At the end of January we announced the beta release of IndigoTrace at the Paris Fintech Forum and picked up the Best Innovation Award. Exciting times at Stratumn HQ.
In this post we’d like to share the story behind this new product, the problem it addresses, and a look at the core features along with a use case.
Over the last couple of years, the Stratumn team has delivered over 15 projects, across a wide range of industries and use cases. And we’ve learned a tonne of interesting things along the way.
One. When we talk to the businesses we’ve partnered with about decentralisation and the blockchain, what we hear are people talking about transparency, accountability and traceability.
Two. Decentralized blockchain protocols bring transparency, but at the cost of privacy and efficiency.
And three. Centralized systems bring efficiency and user experience, but at the cost of security and accountability.
At Stratumn, we’ve been working hard at solving all that. Together, we’ve been exploring how to create new systems that fuse decentralized protocols with minimally centralized services. The goal: bring next generation networks to business.
Business is facing a common problem. In our hyper-connected world, we rely on computer systems spread out across many different organizations, industries and partners.
We can move and access gigabytes of information, but can we trust it? The current inefficiencies and weaknesses are leaving businesses vulnerable.
Some of the biggest challenges facing business today are all about knowing who did what, when, where and why.
These challenges are everywhere.
Tracing critical documents, tracking multiple stakeholders, silo’d information, complex collaboration, data corruption, establishing the source of a process, a lack of real time data synchronization, fraud… the list goes on.
At Stratumn, we’ve solved the problem.
Winning the Best Innovation Award at the Paris Fintech Forum (did I mention that?), we’re proud to unveil our new product, IndigoTrace.
It offers true ‘Plug & Play’ traceability to secure the critical processes that connect business partners, customers and regulators.
It’s a minimally centralized service that harnesses the power of public blockchains. And it’s streamlined – our API service will easily integrate with existing applications.
OK, So How Does It Work?
Indigo Trace is an API service designed to be user-friendly for everyone within a business – not just the IT department.
First, you sign up and invite anyone that will be involved in the workflow – employees and business partners. Each user is assigned a role in the workflow and uniquely identified by a public/private key.
Second, participants in a workflow add either automated or hand operated inputs, used to record or measure information in the real world. They’re also identified by a public/private key.
Now you’re all set to monitor instances of the workflow in realtime as they’re going step by step through to completion. We call these Traces.
You can download proofs of the cryptographic audit trail your Traces have created, access and reference key documents, and invite regulators to check in on the process.
How About An Example…
As a tool that maps inter-business processes, the use cases are diverse and cross industries. At Stratumn we talk about “inter-business” because in these complex times we need to think about solving problems that cross boundaries – problems that apply to varied processes involving multiple partners across different businesses and networks.
Let’s consider trade finance where the exporter and importer are often operating in different industries. The exporter ideally wants to be paid before sending out the goods, and the importer ideally wants the goods before they send any money. When this dynamic is amplified by massive sums of money and international borders, mutual distrust is ensured.
The current solution is to raise a letter of credit with a bank who will guarantee payment to the exporter once there is proof the importer has received the goods. Enter finance. The bank also has to co-ordinate with multiple agencies to reduce risk and accommodate the demands of each side. Enter insurance.
This situation ensures a complicated, lengthy process with multiple partners and no central source of truth. The result? Delays and errors. The cost? Time and money.
IndigoTrace has the power to streamline this process.
Users can setup a workflow, let’s call ours TradeFinance Flow, and set inputs to each step in a process. These inputs could be documents, contracts, or information sent from digital devices.
Relevant participants are invited to the workflow as other IndigoTrace users. Now you have a central source of truth. One place everyone involved in the process can return to and see exactly where they all are in their TradeFinance Flow.
Now the process is mapped out for everyone to see, delays can be anticipated, notifications can be sent and documents can be finalised ahead of schedule. Crucially, evidence a step has been completed will be cryptographically encoded and available as a downloadable proof for all to see.
In the TradeFinance Flow the letter of credit is processed quicker, so the goods get sent earlier. The delivery is anticipated and its proof is easily documented, so the payment is received earlier.
There are 3 keys in IndigoTrace that unlock one breakthrough. The keys: advanced cryptography, public blockchains and Proof of Process – knowing that the who, what, when, where and why of every step is being recorded in a cryptographic audit trail.
These keys unlock a new form of trust. A trust in the process itself.
The Beta Program – We’re Taking Applications
We’re currently in the process of selecting a small, exclusive group of businesses to run a 6 month beta program.
The program will be hands on, collaborative, and transformative. Our Product team will help you build your workflows, working collaboratively to ensure you’re leveraging the most out of IndigoTrace. At the end of summer 2018, we’ll launch IndigoTrace to the big, wide world. Your project could be published as a pivotal use case to inspire others, showing everyone how far you’ve come.
If you want in, just visit indigotrace.com and sign up.