OriginTrail Quarterly Report — Q2 2018
Several important milestones happened during the second quarter of this year for OriginTrail, particularly when it comes to promoting protocol adoption. One of the key achievements was the OriginTrail’s decentralized network launch as a testnet on June 29th, which opens a new area for the accessibility of the technology. With 33 B2B events, over 50 media mentions and multiple positive announcements in business development, we are comfortable that the business is definitely moving in the right direction. We are firmly fulfilling our vision of a decentralized future of supply chains powered by the blockchain, and we expect additional business opportunities emerge when the technology is out there, serving real businesses. OriginTrail is delighted to present you the second quarterly report which is split up to report on the achievements by each of our departments. Thanks a lot for supporting OriginTrail.
Protocol Adoption: Business Development News
In the second quarter of this year, the team has been following strategic goals aimed at bring adoption of the OriginTrail solution to different industries. More than 200 companies worldwide trialed OriginTrail technology and are gathering interest in OriginTrail. Among highlights in the second quarter, we organized two exclusive events in Ljubljana, where Matilda Ho (BitsxBites) and John Keogh shared their take on Food Safety and how utilizing OriginTrail is helping producers in China authenticate their products. Later in May, John Keogh took the role of Chairman of the Trace Alliance, where he will be involved in spearheading the organization. We got strong EU traction by participating in the EU4SmartVillages panel during the second quarter alongside Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Pekka Pesonen, Secretary-General representing EU Farmers and Agri-Cooperatives, Franc Bogovič, Member of the European Parliament, Dejan Židan, MSc, Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture.
Two recent partnerships stand out:
- EVRYTHNG, a platform that collects, manages and applies real-time data from smart products and smart packaging to drive Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications. This partnership combines IoT technology, with OriginTrail’s blockchain-based solution, to deliver verifiable supply chain traceability and product authenticity for consumer product brands.
- For easier adoption of the OriginTrail protocol, we teamed up with TMA Solutions, one of the biggest software development and outsourcing companies in Vietnam. Companies can now engage with TMA to receive services ranging from software development, software testing, services of porting and migration, production support, visual design and IT managed services.
Our team is continuing its worldwide presence and growing the OriginTrail ecosystem stronger through the Trace Alliance, by proactively involving with enterprises, different service providers, research institutions and other significant stakeholders in the supply chain area.
Protocol Development: Technology
During the second quarter of 2018, our focus was on developing the OriginTrail protocol in continuous, iterative biweekly sprints. To be able to do so rapidly, while maintaining quality output, we invested considerable efforts in a comprehensive recruiting campaign. This resulted in our expanding the development team by several experienced software engineers coming from varied backgrounds. Having an extended team has allowed us to stick to the tight schedule and publish as much as seven releases in the three months of Q2, culminating with the testnet release on June 29th. Each of the releases has introduced additional protocol features, as well as continuously improving the previously implemented ones, with the goal of finalizing the full feature set by the testnet launch.
The team has also tried to keep up with documenting most of these efforts. Each of the releases has been followed up by blog posts:
- V0.5a Ranger
- V0.6a Kosmos
- V0.7a Zond
- V0.8a Surveyor
- V0.9a Explorer
- V1.0 RC Lunar Orbiter and v1.0b Apollo testnet release
Additionally, there have been several documents published to explain the underlying mechanism of the protocol:
- Data Structure Guidelines
- Network Structure
- The Incentive Model
- Mass Balance Validation with Zero-Knowledge Privacy Layer Calculations
- Contribution Guidelines
The latest and most comprehensive documentation can be found here.
One of the goals we set for ourselves was to make sure that we minimize the friction associated with becoming part of the OriginTrail network for new users. We made sure to allow several options for node installation (the most simple one being using Docker) as well as a friendly remote control interface we have dubbed Houston. Houston allows for easier configuration and monitoring of the node operation and is currently supported on OSX. Windows support is coming in early Q3.
The development team will keep iterating in the coming months as we work on the network optimization and monitoring, improving the user experience and crafting more comprehensive documentation on the protocol’s abilities and ways of utilization. We are currently running our beta program and by participating with running your node you are helping the system improve and give us valuable insights about the network operation. You can do this both by submitting any issues or ideas on improvements, but also just by keeping your node up, as it keeps sending our team valuable telemetric information and reports. We will keep the community informed with updates on the protocol and our findings during the coming months before the launch of the mainnet.
The second quarter was the last to be directly influenced by the TGE activities, which is the reason for expenses being skewed in certain categories, predominantly legal/financials. Apart from that, the financial situation was stable and in accordance with plans.
In the following quarters, we are expecting the relative rise of development costs, as well as some security expenses since smart contract audits will take place.
The company is financially in a good state with enough liquidity to weather the suboptimal market conditions going forward, as well.
The envisioned financial structure, according to the execution plan of OriginTrail team, was presented at the TGE and can be seen in the values below showing target share (should be met by the end of the 3 year period). Next to the target share, you can find the current share of costs based on the actual funds spent in a particular segment up to the date of the report. The final assets value in ETH on June 30th was 14,538.
Marketing & Communication
In Q2, the main focus of OriginTrail’s marketing and communication department was to establish new channels, communication assets, and formats to support business development efforts. Founders and team members have presented the OriginTrail protocol at 33 selected events aimed at the business public. OriginTrail was also featured in more than 50 media posts, including CNBC, Digital Trends, and Forbes. Besides that, OriginTrail team members also contributed to professional reports by research institutions like Transport Intelligence.
- 33 Industry-Relevant Events: OriginTrail’s founders successfully conducted the Spring/Summer Roadshow. The majority of events were in Asia, where they had a chance to meet and discuss potential synergies with numerous businesses.
- OriginTrail’s Website Redesign: more focus on presenting the solution to the business audience requires multiple new communication materials. In May OriginTrail’s website was completely revamped to serve better the increasing demand for our technology solutions.
- Discord Group for Node Holders: the communication team was highly involved in the testnet launch planning as well. We have conducted a survey and developed a node holders beta onboarding strategy based on inputs of hundreds of participants. Based on survey results, we launched a Discord group for node holders with technical admins, which is growing and evolving beautifully. Let’s talk about that in July’s community report, which will be published on the 7th of August 2018.
- Social Responsibility and Knowledge Sharing: OriginTrail’s C-Level Team Participated in ConsenSys BSIC Incubator for Social Change in April and May. Žiga Drev, Branimir Rakić, and Maja Voje are mentors for an agriculture team who are competing in the challenge and Tomaž Levak is a judge at the competition.
- Influencers and Friends: OriginTrail team is proud to be featured in more than 50 media and influencers’ posts and reached more than 2.5 million people on Twitter in Q2 (which is more than the population of Slovenia, where our HQs are :)). Many wonderful exposures are a result of an outstanding community of supporters of OriginTrail that we are very grateful for and we will keep on delighting you with swag for all the amazing things you do for the project awareness. We surprised our community members with more than a 100 T-shirts or hoodies for their contributions so far.
In Q3, OriginTrail’s Communications & Marketing team will continue to work hard and smart to support all the amazing B2B developments lined up before the launch of the mainnet. We will also create new onboarding materials for companies who are eager to connect their existing technology stack with the blockchain utilizing the OriginTrail’s protocol. There will be a lot of market activities in Asia. Stay tuned for many more positive updates, including new partnerships, a big B2B professional event that we are organizing, and more.
Human Resources (Team & Employees)
OriginTrail has four offices. The headquarters is in Ljubljana, Slovenia (EU), the product team is based in Belgrade, Serbia and we have market development offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Here are the numbers of full-time employees for Q2:
- Number of team members on 1 April: 16
- Number of team members on 30 June: 19
*OriginTrail does not report advisors and contractors as team members.
In Q2, founders visited all the OriginTrail’s offices.
In Q3, we will be growing the business development and technology departments.
Our talent pool is always open for blockchain technology in supply chains enthusiasts. Apply via our career page if you would like to co-create the decentralized future with us. We always review the talent pool first when we open a new position and identify great candidates.
Trace token (TRAC) is an integral part of the OriginTrail Decentralized Network (ODN), and is needed in order to perform operations. It connects the supply and demand for data that will be on the ODN, thus connecting companies and the node holders that are essential for the protocol to function. The Trace token (TRAC) is traded today on three exchanges — KuCoin, IDEX and HitBTC — with KuCoin having the biggest volume of trading. Although there is an overall bearish sentiment on the crypto market right now, the TRAC token has remained neutral according to its price movement.
Following questions regarding the Trace token predictions based on the protocol usage, we have also engineered a Token Demand Model, to presume dynamics that occur due to demand created by its protocol level utility for which Trace was created.
Towards Q3: Rigorous Testing of the OriginTrail Network & Development of Strategic Partnerships
April, May and June have been a very dynamic couple of months for the team and the community. We had a quarter of intense development sprints towards the launch of the testnet. We also participated in various industry events all over the globe to secure protocol adoption and worked on TRAC ecosystem improvements. We are proud of the team and our partners that helped ensure timely development and the generation of a lot excitement for the OriginTrail protocol.
The responses that were received on the executed activities were also very inspiring and provided the additional motivation that we look to carry over to Q3. July, August and September will again be very crucial months to ensure long-term success of the OriginTrail ecosystem. The testnet is being closely monitored and all findings are being implemented in the updates of the code-base that are still occuring at a high pace (thanks to everybody that is actively participating in this important phase).
This period will also mark the official launch of the Trace Alliance partnership framework within which we seek to make actionable connections among different companies that expressed interest in working with the protocol. Some of the core members of Trace Alliance are already working closely with the team to act as more systemic integrators in the ecosystem. Last but not least, we are also constantly looking into ways how to ensure the best experience for the community members from all aspects of OriginTrail — be it content updates, technical support documentation or other improvements for TRAC holders. We plan to keep it that way.
Thank you for reading our Q2 report. Great thing have been done, even greater things are awaiting us in the future. Stay tuned for all the updates and we appreciate all of your active engagement in the community!