Blockchain technology has cleared many hurdles since it’s inception in January 2009. It’s clear the next big challenge is how two blockchains will work together. With proposals like Polkadot Network or Cosmos two years away the Block Collider team brings us something that is not only available in a few months but doesn’t use validators.
What’s the problem with validators?
Validators are machines that promise the state or condition of another blockchain so that you the user can feel safe completing a transaction. For example, if you were exchanging Bitcoin for Ethereum with a user on the Ethereum chain a Validator would confirm with you that a user sent you his/her Ethereum so that you could send your BTC.
According to the Block Collider co-founder Patrick McConlogue, “validators are nothing better than decent centralization”. He lays out several weaknesses but stresses that validators like banking institutions before the blockchain revolution put the power of the financial network’s strength in the hands of a few with either the biggest bank accounts or the fastest servers. Sound familiar? Patrick McConlogue continues and says that to continue to evolve finance “we must press for innovative solutions that hold true the decentralized vision of Bitcoin’s Satoshi”.
The Block Collider multi-chain solution drops validators by flipping the problem upside down.
Using a new algorithm called Proof of Edit Distance (PoED) the Block Collider doesn’t have trust/wait for validators to approve of changes in other blockchains. PoED uses the blocks of other crypto-currencies as a part of the actual mining challenge which means that miners are incentivised to always have the right block as fast as possible from all member chains.
Regardless of where this puts Cosmos and Polkadot we are curious to see the implications of this method when looking at other purposed network solutions that purpose validators like “Plasma” recently introduced by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s Chief Data Scientist.
The protocol used by hedge funds.
Beyond validators, the Block Collider has implemented several core functionalities which make the blockchain friendly for enterprises. The foremost of which is “FIX” or the Financial Information eXchange. According to Wikipedia the FIX protocol “is an electronic communications protocol initiated in 1992 for international real-time exchange of information related to the securities transactions and markets.” We confirmed NASDAQ, Interactive Brokers, and Goldman Sachs are all using the protocol as a API for orders, trading, and market data.
In the Block Collider the FIX API is used on each of the nodes allowing users to subscribe to transactions and atomic swaps being conducted on the Block Collider populating their existing charts and tools with data. While the team does not have a live demo available that said the feature is being added to the core client and should be a part of the network when it goes live in January 2018.
A blockchain wallet you can have a conversation with
At the inception of Bitcoin, the only way to send Bitcoins was using a rough command line interface you interacted with in your computer’s terminal. While Bitcoin wallets have come a long way since then with mobile apps and desktop programs the Block Collider team believes these are just the beginning. That is why the Block Collider team created Avon which co-founder Arjun Raj Jain describes as “your blockchain wallet butler”. Avon is a chat-bot that is designed to be built into many platforms like Telegram, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger but the team was most excited about the Amazon Alexa platform. While we were a little confused on how this would work with many consumers, Arjun put together a demo video on the Block Collider website.
An example app on the Block Collider could be the next WikiLeaks
Whistleblowers have the hard task of proving allegations they bring forth, sometimes placing the whistleblower in jeopardy or even worse danger. Using the Block Collider app called Bleed users can store secrets that automatically decrypt at some point in the future if a secret transaction is not made on the blockchain.
With Bleed, individuals can encrypt secrets on multiple blockchain only revealing themselves when the user executes a specific transaction. Bleed comes to the rescue of whistleblowers by automatically decrypting and transmitting to the world when the user fails to input a transaction.
Though the target audience may be whistleblowers, Bleed may also be a handy tool used by organizations to safe keep secrets of trade.
The last thing the team showed us is called Emblems. With Emblems the Block Collider developers hope to resolve the debate about block size. As far as we can tell Emblems are like tokens but the more miners have of the crypto currency the more transactions can be added to a block. If you didn’t get this that’s ok we didn’t either but basically the reason Bitcoin keeps forking has a lot to do with people arguing about what block size (8MB, 1.6MB, 4MB) etc. The Block Collider team says that Emblems let’s the blocksize become relative and to change based on the needs of the market. It’s complex but sounds useful.
During the ICO Emblems will also help the Block Collider distribute it’s own “basket of tokens”. They call these tokens Marked Tokens and sound a lot like colored coins to us. Basically you get amounts of marked tokens sent to you based on amount of Emblems to use. We had never heard of something like this being done but the team described they have already proven the technology during their private developers-only presale.
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