It is an undeniable fact that the blockchain industry is growing faster than expected. From interesting finance projects, music sharing, content creation to peer-to-peer trade finance of commodities. One project that is ahead in regards to the trading of commodities on the blockchain is an African-created company; VesselTrust, also known as VT. The Founding team is made up of Taiwo Adeleke (an entrepreneur and a finance specialist who had been in the oil and gas trading business for quite some time ) and Charles Okaformbah;a techprenuer and Blockchain Solution Architect with over a decade experience building and running his tech startup that helps SMEs grow and become efficient using mobile and web solutions. He is also team lead/CoreTeam Member of SuperDAO(an ethereum-blockchain base game dApp startup).
So, what is Vessel Trust?
VesselTrust is a blockchain-inspired and secure peer-to-peer trade finance marketplace where verified buyers and sellers of commodities from around the world converge to do business via a guaranteed secure channel of communication, frictionless payment settlement, document transfer and a record trail of successfully completed trades and KYC documents. Through this platform, users are able to make informed business decisions. VesselTrust eliminates the need for intermediaries, thereby reducing the cost of doing business. It also keeps the fear of fraud at bay.
Who is the current target market?
Currently, their target market comprises players in the downstream segment of the Oil and Gas trading. These include men and women, mostly business professionals looking to have a better and easier way of carrying out their trade. This segment of the industry is plagued with so many impostors and fraudsters. Having encountered these problems himself in the course of some business transactions, the CEO of this company was inclined to provide a lasting solution to this problem, which essentially was how Vesseltrust came about. The solution Vesseltrust provides establishes transparency and trust amongst traders before trades are carried out.
What is your value proposition? Why should importers and exporters of commodities use VT compared to the traditional way?
“We are creating a hybrid (traditional and blockchain) system that will serve the users of our platform but in a unique way. Our traditional model is different because we carry out KYC Verification on each user of our marketplace Platform and present the verification documents to other users which they can use to carry out their own verification before doing business. Our traditional model also serves as an onboarding strategy for users into our blockchain trade finance and supply-chain solution. It will only be accessible to verified users of our platform who are ready to trade. This will tackle the challenge of searching for buyers or sellers of the required commodity, as well as help to remove unserious and fraudulent players in the industry. Also, via a secure channel of communication, players can avoid business email hijacking/compromise as all communication are done via the platform. We also help in reducing the cost of trade by charging 0.5% success fee after a deal closes which is very minimal when compared to the current traditional method players in the sector do their trades.” –Taiwo O. Adeleke and Charles Okaformbah in an exclusive interview.
With the adoption of their blockchain Smart Contract Solution, the process of trade finance and payment will be automated and will be conducted purely on a peer-to-peer interaction. Sellers can easily see the trade credit of buyers to determine if they are ready, willing and able to do business before proceeding with talks. Also once a deal is sealed, the buyer’s fund is locked in the system and the seller can only receive funds for the product delivered once he or she is satisfied. This payment will be in the form of their token which can easily be exchanged via the token market or the open secondary market.
In regards to the technological aspect of the project, which Blockchain technology is VT using?
Initially, the aim was to use the Enterprise Ethereum Blockchain but after some survey and meetings about the target market and the potential users, the team decided to create a Hybrid solution that would allow them to still make use of a Private Distributed Ledger Technology, encourage privacy while being open to integration of a Cryptocurrency and also accommodate an easy fiat payment system. Currently, Corda DLT and the Marcopolo finance system looks friendly to their cause.
Behind every great project, there is always a hard-working and dedicated team. So, how many team members are there and who are they?
Currently, there are 3 other team members and 4 advisors who are grounded in the field of Business development, project management, marketing, finance, web, and mobile technologies and the Oil and Gas Sector.
According to the two co-founders, they also have a great network and partnerships.
“We have also come this far with immense contribution from Salar Golestanian; our Business Development Director, who works hard to ensure platform development, fixes meetings and talks with potential partners and users of the platform.” Taiwo O. Adeleke and Charles Okaformbah in an exclusive interview.
Almost everyone is going the ICO route these days; will VT follow this trend?
According to the co-founders, they will not be doing an ICO but rather a private equity investment.
“An ICO would have been great but we don’t want to join the bandwagon of raising millions of dollars we don’t need thereby opening our tokens to Speculative trading. We believe our marketplace platform will sort itself in terms of money needed for its development as we plan on growing organically but if we get the required fund to help us start up the next phase of our development which is the Blockchain phase, then we can kick-start immediately while still onboarding users to the already development traditional model. The amount of fund we get from a Private Investor determines the percent of Equity such Investor gets from our Equity pool as we already in talks with some. Besides, once we launch our platform and cover a deal, we won’t be needing such funding or equity investment.” Taiwo O. Adeleke and Charles Okaformbah in an exclusive interview.
Will the VT token/coin be listed on a Digital Asset Exchange?
“One thing we’ve learned in the space is that you can’t control an asset that has value from being traded in a secondary market else it will affect the value of such asset. In as much we want to ward off speculators and whales from trading our token despite having our OTC Token Market Exchange, we shall be listing on reputable Asset Exchanges.” Taiwo O. Adeleke and Charles Okaformbah in an exclusive interview.
Where will the registered office of VT be based?
The co-founders intend to have their offices registered in Nigeria and China.
Aside from the fact that both co-founders are citizens of Nigeria. Nigeria bonny light crude oil (NBLCO) is in high demand around the world. Bonny light crude is considered to be the third-best grade of crude oil in the world for this reason. An influx of buyers never ceases. Having an office in this location will connect them with potential users of their platform.
China was chosen as a second preferred location for their registered office because of her huge appetite for crude oil. Chinese buyers are the second biggest consumer of crude oil right behind the USA. Having an office in this location strategically positions them within close proximity to their platform users.
This is one project that aims to be different from other existing projects. It is one to look out for on those reputable Asset Exchanges.