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OriginTrail Quarterly Report — Q3 2020 | Harnessing Neutrality, Inclusiveness & Usability

The third quarterly report of 2020 covers the most significant events and developments that happened in the OriginTrail ecosystem during July, August, and September. Since the last month covered in the report touches upon the hack that happened to the Kucoin exchange — which impacted both the sentiment of the OriginTrail community and partly what the core development team had been working on to help rectify — we decided to publish this report a bit later than usual to have a chance to write about a positive resolution of the incident.

We feel relieved that the Kucoin exchange managed to restore withdrawals and deposits of TRAC and has resumed its trading services as of 19:45 on November 9, 2020 (UTC+8). Thus, all TRAC token holders that were impacted by the security incident can now once again access the very same utility token. To resolve the matter, the OriginTrail core development team did not propose performing a token swap but rather insisted on the existence of the original utility token, ensuring the proper development and functioning of the OriginTrail Decentralized Network (ODN). Once again, relying on the three core values of the OriginTrail ecosystem — neutrality, inclusiveness, and usability — proved to be the right guiding principle in bringing matters to a positive result. We are thankful to the community members who supported the core development team in striving to achieve this while ensuring the ODN maintains its resilience.

As you read the Q3 report, you will notice that the three months it covers have been especially full of new achievements based firmly on the three core values of OriginTrail. What follows are a few highlights:

  • Following the successful launch of the British Standards Institution’s (BSI) white paper, the ODN was positioned in the organization’s commercial activities. BSI is the leading organisation delivering assurance and compliance services to companies globally and is raising awareness about the technology with key decision makers;
  • To further expand the use of the OriginTrail Protocol in the enterprise sector, the Oracle and Trace Labs teams have been working together on a solution to automate dairy payments to farmers using OriginTrail as a trusted oracle for the enterprise-grade Oracle Blockchain Platform (OBP).
  • In the months to come, courses aimed at expanding awareness about the capabilities of the ODN will be made available at Ivan on Tech Academy. These courses are a product of the newest partnership within the Trace Alliance.
  • To expand the use of the technology within the Next Generation Internet Initiative (NGI), which was launched by the European Union (EU), Trace Labs has been selected by two accelerators — NGI Atlantic and NGI DAPSI — to further pioneer the adoption of privacy-preserving and human-centric solutions in Europe and the United States.
  • As OriginTrail can be used to solve some of the largest societal problems our humanity faces due to opacity in supply chains, the Trace Alliance has initiated a crowdsourcing campaign to collect data on essential supplies in one place to tackle the spread of COVID-19. The initiative received support from the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) UpLink digital platform which crowdsources innovations that address the world’s most pressing problems. The platform was founded by the WEF, Salesforce, Deloitte, Microsoft and Linkedin, among others.
  • To seize the growing opportunities that lay in the future data economy using the widest possible array of blockchain capabilities, the core development team has partnered with Parity Technologies to achieve a multichain vision.

We hope you enjoy learning even more about these achievements as you go through the report.

Protocol adoption: Business development news

Our significant technical improvements during Q2 set the stage for a strong quarter of enterprise adoption and Q3 did not disappoint on that front. Last quarter, BSI and Trace Labs released a whitepaper titled “Instruments of Trust,” showcasing three of the most advanced solutions that were co-developed. These solutions were further showcased during a joint webinar called Delivering supply chain resilience through instruments of trust.

Among other interesting content, participants were able to see a live demo of SCAN Trusted Factory solution, which helps members of the SCAN Association (including Walmart, Home Depot, Target and others) efficiently share audit report data amongst each other.

Another important Q3 milestone was the implementation of the “ODN as a trusted oracle” framework on a business use case in a dairy supply chain. Combining the strengths of OriginTrail and Oracle Hyperledger blockchain, Trace Labs was able to improve safety in the dairy supply chain and automate payments towards farmers in a secure way.

Impact in the food industry did not stop with dairy products as the EIP-EKOPAKT project unveiled a nation-wide ambition to increase transparency in the organic meat industry by deploying a decentralised farm-to-fork traceability system.

In addition to the ongoing projects, we have seen some key beyond-the-state-of-the-art initiatives kick-off as well. OriginTrail has joined the GS1 EPCIS 2.0 Working Group to help shape and trial globally most adopted traceability data standard with one of the largest global standards-providing organisations. Staying within the GS1 domain, OriginTrail Decentralized Network (ODN) has also been utilised together with the up and coming Digital Link standard, which is paving the way for trillions of products to get their digital twins.

Speaking to the versatility of the ODN, the validation received from Next Generation Internet (NGI) consortia has been very exciting and two new projects have been confirmed. OpenPKG will deliver an ODN implementation for managing personally identifiable information in a GDPR-compliant way, while NGI Atlantic will bring the Food Data Marketplace to multiple supply chains in Europe and the US.

Another part of the OriginTrail ecosystem that was very busy during Q3 was Trace Alliance with three very significant updates. We have seen the successful launch of the first working group within Trace Alliance under the name “Decentralisation and Tokenomics”. Our excitement was even greater as Parity Technologies were among the first to join the working group with the intention to provide valuable input as OriginTrail set on the path towards a multichain future.

The second important Trace Alliance milestone was the launch of a partnership with Ivan on Tech Academy to release educational content on using OriginTrail technologies. The first courses are expected to launch later this year. And last, but not least, Trace Alliance launched an important initiative to create a trusted repository for COVID-19 essential supplies and kicked-off the first phase, which entails crowdsourcing openly-available data on those products. The initiative received several positive responses from stakeholders globally, including big recognition from the World Economic Forum as it was selected for the UpLink program’s COVID-19 Innovative Solutions cohort.

Protocol development: Technology

Technical developments in Q3 of 2020 have shown an important expansion towards an updated technical roadmap. OriginTrail technology continues to be open-standards centric, having been tested and piloted with the upcoming GS1 Digital Link. As GS1 standards are the cornerstone of supply chain data sharing and a key focus for the OriginTrail protocol, the OriginTrail core development team has joined the GS1 EPCIS 2.0 Working Group to actively contribute to further standard development. Apart from GS1, additional efforts have been made to support upcoming projects such as the Next Generation Internet OpenPKG and Data Marketplaces focusing on W3C Verifiable Credentials & Decentralized Identity compatibility.

The OriginTrail development community has been particularly active in Q3, as evidenced by multiple key developments. First in line was a major update to the community-operated OT-Hub — big praise goes out to our community members Luke BBNM and Milian for the improvements and updated design.

Significant progress was made with the newly-established Trace Alliance Decentralization and Tokenomics Working Group, which has launched two technical initiatives for transitioning the OriginTrail Decentralized Network to a multi-chain implementation together with the OriginTrail community members and one of the newest Trace Alliance members, Parity technologies. The first in line being the Starfleet initiative, which aims to present the first dual chain implementation following the Polkadot implementation (spearheaded by the Polkadot Task force in the working group). Both initiatives have focused on the design and implementation plans for developments, which kicked off in September. The core developers have migrated the OriginTrail RFC repository for that purpose and it is now easier to contribute and track through the dedicated Github project.

Additional implementations have been executed, most notably the Trusted Oracle framework, which was later implemented to automate dairy payments with a blockchain platform based on Oracle Hyperledger Fabric. We have seen a total of five new releases for the OriginTrail Node client that have introduced improvements in the data exchange, optimization, and bug fixes.

Financials

Following the pattern established in the previous quarters, spending is approaching set targets. The organization remains in a good state financially, with enough funding to sustain further development efforts. The envisioned financial structure, according to the execution plan of the OriginTrail team, was presented at the TGE and can be seen in the values showing target share (at the end of 2020) below. 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 size of the future development fund remains unchanged, as announced in the last quarterly report. The total size of the treasury, including the future development fund, stood at 52,633.50 ETH on September 30.

Key ODN adoption metrics

Constantly increasing scope of the ODN use within the enterprise sector (find out more about some of the case studies describing use of the OriginTrail protocol here) is supporting further growth of the OriginTrail Decentralised Knowledge Graph (DKG). Trace Labs — OriginTrail core development team — is pioneering the adoption of decentralised and permissioned systems in mainstream enterprise markets, and has been successfully honing the ability to integrate the ODN in complex legacy IT landscapes. Interaction of the ODN with the real world IT infrastructure is crucial to validate its development premises and improve the architecture based on the key ODN adoption metrics.

The Q3 saw overall positive movements in the ODN parameters monitored with an exception of the number of data holding jobs published as a result of skyrocketing Ethereum gas fees. The latter already decreased significantly at the end of the third quarter, which allowed for a very noticeable uptake in the number of new jobs published already in October. Also, the Starfleet initiative and the proposed development plan is tackling the “gas fee” issue at the systemic level to arrive at a future proof solution.

New jobs on the ODN

New jobs on the ODN is the number of new datasets published in a month on the OriginTrail Mainnet for which node holders are getting compensated. Datasets are published by organizations using the network for various purposes. Jobs incentivize node holders in the network to stake TRAC as this qualifies them for compensation in exchange for linked data storage, availability, and verification services.

As mentioned above, the number of new jobs published to the ODN has been lower in this quarter, averaging at 277 jobs per month. While July posted 427 jobs, the low average number is especially heavily impacted by two lowest job-publishing months in this year, August and September.

Total TRAC staked

Each node joining the ODN mainnet is required to stake an initial amount of TRAC as a safety measure (currently at 3000 TRAC). Furthermore, data holders are required to stake the same amount of TRAC as their compensation to serve as collateral, ensuring they maintain the data availability and presentation in its original form (e.g., for a job with a 100 TRAC compensation, the node holder is required to stake 100 TRAC, which get locked in the smart contract until the end of the job’s duration).

We observe a growth in $TRAC token staked in the network relative to the total supply, with 2,7% of token staked in September (compared to 2% in June — the last month in Q2).

Total data size

The total size of data stored on nodes participating in ODN is also an important metric that shows the utilization of the network for business data.

Total data size on the ODN has continued to grow in this quarter, surpassing 200 GB in September. It is a positive signal that despite the lower number of new jobs, the total size of data on the network almost doubled since June, growing from 120GB to 200GB).

Total graph size (TGS)

Total graph size (TGS) is meant to tie all of the other metrics together. TGS is a measurement that combines the total number of graph vertices (also known as graph cardinality, or the order of the graph) and the total number of graph edges (known in graph theory as graph size) of a decentralized graph. The vertices represent all the different objects that have been added to the graph (such as identifiers and specific information for supply chain events, products, attestations, locations, and certificates) while the edges represent the connections between these objects.

TGS has seen a steady growth from July to September, finally reaching 6.25 million at the end of the quarter.

Marketing & communications

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us all to change our lives and the way we conduct business in one way or another. In Q3, Trace Labs has continued to focus our marketing and communication activities on making an impact with our online presence.

Impactful webinars with BSI and GS1 and other events

In Q3, we partnered with two important organizations from the OriginTrail ecosystem to deliver impactful webinars on blockchain technology for supply chains — BSI and GS1.

OriginTrail and Trace Labs co-founder and CTO Branimir Rakić joined BSI’s Group Innovation Director Dan Purtell, and BSI Supplier Compliance Manager Team Lead Shelley Sjerven in mid September to demonstrate how blockchain-enabled technologies support resilience and inspire trust in the supply chain. Together, they demonstrated how BSI and Trace Labs are using OriginTrail-enabled technology to help organizations demonstrate to their customers the integrity of their global operations and that the claims about their product and/or services are authentic, have been independently verified, and can be trusted.

Branimir Rakić joined leading experts from GS1, EVRYTHNG, and Cultivati in a webinar on data models and standards for enterprise blockchain supply chain applications. They discussed why standards are crucial and what benefits they bring for managing supply chains. The webinar attracted an audience from all over the world and a wide variety of industries.

Branimir also joined a panel discussion on the use of standards in supply chain management hosted by the NY Supply Chain Meetup.

Trace Labs General Manager Jurij Skornik presented the progress Trace Labs has been making with our flagship innovation experiment within the EU-funded SmartAgriHubs project at the SmartAgriHubs regional cluster tour. He also joined lecturers and panelists at the Africa Blockchain Developers’ Call Series (ABDC Series) engaging with the new generation of blockchain developers in Africa and sharing the knowledge and experience of building blockchain-based solutions for supply chains.

And at the end of Q3, co-founder and Managing Director Tomaž Levak shared what is ahead for the Food Data Marketplace within the EU-funded NGI Atlantic project where we are collaborating with Kakaxi, our partners from the US, at the NGI Policy Summit.

Monthly Office Hours with the founders

Monthly Office Hours with the OriginTrail and Trace Labs founders, which were introduced at the end of Q2, really took off in Q3. Hosted by OriginTrail’s trusted community member Guinnessstache as a live Zoom webinar, the office hours have been providing an excellent platform for the community to ask all of their burning questions and have regular interactions with the founders. For anyone who missed the live discussions or would like to watch them again, all of the past office hours videos remain available for watching on demand on the OriginTrail’s YouTube channel.

Shoutout to the Tracers community

The OriginTrail community has grown even stronger and more prolific in Q3. The community-led Telegram channel continued to grow and Tracers produced awesome videos breaking down the latest news and updates.

Great work was done as part of the open-source community efforts for the OT Hub. Community data contributors gathered and contributed data to the Trusted COVID-19 Essential Supplies Repository (TCESR). We also saw community members participate in the Starfleet Task Force within the Trace Alliance Tokenization and Decentralization Working Group, which was set up at the end of Q3.

A special shoutout to Famous Amos of Chill Zone International as one of the most prolific community content producers. We also want to thank community data contributors to the TCESR, the team contributing to the OT Hub, and the community members in the Trace Alliance Starfleet Task Force (Luke, Milian, Guinnessstache, Kirk, and Famous Amos).

Attention of the larger crypto community

Attention of the larger crypto community

All of the progress that has been made in Q3 continued to attract the attention of the larger crypto community, including some of the big names in the crypto social media space like Ivan on Tech, Alex Saunders of Nuggets News, Brad Laurie — Blockchain Brad, Oddgems, and CMtopdog.

Diversity and gender equality

In Q3, we also celebrated the gender diversity of our team with Trace Labs Head of Operations Ana Bevc sharing her thoughts on gender equality within the agritech sector for a special edition of the SmartAgriHubs newsletter. As she pointed out, building on the values of openness, inclusivity, and engagement promotes the exchange of different ideas and opinions, which can help develop better and more creative solutions; something we are absolutely aspiring to.

Human resources update

Trace Labs unites OriginTrail’s core developers at three different locations: Hong Kong, Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Belgrade, Serbia.

Team members across all locations:

  • Q2 2020, June 30: 19
  • Q3 2020, September 30: 19

*OriginTrail does not report advisors and contractors as team members.

Trace Labs is actively looking for team reinforcements both in the development and project management team! If you are passionate about building a decentralized future, we would love to hear from you! Check out our career page and do not hesitate to get in touch even if the open positions are not exactly your fit. We always enjoy meeting like-minded innovators.

Trace token

The Trace token (TRAC) is available on Uniswap, Bittrex Global, Nash, KuCoin, IDEX, HitBTC, and ETHoutlet. In August, the Trace token was listed on Nash, where they opened TRAC-BTC and TRAC-USDC trading pairs.

Token holders that follow their portfolio through Blockfolio and Delta can stay up to date on major updates directly through the apps’ features.

The work done by the team and the achievements accomplished across the ecosystem have reaffirmed that the OriginTrail project has strong foundations. It is the foundations that have proven to be the winning ingredient in overcoming challenges in the world of the “new normal” that we all must embrace now. Neutrality, inclusivity, and usability remain the core values of the OriginTrail community (both within token holders and business communities) with the bespoke $TRAC token providing a necessary utility to all participants therein. The three core values we pursue have once again proven to be crucial to restore resilience in the OriginTrail ecosystem and provide a strong guiding principle for future challenges.

Making Supply Chains Work. Together.

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