Algorand Bi-Monthly Report – March & April 2020 Ecosystem Developments
This is a bi-monthly (May/April) update on one of the most promising projects in the space – Algorand. Algorand is a one-of-its-kind open-source, permissionless, and pure proof-of-stake blockchain that doesn’t fork and is ideal for the creation of next-gen financial products. The protocol uses unique cryptographic sortition and super-efficient Byzantine agreement.
In this bi-monthly update, will be focussing on the following areas:
- The Launch of Co-Chain Architecture
- Algorand Developer Grant
- Mule Framework
- IReport-Covid App
- Launch of Algorand Wallet
- Partnership with Meld
- Algorand and the Marshall Islands
#1 Algorand Co-Chains
As already mentioned, Algorand is a public, permissionless blockchain. However, these chains aren’t ideal for enterprise usage since they need to carefully monitor who all can access the stored data for compliance and privacy reasons. On the other hand, a private permissioned blockchain can provide the required access control required by such enterprises, but they run the risk of isolating their users.
By making the private and public chains interoperable, the organizations can isolate and control sensitive data on a private blockchain, while still safely interacting with the world through an interoperable public blockchain.
This is the reason why the developers created the Algorand co-chain – a special, permissioned version of the Algorand blockchain. It enjoys transaction finality, layer-1 smart contracts, customizable decentralization, and still benefits from continued innovation on the main Algorand chain.
A co-chain has the following features:
- Independent from the public chain.
- Interoperable with the main Algorand public chain.
- Transact with other co-chains securely and easily.
- Provides rigorous fine-grained control.
- Transactions shielded from outsiders.
- Chooses its own validators.
- Runs its own Algorand consensus algorithm.
- Automatically inherits all the improvements and upgrades that will be added to Algorand’s permissionless protocol.
#2 Algorand Developer Grant
The Algorand Foundation has announced a 250 million ALGO (around $43 million) grants program on April 14 to fuel development on its blockchain. The funds will be allocated to deserving developers across four major categories:
- Innovative research.
- Development tools for the Algorand blockchain.
- Use cases for decentralized applications.
- Education and community initiatives.
The grants program aims to accomplish Algorand’s vision of creating a borderless economy. The distribution of the 250 million ALGO tokens will be subject to the quality and quantity of project submissions. The Foundation hopes that the program will help encourage innovation and learning.
Fangfang Chen, Head of Operations at the Algorand Foundation, said:
“We believe that a public, permissionless, pure proof-of-stake blockchain with an open-source approach is fundamental to delivering on the vision of a borderless economy. As part of its vision of enabling a broad and active blockchain development community, the Algorand Foundation is committed to supporting that community as they explore the opportunities for innovation that exist within the Algorand blockchain ecosystem.”
Algorand also announced the first three grant recipients:
- Blog: A multi-blockchain infrastructure provider that delivers Algorand APIs and nodes.
- PureStake AlgoSigner: An open-source browser plug-in that allows developers to integrate ALGO payments into their applications without compromising users’ private keys.
- Reach: A platform that lowers the barriers-to-entry to dApp development
Currently, the Algorand Foundation will be conducting the initial evaluation of the projects; however, in the future, they plan on introducing an open grant program. In the open grant system, the community will get to decide on which projects should receive grants via voting.
#3 The Mule Framework
Algorand created a framework called “Mule,” which generalizes the concept of a unit of automation. The properties of Mule are as follows:
- Automation decouples from project repositories: Users can define automated tasks as python scripts in one centralized location without any need for scripts in the application repositories.
- Automation can be consumed conveniently: The framework provides a simple way for you to organize their execution through an intuitive, declarative yaml format.
- Automation consistently executed by both users and their CICD process: The Mule provides a “cli” that can consume any valid mule yaml file and executes the automated tasks deterministically.
#4 IReport Covid
The IReport-Covid app is an open global database to fight COVID-19. The app allows the public to fill up surveys and the responses will be publicly posted on the Algorand blockchain to guarantee free and permanent access to anyone. The team will use the reported data to publish the aggregate statistics from the reported data. The community can use this collected data to create various applications.
The main features of IReport-Covid are as follows:
- Anonymous self-reporting: While there are multiple sources of info related to Covid-19, the data coming directly from the individuals in the community is pretty limited.
- Decentralized and open data: Provide a universally available source of real-time data.
- Permanent and non-tamperable storage: The data is preserved in its original form and is impossible to tamper with because of the blockchain’s inherent cryptography.
#5 The Algorand Wallet
The Algorand Wallet is the Algorand’s official mobile wallet that allows users to hold, transact, and request Algos or any ARC-01 asset. Within the Wallet, you can access your various accounts along with their respective public and private keys. The Ledger Nano X can be used to store your Algorand Wallet private keys, ensuring that they never touch your phone. Transactions can be easily signed with Nano X’s Bluetooth capabilities.
Meld partnered with Algorand and the Australian gold industry to tokenize gold and its supply chain. This will help users to:
- Quickly find buyers and sellers.
- Trade instantly.
- Track the origins of their gold.
As per Meld, Algorand is “best-suited to connect all components of the gold marketplace: bringing suppliers, dealers, and buyers directly to where they want to trade their assets.” Algorand will host a new stablecoin to track the supply chain between users and partner members.
Michael Cotton, the director of Meld Gold, told Decrypt:
“At the core of the Meld ecosystem is the partner network. Unlike other solutions, Meld is developing an industry solution that interconnects the entire supply chain, creating efficiencies such as decreased costs, increased transaction speed and greater liquidity.”
#7 Algorand and the Marshall Islands
SFB Technologies will be partnering with Algorand blockchain to provide the infrastructure for the SOV – The Marshall Islands’ CBDC. CBDC or Central Bank Digital Currency is the digital form of fiat money that will be generated by the country’s central bank and can be used as legal tender. The government of the Marshall Islands will oversee SOV and its supply will grow at a fixed rate of 4% each year to keep inflation in check. The SOV will allow the Marshall Islands to efficiently operate in the global economy by circulating alongside the US dollar. SFB Technologies chose Algorand for its speed, scalability, and security.
As you can see, Algorand has had a pretty busy couple of months. The developer community is especially excited about the co-chain concept since it opens up a whole new avenue for Algorand. As Algorand continues to grow, we can only expect them to make many more significant partnerships in the near future.
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