Emurgo's dlab accelerator scheme

dLab is a global accelerator program based out of New York. Emurgo works via dLab with multiple startups. Three such startups, from varied industries, shared their experiences.

We attended the panel on ‘Emurgo’s dLab accelerator scheme and how to leverage Cardano’ during Day 1 of the Cardano Shelley Summit 2020. The panelists included:

Nicolás Arqueros (Moderator): CTO, Emurgo
Nimesh Pinnamaneni: CEO, Helixworks
Nick Williams: Cofounder, Sempo
Heikki Vänttinen: CEO, Honeycomb 

Emurgo Announcements

The panel started with Nicolás Arqueros declaring three major announcements from Emurgo:

  • Emurgo is building an Oracle system for Cardano
  • It is building a decentralized Stablecoin
  • Emurgo is also building a Decentralized exchange

In talks with Nimesh Pinnamaneni, CEO, Helixworks

About Helixworks

Helixworks is a DNA Engineering company. Our dedicated team of scientists, designers, and engineers create nanomaterials that integrate data directly into physical objects. We are thinking about how to democratize biotechnology. Benefits should go to all people, who don’t have access.

The DNA Tracing Market

The food supply chain is complex. Having a Barcode does not seem to work that well. Our product Helix ID will give a certain level of granularity. A lot of this is still in the realm of academics and scientists. Previously you needed a million-dollar lab for DNA sampling. Now you can do it with a small package. Complex work of the DNA will be done in the backend.

We go to the farm and try to find the animal DNA and we will record those targets. When the meat is in the form of steak in the supermarket, a simple sample will give you the origin of the product.

Why Blockchain?

Blockchain can provide traceability and authenticate the data points. The DNA becomes the natural barcode. Blockchain will provide a link with what is in the ledger and the physical sample.

How difficult is it to leverage blockchain?

Food Traceability has different requirements. There is some work going on, but they are centralized. The hashing cost vs the cost of an apple has disparity. The real advantage is to record immutable information. If farmers need to shift buyers, we need data sharing. Interoperability is needed. The market becomes more open. That is the potential of Blockchain in Supply Chain.

Involvement with Emurgo

Emurgo is pretty active in South East Asia and Africa in food traceability. Blockchain is open-source. If something works it can be implemented in another blockchain. The biggest difference will be who has a bigger user base. Emurgo has the use cases. This can be significant leverage for the Cardano blockchain.

Helixworks Website

In talks with Nick Williams, Cofounder, Sempo

About Sempo

Sempo gives cash to vulnerable people. This is very effective during crisis management. 70% of Syrian refugees have sold their reliefs to buy what they need. Hence cash is needed. These people do not have access to bank accounts. We have been doing this for 2.5 years. We have worked in Keyna, Venezuela, etc.

Sempo Use Cases

There was a volcanic eruption in the Philippines. The village was evacuating. They were able to send us real-time videos via Facebook messenger. They told me, “I would love to get some gas mask, fuel for generator”. Now, how do I send him money? He does not have a bank account! The person tells me that he will buy from the store and we pay for the store. Thus we built our first infrastructure on SMS.

Really when you have money in Paypal and Bank account, that is not money. It’s a promise that when you want to encash they will pay you. You can get locked out. Mpay in Africa, anyone who tries to compete with them using their system, gets locked out. In many countries, competition rules are not strong enough.

Which platform are you currently using?

We currently use Ethereum. There is a recent vulnerability in Balancer pools. The De-Fi ecosystem is pushing the edge of what we can do in financing. But we need stability. People can not afford to lose half of their wealth. I am looking for more carefully designed systems.  During the ICO phase, Vitalik Buterin said, “What value have we achieved?” At this moment, a lot of the space is speculative. Finance tools are making money for themselves. That is disappointing. What change we can make to the future world. That’s where the future is.

About Cardano

I find the Generation 3.0 narrative from most Ethereum killers. There is probably not any “One size fits all” solution. Cardano integrated with the unbanked community will be more tailor-made.

Sempo Website

In talks with Heikki Vänttinen, CEO, Honeycomb

About Honeycomb

Honeycomb connects Smart Contracts with external data via a chain of Oracles. We are an API Market place. We currently have 23 APIs in the marketplace. Honeycomb is currently building on another platform. Honeycomb is the first API Marketplace of smart contracts. We work with a lot of Chainlink node operators. This creates decentralized data feeds. It creates essentially a more robust way of aggregating data.

Use Cases

The stuff people have built on the top of API Includes interoperability between different chains, trade futures, crop insurance. We want to enable different use cases that go beyond tokenization. We will replicate a lot of different existing products and improve them in trustlessness.

What does the future hold?

We are building deterministic anonymous systems. The forking model does not work. Once the base layer has been figured out that’s when we work on UX stuff. We don’t even need scalability at this time. It increases the damages. So we just need to figure out the base layer first. Only then we will be able to do a lot of cool stuff. Huge Gas fees are a huge problem for Ethereum.

About Cardano

Cardano allows you to look at each of the decisions that go into the blockchain. The foundation needs to be secure and solid so that you can scale. Ethereum has most of the developers, but we can see a shift, hopefully when Goguen launches well. We had our issues with Ethereum Gas prices. What Cardano promises is interesting for the developers.

Honeycomb Website

Previously, we covered Father of Internet Vint Cerf is a Big Fan of Anonymity. Stay tuned, we have more updates coming from Cardano Shelley Summit 2020.


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