OriginTrail (Decentralized Knowledge Graph)

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OriginTrail (Decentralized Knowledge Graph)
Distributed company
Founded2013; 9 years ago (2013)
HeadquartersLjubljana, Belgrade
Key people
  • Tomaz Levak
  • Ziga Drev
  • Branimir Rakic
  • Dr. Bob Metcalfe (Advisor)
  • Dan Purtell (Advisor)
  • Aaron Bradley (Advisor)
  • Greg Kidd (Advisor)

OriginTrail is a public open-source infrastructure which is the world’s first decentralized Knowledge Graph (DKG) that can organize all forms of assets and make them discoverable, verifiable, and valuable across a network of decentralized nodes. The DKG is a blend of knowledge graph and blockchain technology which allows for a trustless semantic network. It is actively being used by some of the largest companies in the world including SBB, SCAN, and BSI for a variety of purposes on Ethereum, Polygon Matic, and xDai, with Polkadot integration on the horizon.[1]

OriginTrail was co-founded by Tomaz Levak, Ziga Drev, and Branimir Rakic, and launched in 2013. The core development of the project is overseen and supervised by Trace Labs. A global network of 2000 decentralized nodes is responsible for the running of the network.[2]


Tomaz Levak, Ziga Drev, and Branimir Rakic began working on a centralized solution focused on managing supply chain challenges with a meat producer in 2013. It grew from there, both in terms of data and demonstrating the provenance of commodities, as well as in terms of industries, spreading out into dairy, meat, and vegetables. In 2016, in response to concerns about data immutability and integrity, the co-founders began experimenting with blockchain technology such as Ethereum. They discovered that Ethereum was restrictive and that what they required was a purpose-built application that sat between the blockchain and the application layer to make data management more transparent. OriginTrail Decentralized Network was born as a result.[3]


OriginTrail was established in 2013 by Tomaz Levak, Žiga Drev, and Branimir Rakic.[4] Within a year of the release of the alpha version that was meant for organic beef products, OriginTrail launched its beta version for dairy products that was also integrated with Microsoft Navision.

In 2015, the beta version was modified to include poultry and vegetable products. In the same year, it also facilitated integration with SAP and third-party ERP providers. By 2016, OriginTrail was being used by over 20,000 unique shoppers. It was also launched on the blockchain that year.[5]

In 2017, OriginTrail started the initial implementation with the Ethereum Test network.The company also started the formation of Trace Alliance of beta users with companies & institutions in the US, EU, and China. Trace Alliance promotes cryptocurrency growth and mutual value. The Trace Alliance is a clearinghouse for solutions based on the OriginTrail protocol and blockchain technology, with over 150 members including businesses, service providers, and academic institutions.[6]

In 2018, OriginTrail went live on the mainnet. Early that year, OriginTrail also completed the Alpha Pilot project, European Wine Pilot project and also released Luna v0.3a. Later, the company also launched Mechta v0.4a and then Ranger v0.5a, followed by Kosmos v0.6a, Zond v0.7a, Surveyor v0.8a, Explorer v0.9a, Lunar Orbiter v1.0b-RC, and TESTNET Apollo v1.0b. OriginTrail also entered into a partnership with GS1 Slovenia and TMA Solutions.

In 2019, OriginTrail entered into an exclusive partnership with BSI and launched its Network Operating System (nOs). The OriginTrail Decentralized Network uses the nOS to assist organizations capture and structuring millions of events that occurred in their supply chains using GS1 worldwide standards, issuing tens of thousands of verifiable credentials, and linking that data to the ODN. In the same year, the company also saved a spot for itself on the Oracle global marketplace.

In 2020, OriginTrail released Food Data Marketplace (FDM), an open-source infrastructure for decentralized data marketplaces that encourage fair data exchange in supply chains. In the same year, the company further expanded its BSI partnership through a dedicated Whitepaper and the creation of further solutions and joined hands with GS1 Global EPCIS & CBV 2.0. OriginTrail also began development on the Open Provenance Knowledge Graph (openPKG) with support of the European Commissions’ Next Generation Internet DAPSI (NGI DAPSI).

By 2021 OriginTrail launched the v5 of the OriginTrail Decentralized Network which included integration with the xDai blockchain and making OriginTrail truly multi-chain. In the same year Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet and known for Metcalfe’s Law, Dan Purtell, Aaron Bradley and Greg Kidd became the company's advisors. It also partnered with the DeFi hub of Polkadot, and their first Parachain winner, Acala.[7] Towards the end of 2021, it was announced that AidTrust would be launched on OriginTrail. Developed with Trace Labs and BSI, AidTrust is a purpose-built solution that brings transparency and trust to donated medicines and vaccines. AidTrust has been successfully launched in India and is currently being prepared for rollout to 40 developing nations.[8] As part of the European Commissions’ NGI project, OriginTrail has recently been selected to be a core infrastructure builder for the Ontochain project.

OriginTrail has also been serving as a foundational layer for the EU-funded project Smart Agri Hubs which involves 108 different organizations from 22 European countries. It also launched a new provenance app for Perutnina Ptuj, the largest poultry producer in Southeastern Europe, and has partnered with OneAgrix to launch a blockchain-based Hala certification system for the global and quickly expanding market.

Currently, OriginTrail is in the turning phase that enables a shift from data to assets. At the end of 2021 it launched the v6 beta of the DKG that brings significant improvements to the network including native support for RDF and SPARQL, seamless integration with existing knowledge graphs, new SDKs and API, performance upgrades and more and is key to their aim of bringing billions of assets to their network.


OriginTrail received funding through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) which ended on the 17th of January 2018 when the hard cap of $22.5m was successfully reached.[9]

Technical aspects

The OriginTrail Decentralized Knowledge Graph is a worldwide shared knowledge graph made up of a set of signed verifiable statements that are openly shared.[10] Knowledge graphs are a technology stack meant to capture data from many sources and integrate it together in a meaningful way. They are typically deployed inside the domain of a single business. Amazon, Google, Uber, and IBM, for example, use knowledge graphs to assist fuel their business operations.[11] This technology adds value to applications such as search, data integration, knowledge reasoning, recommendation engines, analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, among others.

The DKG technology stack is built on a standards-first data layer that makes use of decentralized identification (DIDs and Verifiable Claims) and semantic standards (W3C and GSI). The architecture of the Decentralized Knowledge Graph is layered, with decentralization, connectivity, and data ownership as core principles.

  • Application layer

Encompassing both Dapps and traditional applications which utilize the OriginTrail DKG as part of their data flows

  • Service layer

Implementing various core & extended services, such as authentication, standard interfaces and data pipelines

  • Data layer

Hosting the knowledge graph data, distributed across the network in separate instances of graph databases, supporting linked data and industry specific standards (such as supply chain oriented GS1 or W3C semantic standards)

  • Network layer

Formed by a peer-to-peer swarm of DKG nodes hosted by individuals and organizations, implemented on a Kademlia DHT

  • Consensus layer

Formed by a peer-to-peer swarm of DKG nodes hosted by individuals and organizations, implemented on a Kademlia DHT.


OriginTrail allows a variety of value-adding services by deploying knowledge graph technology in a decentralized manner. These include:

  • Permissionless publish and query operations to the DKG.
  • Decentralized Applications (Dapps) with search, integration, analytics, and AI and Machine learning capabilities for any data source. This includes blockchains, decentralized storage, enterprise systems, web services and more.
  • Easily discover, query and integrate datasets from multiple sources
  • Securely share semantic data (knowledge) across systems and dapps
  • Monetize APIs and data, using fungible and non-fungible tokens (knowledge tokens) -Easily build custom verifiable data pipelines Integrate with existing SSI & blockchain tooling
  • The removal of central authorities which in turn, thus removes a single point of failure. By hosting everything on the OriginTrail Decentralized Network, the data is more robust and accessible.

In the media



  1. "trace-labs". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  2. GmbH, finanzen net. "Trace Labs is driving radical transparency and trust in agri-food supply chains with OriginTrail and Oracle". markets.businessinsider.com. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  3. "OriginTrail is Decentralized Knowledge Graph Technology (brief primer on OT's core functionality)". coinsnews.com. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  4. "Branimir Rakic". The Knowledge Graph Conference. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  5. "This is how blockchain can help fight pandemics". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  6. "Supply chain woes and the growth of Web 3.0 back OriginTrail's fresh ATH". Cointelegraph. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  7. Reecer, Dan (19 November 2021). "OriginTrail To Launch on Acala, Bringing Its Decentralized Knowledge Graph to Acala's Developer…". Acala. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  8. "Trace Labs and BSI have launched AidTrust". finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  9. "OriginTrail Completes $22.5M ICO". Lawyer Monthly | Legal News Magazine. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  10. "OriginTrail multichain Decentralized Knowledge Graph is now live: Mainnet launch on xDai, claiming…". OriginTrail. 23 March 2021. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  11. "Knowledge Graphs: Powerful Structures Making Sense of Data". International Banker. 30 July 2021. Retrieved 30 December 2021.

External links