Unlocking the benefits of blockchain for finance and supply chain

Whitepaper

September, 2019

"Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine."
— Robert C. Gallagher


Abstract

This whitepaper introduces DRIVE, a global vendor of cloud services that unlock the benefits of blockchain for game changing use cases in finance and supply chain. At DRIVE, we focus on evolution instead of revolution. All DRIVE products embrace workflow automation, lowering barriers to adoption for small business and enterprise.

DRIVE Coin is our native currency and a hybrid approach that combines the natural function of a currency with the concept of membership and associated benefits. Membership is triggered by holding DRIVE Coin.

It’s important to note that DRIVE Coin is an ERC20 token that will transition to DRIVE Apollo. DRIVE Apollo is a set of simple APIs that allow developers to create digital assets including currencies, securities and utilities. This means DRIVE Coin isn’t limited to a single use case.

This paper assumes familiarity with the basic principles of blockchain and more importantly, the benefits.


Blockchain from a business perspective

Contrary to popular belief, anyone can quickly grasp the key benefits of blockchain. When asked these types of questions, I’m reminded of Matthew Hooper at IBM, who in 2018, published an article on the top five benefits of blockchain:

1. Greater transparency
2. Enhanced security
3. Improved traceability
4. Increased efficiency and speed
5. Reduced costs

1, 2 and 3 are a consequence of blockchain’s ledger function, the record keeping technology behind blockchain which delivers value for the majority of use cases. And that is the beauty of blockchain. It’s simplicity.


Idealism vs reality

Blockchain is rife with BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals) which push the envelope but also create adoption hurdles for business.

Workflow automation, a key requirement for most organizations, is the automation of processes where human tasks, data or files are routed between people or systems based on pre-defined business rules. In a nutshell, for a blockchain implementation to have a greater chance of success, it must play nicely with existing systems and processes.


Delivering the value of blockchain

One company that seemed to be notably absent from the blockchain revolution was Amazon Web Services (AWS) which released QLDB (Quantum Ledger Database) in September, 2019.

“Amazon QLDB is a new class of database that provides a high-performance, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable ledger that customers can use to build applications that act as a system of record, where multiple parties are transacting with a centralized, trusted entity” announced Amazon.

In fact, Amazon have battle tested QLDB, using a form of QLDB internally for years, prior to release.

So how does QLDB differ from, for example, Ethereum?

“Strictly speaking, there is not a universally accepted definition of blockchain. The cryptographic hashing features which make the technology suited to digital currency applications like Bitcoin--when applied to use cases with a central trusted authority--make the technology little more than a computationally intensive database” says James Sanders for Tech Republic.“

The value of QLDB is ease of deployment. Relative to the amount of work and compute nodes required to deploy Hyperledger Fabric or Ethereum, QLDB simplifies the deployment of a ledger database.”

At DRIVE, we validate and work with different blockchains based on use case. In the case of Apollo, our digital asset platform, QLDB was best suited due to:

Serverless
QLDB delivers seamless, automatic scaling without the need to provision capacity or configure read and write limits. QLDB can scale up and execute 2-3x as many transactions as common blockchain frameworks. Blockchain frameworks are often decentralized and require peer nodes to validate a transaction before it can be stored in the ledger, impacting their performance. On the other hand, executing a transaction in QLDB is as simple as any AWS database.

API
QLDB can be integrated with AWS API Gateway, providing endpoint support for every read/write function to QLDB, enabling workflow automation for processes associated with settlement.

Event Driven Computing
AWS Lambda is an event-driven, serverless computing platform that runs code in response to events and automatically manages the computing resources required by that code. In the case of Apollo, Lambda is the bridge between QLDB and API Gateway.

In summary, where existing use cases such as clearing and settlement, can benefit from blockchain, QLDB is the closest version of a traditional database which makes it easier to embed into current workflows.


Our products

The DRIVE team counts experience in the capital markets, gaming, supply chain, banking, law and more. We’ve worked for companies including Morgan Stanley, Ubisoft, Venzee, Ericsson, Barclays and Google.

The team has identified the largest disruption opportunities for blockchain. This research, combined with our domain knowledge and existing relationships, will position DRIVE as a global vendor of cloud services that unlock the benefits of blockchain for game changing use cases in finance and supply chain.

DRIVE Apollo

Whether a security, commodity, utility or currency, assets have a lifecycle that starts with creation.

In the case of equity, a company is incorporated, founder shares are distributed, funding is raised and new share classes are established. Shareholders continuously take corporate actions including transfers or address changes and eventually, the company may go public and clearing and settlement enter the picture.

The entire process is fragmented with many ancillary providers involved.

We believe there is an opportunity for a highly sticky, end to end solution, that will benefit asset issuers and holders throughout the lifecycle of an asset.

DRIVE Apollo will help companies create and issue digital assets and normalize settlement, with powerful workflow automation that integrates existing systems and processes.

Our target clients are startups and service providers that are interested in extending their existing product to include asset digitization.

DRIVE Apollo is built on AWS QLDB for scalability and speed. Access to the platform and configuration will be available through API and JSON schemas.

DRIVE Pay

In today’s world of one click payments, the clearing and settlement of payments, particularly cross border, are costly and can take days. Payments are frequently lost or rejected and the transacting parties have limited to no real-time insight into the status of payments.

At DRIVE Pay, we believe that contrary to the media, clearing and settlement, not SWIFT, is the problem. SWIFT is a network of more than 11,000 financial institutions which eliminates the common issue of interoperability.

DRIVE Pay aims to deliver real-time clearing and settlement for financial institutions, bringing together the hyper-connected SWIFT messaging network, the settlement capability of digital bridge currencies and the ledger capability of blockchain.

Through our relationship with SWIFT and existing partnerships and infrastructure developed for DRIVE Markets, DRIVE Pay will become a reality.

DRIVE Verify

Services like Totem by Markit, enable institutions to independently verify derivative positions for their books and records reporting to address increasing regulatory scrutiny of balance sheets and trading activity.

Such a service isn’t available for digital assets, which due to single asset - multiple trading venues, requires both spot and derivative verification.

This presents a legal hurdle for launching digital asset funds and ETFs. In fact, lack of consensus market prices is one of the major factors cited in the denial of crypto ETFs in the USA and has also been raised in regulatory license commentary by the SEC, IIROC and FCA.

DRIVE Verify will be an API, designed to deliver consensus based asset prices to support the independent verification of book valuations.

DRIVE Slingshot

The biggest challenge for supply chain and trade finance is interoperable data. Unlike finance, where solutions like SWIFT carry payment instructions between thousands of financial institutions, in today’s world of real-time commerce, supply chain runs on incompatible databases, spreadsheets and even faxes.

Slingshot doesn’t impose a data standard. GS1 demonstrates it doesn’t work for small and midsize companies that represent 98% of US manufacturing.

Instead, Slingshot is designed to ingest any type of data schema and using AI and machine learning, transform data into the system requirements of a partner like the Trade Information Network and deliver via API or flat file.

All activities on Slingshot will be underpinned by a blockchain partner.

DRIVE Elevate

The bond market is a financial market where participants can issue new debt, known as the primary market, or buy and sell debt securities, known as the secondary market. As of 2017, the size of the worldwide bond market was estimated at $100.13 trillion, according to Securities, Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).

In the U.S. alone, bond markets make up almost $40 trillion in value, compared to less than $20 trillion for the domestic stock market. Trading volume in bonds also dramatically exceeds stock market volume, with nearly $700 billion in bonds traded on a daily basis.

As a method of raising finance, the model is proven, however, the cost of bond issuance is prohibitive for small and midsize business (SMB’s) and municipalities.

The Elevate website will enable brands and municipalities to register and create their offering profile including information about themselves, incentives for lenders and loan terms.

The Elevate team will review all applications and determine approval based on criteria including the ability to insure the debt with an underwriting partner.

Once approved, the loan is made available for funding by lenders and can be funded through a variety of methods including bank transfer, debit card and PayPal. Individuals or companies will need to register on the Elevate website to become a lender and agree to receiving marketing communications from borrowers whose debt they fund.

Once the loan is funded, proceeds are distributed to the borrower.

DRIVE Elevate will be registered as an EMD (exempt market dealer) and the goal is to list ETN’s (exchange traded notes) with our exchange partners on a prospectus exempt basis

‍This means that DRIVE Elevate will be subject to a minimal level of legal regulation which can prove both costly and prohibitive.

DRIVE Elevate is advised by Borden Ladner Gervais and Fasken Martineau.

DRIVE Markets

DRIVE Markets is backed by a team of capital, currency and crypto trading experts from the development of technology, back office management and quantitative trading strategies.

DRIVE Markets specializes in market making for digital assets. Our custom algorithms trade 24/7 with support for 20+ exchanges including Binance, Kraken, Poloniex, Coinbase Pro, Kucoin, OKex, Bitfinex and more.

Our market making and internal trading strategies have exceeded 10% ROI on a monthly basis.


DRIVE Coin (DRI)

DRIVE Coin (DRI) is our native currency, designed for payment and utilitarian purposes including:

Paying for DRIVE products and services

DRIVE Coin (DRI) can be used to pay for all products and services developed by DRIVE, at a discount to our regular pricing. Our monetization models include SaaS, origination fees and API usage. In enterprise, it is key to keep payments standard so as not to confuse or create hurdles for accounting. In the case of DRIVE Coin (DRI), we achieve this with the following:

○ User opts to pay with their DRIVE Coin (DRI) to receive a discount - wallet transfer via simplified UI.

○ User opts to pay with DRIVE Coin (DRI) to receive a discount but doesn’t hold any DRIVE Coin. (DRI) - user pays with a credit card and a buy order is sent to the  market for DRI which is transferred to DRIVE treasury.


Bridge currency for DRIVE Pay and DRIVE Slingshot

In a similar manner to XRP, DRIVE Coin (DRI) is one of the available bridge currencies for the clearing and settlement function of DRIVE Pay.

In the case of Slingshot, DRI will be used as a bridge currency between transacting parties for goods shipped and received.


Marketing and rewards
DRIVE Coin (DRI), as an Apollo asset, will protect the identity of holders but the issuer, in this case, DRIVE, will be able to communicate with holders for the purpose of marketing and rewards on an opt-in basis.

DRIVE Coin (DRI) gives holders exposure to multiple opportunities for blockchain in finance and supply chain. This presents a much stronger case for success vs existing, single product coins in the market.


Protocol

DRIVE Coin (DRI) is currently an ERC20 token but will be securely transferred to the Apollo platform upon the launch of DRIVE Apollo, where holders will receive an LFL (like for like) conversion.


Supply and allocation

Total supply and allocation for DRIVE Coin (DRI) is as follows:

Release Schedule:


Initial Exchange Offering (IEO)

It is the company’s intention to hold an IEO event with a leading cryptocurrency exchange where DRIVE Coin (DRI) will be subsequently listed. It is of paramount importance that the venue chosen for the IEO has a credible reputation with the crypto community as well as brand awareness in finance and supply chain.

The venue must also have an adequate API to support market making and post listing announcements that allow DRIVE to keep the community informed of progress and news catalysts.

DRIVE is targeting a public raise of $8M USD. IEO pricing will be set in collaboration with the listing venue.


Use of proceeds


It is the intent of the company to develop our products in Canada in order to participate in the governments SRED program which returns up to 64% of payroll spent on research and development, back to the company.


Team

The DRIVE team and advisors count over a century of experience in the capital markets, gaming, supply chain, banking, law and more. We’ve worked for companies including Morgan Stanley, Ubisoft, Venzee, Ericsson, Barclays and Google.

We have demonstrated success building and exiting private companies as well as the listing of a public company on the Toronto Stock Exchange by the CEO and CTO.

Kate Hiscox, Founder and CEO
Kate has worked in supply chain and finance for 20+ years with successful exits including Venzee (TSX:VENZ) which priced at $1.80+ on day one. Following the successful listing of Venzee, Kate stepped down as CEO to focus on blockchain opportunities and ultimately founded DRIVE.

Kate has been featured for entrepreneurship and blockchain innovation in Inc. Magazine, Forbes, The Next Web and TechCrunch.

Marco Sylvestre, CTO
Marco Sylvestre is a certified scrum master and was formative in the transition from waterfall to agile development for some of the largest financial and insurance organizations in Canada.

Marco started his career with the Canadian Armed Forces, becoming a disciplined developer and professional having seen first hand, what happens when things go wrong.

His 20 year career also includes a multi year tenure with Ubisoft which introduced him to big data and the rapid development, synonymous with a global leader in game development.

Marco and Kate have worked together for 5+ years, developing a proven track record of identifying disruptive opportunities by solving data interoperability.

Jimena Aviles, COCO
Jimena graduated from Tecnológico de Monterrey, widely considered to be the ‘Oxford of Latin America’ and also holds a Masters degree from the University of Melbourne. Responsible for legal and operations at DRIVE, Jimena is driven by process and accountability.

She has worked with Kate and Marco for 5+ years.

Sanjeev Sarda, Director of Quantitative Strategy
Sanjeev is a 12+ year veteran quantitative trader with companies including RBS, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Barclays.

Sanjeev’s speciality is algorithmic trading with a transition from the FX markets to cryptocurrencies. He has worked with some of the best performing hedge funds in the UK and India.

Daniela Conejo , Director of UX/UI
Daniela is a data driven user experience specialist that translates her findings into world class web and mobile app design. She is also responsible for DRIVE’s branding.

Daniela has worked with Kate and Marco for 4+ years.

Ben Hiscox, Marketing Manager
Ben doesn’t move without SWOT analysis and a full marketing plan to back up his automated strategies. His team search the corners of the internet, making sure that our products receive full competitive analysis and validation before a dime is spent on marketing.

Ben has worked with Kate and Marco for 5+ years.

Killian Alexandre, Support Manager
Killian is a veteran support specialist, having worked at companies including Venzee before transitioning to manage the setup and deployment of large scale, offshore support teams for companies including Udemy.

Killian has worked with Kate and Marco for 5+ years.

Charly Ivor, Lead Developer and Architect
Charly lives and breathes serverless architecture and micro services. As a 15+ year veteran developer that codes as well as he builds teams, Charly is responsible for the design and build of all DRIVE Products alongside Marco, our CTO.


Risks

As with any new product, there are risks associated with success. We manage risk by making sure that our validation is thorough and that we fully understand the needs and profile of our end users. We pursue the most efficient customer acquisition channels and ensure that our financial planning and management is robust.

Having built and exited previous companies means that we have seen it all and know that the only thing you can guarantee with a new business or product is that there will be problems. Therefore, it is key to have a team that comprises fearless problem solvers.


Competition

We believe there is no such thing as too much validation. Before a line of code is written or branding developed, we invest significant time into competitive analysis and validate the need with potential customers.

By investing this time, we reduce the risk of going to market with an overbuilt product and learn from competitors mistakes.

Taking guesses is not an option at DRIVE. We make sure that we hire the best team members and appoint the best advisors to remove any need for guesswork. We validate, we monitor, we fail fast, we evolve - and we don’t take no for an answer!