Blockwatch: Ripple, Coil, Codius, and Malta Summit
In this installment of Blockwatch, check out this latest news on Ripple, Coil, Codius and the Malta Summit. There's a lot happening in blockchain! Click here for more!
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At Berlin’s recent Tech Open Air, I spoke with Stefan Thomas, the current CTO of Ripple, about his ideas for democratizing and decentralizing payments, and what you should be paid for.
Ripple, XRP, and Interledger
Many purists in the blockchain community have always looked askew at Ripple, claiming they are too centralized, too focused on big financial institutions, or not using blockchain technology at all. Criticisms aside, Ripple has been one of the few blockchain projects (I will ignore that concern for this article) that has a respectable market cap (XRP) and is actually running real-world applications — something few other projects can claim.
With a strong enterprise focus, Ripple aims to make sending funds between banks and other payment institutions easier, for example, connecting a $US Moneygram account to a € bank account, and guaranteeing the payment along the way.
It consists of three products:
- xCurrent to process payments
- xRapid to give institutions liquidity when needed in transfers.
- xVia provides the standard interfaces and API to make transfers — no matter the source and destination.
All three products are open to commercial customers on an application, but underpinning them is the XRP ledger, an open source tool used in applications that need to connect other ledgers and currencies together.
With some overlap in aim and functionality, we look at the Interledger project. It’s never been clear to me how much the Ripple code base uses Interledger or vice versa.
Figuring out how creatives can make money from their work online is a problem that many projects and entrepreneurs are looking into, and an area I have been actively watching for some time. For any idea to work, it has to be easy for end users to add and spend funds on what they value. Browser and web plugins are often the first step, but these all bring their own competing standards and barriers to entry. Stefan’s new project, Coil plan to take a different approach, building on a dormant HTTP response header for payments and creating a new (hopefully) standard around it.
Another idea I’ve seen recurring in the blockchain space is creating a form of decentralized cloud hosting. Instead of using a monolithic centralized provider for compute or storage resources, you use the capacity others have spared and reimburse them accordingly. There are a handful of projects handling aspects of this idea, such as the well established IPFS or Filecoin for storage, but Codius has a different and interesting idea. While it’s not obvious from the project site or documentation, Codius utilizes Hyperd and Docker images to create the applications that run within the network and leverage the isolation, abstraction, and security that those projects offer.
The project in the early stages of development, so there will be twisty-frustrating-code-dragons, but it is the most promising of all the ideas I have seen in the decentralized computing resource space. It uses applicable pre-existing ideas combined with shiny new blockchain technology to create a genuinely interesting and useful idea.
Malta Blockchain Summit
Finally, for this installment of Blockwatch, nowhere in the world is embracing blockchain and cryptocurrencies as much as the tiny European nation of Malta. In November, the Island is hosting the Malta Blockchain Summit that will bring together over 5,000 professionals and enthusiasts from around the world. With specific events for developers, investors, and business owners, as well as those that bring everyone together to learn from each other, it promises to be an interesting event. I’ll be attending, interviewing speakers and attendees, so if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.
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