OriginTrail AMA

14 min readJul 6, 2022

Held on 16th October, 2021 at t.me/oddgemsfamilia Telegram channel.

Oddgems: Let’s welcome Žiga Drev, Branimir and Tomaz from Origin Trail. It’s a pleasure and an honour for us to have you here in our TG family and for me hosting this AMA :)

For everyone’s information, this is a completely free AMA. It happened by chance when one of my followers commented on a twitter post that I should conduct an AMA for TRAC, (one of my immortal picks) to which I happily agreed.

Also, the questions were collected from the community via google form and we’ve got a lot of them to ask today.

Žiga Drev: Hi everyone, so glad to be here, thanks oddgems for inviting!

Before we begin with the questions, can you give a short introduction of yourself and OriginTrail?

Tomaz: Sure thing, we’ve got all three founders of OriginTrail here today. Here’s a good overview of OriginTrail — https://twitter.com/origin_trail/status/1443901959094800387?s=20
We’ve known each other for quite some time (since high school) and have been working together for the last decade as well.

Oddgems: Great, Thanks for this quick intro — Let's dive into Origin Trail, shall we! 😁

QHow will a data knowledge graph help NFT or Defi platforms?

Branimir: Sure, let me quickly explain the Decentralized Knowledge Graph is first. The OriginTrail Decentralized Knowledge Graph is designed to make humanity’s assets discoverable, verifiable and valuable. It combines the powers of blockchain with knowledge graph technology, which is the backbone of Google, Amazon, Facebook, Uber and other big platform tech. They use knowledge graphs (KGs) heavily to extract value from data in the Web2.

OriginTrail is a Web3, decentralized, permissionless knowledge graph, which operates together with multiple blockchains — Ethereum, Polygon, xDAI, soon with Polkadot and others as well. Having this said, NFTs on any blockchain are a great match with the Decentralized Knowledge Graph. With it your NFTs can get not just the basic functionality of NFTs, but advanced knowledge graph capabilities that mentioned big companies have been using to skyrocket.

To be more specific even, let me dive deeper…

As mentioned, the decentralized knowledge graph makes assets discoverable. That discoverability means it enables easy and fast searching of NFTs. For example, you could discover if the same NFT exists on another blockchain easily. Or think of Google search for any kind of NFT.

Discoverability means it enables ultimate connectivity between NFTs — you can compose, merge, collect or develop your NFTs in any way possible, then it makes assets verifiable by adding more trusted context and information about the NFT to your (private or public) NFT verifiable knowledge graph.

and finally valuable in quite a few more ways:
- one can use NFTs as “the key” to access more data.
- create NFT graphs with advanced semantic storage, so not just images but highly usable and composable graphs. (think as connecting multiple NFTs and their data together)
- NFT graphs are actually usable for any Web3 app or game.

Tomaz: On top of that it has the verifiability of assets and all the other interesting stuff on top of this data extraction.

It’s a very significant extension to what you’re able to do with NFTs today. We’re also excited to sponsor NYC.NFT event taking place early November. We’ll be speaking on how you can supercharge your NFTs with DKG! https://twitter.com/origin_trail/status/1448369519710375936?s=20

Oddgems: So If I got this right, it's similar to extracting data as in the web2 model through SQL, PostgreSQL, or Teradata, etc but Origin trail extends the capability to NFTs and the entire blockchain as well.

Branimir Rakic: It is similar, yet even more powerful. SQL or similar databases are predecessors of Knowledge Graphs. All mentioned organizations use knowledge graphs for many things. e.g. whenever you get a recommendation on Amazon, that is coming directly from their knowledge graph (regular databases dont’ cut it at that scale), or whenever you do a Google Search, the Google knowledge graph is used to understand what you meant, and that was what made Google the number 1 search engine (others mostly used simple text search basically). It is the most advanced data structure in the world for querying, understanding data and moving towards knowledge. (not just “data” or “strings”)

Žiga Drev: NFT as a concept and as a mechanism to make assets transferrable is a natural fit for OriginTrail and the Decentralized Knowledge Graph will bring benefits for several NFT categories like art and gaming. As a matter of fact, we are next week announcing another expansion in our advisory board, with strategist experts both in gaming and knowledge graph…

QEveryone is dying to know, how exactly will OriginTrail technology supercharge the NFT world?

Oddgems: First question took 25 minutes, this is going to be a super interesting AMA. Don’t worry about the time constraint here, I can extend well beyond an hour to learn more about Origin Trail :)

Žiga Drev: I think the majority has been covered within our first reply (conceptually) and we are looking forward to demonstrating the supercharging elements at the www.nft.nyc in a couple of weeks 🙂

QAny update on the results of the OT Builders Challenge? Any interesting use cases to share?

Žiga Drev: Very much so, we will notify the winning teams next week, what was a very positive surprise for us is that developers are starting to realize just how powerful the knowledge graph tech is when coupled with blockchain.

Oddgems (in reply to the first question): So basically Origin Trail is focused on building the Google Of blockchain.

Žiga Drev: precisely…

Oddgems: WOW, JUST WOW!!!

Žiga Drev: OriginTrail will do for the web3, what google did for web2, of course on principles of data sovereignty, decentralization, and inclusiveness.

QIs there staking? I heard it was almost out.

Tomaz: Sure, staking is an important part of the OriginTrail DKG tokenomics. Currently, nodes in the OriginTrail network put in an initial stake in order to be able to join the network. Additionally, the staking mechanism is used as collateral to ensure desired behavior in the network (e.g. data persistence). So that’s two things locking TRAC up.

Additionally, more ways to stake TRAC will be unveiled with the new version of OriginTrail (v6), allowing token holders to take part in the OriginTrail network activities and make the network stronger by doing so.

So.. tune in! 😄

QWhat does the OriginTrail DKG ecosystem look like a year from now?

Tomaz: I think we don’t have to wait a full year to see a very significant advancement in the OriginTrail system. There is a huge jump in network capability coming with the new version, unlocking many more adoption way sooner than a year from now.

Žiga Drev: world-class organizations using the DKG are likely to expand the number of assets recorded on the network from hundreds of thousands within this year, to billions. (taking into account the DKG is getting traction in more sectors, like pharma)

One such project using the DKG recurringly aims to cover billions of items, the tech will transform from physical to digital, from data to assets and there are also considerably huge markets where it’s being deployed. (India)

this is however just the enterprise game…

we feel increasingly stoked about the devs using the tech and the advancements to be brought about in the very quickly expanding metaverse niche.

QWhy not have your own blockchain? What blockchains have already been integrated? Is it EVM compatible?

Žiga Drev: we’ve received a great deal of support from more institutional supporters in recent months, and got a few incredible individuals involved

Žiga Drev: like Bob Metcalfe, the internet pioneer, and ethernet founder, he formulated Metcalfe’s law, and we seek to employ similar strategies he used to scale up Ethernet in 70s.


Ladies and gents, Mr. Metcalfe about the OT and how it compares to the likes of Facebook.

Oddgems: The partnership with Oracle Database giants makes complete sense now.

Branimir Rakic: So back when designing OriginTrail Decentralized Knowledge Graph (which is not a blockchain :) ), we set ourselves on a path to make it available for all blockchains, what we called the blockchain-agnostic approach. So far it has been integrated with 3 blockchains (Ethereum, xDai, and Polygon) and we expect that number to grow — xDAI and Polygon this year, soon expecting to integrate with Polkadot as well. We’ve also been part of the Substrate Builders program by Parity, the builders of Polkadot who helped us build the integration.

OriginTrail currently supports EVM chains, but in the future will support non-EVM chains as well.

QAre you also looking into other chains like Near, Avalanche, Solana, Elrond, and privacy-based Oasis and secret Network?

Branimir Rakic: Yes we’ve opened up the capabilities for integrations now to any blockchain, since launching v5 of OriginTrail earlier this year. One can even make a request for integrations with new chains through our website (https://origintrail.io). We’re happy to support more integrations soon

QCouple of interoperability layer2 solutions got hacked (Poly Network, pNetwork). What makes OriginTrail secure?

Branimir Rakic: OriginTrail has a different attack surface than blockchain, so it’s prone to different attacks focused on data rather than tokens. It solves those issues by employing data verifiability and permissioned data graphs. One huge strong point, that actually took us quite some time to get to but was a necessary enabler for enterprise adoption, was all the enterprise checks needed to have OriginTrail pass during implementations with British Standards Institution, Swiss Railways, and SCAN/CTPAT which have all implemented OriginTrail in production environments. This required several layers of security audits, technical reviews, and penetration tests. One example of this is the high availability OriginTrail node infrastructure has been deployed on Azure, AWS, Oracle Cloud, and Digitalocean successfully so far and no breaches since its first deployment in 2018

QWhat partnerships are currently using ODN Network? What is the practical benefit for them?

Žiga Drev: I’d start with SCAN — the US association of companies accounting for 40% of US imports like Walmart, Home Depot, Walt Disney, Costco, and JCPenney... These organizations are using OriginTrail to securely exchange factory audits and credentials on some 40000 factories around the globe. Kenneth McElroy of Home Depot and SCAN Board of Directors on OriginTrail use… a statement made recently https://twitter.com/origin_trail/status/1441402705403158534?s=20 This one alone is massive and growing….

The British Standards Institution is using OriginTrail in several different implementations (BSI even released a whitepaper, the first-ever international company to have ever given such a prominent mention to the use of the permissionless network for its core business offering) which they have highlighted on their website. They have exclusively partnered with us for Web3 and blockchain-based solutions, aiming to put hundreds of thousands of credentials on the network while already actively facilitating billions of items to exist on the Decentralised Knowledge Graph. We will see another solution presented in a short movie by that organization in a week's time most probably…

To provide some more examples of world-class organizations using the tech: — Swiss Railway Company SBB is using OriginTrail to track assets and events in their supply chains — everything from rail parts to welding events, to have full visibility into what is going on with their infrastructure. — Partnerships with GS1 global standards organization, EU Govts., Next Generation Internet initiatives etc — Global humanitarian organizations and pharmaceutical companies not yet revealed by name….

QWhat do real-world supply chain clients have to do in order to use the ODN? Can their existing barcode data be used or does Origin Trail require them to use custom technology or custom data standards? How low or how easy is the barrier to entry?

Žiga Drev: OriginTrail is built to work out of the box with existing standards, such as barcodes, which are a GS1 standard. Actually, we contribute to the development of these standards, such as the EPCIS standard which was proudly shared yesterday for public review. OriginTrail also integrates easily with existing supply chain technology such as ERP systems (by Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, and others), built on the experience gathered over the past 10 years of building such solutions. Just to be mindful again, the OriginTrail Decentralized Knowledge Graph abstracts any data standard to power trusted data exchanges, which is the cornerstone for the tech to be used ubiquitously for just about any purpose.

QAre Pharma/Food the only solid candidates for using blockchain tracking solutions?

Tomaz: Oh, not at all. OriginTrail has over the years evolved to be the Semantic Layer of Web3 — it’s a general-purpose, open-source, and permissionless technology. As a team, we started in supply chains back in 2011, and have been active in supply chains a lot so people associate OriginTrail mostly with supply chains... However, the Decentralized Knowledge Graph is capable of organizing assets of any nature: NFTs, Defi, digital goods as well as physical. Literally, any asset, from physical to digital can be made discoverable, verifiable, and valuable using the OriginTrail Decentralized Knowledge Graph.

In case anyone missed the beginning, this short video gives a good idea of how it can be used https://twitter.com/origin_trail/status/1443901959094800387?s=20

QHow does OriginTrail integrate companies’ current tracking solutions such as bar codes? What does it add in value?

Branimir Rakic: Barcodes are actually supported natively, as OriginTrail was designed to enable implementation of GS1 standards (barcodes are a GS1 standard) and data models from the get-go. The knowledge graph is perfect for this as it enables the implementation of interoperable data models easily in one single global graph.

For example, GS1 barcodes and data matrix codes are used by many companies such as Swiss Railway company, BSI, and others. These are used as identifiers in the Decentralized Knowledge Graph and enable for discoverability of their assets (e.g. a specific train part or event).

We as a team have actually partnered with GS1 and have contributed through the GS1 Working Group to the development of the latest standard called EPCIS 2.0, which just went into public review yesterday, and is leveraging barcodes.

More info on how this works can be found in our docs but also on a video from our presentation at the GS1 global forum earlier this year. (which can be found on Youtube)

QWhat is OriginTrail’s importance for Web3 solutions?

Tomaz: OriginTrail is the first permissionless Decentralized Knowledge Graph. It’s combining the power of blockchain with knowledge graphs (which as we mentioned are the core data infrastructure in Google, Amazon, Uber, eBay, etc..) in a permissionless, decentralized network. This enables anybody to use it as their data-fabric. It is the first-ever protocol capable of “describing” the physical world, opening floodgates for just about any asset be it digital or physical into the metaverse, DeFi, and other Web3 concepts and mechanisms. It is the incarnation of the vision of Tim Berners-Lee’s Semantic Web, which wasn’t possible prior to the development of decentralized networks.

The core principle of the Decentralized Knowledge graph is the network effect. It harnesses the power of Metcalfe’s law (V~N²) with data, just as the big social networks have done to increase their value. If you scroll up a bit, you will find Žiga’s post where Dr. Bob Metcalfe (one of our advisors) is speaking about this at an OriginTrail event.

Oddgems: I’m seriously blown away so far.

QWhat are the incentives for those companies to register information on OriginTrail? What about malicious actors?

Žiga Drev: There have been multiple business drivers among current users of the OriginTrail network — ensuring the integrity of their sustainability claims, providing transparency towards business partners and end-consumers, as well as leveraging knowledge graph capabilities to enable secure data exchange that enables an easier importing process. With the upcoming developments, we expect to see an even wider set of drivers, as monetization of currently dormant data and knowledge assets will be enabled. The great thing is also that it will not be limited only to organizations and businesses but will enable anyone to get involved in the upcoming data/knowledge economy. To that end, we’ve launched a completely new website recently — www.origintrail.io helping individuals understand the incentives of using the Decentralized Knowledge Graph.

QWhat is the need for a Trace (TRAC) token? How does it accrue value?

Žiga Drev: TRAC is a utility token used in the OriginTrail network in three ways:

1) All nodes use TRAC deposit as they enter the network preventing Sybil attacks.

2) Data publishers use TRAC to compensate data holder nodes for keeping their data.

3) Data holders use TRAC as collateral when performing data holding services. Important to note / OT is not a blockchain so data is not stored permanently, but rather the compensation is also a function of desired longevity of data set by those using the network.

ALSO NEW: Expanded utility will enable more stakeholders to get involved directly in the TRAC economy by delegating their tokens to data holder nodes, providing liquidity for knowledge tokens, and more — all to be announced in the coming weeks!

QHow does the Trace Alliance solve the issue of competing companies developing on the same technology?

Branimir Rakic: The Trace Alliance facilitates collaboration on building standards-based technologies and business connections to generate value from network effects.

The more assets and data connected, the more value everyone gets from the Decentralized knowledge graph. Over 100 organizations collaborate on delivering new standards and frameworks via Trace Alliance.

And since the OriginTrail Decentralized Knowledge Graph is built with standardization at its core — W3C and GS1 standards such as DIDs, Verifiable Credentials, Semantic web, EPCIS, barcode standards, etc — it is designed to help connect existing systems and enable building solutions on top. So “competing” on OriginTrail protocol is like reinventing/competing with established standards such as HTTP, URIs/URLs, GS1 barcodes, and RDF/SPARQL .. which are all widely adopted.

Oddgems: Over 100 organizations!

Branimir Rakic: yes, and the number is growing.

QAre other blockchains working on the development of ODN Network?

Tomaz: We are collaborating with teams in multiple ecosystems to ensure that OriginTrail DKG is multichain and available on several blockchains. As mentioned, it is already integrated with Ethereum, xDai, and Polygon. A good example of a collaboration with a blockchain team is Parity (the team behind Polkadot), which joined OriginTrail’s Trace Alliance working group as well as accepted Trace Labs (core dev team of OriginTrail) in their Substrate builders program.

There are also a lot of cross-project connections in the Polkadot ecosystem, which we’re sure will prove valuable in driving OriginTrail’s network effects.

OT ecosystem is inclusive and we look forward to even more collaboration in the future.

QWhat is the relationship between Oracle (listed company) and OriginTrail?

Žiga Drev: Oracle has been a partner of OriginTrail for several years now, and we’ve been leveraging their partner network together to create enterprise solutions based on the Decentralized Knowledge Graph and Oracle Blockchain platform. Trace Labs — the core development company — is also offering a toolkit on the Oracle marketplace that makes it easier for companies to use the Decentralized Knowledge Graph.

We are looking forward to when we will be able to share more about the uptake of OriginTrail within the giant network of Oracle and we soon expect to launch a completely revamped service offering for the OriginTrail Decentralized Knowledge Graph on the Oracle Marketplace.

QAre there any government regulatory compliance programs that could easily integrate with OriginTrail? What are the benefits?

Branimir Rakic: Actually there are already governments that are utilizing solutions built on OriginTrail DKG. Next to the SCAN Trusted Factory program (Ziga mentioned above including video) that is working closely with the CTPAT partnership (US Customs and Border Patrol), we also have a new solution coming out of the Trusted Bytes project in the United Kingdom.

Similar to SCAN, OriginTrail will be used as a backbone to handle data exchange for critical information easing import procedures in the UK. Those are two great examples. There are also currently 15 European Union-funded initiatives that OriginTrail is part of.

check out the video Ziga posted and hear more from the representatives of SCAN and BSI.

QWho are the OriginTrail blockchain competitors? What are the differences?

Žiga Drev: First of all, Origintrail is not a blockchain, it doesn’t compete with blockchains. It is the world’s first decentralized knowledge graph, that synergizes two powerful tech components — blockchains to drive data verifiability and asset value and knowledge graphs — the tech used by the likes of Google, FB, Amazon, Uber, and Nasa….

Instead of competing, we opt for co-opetition…meaning we use components others are experts in delivering (Ethereum, Polkadot). On the blockchain level, OriginTrail is multichain, furthermore on the application level, we prefer to see other companies build apps, however, we do offer co-development services on the apps level should partners decide we do so.

Oddgems: It’s almost one and a half-hour AMA session, so I’m afraid we have to conclude the AMA without the live community round. Apologies. 🙏🏼

Branimir Rakic: Thanks @oddgems for the great AMA!

Oddgems: Thanks a lot Drev Ziga, Branimir, and Tomaz for answering our questions in such a detailed manner. I do hope everyone would have learned a lot about TRAC today.

I definitely have learned a lot today, and was simply blown away!!

I wish the entire Origin Trail team the very best for everything they are doing not just for the supply chain but for the entire web3 as a whole.

Tomaz: That was very cool, thanks for having us oddgems family!

Žiga Drev: Was fantastic, thank you oddgems family, we are happy to join in the future after Tractober and November yield more cool stuff