Prime Shipping Foundation, the first company to invoice freight in bitcoin, is now planning to launch its own cryptocurrency. The shipping agency hopes to raise $150 million USD through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) by midyear.
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According to Ivan Vikulov, PSF’s CEO, using its digital currency would streamline conversions between its cryptocurrency and fiat currencies and speed up settlement times.
“The conversion in and out of bitcoin can sometimes take one or two days, and that’s not fast enough,” Vikulov said. “Ours will take a few seconds.”
PSF to Build Own Crypto Ecosystem
Prime Shipping Foundation (PSF), a project created in conjunction between Gibraltar-based Quorum Capital Ltd., a financial company, and Interchart LLC — a ship management service.
A month back, PSF already settled the first freight deal in bitcoin by shipping 3,000 tons of wheat from Rostov-on-Don, Russia, to Samsun, Turkey. The deal was part of the PSF’s pilot program that is experimenting with cryptocurrency settlements for the shipping industry.
Although the shipper invoiced the stupendous freight deal in Bitcoin, aforementioned Vikulov says paying in cryptocurrencies was not easy. The lack of liquidity when it comes to fiat currencies is challenging when transacting bigger amounts.
Alas, the difficulty in accepting crypto assets encouraged the company to initiate its own digital token.
PSF Wants Crypto Bank
PSF is also planning to acquire a banking license in Gibraltar that will operate as a link between the digital and tangible worlds.
Vikulov recently noted:
“The Prime Crypto Bank will become the interface between the online world and the real world, allowing a gradual adoption for the shipping industry, without compromising the benefits the new era brings.”
The PSF website has very little information on the endeavor for now, but the site does suggest the whitepaper will be released soon.
To say the least, though, bitcoin’s underpinning blockchain technology is gaining popularity in the shipping industry. Last year, Danish shipping giant Maersk announced the successful completion of its first live blockchain pilot study.
The program was aimed to reduce costs of sending shipping documents between counterparties by using a smart contract system. The project was built in partnership with IBM by employing its Hyperledger open-source Fabric blockchain.
Is Prime Shipping Foundation’s plan to use its own cryptocurrency a good move? Let us know your views in the comments section below.
Images via Wikipedia, Al Arabiya