Ambrosus Review: Decentralised IoT Supply Chain Tracking
Ambrosus (AMB) is a project that is looking to develop blockchain tracking software for the food an pharmaceutical industry.
There are several popular blockchain projects tackling the issues surrounding supply chain management and for good reason. Supply chain management is one area nearly everyone agrees can benefit from decentralisation, and projects that can properly combine blockchain into the supply chain have seen great investor interest.
In this Ambrosus review I will take an in-depth look into the project by analyzing their technology, development, team and roadmap. I will also take a look at the long term adoption and growth potential of the AMB token.
What is Ambrosus (AMB)?
Ambrosus has targeted the food and pharmaceutical supply chains. They plan on combining high-tech sensors, smart contracts, and blockchain protocols to create a secure supply chain where suppliers and consumers alike can track products to ensure authenticity, origin, proper handling and compliance in all areas.
Ambrosus identified the food and pharma industries as most suitable for blockchain supply chain management, and after focusing on these niches they have been building a name for themselves in the space. There’s a good reason for choosing these industries as estimates claim the pharmaceutical industry loses $46 billion a year in profits due to supply chain issues.
The Ambrosus protocol is based on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform also includes other distributed technologies that allow Ambrosus to transmit information from IoT devices to be recorded on a blockchain.
There are three primary components of the Ambrosus protocol. These are the Measurements Repository, the Requirements Smart Contract, and the Amber Token.
- The Measurements Repository: This is the database management component that records and stores product-specific information, which allows for accurate tracking within the supply chain.
- The Requirements Smart Contract: This is where the quality control standards are defined for products that are recorded in the Measurements Repository. These smart contracts are created by platform users and are publically available. These contracts determine if the products being monitored are meeting the customer’s quality assurance requirements.
- The Amber Token: The Amber token (AMB) is the utility token for the Ambrosus platform. It’s an ERC-20 token and has several uses in the Ambrosus ecosystem. One is to ensure product information remains up-to-date as products move through the supply chain. Because AMB tokens are used as part of product tracking there is an incentive for consumers to use AMB tokens.
As you might guess in a supply chain management platform, Internet of Things (IoT) devices are integral to the Ambrosus platform. Most of these IoT devices are sensors, tracers, and tags that allow products to be physically monitored as they move through the supply chain. These IoT devices are also crucial for transmitting information about the products to manufacturers and consumers.
Ambrosus Use Cases
Ambrosus is in use already and is proving effective. One such use is in Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, where the Ambrosus system is being used by vanilla exporters across the region to track and share information (such as proof of origin) with various clients throughout the supply chain.
Ambrosus has also partnered with the Korean company Nongshim Data Systems (NDS) to track and ensure the quality of the beef being sold at MegaMart supermarkets. The solution tracks information from farm to supermarket, including veterinary checks, temperature control, and supply chain data.
In addition to the use cases already being pursued, there are a number of potential use cases identified in the Ambrosus white paper:
- Raw material traceability;
- Authenticity protection for luxury products;
- Real-time compliance auditing;
- Monitoring delivery conditions for pharmaceuticals and frozen goods;
- Monitoring manufacturing processes for auditing purposes.
The Ambrosus Team
Much of the Ambrosus team is located in Switzerland because of the crypto-friendly atmosphere there. The team has been expanding rapidly, even in the current bear market atmosphere of the cryptosphere and as of early 2019, the team has grown to 37 members, with openings for another dozen positions.
The leaders of this driven and dedicated team are:
- Angel Versetti – This is the CEO of Ambrosus and before this project, he has had a broad experience in start-ups and cryptocurrency investments. Previously he advised the United Nations and World Resources Forum regarding investments in innovative technologies. He is considered to be an expert in innovative technologies and speaks frequently at economic forums and blockchain conferences.
- Dr. Stefan Meyer – This is the CTO of Ambrosus and he comes to the project with 20 years of experience in sensors, data encryption, and food analysis. He has conducted research for companies such as Nestle and MHM Microtechnique and was a founding director of the integrative Food and Nutrition Center at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
- Dr. Vlad Trifa – This is the Chief Product Officer at Ambrosus and he is a pioneer in the Internet of Things. He is the founder of Web of Things and was previously the Head of Digital Lab for Swisscom. He has been selected as a top five global expert in the IoT sector.
- Prof Jean-Paul Sandoz – Prof Sandoz is the lead engineer at Ambrosus and comes with more than 40 years of experience in sensor and microelectronics technologies.
Social & Marketing Strategy
Ambrosus CEO Angel Versetti claimed during a Reddit AMA the company would be focusing more on their marketing efforts in 2018.
While their social presence still isn’t huge it is growing, with 18,000 Twitter followers and nearly 5,000 followers of the Ambrosus sub-Reddit. It’s also encouraging to see a good deal of activity from that sub-Reddit, with daily posts and multiple comments and responses.
They also continue their blog with updates coming out roughly once a week to keep users updated regarding the developments being made by the project.
The AMB Token
The AMB (Amber) token is an ERC-20 compatible token used to perform a utility service for the Ambrosus platform. It binds with the products being tracked on the blockchain and is used to collect and transmit data for the Ambrosus network. It also acts to transfer value within the Ambrosus network.
As currently envisioned, the AMB token has three vital functions:
- AMB can be used as payment for transactions on the AMB-NET. Each time an asset or event is created a small amount of AMB is required as a creation fee.
- AMB tokens can be locked to create a digital record of a physical good. This also works to reduce the incentive for bad actors to engage in fraud or to try to fool any of the other parties using the supply chain.
- AMB is the collateral needed to run a Masternode in AMB-NET. This requires a user to lock a certain amount of AMB to be considered a Masternode and in return, they collect a portion of the fees paid to validate transactions or create new assets.
Ambrosus conducted an ICO from September 22, 2017, to October 22, 2017, raising roughly $32 million. Tokens were sold at $0.30 each and 40% of the roughly 361 million tokens were made available. Unfortunately, the market soon went into bear mode, so after hitting an all-time high of $1.85 on January 6, 2018, the coin has seen its value steadily decline.
More recently (February 2019) it looks as if the AMB token may have found a bottom at the $0.05 level, but it will take time to prove that to be true. As of mid-March 2019, the token is worth $0.062991.
Because it is an ERC-20 token it can be held in any wallet that is compatible with ERC-20 tokens which includes the likes of MetaMask or MyEtherWallet.
AMB tokens are only listed on a handful of exchanges, with the largest trading volume taking place on Binance. There is also a very small amount of trading volume on TOKOK, RightBTC, and KuCoin. While there is healthy volume on Binance, the reliance on a single exchange for over 94% of the volume could present liquidity issues in a crunch.
One of the best ways to see how much work is being done on a particular project is to take a look into their GitHub repositories. This gives an indication how much code is being pushed by the developers publicly.
As such, I decided to take a look into the Ambrosus GitHub to get a sense of how the team was coming on with the code commits. Below are the commits for the two most active repositories on the project.
As you can see, there have been an extensive collection of code commits by the project over the past 12 months. These are more commits than we have seen for many other projects that have recently completed an ICO.
Of course, this could just be a time when the Ambrosus developers are working towards important timelines in their Roadmap. The team has not been able to release an updated roadmap but based on this one from their launch, they should be working towards the following:
- Spring 2019: They want to launch the smart sensor system that will have the edge computing capabilities. These are essentially the sensors that retain AI capability without being connected to the network. During this time they would also like to integrate sidechains and offchain transactions as well as launch their first generation Nanosensers and bio sensors. You can read more about their progress on these developments here.
- Summer 2019: The team hopes to be able to release the v 2.0 of the Ambrosus protocol that will include the updated functionality of AI and the IoT devices mentioned above.
- Autumn 2019: After the protocol launch, they would like to release their second generation sensors which will be fully integrated into the smart contracts.
- Winter 2019: If all goes according to plan, they would like to release their exchange platform which will have full trading functionality. This could pave the way for the release of a fully fledged decentralized crypto exchange.
- Spring 2020: This could be a pivotal step for the project as they plan to release their first large scale and fully automous supply chain. This will incorporate the IoT systems as well as AI and be governed by a DAO system.
- Summer-Autumn 2020: If they have managed to meet all of the steps up to this point then the team would like to scale the platform with integration in numerous industries mentioned above.
Of course, this was a pretty loose time-frame that was based on their initial roadmap. There may be amendments to it as they get closer to the particular dates. If you would like to keep up to date with developments out of the project then you should follow their official blog.
As one of the first projects venturing into supply change management Ambrosus has a distinct advantage over potential competitors. With several small deals already underway they can prove their technology works, but need to get the word out and scale up to larger and more critical projects.
So far they have had small success in the food sector, but need to break into the pharmaceutical industry to realize the best use cases for their project.
It’s still very early in the evolution of blockchain technology, so nothing can be ruled out yet. With AMB tokens trading at such low prices now might be an opportune time to pick some up, or even get enough to run a masternode. These could be very valuable if the Ambrosus technology catches on.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.