been officially listed on EtherDelta!  From today, blockchain developers can grow the value of their own token that serves as a reward for contributing to the evolution of the blockchain ecosystem!

Don‘t waste your time, devs! Go, claim your XSC – and trade them!

UN’s World Food Programme WFP Appoints Baltic Data Science As Partner In Building Blocks Project

Our subsidiary Baltic Data Science (“BDS”) has formally been appointed by WFP to support them on the scale-up of the Building Blocks project.

We are very proud to announce that our close development partner and Polish associated company BDS has formally been appointed by the World Food Programme for the further roll-out the existing Building Blocks platform. At the beginning of the this year, we together with our partner BDS started to build a blockchain-based proof-of-concept for WFP and transformed it into a fully-functional blockchain-based transaction platform in Jordan. The inhabitants receive food vouchers that can be used in the village’s supermarket.

So what are the benefits compared to traditional transaction payments? Thanks to the blockchain technology, our innovative system provides higher transparency of aid accounts for beneficiaries and easy tracking of transaction which helps to lower the effort of bookkeeping for vendors and WFP. The biggest, however invisible, advantage is a minimized risk of fraud or data mismanagement.

We are excited to follow the next phase scale-up of the transaction platform and want to thank WFP for their trust and wish both partners a successful roll-out.

If you want to learn more about our services or specifically this project, please contact us at info@datarella.com or BDS at info@balticdatascience.com.

About WFP:
The United Nations World Food Programme “WFP”, with its headquarters located in Rome, Italy is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. WFP is mandated to deliver the food necessary to save the lives of victims of natural disasters, wars, and civil unrest. On average, WFP reaches more than 80 million people with food assistance in 75 countries each year. About 11,500 people work for the organization, most of them in remote areas, directly serving the hungry poor. WFP is part of the United Nations (UN) System.

About BDS:
Headquartered in Gdansk, Poland, BDS is an international data science and blockchain development company specializing in business-focused solutions. BDS develops data-driven applications (mobile/desktop frontends and backends) for international customers as well as blockchain-based applications.

 

An Incentive Scheme For The Blockchain Ecosystem – Supporting The Crowdstart Capital Token Sale

We at Datarella are strong believers in blockchain technology. We have been working on blockchain projects since 2015 – with leading índustry players and organisations. Since we are platform-agnostic, we have worked with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, IOTA, and other blockchains.

One key takeaway of two years of blockchain experience is, that – in the fall of 2017 – most blockchains are still quite immature and a lot of work has to be done in order to make them industry-ready. We see a huge demand for development and investment in not only blockchain-related projects but also in the core blockchain protocols. The key development challenges in 2018 will be to significantly improve the scalability, the stability and the security of blockchain platforms.

As digital organisms fed by communities of developers, blockchain protocols evolve through changes in their code, i.e. either by changes to the original code or through adding a new microorganism – a side chain – by forking the original chain. Both, changes to the original code and forks, could be combined by creating a forkless blockchain with specific rules in the protocol that are created by other rules (see: the Nomic game ). This way, forks would not be needed anymore since rules could be changeable by other rules.

Most industry blockchain projects are developed using side chains. First, that’s to eschew the disadvantages of public blockchains, s.a. PoW, and then, it’s because of the lack of industry-grade conditions in public blockchains. Most, if not all, industry-led blockchain project teams would love to use public chains if they could be used in a reliable way.

Tragedy Of The Commons

That said, strong evolutionary processes in blockchains are needed. But, where’s the incentive for developers to invest resources into the core protocols? The only way to benefit from working on core blockchain protocols is mining tokens and profit from a potential increase in value or joining on elf the blockchain’s foundations and getting paid by them. This imbalance of having no incentive to work on a core technology which everybody would like to see well developed is called the tragedy of the commons: the economic reward for a developer improving blockchain technology is low.

Funding work on core blockchain protocols and thereby the creation of incentives for developers could be provided by private institutions, s.a. Venture Capital (VC) firms, and by public funding, e.g. through a public crowdfunding initiative: the Ethereum foundation could sell Ether through a crowdsale to the developer community working on a specific update in Ethereum’s evolutionary process. For the blockchain’s foundations that would be straightforward thinking.

VCs, however, would have to make sure that their assets, i.e. portfolio companies, profit from an investment in the core blockchain protocol. This could be done indirectly, if blockchain projects don’t need to develop certain functionalities which are already woven in the core protocol, and therefore minimize their efforts and streamline their roadmaps to exit. It can be questioned if that’s an adequate benefit from the VC‘s perspective.

Crowdstart Capital dedicates tokens to the blockchain developer community

With our sister company Crowdstart Capital (CSC) we are planning to address the funding challenge described above. Crowdstart Capital’s goal is to foster blockchain core technologies and applications. CSC wants to contribute to helping blockchain evolve into an enterprise-ready technology. In order to lay a basis for a cryptoeconomic incentive scheme to support the development of blockchain-related projects and to provide incentives to developers to dedicate their work to blockchain‘s core protocols, XSC tokens will be dedicated to the active blockchain community.

Developers committing code to key blockchain projects can opt in to receive XSC tokens for every line of code that is accepted for the respective projects. CSC will set up a smart-contract-based system that will pay out the tokens according to the commits. This incentive is meant as CSC’s contribution to the blockcahin developer community – there will be no further obligations, i.e. CSC does not demand any return for this.

Technologies to be supported by these incentives include the core protocols of leading blockchains, s.a. Ethereum. Also, all projects that participate in the CSC acceleration program are supported. In a second phase it is planned, that members of the community will be able to suggest projects to be included in the incentive scheme. Which project should be included will be voted for by the community in token-based ballots.

We know that we won‘t achieve our goal over night. And we know that we might adapt our plan when necessary. Finally, the most important factor is the blockchain community itself. If we can successfully motivate blockchain developers to join the scheme, to use the XSC tokens and to spread the word to their respective communities – then we can potentially crowdstart something new: an efficient incentive scheme for the evolution of blockchain technology.

“Traditional VCs Are Dead”: Full House at The State Of The ICO Ethereum Meetup

“I can honestly say my industry is being disrupted beyond belief right now. The funny thing is, I like it”, said Jamie Burke during yesterday’s Ethereum Munich meetup “The State of the ICO”. Jamie is betting his Outlier Venture’s fund on the idea to launch a handful, large ICOs to invest in communities and therefore in economies, rather than in startups.

Jamie’s fireside chat (no, there was no fire but it was hot as hell) with Datarella’s founders Michael Reuter and Joerg Blumtritt was a fascinating tour de force towards a potential next level of venture investing in general, and a new breed of investors focusing on communitarian, anti-fragile investments rather than amassing a portfolio of companies of which 90% will fail.

Before, lawyers Dr. Nina-Luisa Siedler of DWF and Dr. Markus Kaulartz of CMS inspired the audience with their highly informative and at the same time very sympathetic presentation on the legal aspects of ICOs. Both being long-time experts in the field of blockchain, managed to entertain everybody although their messages were far from being easy-going. Especially their slide “Consequences in case of incompliance” filled the room with enthusiasm. Their complete slidedeck “Legal Aspects of ICOs” can be downloaded here.

Again, the Ethereum meetup was a great success: everybody learned a lot, and from what we overheard on the floor, some of the individual conversations until late at night resulted in new ideas for …. future ICOs.