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Afloat Completes W3F Grant Milestone

· 3 min read
Abigail Olson

Afloat, Inc., a marketplace for transferable tax credits, has completed the first milestone in an approved Web3 Foundation grant and the first step in migrating to Polkadot.

Web3 Foundation funds research and development teams building the technology stack of the decentralized web. It was established in Zug, Switzerland by Ethereum co-founder and former CTO Gavin Wood. Polkadot is the Foundation's flagship project. 

Louise W. Reed, founder and CEO of Afloat, values Polkadot’s network, stating, “Instead of Afloat operating in a competitive environment in isolation, we are excited to join the cooperative, global ecosystem of technology infrastructure and talent that Polkadot brings to the table.”

In Afloat’s case, a set of tax credits for sale from a seller is considered one NFT to be divided as buyers determine the amount they will purchase. In this milestone, Afloat’s backend team grouped the data of each fractionalizable NFT, called “fruniques,” into three different levels of public access: Public Header Data, Public Large Data, and Private Data. 

While any company or marketplace can benefit from fruniques and its accompanying layers of privacy, Afloat’s “Public Header Data” includes type of tax credit, expiration date, state, and amount. “Public Large Data” references public documents about the tax credit, and “Private Data” contains personal information, certificates of authenticity, and any other private supporting documentation. In the next milestone, this technology will be completed on the frontend and will be accessible to users on Afloat’s website.

This open source blockchain solution, accessible through GitHub, will not only help Afloat but also other companies coming in behind them and onboarding their own marketplaces. Currently, the functionality runs on Hashed Network, a Polkadot parachain candidate. If it were to become connected later this year, it would inherit the full security of the Polkadot relay chain. In the future, companies will be able to operate their own node to earn tokens and to make the blockchain more reliable for their users.

Thomas Howell, Afloat’s head programmer, comments, “We are extremely excited to join the Polkadot community and to leverage the increased transparency and security of the Polkadot platform to give our users an even better experience.”

The parallel chains of the Polkadot ecosystem are a stronger infrastructure for doing business than the initial single blockchain model of bitcoin and Ethereum, and the security of Polkadot’s blockchain solution will allow Afloat to integrate into the community with a public parachain instead of a private one.

Marketplaces represent a significant portion of blockchain use cases, and Afloat supports user-marketplace applications that a marketplace administrator can approve or reject. Open source, compliant, and confidential gated marketplaces lower the barrier for marketplaces to join the Polkadot ecosystem. 

The founder of Hashed Systems DAO LLC, Max Gravitt, explains his excitement, saying, "Hashed Network is launching on Polkadot because the powerful Substrate framework provides us the most flexibility to deliver on the needs of users and partners. The composable design allows us to build solutions without sacrificing security, performance, or usability. This, along with Parity's proven technical leadership, is why it is the fastest growing web3 developer community. We're just getting started."