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Federate This: 2020 Q2 Update
Hi Everyone -

Please find our update below. We've had another very busy quarter.


[*]Alongside Sphereon, we worked the US. DHS grant with Factom Inc. Initially we were just licensing the app for use, but after Inc had manpower troubles we stepped in on the protocols behalf. There's really two parts - One technical orientated, and the other a business case. We earned Inc the full $200k after a successful showing at Plugfest - where we needed to demonstrate interoperability of our VC implementation.
[*]We were the only solution with an issuer/verifier on Mobile, and only one of 3 that passed all tests.
[*]As another milestone - we developed a web platform for issuing Verifiable Employee/Citizen Credentials onto an Off-Blocks mobile wallet.
[*]The use case was to prevent forgery of import documentation for raw materials into the US. A complex supply chain tracking Timber from harvest to port.
[*]We are following up with the major Timber importers/exporters and trade boards to carry on this development into a commercial solution. US Customs has been offering a period of tariff-free imports to those who bring the tech to market; That is a huge economic incentive to adopt.

[B]European Commission[/B]

[*]Off-Blocks has been selected for a similar/competing European Commission programme to develop SSI, DIDs and VC's. There are two parallel calls: Firstly for businesses to develop solutions, and the other for infrastructure.
[*]This programme kicks off next week and provides us equity-free funding based on assessed milestones. It is competitive, so not all companies progress through to each phase.
[*]Based off our current work in the space and existing product, we were chosen as one of 21 companies. At the moment we use native ID's - this call will see us introduce Factom DIDs as we revamp the onboarding process.

[*]Development sprints continue. Work in the period has been mainly focussed on refactoring annotations to PDFs and form fields. We have also transitioned towards CI/CD and upgrading the DevOps side of things.
[*]A major release deployed last week on the App Store. With 5 months of work going into it. It features many bug fixes and performance improvements. Importantly it now allows access to the Web Portal for requesting/tracking signature requests.
[*]There is still a lot of work to be done. We have a long list of UI/UX, or bug fixes to address. But the bulk of the tech is now successfully implemented.
[*]We are now adding Admin panels, user roles/permissions, and payment options as we look forward to a commercial release of a self-serve B2B SaaS in the Fall.

[B]Business Development/Roadmap[/B]

[*]Notably a US-based real estate company has recently signed up. I'm fortunate to be able to work with Sphereon to deploy these bespoke requirements and workflows.
[*]Other large projects are under discussion. The question is if we have the manpower to cover them all - we have a lot on our plate already. It's nice to have organisations reach out to us and ask for solutions to their pain points.
[*]Purchased an expensive new domain, for the upcoming name change. You didn't think we were going with 'Off-Blocks' did you?? No seriously, Off-Blocks was a perfect name for the original use case, in aviation. Since its inception, the scope of our solution has rapidly grown, and we needed a more appropriate brand name to cover the broader application.
[*]We have made the classic mistake of building too much. We are in the process of separating this out into 3 distinct products that are essentially deployable today, with 5 total envisioned.
[*]At the end of the year, with a launched product range, revenue and government programmes backing us - we'll be looking for an external investor to come onboard to propel these Factom based solutions into a global market. The funding will be used to quickly push down our own roadmap, transition from a bootstrapped project into a full-time venture and bring major usage to the Factom Protocol.


Marketing WG[/B]
[*]We won a grant for a simple strategy. Given the announcements from Inc - The main goal was damage control, to have something in place rather than a black hole. We have re-established channels with Blockfolio, and Delta Direct and post on Twitter. It is a challenge when some of the comments are quite unhelpful, we're battling uphill here. The name and reputation of Factom is so negative to the point of being aggressive; people go out of their way to post shitty comments.
[*]The other part of the grant was to build an investor focussed website. This was designed and the copy was written, however it has not gone into production for two reasons 1) GWG mandating that only one website shall be used to avoid confusion. 2) Website Committee pushing ahead with their now-released version. This portion of the funds remains with the WG until further notice.
[*]Marketing WG is following up on the previous explainer video project, to try to resolve the situation and get it published.
[*]Appeared on the BlockVenture Podcast to discuss my vision for the Factom Protocol.
[*]We've set up a google sheet which allows us to generate ideas for posts/tweets etc when stuck for things to write about.

[*]I've been an active moderator on Discord. Taking various initiative, setting up channels, changing permissions etc.
[*]I boosted the server out of pocket, giving more flexibility and fun for members.

[*]After proposing a 'business roadmap' - the GWG has reached out to bring some suggestions to the in-progress GWG Roadmap rather than work independently.

Thanks to everyones support. Feel free to reach out for a chat any time.

It's a tough time for us all, and change is needed. Let's keep it friendly and make it a positive change with better prognosis!
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