The world is facing an unprecedented rise in food waste over the past years. While yields from farming have increased the competition in the food market is one reason for high amounts of food which is never consumed.
The UN Environment Programme Food Waste Index revealed that 17% of the food available to consumers is never eaten but thrown away. In total, 900 million tonnes of food are thrown away, according to a 2021 global report. This includes supermarkets, households and restaurants. 60% of the food waste occurs in households. Numbers for the EU estimate on a per capita base Europeans waste up to 127 KG of food every year.
To combat this pervasive problem, an early-stage project called TRUFLE has emerged. TRUFLE leverages blockchain and deep learning technologies to provide a revolutionary solution for food waste reduction. The early-stage project was started by an innovative European SME called INLECOM. The company has offices in Brussels, London, Athens and Dublin.
Introduction to TRUFLE and its revolutionary food waste reduction solution
TRUFLE aims to provide full auditability, trust and transparency of information reported by retailers, food service providers and consumers about their discarded food and is linked to existing solutions, reliably classifying and quantifying the quantity of food waste with the scope of incentivized food-waste reporting. The solution is expected to pave the way for incentivised food reporting mechanisms to trust information from users and link trusted data to food waste reporting incentives.
The predictive capability enables TRUFLE to provide real-time insights and data to food suppliers and distributors about their products. By leveraging the power of blockchain and deep learning, TRUFLE can reduce food waste and increase the trust and exchange of information among its partners.
The TRUFLE platform is designed to be a fully-integrated supply chain solution. It comprises two main components: a blockchain-based ledger and a deep learning algorithm. The blockchain-based ledger securely stores and manages data about product supply and demand, allowing for accurate and secure data sharing between partners.
The project recently published a short descriptive video on how the solution works.
Benefits of TRUFLE’s blockchain and deep learning technologies
TRUFLE’s blockchain and deep learning technologies provide a range of benefits to food suppliers and distributors. By leveraging the power of blockchain, TRUFLE can ensure that all data is securely stored and protected. This makes it easier for food suppliers and distributors to share information and data, reducing the risk of data loss or theft.
The deep learning algorithm also enables TRUFLE to forecast demand for certain food items accurately. This predictive capability can help food suppliers and distributors avoid overproduction and reduce food waste. By leveraging the power of deep learning, TRUFLE can also identify patterns and trends in food demand, enabling food suppliers and distributors to optimize their production processes.
How TRUFLE’s technology works
TRUFLE’s technology is based on a combination of blockchain and deep learning algorithms. The blockchain-based ledger securely stores data about cases of food waste, allowing for accurate and secure data sharing between partners. This data is then used by the deep learning algorithm to accurately forecast demand for certain food items.
The deep learning algorithm is powered by a neural network that uses a range of data points, such as past sales and weather patterns, to create accurate predictions. This predictive capability enables TRUFLE to identify and reduce food waste in real time. The platform also includes various features, such as automated order processing and tracking, that make it easier for food suppliers and distributors to manage their supply chains.
TRUFLE’s impact on food waste reduction
TRUFLE’s technology has the potential to revolutionize the way food suppliers and distributors manage their supply chains. By leveraging the power of blockchain and deep learning, TRUFLE can enable food suppliers and distributors to accurately predict demand for certain food items and reduce food waste. This predictive capability can also help food suppliers and distributors optimize production processes and reduce operational costs.
The use of blockchain and deep learning technologies also has the potential to increase trust and exchange of information among food suppliers and distributors. By securely storing and managing data about product supply and demand, TRUFLE can help food suppliers and distributors share information and data securely and efficiently. This can help increase transparency in the food supply chain and reduce the risk of data loss or theft.
How TRUFLE’s technology can increase trust and exchange of information
TRUFLE’s technology can increase trust and exchange of information among food suppliers and distributors. By leveraging the power of blockchain, TRUFLE can ensure that all data is securely stored and protected. This makes it easier for food suppliers and distributors to share information and data, reducing the risk of data loss or theft.
Deep learning algorithms also enable TRUFLE to accurately forecast demand for certain food items. This predictive capability can help food suppliers, and distributors better plan their production processes and reduce the risk of overproduction. By providing real-time insights and data about product supply and demand, TRUFLE can help increase trust and exchange of information among its partners.
Examples of TRUFLE’s implementation in food waste reduction
A key goal of the project is to provide a simple and reliable way to report on food waste, where the people involved are motivated to provide data for better food management.
Food manufacturers, supermarkets and other members of the food chain will be able to uwe TRUFLE to optimize their production processes and reduce operational costs. By leveraging the power of deep learning, TRUFLE can accurately forecast demand for certain food items and help food manufacturers avoid overproduction and reduce their costs.
Challenges faced by TRUFLE
Despite its many benefits, TRUFLE’s technology is not without its challenges. One of the main challenges is data accuracy and consistency. A key challenge is to motivate people who are part of the food process chain to report food waste when it happens.
This might sound counterintuitive. But a future goal here could be to reduce the amount of food waste from around 17% too much less – which would help everyone involved to save costs and avoid losses from food which has never been consumed.
Another challenge is scalability. As the number of users increases, TRUFLE’s technology must be able to scale up to meet demand. This requires the platform to process large amounts of data quickly and accurately.
Solutions for overcoming the challenges
To overcome the challenges faced by TRUFLE, the platform must prioritize data security, data trustability and scalability. To ensure data privacy, TRUFLE must use cutting-edge encryption technology to ensure that all data is securely stored and protected. To address scalability, the platform must process large amounts of data quickly and accurately.
TRUFLE must also ensure that its deep learning algorithms are accurate and current. By leveraging the latest deep learning algorithms, TRUFLE can ensure that its predictive capabilities are accurate and reliable. This will help the platform accurately forecast demand for certain items and reduce food waste.
TRUFLE is a revolutionary technology transforming how food suppliers and distributors manage their supply chains. By leveraging the power of blockchain and deep learning, the platform can accurately predict demand for certain nutritional items and reduce food waste. TRUFLE’s technology can also increase trust and exchange of information among food suppliers and distributors, enabling them to share data securely and efficiently.
Since the beginning of the SportChain project, when it all started as an idea, huge progress has been made. This progress consists of several individual milestones that have been achieved and are further explained below. SportChain is a two-phase project and is currently approaching the end of phase one.
At the beginning of the project, we started with market research to determine the issues and needs of the sports and related industries to figure out where to place SportChain within this landscape. In this market research, the sports and associated industries, such as the betting and insurance companies, were involved.
Identified Business Opportunities
Through our market research and its results, we identified business opportunities. These opportunities supported us when designing the architecture and where the focus of SportChain should be directed.
Designed an Architecture
We have designed a SportChain architecture that drastically enhances the state-of-the-art digital processes within the sports industry. Also, we added features to increase data security, privacy, and trust in the sports data. The figure below shows the high-level architecture.
Figure 1: SportChain high-level architectural view including actors, components and main interaction flows
Implemented a Proof-of-Concept
Part of phase one was also the implementation of a proof-of-concept of the SportChain design. The most relevant parts are the SportChain portal, the integration with VIDwallet, and the integration with VIDcredentials studio.
The SportChain portal is the heart of SportChain. It offers the user interface between the users and the SportChain services. For instance, this portal will use team managers, league officials, notaries, and data reputation and analytics consumers. SportChain portal allows team managers to manage the team credentials, such as creating, issuing, or revoking player credentials. League officials use the SportChain portal to manage the league by issuing credentials for team managers and notaries and are also able to create matches and enter sports data that are being notarized by a dedicated notary afterwards. Last but not least, the portal offers a data catalogue that data consumers can use to search for data sets and statistical operations that will be performed on notarized data.
Figure 2: SportChain portal’s landing page with the different login options
VIDwallet is an SSI identity wallet developed by Validated ID. This identity wallet has been integrated into SportChain so that the actors can identify and authenticate themselves towards SportChain and also store and manage their digital identity data within their domain to ensure data security and privacy.
VIDcredentials Studio integration
VIDcredentials studio is a tool for credential issuers that provides a rich user interface with an advanced user experience. This tool is developed by Validated ID and has been adopted and integrated into SportChain, adding additional functionality to SpotChain. For instance, player credentials, special achievement credentials, or role credentials such as notaries or team managers can be issued and managed through this integrated tool.
So far, exciting results have been achieved, but the journey for SportChain does not end here. Instead, the SportChain team is planning further to develop the platform, not only the basic functionality but also by implementing new exciting features. These planned features are detailed below in a short outlook.
Notarization Data Anchored on Blockchain
As data notarization is the process defined where a trustworthy party with special permissions, a so-called notary, verifies data and notarizes that these data are correct. This process can be performed in analogue and also in a digital way.
SportChain enables the data notarization of sports data, which have been entered by a league official. The notary verifies these data and confirms their correctness. In SportChain, the notarization process is based on hashing the data set that is being notarized, followed by timestamping and electronically signing these notarization data. This way, a verifier can verify if a specific data set has been notarized and also when this notarization was performed. As a new feature, SportChain plans to anchor these notarization data on a blockchain, in particular, on the Alastria blockchain. The benefit of having these data on the blockchain follows the general benefits of blockchains, such as transparency, immutability, decentralized and improved security. This new and exciting feature is planned to be implemented in phase two of SportChain.
Data Analytics Based on Notarized Data
Data analytics, reputation systems and forecasting systems (also known as Artificial Intelligence) have been hyped in recent years. This is because these methods offer enormous potential when applied correctly.
SportChain offers a data catalogue consisting of available data sets and data processing methods such as data analytics, data reputations and forecasting. All of these data processing methods use as input data only the notarized sports data. This way, the authenticity and integrity of these data are ensured, which elevates the trust in the calculated results. SportChain plans to implement data analytics such as various statistics and a basic reputation system that utilizes notarized input data stored on the Alastria blockchain. The reputation data could be used by a recruiting team to support their decision-making process. The benefit is the increased trust based on the ensured
properties data authenticity and integrity. This feature is planned to be released in phase two.
Contact SportChain: Please click on this link to the project page, including an overview of the team members.
Welcome to a new edition of the TruBlo newsletter. The big news this past week was the successful merge of Ethereum. Our main question for selecting information and links: How is the field of blockchain, content and trust evolving?
TruBlo: Full list of 45 funded early-stage projects
We funded 45 early-stage projects, with €75K each. Selected projects will have the chance to get a second round of funding with an additional €100K. You can scroll through all projects on the website; each has a short profile.
This was a huge step for the platform. The new approach of proof-of-stake instead of proof-of-work will sharply reduce energy needs. How the change will affect the future of Ethereum remains to be seen. This week the cryptocurrency is down about 10%.
“The metaphor that I use is this idea of switching out an engine from a running car,” said Justin Drake, a researcher at the non-profit Ethereum Foundation who spoke to CoinDesk before the Merge happened.”
A larger number of crypto start-ups at YCombinator’s current batch
Despite the recent downturn, the newest YCombinator cohort of start-ups has 30 crypto teams. YCombinator is the top incubator program for new tech companies, with an impressive track record of large firms which started there.
Microsoft Teams popularity results in new cybersecurity challenges
“…according to research released by Vectra yesterday, versions of Teams for Windows, Mac and Linux are storing authentication tokens in plain text on the underlying device. This is significant because it means attackers can gain access to authentication tokens and other information if they hack a system where Teams is installed. This vulnerability highlights that enterprises can’t afford to rely on the security of consumer-grade, public-grade communication platforms when they’re communicating sensitive information, IPs and other data.”
Open source AI software: Stable Diffusion released
You might have heard of Dalle-E. Now there is another software able to generate images from text, and it is open source.
A week or so ago, Stable Diffusion was released, and the world went crazy, and for good reason. Stable Diffusion, if you haven’t heard, is a new AI that generates realistic images from a text prompt. You basically give it a description of the image you want, and it generates it.
Apple gradually takes a larger slice of global advertising revenues; the number of people working in that area at the company has by now doubled. This is not without potential controversy because Apple had introduced privacy rules reducing the ability to track users for companies like Facebook.
In discussions in Europe and the US, the goal is to have less “chaos” with charging ports. But not everyone agrees. If companies are forced to use a specific system, what happens to innovation in the long term? Quote from John Gruber, writing on Daring Fireball:
“Proponents of the EU’s USB-C charging port mandate speak as though bringing order out of chaos is still a problem to be solved in the mobile phone world, like it was 15 years ago. It’s not. Market forces generally work, and in the case of charging ports, they have: there are only two meaningful phone charging ports today, USB-C and Lightning. There is no chaos. There are good arguments for Apple to switch the iPhone to USB-C (high-speed data transfer, particularly for the 4K video footage iPhones have long been capable of, being at the top of the list), and good arguments against (zillions of iPhone owners with zillions of existing Lightning cables). But that should be for Apple to decide.” (Daring Fireball)
Instagram fined 400 million for child privacy violations
“The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) fined Meta, the owner of the social network Instagram, EUR405M for what it labeled a violation of child privacy statutes under the GDPR. DPC mentioned three issues with Instagram’s privacy settings that led to the penalty:
Users under 17 can open business accounts.
Business accounts for minors still display user contact information.
France: Journalists sign charter towards better climate change reporting
Journalists and media professionals in France signed a charter defining guidelines for climate change reporting. This includes revisiting growth models for the media companies themselves. One of the goals is to investigate and report on real solutions.
Binance to end support for stablecoins offers users to switch to their own
“Binance claims the move is to “enhance liquidity and capital-efficiency for users”, but the conversion and Binance’s related decision to stop trading on spot pairs involving those same stablecoins seems like an attempt to increase the status of its own stablecoin against that of rivals.” (Source: Web3isgoinggreat)
Several leading financial institutions in the US, including Fidelity, Schwab and Citadel, are behind a new crypto exchange called EDXM. Observers are unsure whether this is a sign of more profound interest or a delayed project coming out in crypto winter.
African Start-up “Metaverse Magna” receives funding for decentralised gaming
This February, Africa and emerging market-focused Nestcoin raised a pre-seed round to build, operate and invest in its web3 applications, including crypto content platform Breach Club and gaming guild Metaverse Magna (MVM). Nine months after its launch last December, the latter has completed a seed sale token round of $3.2 million at a $30M fully diluted valuation.
UK Treasury mandates that crypto exchanges report breaches or pay fines
New rules are applied in the UK in response to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The goal is to cover all valuable digital assets, which results in crypto assets being part of the sanctions list. If platforms do not report breaches quickly, they face fines for such delays.
Welcome to a new edition of the TruBlo newsletter. We are funding 45 early-stage blockchain ideas to explore new options for “trusted content on future blockchains”. A list of all TruBlo projects is here: https://www.trublo.eu/projects/
Our main question for selecting news and links: How is the field of blockchain, content and trust evolving?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a suit against Kochava, a US-based data broker.
“Kochava’s data can reveal people’s visits to reproductive health clinics, places of worship, homeless and domestic violence shelters, and addiction recovery facilities. The FTC alleges that by selling data tracking people, Kochava is enabling others to identify individuals and exposing them to threats of stigma, stalking, discrimination, job loss, and even physical violence. The FTC’s lawsuit seeks to halt Kochava’s sale of sensitive geolocation data and require the company to delete the sensitive geolocation information it has collected.”
Two-thirds of UK youth are not interested in crypto
A survey conducted by youth marketing agency Seed in May 2022 showed low interest in cryptocurrency among young people in Britain.
“Responses revealed that 66% of so-called ‘zoomers’ aged 18-24 are not interested in cryptocurrency, with 10% willing to try it but won’t prefer it over other investments. It canvassed 2,000 people during May, which was the depths of the crypto crash. Women are even less interested in crypto, with three-quarters giving it a thumbs down. In contrast, half of men are willing to give it a try.The situation for NFTs was even worse, with 70% believing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are scams.”
Google blocks TruthSocial app because of violent content
TruthSocial is a social media platform initiated by former US president Donald Trump after being banned from Twitter. Now it seems Google will not allow the app to be downloaded via the Google Play Store.
French government uses AI to detect undeclared swimming pools
In France, homeowners must declare a swimming pool for accurate property tax. Authorities are now using machine learning software to analyse aerial photos.
“The software, developed in partnership with the consulting firm Capgemini and the US digital giant Google, was tested in nine regions — Alpes-Maritimes, Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Ardèche, Rhône, Haute-Savoie, Morbihan, Maine-et-Loire and Vendée — and revealed more than 20,000 undeclared swimming pools, according to a report by the directorate. “
A tweet can be edited for up to 30 minutes, and the edit history will be shown to users. The feature has been requested for a long time, though critics feat that the edit option might open the door to misuse.
Little kids yelling “poop” at Alexa are driving up profits for some songs
“Pecunia non olet” is a Latin proverb that means “Money does not smell”. Now, some musicians report that songs with the word “poop” are getting many plays. The assumption is that this happens because little kids yelling “poop” activate Alexa.
According to a blog post by the Helium Foundation, the platform wants to free up resources needed to develop and maintain its own blockchain and instead plans to switch to Solana.
“Developers behind the Helium network – a grid of medium-range wireless hotspots pitched as an alternative to hard-wired internet service – are proposing to migrate away from the project’s own blockchain onto Solana, in pursuit of faster transaction speeds, higher uptimes and more interoperability with other blockchains as key reasons. The Helium Foundation wrote in a Medium post this week that the new proposal from the Helium core developer team would improve the operational efficiency “significantly.” The proposal to move toward Solana and away from Helium’s own blockchain, officially known as HIP 70, “addresses network speed, reliability and scalability”.
Misplaced decimal allowed traders in Georgia to cash out at 100x the regular price
Coinbase tries to get its money back after discovering that in late August, Georgia traders could cash out crypto at 100 times the intended market rate. The Georgian Lari (GEL) exchange rate was 290, not 2,90. As a result, an estimated 900 traders could sell their holdings at a considerable profit. Coinbase is now seeking payback; accounts have been locked in some cases. The misplaced decimal point was not detected for seven hours.
Market analysis: The state of crypto banks in 2022
Users: From October 2021 to May 2022, Crypto.com saw its user base grow from 10M to 50M, an increase of 400%. Similarly, the number of Nexo users doubled from over 2M to over 4M from September 2021 to May 2022. Crypto lending has surged over the last two years and publicizes a vision of financial services where lenders and borrowers avoid the traditional financial firms that position themselves as the gatekeepers for loans or other products.
Company size: While some crypto banks are facing hiring headwinds, others are unperturbed amid market volatility. In June 2022, BlockFi announced a 20% layoff — the company headcount dropped from about 850 in January to about 680 by the end of July. Meanwhile, Nexo’s LinkedIn headcount has jumped nearly 60% since January 2022.
Welcome to a new edition of the TruBlo newsletter. We are funding 45 early-stage blockchain ideas to explore new options for “trusted content on future blockchains”. A list of all TuBlo projects is here: https://www.trublo.eu/projects/Our main question for selecting news and links below: How is the field .of blockchain, content and trust evolving?
In Greece, Thanassis Koukakis, a financial journalist, discovered spyware on his phone. This case seems to be part of a whole wave of spyware uses.
“Over the past 13 months, it has been revealed that spyware had targeted opposition leaders, journalists, lawyers and activists in France, Spain, Hungary, Poland and even staff within the European Commission, the EU’s cabinet-style government, between 2019 and 2021. The bloc has already set up an inquiry into its own use of spyware, but even as the 38-person committee works toward producing a report for early 2023, the number of new scandals is quickly mounting up.”
One key finding – the spyware was developed in Europe, not elsewhere:
“What sets the scandal in Greece apart is the company behind the spyware that was used. Until then the surveillance software in every EU scandal could be traced back to one company, the notorious NSO Group. Yet the spyware stalking Koukakis’ phone was made by Cytrox, a company founded in the small European nation of North Macedonia and acquired in 2017 by Tal Dilian—an entrepreneur who achieved notoriety for driving a high-tech surveillance van around the island of Cyprus and showing a Forbes journalist how it could hack into passing people’s phones. In that interview, Dilian said he had acquired Cytrox and absorbed the company into his intelligence company Intellexa, which is now thought to now be based in Greece. The arrival of Cytrox into Europe’s ongoing scandal shows the problem is bigger than just the NSO Group. The bloc has a thriving spyware industry of its own.”
Long report about the founders, set-up and the reasons for the downfall of the crypto hedge fund. Apparently, “playing with money” was a big part of it, sheltered by a hybrid that the complex technology would make the blundering hard to detect.
“Bear markets in crypto tend to make any stock-market action look like child’s play. The crashes are so severe that insiders call it “crypto winter,” and the season can last years. That’s where Three Arrows Capital found itself by the middle of January 2022, and it was poorly equipped to weather it. The GBTC position ate an ever-larger hole in 3AC’s balance sheet, and much of its capital was tied up in restricted shares in smaller crypto projects. Other arbitrage opportunities had dried up. In response, Three Arrows seems to have decided to ramp up the riskiness of its investments in hopes of scoring big and getting the firm back on a solid footing. “What made them change was just overreaching for returns,” says a major lending executive. “They were probably like, ‘What if we just go long? In February, Three Arrows took one of its biggest swings yet: It put $200 million into a buzzy token called luna, which was founded by a brash, alluring South Korean developer and Stanford dropout named Do Kwon, with whom Davies and Zhu had been hanging out in Singapore.”
How a small, slightly different view might grow into deep distrust
Even if views on a complex issue differ, it should be possible to find a consensus for the best solution over time. A factor in this should be the amount of available information – the more, the better. That would be an assumption based on common sense. But it might not be true at all. Instead, the abundance of information might amplify small different views into deep distrust of “the other side”.
„We show that small biases may lead to substantial and persistent divergence in both trust in information sources and beliefs about facts, with partisans on each side trusting unreliable ideologically aligned sources more than accurate neutral sources and also becoming overconfi- dent in their own judgment.”
Could the abundance of information on the web and social media overwhelms and confuses humans? And that this leads to more extreme positions instead of compromise?
Dark Patterns: Bad when used by others, but ok when used by your company?
Benedict Evans points to two articles published in The New York Times: One criticising the use of “dark patterns” on technology platforms. And other technical articles where the news organisation talks about its optimisation to gradually funnel online visitors into subscriptions.
The use of technology to funnel first-time visitors gradually towards a possible subscription is not automatically a “dark pattern”. The expression describes UI/UX layouts of websites where users have difficulty saying “no”. Such patterns are used in all kinds of applications, often leading to complaints by users who only later find out they were tricked into consent for a setting, for marketing purposes or even a subscription which can not be cancelled anymore.
But Evans has a point that often, double standards apply to the use of
The technical report about using Machine Learning to gain more subscribers does not mention such approaches. But the point is: As everyone tries to optimise the business revenue, the occurrence of tricks, cover-ups and harmful business practices will likely not go down but up. One fact from the published article: After reaching 10 million paying subscribers, the NYT aims to reach 15 million by 2027. Such ambitious growth often applies tricks to achieve such goals in time. High pressure to reach goals was a significant reason for Volkswagen’s scandal around engine emissions.
In Argentina, Crypto is more practical for many transactions than cash
A recurring doubt regarding the future of cryptocurrencies (and blockchain) is the question of practicality. Where is the practical, day-to-day use?
One country where this is different is Argentina, a country where cryptocurrencies have a growing appeal, despite the volatility.
Two main reasons: The local currency, the peso, has lost value for decades. The second problem is that banks have imposed restrictions on bank accounts. Having a bank account in another currency with a bank outside of Argentina is no real option because one would have to travel there to get the money. This is why many people in Argentina store money they have in bricks – they buy bricks when they have money and store them.
“Argentinians who use crypto are increasingly untethered from the local Argentinian economy and increasingly plugged into the global cloud economy. Crypto is providing new solutions to problems that Argentina has faced for generations, and many Argentinians are excited about its potential to make it easier and safer to make, use, and store money.”
Bitcoin Depot to go public at an $885 million valuation
The company is operating a network of Bitcoin ATMs in the US.
“Founded in 2016, Bitcoin Depot claims to be the largest provider of such ATMs in North America with more than 7,000 kiosks in the region. These ATMs function by connecting with a wallet and, after a verification process, allow the user to insert fiat money to receive BTC, LTC or ETH in their wallets.”
The percentage of crypto investors did not grow in the past 12 months
According to a survey by PEW Research, the number of people dealing with crypto has remained at the same level as a year before, at roughly 16%.
(In 2020) Pew researchers asked 10,371 Americans if they have “ever invested in, traded, or used a cryptocurrency.” Some 16 percent of Americans said they had. Last month, the nonprofit asked another sample group — slightly smaller, at 6,034 Americans — the same question. And again, 16 percent said they had invested or traded in the alternate currency.