Lost pets come home with Peeva.

PetChain a Blockchain for Pets.

Unfortunately, a blockchain for pets is totally unrealistic.

Back in June of 2020, a few of us at Peeva took part in the annual “Animal Welfare and Tech Leadership Summit” organized by Best Friends Animal Society, a ‘not for profit’ Animal Welfare Organization that, according to their website, is A. focused on stopping the killing of nearly 4 million pets in shelters all across America and B. all tax deductible donations to the organization  go straight to helping thousands of animals.  

During the virtual summit, an “idea” for a blockchain was being presented by some clows at Best Friends Animal Society as if a blockchain for pets was something that had never been built before let alone something that had ever been imagined and those that were presenting the “idea” already had a name for it… PetChain which means they either A. totally disregarded the existence of the earlier entity that already built a pet blockchain with the same name (Please see https://devpost.com/software/petchain) or B. they failed to do their research. The latter proved to be the case.

Before going forward with any endeavor regardless of what it is, a survey of the landscape should be the obvious first step. 

The following are all very basic questions any investor will ask. It’s how the real world works. 

  • Has it already been built and if so what’s wrong with it?
  • Why hasn’t it been broadly implemented?
  • What were the challenges?
  • Are there any patents?
  • What would you do that is different?
  • Do you have a team of skilled engineers and project managers to make your idea a reality?
  • How do you plan on obtaining the necessary resources to pay them?

From providing better veterinary care, to returning lost pets to their owners, the potential a blockchain could have on the pet industry overall from a macro level is virtually limitless. For these reasons, Peeva built a blockchain for pets three years ago then pivoted away from it due to the following realities that make a blockchain for the the pet industry at any level totally unfeasible. 

A handful of other pet related organizations have realized the potential of a blockchain as well, however, neither have shown any evidence of getting further along than a Startup Weekend Grind.  For example, one is an idea that includes facial recognition technology for animals. The reality is there are only so many variations a German Shepherd, for example, can possibly look like.  Please see:

Pawtool https://pawtocol.com

CogniPet https://cogni.pet/cognipet/

AnimalGO https://blog.liquid.com/animalgo-the-ultimate-blockchain-pet-ecosystem

HealthyTail http://healthytail.org

Petcoin https://petcoin.org.au (not secure)

PetChain https://devpost.com/software/petchain (not to be confused with the title of this post)

Why can’t a blockchain work for the pet industry?

First off, multiple blockchains, defeat the purpose of having a network itself as it just creates silos. Our application was architected in a way to integrate with other blockchains, nevertheless, there are much greater challenges that make a blockchain for the pet industry impossible which is why we pivoted away from it. 

To make sense of these challenges, a high level understanding of what a blockchain is and how it works is required.

What is a blockchain exactly?

 The following links are quick and to the point.

https://www.goldmansachs.com/insights/pages/blockchain/
https://www.goldmansachs.com/insights/topics/blockchain.html

Another quick to the point resource you should skim over are challenges and questions anyone new to the blockchain in an arbitrary industry should consider. https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/uk/Documents/Innovation/deloitte-uk-blockchain-key-challenges.pdf

If you really want to refine your understanding you can sign up to audit a series of courses on the subject offered by the University at Buffalo.

https://www.buffalo.edu/ubblockchain/services/learning-opportunities/coursera_blockchain.html

Electronic Medical Records and Shelter Management Software

A successful blockchain would need its own EMR as well as Shelter Management Software and then directly compete with the corporations that have already built those systems that are already broadly used. Not to mention, veterinary professionals and shelter workers (like anyone else that doesn’t work in tech), don’t like learning new systems. The cost of switching would also be prohibitive.

Every software provider (on the vet side and shelter side) would need to update their systems with smart contracts to work with the blockchain and every software provider would need to be sold on the value of doing so.

Q: Why not just build their own blockchains?

A: Same reason there is no centralized solution (lack of transparency / competition)

Development Costs

  1. Developing a blockchain would also require a team of highly skilled developers and millions of dollars to pay them.
  2. The cost of hosting the amount of data required to make way for quick transactions would also be prohibitive.

The pet industry overall lags behind other industries technologically. Case in point: PetChain.

The pet industry, first off, lags behind other industries technologically. It is also completely fragmented especially at the shelter level which totally lacks transparency. A block chain for pets is way too much of a radical departure from current manual processes let alone the huge financial risks involved that include everything from implementation costs as well as the ramifications of being transparent. Shelters are still not required to report the number of pets that they take in, adopt out, or euthanize. 

  • Multiple software offerings dominated by large corporations
  • Veterinarians do not want to share data with other practices
  • Veterinarians do not want to share unfettered access with pet owners
  • Veterinarians do not want to share internal communications
  • Shelters have multiple software offerings
  • Shelters are not required to report the number of pets that are taken in, adopted, or euthanized
  • Shelters fear that stakeholders and those that would otherwise donate may rethink doing so Please seehttps://shelteranimalscount.org/home

In an effort for the above Animal Welfare Organization to not waste any resources by paying a third party software dev firm to learn all of this the hard way and more importantly not take away from the animals themselves, I sent a freindly email beginning with a high level overview of what a block chain actually is, how it works, and why it can’t work.  Within one week of that I was told that they had already pivoted away from a blockchain and had already developed proof of working concept in that time which they were unable to show.

What I don’t understand is how an organization that solicits donations and wants everything for free (like microchips) could realistically expect to obtain the resources to invest in technology they know absolutely nothing about. Better yet… Why would they? What is the purpose?

Why not double down on making their organzation achieve its actual purpose instead of attempting to play in a field they are unfamiliar with? 

Peeva: Where Lost Pets Find Their Way Home

Transform your pet’s microchip into a lifeline. 24/7 phone support and lost pet alerts ensure your pet gets the help they need, when they need it.

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