Blockchain, unchained


The rate of change is rapid and the public needs better products to navigate the next wave of transacting.

The world is split in two – between those who are passionate advocates of cryptocurrency and those who are equally strongly opposed.

The former base their belief on ease of use, flexibility and transparency. The latter say it’s dangerous, precisely because it’s easy to use, flexible and transparent. Go figure.

What the critics mean is there is no underlying regulation, and is therefore inherently risky. Lose money from your old-fashioned bank account because of fraud, and you will get it back. Lose some crypto and nobody will help, no one is underwriting your loss.

Underpinning the dissenters’ argument is the crypto experience to date. Much of that is centred on Bitcoin which has seen its value swing wildly, from up to £15,000 then crashing down to £5,000. It proves the point, they say, that cryptocurrencies are inherently unstable, not to be trusted, and therefore cannot be used for anything and are completely useless.

Until crypto is put on a proper footing that claim is inarguable. But what even many opponents acknowledge is the technology behind crypto, that the blockchain represents a transformation in how people can harness wealth, make transactions and store information. While stories swirl of crypto being the preserve of illicit dealers, established, savvy players are realising the benefits. Already, blockchain technology has used by HSBC to complete a deal on behalf of US agriculture giant, Cargill. Something that normally would take weeks, took just hours.

A recent survey found that 35% of wealthy investors will have some holding in crypto by the end of this year. In the US, one lender has issued $40m in asset-backed loans for investors in cryptocurrencies. They offer “blockchain liquidity without selling” and lend up to 60% of the market value of blockchain assets.

Francisco Hoyos, CEO of analyst Cryptalgo, the total value of world cryptocurrencies will hit $1trn by the end of the year.

Interest is focusing increasingly away from cryptocurrencies and utility tokens to security tokens – a security instrument represented in the same cryptographic form as a Bitcoin that uses the blockchain to make a smart contract.

The blockchain has been in existence for a decade, but it still remains out of the mainstream. Making the blockchain simple to use and crypto transactions easy to perform is the next step, to realise its potential by “unchaining blockchain.” A major step in that direction, in making the blockchain mainstream, comes from Coinweb, a new, heavily backed company with heavyweight credentials among its principals.

Coinweb’s Hyperlayer connects blockchains, the walled blockchain gardens bridged by Coinweb’s agnostic infrastructure layer; it makes trades more seamless and smart contracts more powerful.

Repeating the experience of PCs, internet, Smartphones – all of which went from minority usage with complex codes to ubiquitous, popular platforms that anyone can use.  Blockchain becomes simple to manage, just like the other platforms. And, let us not forget, those companies that popularised the platforms, that brought them to the masses – Microsoft, Apple, Google – grew into the biggest and most valuable corporations in the world.

The DNS (Domain Name System) of the Internet gives us readable names to send email and visit websites. Blockchain needs names too. Just as Paul Mockapetris, founder of DNS, previously created for the Internet, he returns to advise Coinweb to create the same for the blockchain.

Coinweb’s universal and easy-to-use, Coinweb name system, short form CNS, replaces the current system of unreadable wallet (hash) addresses. With CNS, Coinweb are moving blockchain wallets from number style sequences to name spaces; giving real names to wallet addresses and replacing easily forgettable and mistakable, letter and number sequences. Keeping track of 26 to 35 alpha numeric character hashes is made redundant by adopting a Coinweb name

With over 1500 different coins and tokens in circulation, hold 1% and you already have an unmanageable stash of hashes and keys. Coinweb’s innovative Hyperlayer means that for the first time everyone can have a ​single​, easy-to-use multi-currency wallet.

Their multi-wallet allows for easy management of multi-coin portfolios. Combine this with CNS technology and a decentralised exchange for trading popular tokens including BTC, ETH, LTC and user-created tokens, suddenly everyday-ease of crypto transaction becomes inevitable.

Coinweb‘s breakthrough is only tracking what took place in old-fashioned money management, traditional banking. Gradually that too evolved to the position it holds today where digital banking is the norm, and payment by mobile is proving ever more popular. It’s not so long since customers had to visit their banks in person if they wanted to do anything involving their own cash, when cheque books were the norm and ATMs did not exist. Now look.

Crypto is on the same journey towards simplicity but the pace is far quicker. Just one year in crypto is akin to three in Internet…the rate of change is rapid and the public needs better products to navigate the next wave of transacting.

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