Taraxa Project
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Taraxa Project

AMA #6: Taraxa x Chainlink, Celer & Mask.

This week, we held a meetup in Shanghai together with Chainlink, Mask, and Celer where Steven shared the latest on Taraxa’s product development and spoke in-depth about our flagship application, Marinate.

How would you define a frictionless commercial business?

SP: All the technologies and applications that Taraxa is developing are dedicated to maximizing the clarity, verifiability, and auditability of business operations to minimize delays, confusion, and disputes. What’s notable is that Taraxa is not just a layer-one ledger with a bunch of generalized functionalities, it actually uses the ledger as an infrastructure for real world applications.

What applications are Taraxa building at the moment?

Taraxa currently has two major development routes. One is Helio — a solution that ensures the security and audibility of hardware endpoints through the combination of IoT and blockchain. The MVP began its pilot earlier in 2020 with asset leasing customers in Japan.

Our flagship application is Marinate — an enterprise SaaS platform aimed at helping companies make casual business agreements clear & verifiable, without loss of convenience. We are releasing a pilot version to a few early customers late 2020 with a general beta release soon, be on the lookout!

Can you talk in more detail about Marinate?

Sure. So, recent data show that there are basically three types of agreements in the daily business operations — contractual, process, and casual agreements. Less than 1% of those are contractual agreements, while process and casual agreements taking up 20% and 80% respectively. This type mostly occurs through basic communication tools — SMS, chat apps, email — and plays a very important role in coordination during everyday business operations.

What’s remarkable is that today’s enterprise software solutions completely ignore the 80% of casual and unstructured agreements, leaving a huge whitespace where common pain points such as delays, confusion, and disputes are left unaddressed.

How exactly will Marinate help make casual agreements clear and verifiable?

Marinate uses daily basic communication software (SMS, email, Whatsapp, etc.) to create an easy-to-use interface to bottom-line conversations into an agreement, introducing clarity into unstructured conversations. When stakeholders reach a consensus on a certain matter, the sign-off is recorded on-chain as proof, which makes casual agreements highly verifiable.

Marinate’s in-app dashboard.
Marinate’s email integration.

You can think of Marinate as the notary public, and the ledger as the county clerk’s office. The notary public witnesses and registers your records, and submits receipts (hashes & signatures) to the county clerk’s office where anyone can transparently and independently verify these records.

To summarize, Marinate does two things,

1. Make casual conversations clear by bottom-lining it into an agreement.

2. Make casual agreements verifiable by putting it into an immutable audit log.

Where do you see the product-market fit for Marinate?

Our first target is the North American construction industry. The numbers show that the North American construction industry spends 24 billion U.S. dollars each year to resolve operational disputes, and most of these disputes are caused by communication and coordination problems.

Questions from the audience asked at the Q&A:

Does the record get on-chain through Marinate as a result of some sort of business negotiation?

SP: Yes, that’s the idea. However, our application is not suitable for every industry. Let me share one scenario with you. On a typical construction site, 30 to 50 change orders happen every day. These changes span from materials, dimensions, specifications, blueprint, labor, all of which require frequent communication, with lots of communication data, such as texts and phone calls generated along the way. Most of such communications happen in casual conversations, which adds to the confusion of the whole process. Almost none of this is captured and verified, often leads to delays, confusion, and even disputes, all of which drastically add up to the costs and risks. Marinate introduces clarity by helping to bottom line these unstructured conversations into explicit agreements and make them verifiable by anchoring into the distributed ledger.

Why not use another public chain, for instance, Polkadot?

SP: First of all, Taraxa’s underlying technology has been purpose-built to support data anchoring. We have deployed technologies that optimize for smart contract executions (as opposed to simple coin transactions), and to speculatively handle stateless transactions (since all data anchoring transactions are stateless).

Second, through application-specific architectural designs, Marinate as an application is able to maximize the throughput & efficiency of the Taraxa ledger, an application-specific Layer 2, if you will. These types of optimizations are only possible when application and infrastructure are designed together, with the end-use cases and pain points in mind.

I think as this space matures, we will only start to see more and more specialized, purpose-built technologies around specific applications. Taraxa and Marinate are just a prime example of this evolution in action.

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