OK so you’ve entered the world of cryptocurrencies and you’ve seen a bunch of phrases thrown around willy-nilly. You’ve just about learned what a blockchain is (that was enough to get through, right?), and now every project under the sun claiming how they’re the only protocol that does this, or the platform that does that… and, oh, don’t forget the DApps that do amazing things… like trade digital cats. All you’ve ever wanted right!? Oh, and it’s pronounced DeeeApps. I just learned that a couple of days ago… it’s like meeems and me-mes all over again.
So what does it all mean? To get an understanding of what you’re getting involved in, it’s best to start thinking of them a bit like layers, with each layer made to serve a different type of user, with the sole purpose of all of them to work together to make something that’s in the end (hopefully) useful for the very end user, like you or I.
DApps/products – These are for the people who will be using the tool regularly, most of the time without the need for coding.
Platforms – These are for the DApp /product developers to use to create their tools.
Protocols – The protocol is used by the platform and DApp developers to make their products. It is essentially the set of rules.
Ok, so what is being produced on each of the layers.
DApps/products – This is what sits at the very top of the chain and is the part that the consumer or user interacts with. In this sense you could consider that it’s the currency (like Bitcoin), or the DApp that people use, like Cryptokitties.
Platforms – This is where the DApps/products are built on. They make use of the rules of the protocol level to form it’s basis and can be thought of taking the protocol down a specific use case, like supply chain for instance. The platform will have chosen the protocol to build on, based on what it’s rules allow for.
Protocols – These are the set of rules that govern the network that the platforms and DApps sit on. You can imagine once you go across multiple industries and uses, why there are a number of protocols appearing in the cryptocurrency sphere.
Protocol/Platform/Product – The most famous one is Ethereum, which uses ETH (Ether) as it’s exchange of value on the network. In 2017 there were a record amount of ICOs forming on Ethereum leading to a large number of use-case specific projects sitting and transacting on the network. This was mainly down to the fact that Ethereum is a smart-contract based protocol, allowing a rules-based exchange of value, making it perfect for business and development.
Protocol/Platform – VeChain was initially on the ETH blockchain as a platform, but they forked the ETH source code to create their own blockchain with modifications that were more pertinent to the business and enterprise side of the cryptocurrency world. They are now launching ICOs for DApps and products within the business sector, with their mission to become the largest business platform in blockchain. Their own currency VTHOR is used to power the network.
And Origin Trail Protocol?
OriginTrail is a protocol project that makes use of the Ethereum blockchain for it’s smart contracts. The TRAC token is an ERC20 token used within the OriginTrail ecosystem. It’s almost a side show that allows the protocol, and prime reason for being (trusted verification of data), to function. The OriginTrail rules are based on data verification with added privacy layers so that corporate users can protect data depending on what they are using it for. For example, they can protect the recipe of their animal feed that yields 20% better results, whilst having it verified via a 3rd party for public sight. The public gain trust with that supplier, and because the verification is decentralized, and onging, it holds more value.
The main network itself does not run on Ethereum, but off-chain, on the ODN (OriginTrail Decentralized Network). This allows the project to connect and hash to any blockchain, whether public or private.
OriginTrail also has a DApp/product layer that’s used to create the products for the industry users. The DApps are powered by the TRAC token and will be specific use cases. For example, specific modules for Organic Food verification, product traceability and many others. It also allows other software and IT providers to integrate the protocol into their own solutions.
Protocols platforms and DApps…Conclusion
As you can see, there’s a clear structure of how protocols, platforms and DApps all fit together, but it’s also not quite that simple, with a protocol able to host its own platform, and also hosting the product. Hopefully though this has given a basic insight of what they’re all supposed to do, and how OriginTrail fits in to all of that.
Continue the conversation below. Any questions, or things missing, then let us know.
Want to learn more? Find out what GS1 is, and how that relates to Origin Trail here.