OriginTrail is a decentralized, trustless, blockchain-based protocol designed to share, upload, and store data. OriginTrail (or TRAC) is built on industry standards for data sharing, like GS1 and IoT. These standards allow businesses to share information between supply chains, organizations, and customers.
Data-sharing standards like GS1 “form a business language that identifies, captures and shares key information about products, locations, assets and more.” The TRAC protocol can be used to create a “peer-to-peer network” of data. This data can then be accessed to increase the quality and safety of a product for both customers and business owners.
Currently, supply chain data is locked up in centralized “data silos,” due to security issues and lack of a protocol which can share information between networks. In this state, data cannot be freely shared or used! Unlocking this data with a protocol like TRAC will allow it to optimize a product’s entire production cycle.
Many industries will benefit from TRAC’s improvements to the supply chain. These industries include the automotive, pharmaceutical, food services industries, among others. Here we take a look at just a few of the reasons why OriginTrail is worth following.
1. TRAC is a Better Data Solution for the Supply Chain
Supply chains have become increasingly complex due to globalization. Data transparency is desperately needed at all stages of the process. The lack of transparency in a supply chain causes problems for both businesses and customers alike. It also gives bad actors the opportunity to commit fraud.
TRAC makes data transparent by making it more accessible. Using a QR code, consumers can scan an object with their phone to access its entire history. This includes its location, temperature, or elapsed time as it moves through the supply chain.
Allowing better access to supply-chain data using the TRAC protocol will make it more valuable to consumers and companies, as well as government oversight committees.
2. TRAC Will Stop the Problem of Centralized Data Silos
Currently, it is difficult to increase the efficiency of a supply chain due to the problem of centralized data collection. This makes data from one part of the manufacturing process inaccessible to the other. This is called a data silo.
The ability to share data about a product’s life cycle from start to finish allows the supply chain to be optimized. If information is locked up in a data silo, it cannot be used for the benefit of the manufacturers or consumers.
The TRAC protocol allows different supply chains to securely share data with unified exchange protocols. Managing this data with the TRAC protocol offers better security, because the data cannot be tampered with or manipulated by a bad actor.
3. Tracking Wine or Food Items on the Blockchain with Smart Sensors
OriginTrail has started a pilot program using Tag-It Smart Sensors. When the sensors are placed on an object and combined with QR codes (which can be read by a cellphone), they become “smart objects.” These objects are then able to tell you information about themselves as they move through the supply chain, allowing manufacturers, retailers, and consumers to collect data about a product’s location, temperature, humidity, and time.
In this program, the Tag-It Smart Sensors will track wine bottles for a company called Palantaze. This pilot project will tag over 15,000 wine bottles. It will use smart sensors combined with photochromic ink to prevent counterfeiting.
These two pieces of information can be used together to authenticate a specific bottle and give it a digital identity. This will make it easier to verify that the wine is genuine, which will improve safety, as counterfeit ingredients can often be unsafe or even poisonous.
Data suggests that up to 50% of the wine in China is counterfeit. A digital identity for wine and other types of food might even save lives. It will also allow customers and manufacturers to access the data generated as a bottle moves along its life cycle.
4. The OriginTrail Protocol Increases Food Safety
The TRAC protocol can tell you if the food you buy is fresh and whether it has been stored at proper temperatures. Consumers can scan a QR code to receive information about a product’s origin, date of production, temperature, location, and distribution. Data about a product can help a customer determine whether it is safe to eat, BEFORE they buy it!
QR codes can be placed on perishable items like sushi. A customer can scan a QR code to learn whether the sushi is fresh, and if it has been properly refrigerated.
5. Scalability of TRAC with Nodes
TRAC is a scalable solution for data management of the supply chain. OriginTrail can increase its capacity to process and manage data, by adding nodes to its network.
Nodes provide the processing, bandwidth, and storage for the generated data. Each node holds a copy of the supply chain data. In some cases, the node even processes the transactions on the network.
Anyone can operate a node. There is no minimum requirement of TRAC tokens needed, in order to operate a node. Node operators are incentivized with TRAC tokens for their help with this data management.
Nodes are used to verify all of the transactions across the network and TRAC tokens act as the currency of the network. TRAC tokens are rewarded to node holders, in exchange for managing data across the network.
6. TRAC Solves the Problem of Data Connection and Interoperability
To optimize a supply chain, organizations with different data sets need to securely share data. The full spectrum of data provides a complete picture of a product’s history.
Data is created during the production, processing, distribution, and warehousing of a product as it moves from one step to the next. TRAC supports different types of data, including master data, transaction data, visibility data, layered data, extensible data, and modular data.
The combination of industry standards for data collection with the TRAC protocol will open up new avenues for businesses to optimize their supply chain. This will create better accountability and compliance for each section as a product moves from one part of the supply chain to another.
7. Authenticity and Anti-Counterfeit Systems on the Blockchain
The TRAC system creates a unique digital identity which can verify a product’s authenticity and stop counterfeits. A QR code can be scanned by a consumer to ensure a good is an authentic item. QR codes can then reveal data about a product’s location, origin, and distribution, so that a consumer can be sure a product is what it is claimed.
For industries that have a problem with counterfeiting, the TRAC protocol will provide an easy way to verify a products authenticity. The ability to stop counterfeiting can have a huge impact on businesses’ bottom line.
The market for supply chain metrics is going to be huge. The public has yet to realize the potential of “smart objects,” combined with an information-sharing protocol like TRAC.
IoT solutions will be desperately needed as the first “smart objects” make their way onto the blockchain. The floodgates will be let loose as businesses realize the potential of this technology.
TRAC currently has two competitors that focus on the supply chain, Ambrosus and Waltonchain.
Both competitors are excellent projects, with great teams to back them up as well. When comparing these projects, TRAC has the advantage of being a blockchain-agnostic, open platform. Waltonchain and Ambrosius seem to be focusing on creating their own advanced sensor technology. It has yet to be seen which will be first to be adopted by big industry players.
OriginTrail has a very bright future with upcoming events in Q3 2018. These include the opening of a US office and a testnet launch in July.
As protocols like TRAC are implemented, both businesses and consumers will see the benefits of open data-sharing and the tracking of smart objects on the blockchain.