On February 13th, we had an AMA session with Origin Protocol, the blockchain platform for building decentralized marketplaces, in our Telegram Chat. The team members present on the discussion with our community were Kay Yoo (Finance & Operations) and Anna Wang (Regional Manager China).
Here are the essential points of the AMA session:
Please welcome Kay (K), Anna (A) and the questions from our Telegram chat members (Q).
About Origin and its platform
Q: What is Origin Protocol? What is your mission?
A: Origin’s mission is to enable peer-to-peer commerce. We have built a blockchain platform that enables many different types of marketplace and e-commerce applications. Users can buy or sell goods and services on these marketplaces, and developers can create their own applications powered by the Origin blockchain. Origin Token (OGN) is used as an incentive, payment, and governance token.
Q: What was the motivation to build Origin?
K: Since the advent of the Internet, digital marketplaces have paired buyers and sellers of goods and services to enable transactions that were never before possible. Fast forward 20 years, countless Internet marketplace businesses in both the B2C and B2B categories have flourished. In recent times, sharing economy marketplaces like Airbnb, Uber have revolutionized the way we think about sharing economy. However, there are problems in today’s centralized marketplace model. Value taken by today’s trusted intermediaries is oftentimes not commensurate with the value they created; Data is siloed by private corporations; When marketplaces are governed by individual corporations, these corporations can and will change policies and rules on a whim. The market is ready for a new peer-to-peer form of commerce.
Q: Who is behind Origin Protocol? Tell us about the team.
K: Origin is led by serial entrepreneurs and seasoned engineers from PayPal, Google, YouTube, Dropbox, etc. We have one of the co-founders of PayPal and the 1st employee at YouTube. We have about 16 full-time employees, as well as a number of part-time employees, open source volunteer developers, etc. Over 170 developers have committed code on GitHub for Origin. We are so thankful for our global developer community. If you are interested in joining our team, please reach out to us.
Q: Why are you using an Ethereum-based platform?
K: We believe that Ethereum has the best community of any application blockchain and the best developer tools. Right now, it would be very difficult for us to build on EOS, TRON or other blockchains. If they offer superior solutions, we will consider switching but this seems unlikely to us.
Q: What is Origin’s core technology? What makes your solution unique and why does it require blockchain technology?
K: The Origin Platform enables buyers and sellers to connect across various applications and transact directly without intermediaries. Sellers post listings and Origin Token (OGN) commissions to the Origin flagship mobile application or third-party applications. All relative data is written to the shared data layer on the Ethereum blockchain and IPFS network. The platform also utilizes multiple middleware and infrastructure services, including the meta-transactions relayer (to subsidize gas fees and drive user adoption), and arbitration/customer services. The platform is designed to be flexible and extensible, allowing applications to utilize either individual parts of the Platform or take advantage of the complete set of services and infrastructure.
Q: Verifying product authenticity could be a herculean task considering bottlenecks. How does ORIGIN deal with this issue and ensure only legitimate products come in the market?
K: Currently, we as a company are doing our best to implement various fraud detection measures internally. As our mission is to enable truly peer-to-peer commerce, and enabling decentralized marketplaces that are open and free. We want to ensure we can provide the best and healthy ecosystem for our Origin community.
Q: What role Origin will play in making blockchain highly adaptable in the worldwide stage?
K: We want to build the future of DApps through mobile. To bring blockchain to mass adoption, we need to provide seamless user experience. A big part of what we do at Origin is removing the friction users experience when using cryptocurrency and Ethereum. Our goal has always been to build simple and easy to use tools for the masses, including those who are still learning about blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and decentralized apps.
Origin and its marketplace
Q: How is trust built on the marketplace?
K: The fund is held in escrow (smart contract) until the product/service is delivered and review rating is completed and transaction is finalized.
Q: What makes Origin better than Shopify?
A: Shopify is the go-to product for many people operating e-commerce stores, but it has some shortcomings. Firstly, it takes a cut of almost every transaction via Shopify Payments (on top of subscription fees). Secondly, multiple categories of products are banned on Shopify. The Origin ecommerce store is an open-source, decentralized alternative that does not charge transaction fees and is not censored. It also supports cross-border payments that can be fully customized and is free to run.
Q: Because Origin creates a sharing economy without a third-party, how will Origin solve cases of disputes between buyers and sellers?
A: As mentioned earlier, we are currently serving as arbitrators for any disputes that may arise between buyers and sellers on our platforms. There haven’t really been many at all by the way. Down the road, we might have a third-party arbitrator handle these issues. Similar to other marketplaces like eBay, buyers and sellers on Origin will have reviews and ratings (reputation scores, essentially), which will help buyers make informed decisions when purchasing and avoid bad experiences.
Q: What’s the advantage of Origin Protocol over the other decentralized marketplaces like OpenSea, OpenBazaar, RareBits, LocalCryptos, Gitcoin, Emoon and District0x?
K: We love other projects that are tackling similar problems using blockchain technology. The biggest advantage that we have over other projects is our team. We have a world-class engineering team that includes co-founder of Paypal, 1st employee at YouTube, engineering managers from Dropbox/Google, etc. Together, we are on a mission to enable truly peer-to-peer commerce, and we are excited to be one of the first DApps to see real usage on the platform built on Ethereum.
Origin and its use cases
Q: What are the use cases for OGN?
K: OGN is the native utility token used to power various parts of the Origin platform.
OGN enables incentive systems, future governance mechanisms, and payments. Today, buyers and sellers can transact using OGN in exchange for goods and services.
Q: What is the main purpose of Origin whether as a payment instrument in the Origin application or as a digital asset?
K: The OGN token is used to incentivize positive behaviors that users, developers, and partners can undertake to fuel the growth of the platform. In the future, it is intended that OGN will also be used for staking rewards and governance purposes. OGN is the native utility token used to power various parts of the Origin platform and enables incentive systems, payments, and future governance mechanisms.
Origin and its partnerships
Q: With blockchain being such a young industry, partnerships are an indispensable component of any project. What partnerships does Origin have achieved and what are the plans to attract more partnerships?
A: We have multiple partnerships right now, such as Trips Community, an Italian home-sharing company founded in 2011 with a 20k user community; Trips is building their marketplace application on the Origin platform. Other partners include ZoidPay (crypto payment platform), Hubris One (crypto wallet) and more. Last year, we also partnered with a large Chinese marketplace, SLife, to roll out a Singles Day campaign. We also have multiple partnerships in the pipeline.
Q: What is the main focus of Origin in building a partnership with Samsung? What will be the benefits for the users?
K: We look forward to many more collaborations with tech innovators like Samsung in the future, as we bring peer-to-peer commerce to the masses through mobile. We will continue to introduce Origin to the billions of new users around the world, and enable access to decentralized marketplaces. We will continue to introduce Origin to the billions of new users around the world, and enable access to decentralized marketplaces.
Origin and its future plans
Q: What are your priorities for this year?
K: Our priorities for this year are getting more users on our platform and to build more features that would enhance the overall user experience for the masses!
Q: Twitter CEO said Africa is the future for everything blockchain. Does ORIGIN have Africa in its plans and how do you seek to reach Africa?
A: Last year we worked with Team Aktio from Venezuela to understand the local ecosystem better and also organised an education-focused workshop together in Venezuela, where we talked about crypto and blockchain, as well as the benefits of Origin. We haven’t done anything similar in Africa yet, but it is an important market that we are monitoring.
Q: One core use of blockchain is to bank the unbanked and Origin claims 2 billion unbanked people can access new markets globally. How do you seek to achieve this adoption when people are ignorant about crypto and also in the areas of low technological advancement?
A: Serving the unbanked is a core part of our mission. It definitely starts with education and awareness, and although this will be a long process, it will pay huge dividends down the road.
Q: What is your plan to develop community throughout the world?
A: I should also mention that Origin Rewards will play a big role in our community development efforts moving forwards, as it gives us the ability to reward early users and those who help to grow and strengthen the Origin ecosystem.
Q: What’s next for the Origin platform? What does the future look like with OGN?
A: 2019 was a crazy year for us and we hit all of the milestones we set out to achieve. We have been launched live on Mainnet for over a year. Everyone can download our app now or visit our DApp at shoporigin.com. Moving forward, there are a lot of exciting things in the works. This year we will be spending a lot of time experimenting with and releasing new OGN use cases. We are also researching a new staking model that will allow token holders to earn a yield. This will make OGN even more attractive to hold. We also plan to release governance features at the end of the year.
We were glad to host Origin Protocol on our Telegram. Thanks to the team and all the members of the session!