On the 16th of June 2021, Lokesh Rao, Co-Founder & CEO, Trace Network, was live at the Polygon Network Community Telegram group, to provide community members with insights on Trace Network, their recent partnership with Polygon, future plans, upcoming updates, and also provide answers to community questions and queries.
In order to ensure clarity to my readers, this article has been divided into two segments; the first segment, provides full account of questions asked by the moderator of this AMA session, Sam (highlighted in bold letters), while the second segment provides account of the questions asked by the community members during the session.
SEGMENT 1: Interview with AMA Moderator
Sam — Pleased to have you here Lokesh Rao. Could you please tell us a little about yourself and how Trace Network came into being?
Lokesh Rao — Sure. I am Cofounder of Trace Network. I have been working for over 12 years in enterprise technology space helping companies acquire and implement technology across more than 20+ countries. I have been actively building solutions for enterprises using DLT and Blockchain technology since 2017. Have worked with various global brands and fortune 500 companies in the past in luxury, lifestyle and fashion domain.
While conceptualizing lots of solutions for various levels of retail and manufacturing industry , we realized the key challenges of the industry from decades are same ,tracing the product source, originality of products, disconnected data silos and show n cumbersome process of accessing the funds from institutions like banks. After getting introduced to blockchain in 2017, I along with partner Sunil started conceptualizing solutions to these challenges with the power of blockchain. And here we are with Trace Network.
Sam — Wow, this seems interesting and intensive background, pleasure to have you here. It’s been an amazing journey. I’m curious to know more about Trace Network and its features, can you please tell us.
Lokesh Rao — TRACE is offering solutions for end to end process chain of the brands from community building to enabling blazing fast working capital financing. In fact trace is all about 3 components, Merchandise NFT + Integrated data exchange + Enterprise DeFi.
- BLING: NFT marketplace for limited edition luxury and lifestyle products (already got 20+ brands onboarded).
- VBN (Virtual Business Network): An onchain data sharing protocol across business network. (4 paying clients onboarded. First going LIVE in 3 weeks with approx 1mn txns on polygon).
- Tradio: Enterprise defi layer utilizing VBN as proof of business for enabling working capital and trade financing capabilities for enterprises.
Sam — What are the major milestones Trace Network has achieved so far and what can we expect from you guys in the future?
Lokesh Rao — Trace’s journey is divided in 3 main segments, firstly getting brands to issue goods using NFTs for the purpose of digital ownership and originality, which will be released in stage 1. The immediate release of NFT module would be BLING. BLING is the 1st Limited Edition Luxury & Lifestyle Products NFT Marketplace . Here the brands would be able to launch their limited Edition Product NFT on auction. Community would bid on it. And on winning the bid, they can claim for physical product.
Phase 2, where we will enable business networks to share their data in a secured and anonymous manner with their chosen business partners, hence simplifying the process of data capturing at businesses. This will reduce the cost of duplicate data entry, and will also bring more transparency and efficiency to the whole process. This phase, will enable end to end traceability of the products on chain, being verified via Trace wallet.
And phase 3, is where using this data to use act as proof of business, we will open financing options for businesses, where they can either take early payment or loan against their invoices or seek working capital financing from the protocol.
Since building enterprise solutions is a completely different game and we need to develop avenues for adoption of Trace Network, along with building and implementation of phase 1 release in 2021, we shall be building other NFT use cases like Brand Coupon NFTs, Warranty Management NFTs etc.
Sam — As you have already mentioned about Trace NFT marketplace, Can you shed some light on Trace NFT Marketplace and Trace payment, finance & settlement solution, how these products are interrelated?
Lokesh Rao — Trace Network’s NFT marketplace BLING is the 1st Limited Edition Luxury & Lifestyle. Products NFT Marketplace brought to you by Trace Network. Currently, NFTs around the world only has a digital association, which means you can only own a piece of digital art that has been tokenized on a blockchain. BLING NFT marketplace from Trace Network, will act as a bridge between real-world goods and virtual non-fungible tokens that have been created specifically to represent a unique piece of that limited edition luxury lifestyle product.
With VBN, the business transactions running across the network will also have on-chain settlement capabilities based on an algorithmic white label stable coin to be used by large captive business and distribution networks for faster settlements without the actual movement of funds from banking networks.
Sam — Can you tell us a little bit about how your experience was building on Polygon and what are the advantages of Trace Network working with a scaling solution like Polygon?
Lokesh Rao — For the business segment we are targeting, there would be millions of merchandise NFT minted, so to ensure high transaction speeds, ultra low or no gas fees, enterprise grade stability, and high security standards Layer 2 solution was a definite choice. We evaluated the many layer 2 solution , and Polygon came as best choice for our niche potential market . It proved to be a good decisions. Appreciate Polygon team for the good work they are doing!
Sam — Wow! Our team would be very happy to read this! Talking more about Trace, What will the future of Trace Network in the decentralised finance revolution look like? Can you talk to us about your roadmap?
Lokesh Rao — Today Biggest flaw in Defi today is over supply of capital, Trace is going to enable more practical and efficient avenues for its deployment. Even today Trace potential market require funds for which they follow a cumbersome , expensive and slow mode to get it from existing financial institutions. Trace would be aggregated liquidity provider for these business in collaboration with the defi protocols like Easyfi ,Aave etc. And, the onchain data would act a premise to lend these funds to the business
Sam — Before we conclude, I think there are many in the community who would love to join Trace Network and stay up to date with all the news. What’s the best way to keep in touch?
SEGMENT 2 : Community Questions
Community Question 1 — What is PROJECT’s revenue model? In which ways do you generate revenue/profit?
Lokesh Rao — Our revenue model is very simple, Enterprise businesses pay the protocol for services. A portion of which will be utilized for benefits of token holders and rest will be deployed towards continuous development of the protocol.
Community Question 2— Can you describe about what are the use of your token in your platform? how do i possible to get your token?
Lokesh Rao — Essentially, trace token is going to be acting as a key governance attribute to be used by token holders for voting and enabling various protocol parameters especially in the enterprise DeFi segment.
Further, trace token will be used as fuel for minting NFTs for the millions of merchandise every year. White Label Algorithmic stable coins are going to be key for cross network settlement, trace token will be used as a benchmark for managing the volatility of stable coins being minted.
Plus, token will be used for various community incentivization programs and other market outreach programs.
Community Question 3— Can you list 1–3 killer features of this project that makes it ahead of its competitors? What is the competitive advantage your project has that you feel most confident about?
Lokesh Rao — TRACE is offering solutions for end to end process chain of the brands from community building to enabling blazing fast working capital financing. In fact trace is all about 3 components, Merchandise NFT + Integrated data exchange + Enterprise Defi. The advantage we have is our team with experience on enterprise technology, blockchain and indept understanding on processes to bring the best adoptions strategies in place for both businesses and their target customers.
Community Question 4— How do you plan to spread awareness about your project in different countries where English is not good? Do you plan to develop many different communities such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, … about your project so that they can easily communicate and understand your project?
Lokesh Rao — We are working with our able advisors to enable reach into various different geographies and building solid regional communities.. WE are not restricting ourselves in any geography.
Community Question 5— How can trace take it’s market share from other hundreds of nft projects?
Lokesh Rao — Trace Network NFTs are based on real world consumer goods and other consumer focused initiatives for enabling brands and consumer focused businesses to interact with their customers better. BLING is 1st and only NFT marketplace for Limited Edition merchandise.
As I covered, some of the simplest of use cases of NFTs of trace network for brands are digital ownership transfer of goods, linked to this brands will be able to offer various value added services to their customers like warranty, better incentives for upgrades. Rewards for loyal users etc. Many more use cases, which actually these businesses will discover more than us as we go along the journey with them as a technology protocol built with a vision to redefine the consumer connect for brands with the help of NFTs , DLT and Defi.