Founded in 2017 by CEO Vinay Gupta, with its headquarters in London, Mattereum is an impact-driven venture capital-backed technology enterprise with a new protocol for digital trade. We are setting out to change the world by redefining the relationship between physical assets and distributed digital commerce.
While digital assets have enjoyed explosive growth in recent years, these are dwarfed in size by the value of the world’s physical assets, estimated to be in excess of $280 trillion. However, two critical issues limit e-commerce platforms and the digital trade of physical assets:
- The ability to establish precise identity, provenance, ownership and characterization
- Processes for creating legally binding and enforceable rights and obligations
Counterfeits are estimated at $2 trillion annually or around 3.3% of global trade. Counterfeiting not only causes loss of authentic sales but also risks serious injury or death if components are safety-critical. Beyond merely the direct economic and social cost of fraud, the real cost of counterfeit is in tens of trillions of dollars of goods sold below their true value. However, this cannot be solved with existing technology alone.
Mattereum’s innovation is to have defined and developed the end-to-end ecosystem that brings security and trust to the intersection of distributed commerce and trade of physical assets. The Mattereum Protocol combines the a precise definition of its state and properties in the Mattereum Asset Passport which sets out the unique nature, or non-fungibility, of any physical asset, together with legally binding mechanisms for dispute resolution. This enables NFTs to be securely linked to the ownership of physical assets for the first time.
Enables trust to be spread across the network of actors in the d-commerce NFT, with profound implications.
- Experts, not sellers, provide warranties around the facts in the NFT
- Multiple experts combine to effectively create “mini DAOs” around the assets they warrant, maximising certainty and increasing the value of assets
- Environmental impact data can now be a critical and integral component of any asset
- Warranties are secured cryptographically and may be backed by insurance
A smart contract is not a legally binding agreement, it is merely a set of instructions based on what is defined in an agreement. Invented in 1995 by Mattereum Chief Scientist and financial crypto pioneer Ian Grigg a Ricardian Contract is a legally binding natural language smart contract.
Alleviating the complexities of interpretation that arise from the rigidity and limitations of using code to express basic contract and relational terms, a Ricardian Contract exists in both human and machine-readable format, requiring no coding expertise. Electronically signed and recorded on the blockchain, cryptographic signatures bind parties, define intentions and execute instructions automatically.
The important advantage of a Ricardian contract is that if there is a dispute among the parties involved, the case can be resolved in court or through arbitration.