• Mark Monfort

Why TradeFlows — Our Origin Story



Like any good startup, there’s a story behind it and it’s no different for us at TradeFlows. The catalyst for many stems from a frustration with an existing process or an opportunistic eye to utilise technology in a better way. Our story is a mix of both.


The way we saw it, blockchain technology and the fast-paed evolution of the various building blocks here, could do so much to improve the world of finance. Back in Feburary 2022, when this project was initially started, the focus was more on collaboration. We heard a podcast talking about the need for a collaboration layer in the world of web3 and it made a lot of sense. Going from a place of centralised control meant we had things like regulatory protection but at the cost of some freedoms, whilst moving to decentralised environment meant lessa authoritarian control but at the cost of safety. The wild west of web3 really was (and still is) a thing.


It made sense then to focus on building a collaboration layer that would bring a way of rating your counterparties when you deal with them on the blockchain. By being able to rate each other, you could build trust/reputation scores and in a way, this would be like a distributed form of regulation. We were lucky enough to present this on the online financial news show ausbiz (see aboev) and at a Blockchain Sydney meetup. The meetup was amazing because unlike other startup pitches where when questions are asked and the audience tries to poke holes, here we had people ask those hard hitting questions but also offer solutions too. The place really truly is as collaborative as its labelled on the tin.


Then a funny thing happened whilst we continued to investigate and build this protocol. We discovered streaming payments. Seeing others do this opened our eye to the possiblities of not just enabling streaming payments but also attaching those payments to ERC-20 contracts, aka NFTs. Imagine the possibilities of being able to send an invoice not just in the way we’ve done them in the past, but as NFTs where those payments are programmable, able to be collateralised and can facilitate global transactions.


So not long after these thoughts and ideas, we got to work, and it’s been a non-stop, whirlwind ride since then.


Firstly, we were able to get into conversations with various industries where these solutions could help solve cashflow problems, increase trust through a higher level of visibility and other benefits between buyers and sellers.


Next, we’ve been in talks with other payment solutions, both web2 and web3 based about product integration and collaboration to offer things our new customers would need as well as new features that their existing clientele do not have.


We have been lucky to receive a grant from Starkware as our plan is to build on their L2 (layer 2) with a very big driving force being their relationship with Immutable (and how we have lofty ambitions to do something as big, bold and crazy as they’ve done). The grant is a small starter but its a great building block on the shape of things to come.


Additionally, we’ve caught the interested of investors and we’re currently going through our pre-seed raise. Everyone we’ve spoken to is supportive and sees the possiblities of this across a variey of industries.


Finally, we’re building ourselves towards discussions with various departments in the Australian Comonwealth Government where invoicing and payments are on the agenda. The latest change in government, with the Labour party coming in means an increased focus on an area of the economy that needs access to better payment systems, small business (read this “Labor’s better deal for small business”).


Much more to come from us as we keep BUIDLing (building for those not in web3) and from time to time we’ll continue to share in our journey. We took a small timeout to share our thoughts on the recent Commonwealth Treasury consultation paper on regulation and crypto assets (read here on our website: https://www.tradeflows.io/post/tradeflows-response-to-crypto-asset-secondary-service-providers-licensing-and-custody-requirements or here on Medium: https://medium.com/@tradeflows/tradeflows-response-to-crypto-asset-secondary-service-providers-licensing-and-custody-requirements-933ffef33e74).


That’s us for now. The journey so far. Much more to come so please stay tuned!.

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