Asia Blockchain Review recently spoke to Dorjee Sun, Co-founder and CEO at Perlin, which has built the unique DAG-based Wavelet distributed ledger relying on a new consensus mechanism to become the fastest and most highly scalable, secure public ledger available. Pilots using dApps built on Wavelet are already being commercially deployed globally for enterprises across industries. Dorjee talked about his motivations as a serial social entrepreneur, Perlin’s solutions, and his vision for the future of distributed ledger technology.
Asia Blockchain Review: What are the mission and long-term goals of Perlin? As a serial social entrepreneur, what drove you to found Perlin?
Dorjee Sun: As an entrepreneur, creating a compelling product that people want/love/need is always the ultimate goal. But for me, the real challenge is building a product that aligns with the things I really care about — sustainable development and protecting the environment, democratizing trade and greater financial inclusion, and lasting positive change. That alignment of vision with product is what gives true meaning and purpose to what you’re building.
That’s what motivated me to co-found Perlin. Its vision is for a more inclusive, democratized, and fair decentralized global economy — by harnessing the vast untapped potential of blockchain technology for positive disruptive change across industries. We believe our best-in-class Wavelet ledger and ecosystem dApps will help support all these goals. Ultimately, we also want to equip developers everywhere (not just in crypto) to start building out their own use cases and creating a better future. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my long career, it’s that to drive real and lasting positive change, you need to create compelling economic incentives to support people to do the right thing. So here are just a few examples of how we will have a direct positive impact:
You want more sustainable industries to protect the environment? Our ecosystem dApps don’t just make full value chain transparency possible — they make it profitable. Companies can show the world and their customers all their work behind the scenes for greater sustainability, creating a compelling product journey story, competitive advantage, and ability to market to downstream customers with their own strict sustainability requirements. Already, 450 Chambers of Commerce have signed up to distribute Clarify, our supply chain transparency dApp for the ICC’s Climate Coalition.
You want more democratized access to trade? In Brazil, 99% of the local economy is SMEs, but only 1% of exports are small business. With the ICC, we’re building blockchain and smart contract-based applications to break down existing barriers to international trade for small and medium-sized enterprises that are currently locked out by the high costs and complexities involved. We will also support digital trade across every industry and sector led by the ICC.
You want greater financial inclusion? In the future, after mainnet and the Cloudify dApp is finished, literally anyone anywhere with a smartphone and internet connection can start earning Perlin node staking rewards as a kind of Universal Basic Income for helping to secure the Perlin network. This includes the 1.7 billion unbanked people in the world — many of whom have phones and internet. As both become more ubiquitous, more people can participate.
We’ve built Wavelet to power all global trade across all possible industries, but we’ve also built into it compelling economic incentives for people to get involved and create a better world they envision for themselves — using a public, open, and transparent immutable ledger powered by the people for the people.
ABR: What are the major pain points in blockchain developing that you have addressed?
DS: Apart from all startup growing pains, blockchain is essentially a network tipping point business, so mass adoption is really the overarching goal of ALL crypto projects. The pioneering Wavelet distributed ledger we’ve built addresses that head-on by providing a practical and user-friendly blockchain platform that can be used at commercial scale — solving the Blockchain Trilemma posited by Vitalik Buterin. Wavelet is verifiably the world’s fastest and most highly scalable secure public ledger. We’ve built versatile dApps for industry use cases with proven demand to help showcase just how powerful Wavelet is. Wavelet provides a real and credible option for enterprises of every size, kind, and complexity to power innovation to meet the challenges of future digital economies and trade.
We also built a range of interrelated products to demonstrate how powerful Wavelet is, which address different markets/segments and the associated pain points. The key ones include:
ABR: Can you tell us about your partnership with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)? How are you developing distributed ledger technology for the global trade ecosystem?
DS: Over 100 years old, the ICC is the world’s leading business organization with 45 million businesses in 130 countries globally. We are their official blockchain partner, and they are promoting our products to their vast member base for commercial pilots. Our business model is to partner with national, regional, and global business chambers that have established networks and influence in their respective markets — to help market and distribute our products to their millions of members. For example, well-respected and dynamic chambers like Dubai have signed on as distribution agents/resellers for Perlin products in the Middle-East and North Africa. More will come online in 2019 and beyond to give us true global coverage.
We are also working with the ICC to develop blockchain-based tools to drive and support digital innovation in global trade. One specific initiative is to create smart contract-based versions of their INCOTERMS (smartINCOs), which are used in ALL international trade. These smartINCOs will support cheaper, faster, and more efficient global trade across every industry that exports/imports and will be distributed throughout the ICC global network. Another is the ICC’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative.
ABR: Can you tell us about the technology behind Perlin?
DS: Wavelet is a complex, new public ledger with a ton of new innovations that address existing problems that hinder mass adoption for blockchain. In summary, Perlin has constructed an entirely new consensus protocol for Wavelet: a public blockchain made for writing/deploying robust, decentralized apps. This new protocol makes Wavelet incredibly:
Importantly, the Wavelet Beta is now open-source and free for developers to start building.
ABR: Can you tell us more about your products, Perlin Clarify and Perlin Certify? How are these products transforming blockchain?
DS: Clarify and Certify were originally intended as demonstrations of how powerful, fast, and secure the Wavelet ledger is. What we didn’t expect was the overwhelming interest we got from the ICC partnership and support by the Singapore Government connecting us with traditional companies. It’s too soon to release details of all the commercial pilots we’re building using Clarify and Certify, but the pipeline of new deals is keeping the entire team extremely busy.
Clarify is full value chain traceability on a transparent, verifiable, and immutable decentralized database. It allows companies to create transparency across their operations to show anything from regulatory compliance to voluntarily adopted sustainable practices. It is a powerful tool to engage customers (wholesale or consumer) and show them that they are doing what they promise.
Certify is a product and asset authentication tool on a transparent, verifiable, and immutable decentralized database. Users can protect their brands and customers from damaging and potentially dangerous counterfeits. This is being developed for pilots with major brands, ranging from luxury goods to FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) products.
Working with the ICC to empower its members and the Singapore Government to position Singapore as the world’s leading trade hub guarantees a huge and growing list of companies looking to use best-in-class decentralized tech for digital innovation. Watch this space for the major companies we’ll be announcing are using our products in the weeks and months ahead.
ABR: Please tell us more about Asia Pacific Rayon’s Follow Our Fibre campaign? What was your contribution to the project?
DS: The APR Clarify pilot was the first commercial deployment for one of our products — announced at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit earlier this year. We custom-built the value chain traceability solution for APR’s specific needs, working closely with their supply chain managers. The R&D conducted to build this first pilot means we can now readily customize and deploy similar solutions for any company with a supply chain, regardless of size, type or complexity.
The success of the pilot has given RGE (parent company of APR with 60,000 employees and US$18 billion in assets), to scale up the Clarify solution across its many other subsidiary companies, including in timber, paper pulp, and palm oil. You can check out the Follow Our Fibre website, which has links to the live Clarify dApp and video.
ABR: What other projects and developments can we expect to see from Perlin in 2019-2020?
DS: On the business side, we’re going to continue working closely with major partners like the ICC, Singapore Government, national business chambers, and others to keep driving commercial pilots for our products. To reflect the huge size of the business development opportunities for Perlin, even if it only achieves adoption among 1% of ICC members, that translates to 450,000 businesses using our Wavelet ledger to process millions of transactions.
On the development side, we’ll be pushing towards Mainnet and full launch of the Perlin network. Feedback from the community, third-party code auditors, and technical partners will all be incorporated to refine and perfect Wavelet. Once finalized, we aim to be the leading public blockchain platform available in the world. We’ll offer a viable commercial alternative public chain to existing private blockchains that have done well with major corporates, but aren’t truly decentralized, open, and secure. We’ll also enable SME businesses to access blockchain solutions they currently can’t (from companies like IBM), because they are simply too expensive.
We will also be driving our Global Ledger initiative with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Binance Foundation to support companies and even countries to monitor, record, and publish metrics on their environmental commitments. This is a long-term initiative aimed at creating global standards for capturing, measuring, and reporting environmental data, leveraging our powerful Wavelet ledger and the rapid growth of data from sensors, nano-satellites, drones, cameras, and IoT (Internet of Things) devices. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 are estimated to require an annual investment of US$4 trillion — presenting a huge commercial opportunity in addition to Perlin’s underlying mission to protect the environment.
ABR: In your opinion, what industry or sector is ripe for blockchain transformation?
DS: Despite the rapid advance of technology across sectors, international trade still relies on outmoded manual and paper-based systems, which are time-consuming, expensive, and vulnerable to fraud and human error. With an estimated US$10 trillion in commodities produced and consumed annually, Perlin and the ICC will be supporting the long overdue digitization of trade across all industries globally.
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