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Modum Review: Blockchain & IoT Supply Chain Tracking

Modum (MOD) is quite an interesting blockchain based project that is building the next generation supply chain tracking software.

The company has been around for over 2 years and has developed some pretty impressive technology which combines blockchain and IoT in order to automate the tracking. In September of 2017, they decided to complete an ICO and issued their MOD profit share token.

Despite this, there remains relatively little awareness of the project in the cryptocurrency community.

In this review we will take an in-depth look into the Modum project, it’s underlying technology, development and partnerships. We will also analyse the MOD token use cases and it’s potential for long term adoption.

What is Modum?

Modum.io was launched in 2016 and is based in Zurich, Switzerland. The company is working on blockchain systems meant to improve methodologies used within supply chains. Specifically it is focused on the pharmaceutical industry and combines blockchain with Internet of Things technologies to improve logistics.

Modum Modsense Indicator
Modum’s Modsense tracking hardware. Image via Modum

While Modum plans on expanding later, its first development is a system that integrates smart contracts and blockchain tech with sensory devices. This system enables real-time tracking of items which is tamper proof and ensures data cannot be compromised or modified.

The company made the decision to focus on the pharmaceutical supply chain after changes in EU regulations made it extremely expensive to ship medicinal products. The regulations require pharma companies to supply proof that their products haven’t been exposed to any extreme conditions. The Modum solution ensures the regulations are complied with in a cost effective manner.

How Modum Works

Modum has developed sensors that can be attached to a container and monitor the environmental conditions present outside the container. This IoT sensor is called the MODsense Temperature Logger.

Modum is working with partners to integrate the sensor with pharmaceutical shipments where it is used to monitor temperature and air quality during the entire shipment. The data collected is saved on the Ethereum blockchain, making it both transparent and immutable and providing proof that the products haven’t been tampered with during shipment.

The sensors also transmit information to a web app that allows users to monitor temperature and air quality automatically. Once the sensor is connected to the app everything is monitored in real-time and displayed in the app.

Once the app begins to collect data users are able to create preferred temperature templates, making setup on future shipments faster. The app then accesses the template throughout the shipment and will send an alert to the user if there is any deviation from the preferred temperature.

Once an alert is received users can take steps to correct the deviation or to stop the shipment if required. And with all the data stored on the blockchain any questions of data integrity are removed.

Modum Smartphone App

One easy way for users to track and control the sensors is through the smartphone application that was created by Modum. In addition to viewing real-time data the logistic team is also able to activate and deactivate sensors quickly and easily. And with the data easily accessible through the app it can be given to the end customer without opening the package.

The smartphone app and sensors were developed to be easily integrated with existing logistical processes. Using the app the logistic team can scan the sensors QR code and pair it to the tracking information of the package associated with the sensor. And this can be done remotely if needed.

The Modum Dashboard

Besides simply controlling and monitoring the sensors, there is an analytics dashboard that can be used to program shipments. The dashboard also gives the logistics team the ability to view any other information about the shipment throughout the duration of the shipment. The dashboard is customizable, and specific product presets can be created for quality assurance purposes.

Smart Contracts

Modum has gone ahead and included smart contracts as part of its logistics solution. The use of smart contracts helps provide detailed information about the location and condition of a shipment, and keeps that data secure.

Besides simply providing secure data, the smart contracts can be used for a number of other purposes. For example, a smart contract can be coded to send notifications when a shipment reaches certain points.

Modum Blockchain Ecosystem
Overview of the Modum Smart Tracking Ecosystem

Using smart contracts is especially beneficial in the pharmaceutical industry where the temperature and other external conditions can have a significant impact on the items being shipped. The Modum solution allows for ease of tracking along with immutable data, making it easier and more inexpensive to meet the pharmaceutical market regulations.

What Makes Modum Different?

There are several features that make Modum unique, but the company is focusing on three specific areas to differentiate itself:

Wide Application Range

While Modum is beginning with temperature sensors, it has no plans on stopping there. Future plans are to develop sensors that can report on pressure, light, humidity, moisture and other environmental variables. By expanding the capabilities of the sensors, Modum will also expand its reach into other markets and logistic supply chains.

First Mover Advantage

While there are other blockchain’s moving into the logistics business, Modum is the first to offer an integrated solution for the pharmaceutical supply chain in the EU. Given the new regulations the industry needs such a solution that is both cost-effective and provides value. Modum can provide that solution with a transparent and immutable blockchain.

Blockchain Technology and Smart Contracts

When you think of the vast amount of regulations seen in the pharmaceutical industry it simply makes sense to bring blockchain and smart contract technology to solve many problems within the industry. Modum is attacking just one facet by developing its temperature tracking sensors.

By implementing blockchain and smart contract technology the industry will see three distinct benefits: one is the use of the blockchain to conduct audits and prove compliance. The second is the increased customer satisfaction provided by the Modum solution. And third is the adherence to regulations and help with quality assurance.

Smart contracts will allow businesses to pre-program actions specific to their needs. And since these actions will be executed on the blockchain it will be possible to pinpoint any issues in the process quickly and easily.

Modum Team & Partners

Modum is run by Simon Dossegger, the company’s CEO. Prior to managing Modum, Dossegger was in a senior management and technology role at GoPro. In addition to Dossegger you’ll find team members with blockchain experience, sensory device experience and Internet of Things experience.

The Board of Directors of Modum is primarily composed of the blockchain’s founders. The company also has an impressive array of advisors, including the founder of Schaer Pharma and a Director at Novartis.

Modum Team Members
From Left: Simon Dössegger (CEO), Sacha Uhlmann (CTO), Dr. Stefan M. Weber (COO), Michel Schaer (Board Member)

Taking a look on the partner side, Modum is already collaborating with industry as they have partnered with a number of companies and academic institutions.

For example, Modum is currently using the SAP blockchain services and they are currently collaborating with the software company under the PartnerEdge Build partnership. Modum is also a AWS technology partner which means that they are able to effectively leverage the scale of the Network in order to drive adoption.

On the academic side, Modum is constantly collaborating with the Univeristy of Zurich due to their initial partnership with the University of Zurich’s Communication Systems Group. They are also working with the University of St. Gallen’s institute of Supply Chain Management.

ICO and the MOD Token

Modum held an ICO in September 2017 for its ERC-20 token. The company did not meet its goal, but did raise $13.35 million as it hit 81% of its goal. There is a total supply of 27,266,200 MOD, making it fairly rare in comparison with many other cryptocurrencies. That alone isn’t enough to boost its price however.

One unique feature of MOD that could help raise its price is that it was created as a profit sharing token. This gives holders rights to the profits generated by Modum and voting rights on certain issues. This links the value of the token to the expected earnings of Modum and the perceived value of the company.

This feature makes MOD tokens much like a dividend bearing stock that pays holders based on the financial performance of the company. Like a stock, the dividend rate is determined by Modum’s Board of Directors and dividends are planned to be paid out in Ether.

Binance MOD
Register at Binance and Buy MOD Tokens

Like nearly all the rest of the cryptocurrency market, MOD hit its all-time high in January 2018, reaching $11.06 on the 9th. It has subsequently fallen substantially, and as of January 2019 is trading at $0.29 with little signs of life.

Surprisingly given how long ago the ICO for this project was launched, MOD tokens are only available on two exchanges. One is Binance, and it controls nearly 99% of trading in MOD. The other is Mercatox.

As an ERC-20 token you can store MOD in any ERC-20 compatible wallet such as MyEtherWallet / MyCrypto or MetaMask.

Conclusion

Modum has taken the best of the blockchain and Internet of Things technologies, combined the best features of each, and implemented them in the same platform to create an efficient and effective logistics solution for the pharmaceutical industry. And by focusing specifically on the pharmaceutical supply chain they have been able to differentiate themselves with a specific use case.

With the MODsense devices they’ve developed, Modum can deliver customers real-time data regarding their products throughout the entire shipping process.

With the release of the first MODsense devices in November 2018 Modum has become a blockchain business with a real product that can solve real world problems. And as the first mover in the pharmaceutical supply chain industry Modum has given itself a distinct advantage over its competitors. Modum also plans on being blockchain agnostic, allowing it to work with any blockchain eventually, not only Ethereum.

The token hasn’t performed well thus far, but it could represent a good long-term holding. As the MODsense devices take on a greater role in supply chains the MOD tokens could begin to deliver a solid dividend. And the low supply of MOD tokens should also support higher pricing in the future.

Overall the project looks quite promising, and the lack of marketing by the team could be the reason we haven’t seen greater movement in the coin price. Once word spreads organically MOD could be a solid investment.

Featured Image via Fotolia

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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Written by Ravi Gupat

Ravi grew up in India and graduated in Economics. He is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and exited several companies in tech and media over the past 15 years. He is also an early stage investor and advisor in various blockchain-based companies.

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