As we come to the end of the first month of 2021, we look forward to a year with a far more constructive underlying foundation for the travel and tourism sector than 2020. On one hand, the emergence of a vaccine has boosted confidence in the sector and this renewed confidence will rise with more widespread acceptance and adoption of said vaccine. At the same time, the urge to travel will likely be stronger in individuals who have been unable to do so for almost a year now. Finally, and perhaps most importantly for Tratok, the economic devastation caused by the pandemic has forced service providers to change the way they do business and embrace new methods, while at the same time encouraging consumers to think about savings, benefits and convenience.
Considering this more positive environment, let us look at a quick summary of what is happening at Tratok, the challenges.
- The team have actively continued to onboard more properties, while also refining the back end engine to ensure superior speed, matching and user friendliness. For example, a search for a 5-star property in the UAE serves a page of 150 properties with accompanying descriptions, images, and reviews in 1.4 seconds (Based on an average of 10,000 requests).
- The hiring of new full-time staff members has allowed the team to deploy a Live Chat feature during business hours to help communicate and support platform users. This is in infancy and is being expanded so that eventually each individual service provider will have such a facility on their listing page, this will reduce workload for the team and give users an enhanced experience by directly connecting them with the relevant party if they have any queries.
- The third-generation ecosystem featuring remote payment via QR codes and instant remittance is scheduled to be complete PEN testing on 11th February 2021 and then be deployed by the end of the month.
- We were due to announce the winners of the prize draw on January 10th,2021, but had to delay this due to a disagreement in the team over the results. While it was never stipulated that one who had won previous prizes (E.g. pilot test draw) could be selected, we wanted to make it more fair and give more people the chance to be able to benefit from Tratok. At the same time, it is not fair to disqualify someone, just because we did not stipulate a certain condition. In response, the team did what we consider to be the fairest option. We decided to do a second draw for an additional winner, giving away three prizes instead of two. Congratulations to the following winners:
First winner: https://tratok.net/user.php?user=2643735
Second winner (note: winner of a previous prize): https://tratok.net/user.php?user=21
Additional Winner: https://tratok.net/user.php?user=1035
Group Marketing will be in touch with all the winners in the first week of February to handle the processing of prizes.
Due to the success of the program, relative to the costs, the team has decided to launch a second round. Details of this will be released in the next week or two, subject to when the correct permissions arrive from the Regulator and the Media Office. We hope to see the same enthusiasm from the community as previously witnessed.
- The platform has now allocated all 10 billion TRAT tokens as a bonus to the first million verified users. We are happy with how this promotion generated many valid users for the platform and hope that everybody enjoys using these for travel in 2021. Given the rise in the value of the token since this program started in 2018, this bonus should yield a substantial benefit to all those who signed up on time, so congratulations if you were one of the 1st million users, we hope you enjoy the tokens.
- There has been a resurgence of trolling exclusively on Telegram, from people who failed to swap their tokens before the deadline in October 2019. This has been triggered by few key developments:
- The increase in Tratok price from 1 gwei to 2900 gwei over the last 3 years.
- The publicity surrounding Tratok’s successful launch party.
- The recent media attention from mainstream media on Tratok.
- The success and feedback from the pilot tests.
We understand that the community finds these hit and run tactics annoying as well as their fake claims of investing in an ICO but we ask you not to entertain these trolls or mock their loss. You cannot blame people who realize they were given thousands of dollars for free but failed to follow developments. As anyone who reads the whitepaper knows, Tratok never conducted an ICO and is privately funded by the founders who as of December 2020 have spent in excess of USD 2.9Mn. Their lack of support and failure to monitor developments concerning this freely given token is their own responsibility. In any case, with the deadline having passed over a year ago they cannot be helped. To clarify, the swap program will not be reopened, no matter the amount of spam. These freeloaders will not be allowed to profit from the labours of the real community who made tratok what it is. This is the final stance on the matter.
We are close to finalizing with our new liquidity partners and had expected this to be concluded last week so that we could have a concrete launch date for different exchanges and then announce when to expect a 100% platform capacity. We are slightly delayed on this, but we cannot blame our pending partners. As regulated entities with long term business visions, they have made additional requests from us, which we are being compliant with. This is in the interest of protecting their consumers and making sure they have the latest up to date information, while avoiding any confusion. These include:
- Update the whitepaper with the latest information – Completed 14th Jan 2021.
- Up to date information on aggregator websites – Completed 15th Jan 2021. The last one who had been difficult with this change, started to co-operate following intervention from one of the exchanges. We are grateful for their help in this matter.
- Up to date Press repository on the site – Created 14th Jan 2021.
- Public disclosure of licenses – Disclosed 14th Jan 2021.
- Public disclosure of financials – Disclosed 14th Jan 2021.
- Letter of no objection from regulator – Obtained 5th Jan 2021.
- Qualified Legal Opinion from BVI – Completed 2020.
- Qualified Legal Opinion from Lichtenstein – In progress.
- Translations of marketing material and whitepaper – In progress.
We apologize for this short delay due to circumstances out of our control and are working as best we can with all stakeholders to compliantly get up to speed and look forward to a successful launch in the coming weeks.
- Internal: We are still understaffed with regards to client services. Covid has put a limitation on our ability to interview candidates (you cannot do everything solely via Zoom and MS Teams). We are doing our best to resolve this and are growing the headcount, but it is not as fast as ideal. We hired only 40% of the manpower that we expected to. Hopefully, this will improve next month.
- External: We are concerned about international lockdowns. While our original focus is to continue to flourish in the UAE (“If you wish to succeed, then succeed at home first!”), it is our company mandate to expand internationally this year as well.
From all of us here at Tratok Ltd and Tratok Portal LLC, we hope all of you are having a pleasant 2021 so far, and we wish you and your close ones every safety and happiness. We have reached the line together!