‘Perhaps the world’s most powerful’ decentralised financial platform goes live

Tuesday 13 October 2015

The release of BitShares 2.0 sees the launch of OpenLedger, offering a new set of tools with the potential to revolutionise the finance industry.

BitShares, one of several so-called ‘second-generation’ crypto-platforms to achieve prominence over the last couple of years, seems set to make waves in the coming days and weeks with the launch of OpenLedger - a far-reaching project that claims to solve the most significant problems to do with cryptocurrencies and open the way to widespread adoption. Featured on Forbes and formally announced last month by crypto exchange CCEDK’s CEO Ronny Boesing at the Global Money Transfer Summit in London’s Canary Wharf financial district, OpenLedger goes live today - with much more to follow.


Fast, powerful, stable, transparent - OpenLedger sounds almost too good to be true

Four partners

OpenLedger is a collaboration between a number of key partners in the crypto-finance space. CCEDK’s Ronny Boesing, a veteran of the music industry and serial entrepreneur, has backed the platform and integrated it with his outfit to create a new kind of exchange. BitShares, a gen-2 crypto platform with a more corporate emphasis than crypto’s norm of decentralised communities, is headed up by Dan Larimer. OpenLedger has been developed by blockchain experts Cryptonomex and is powered by the Graphene toolkit. OpenLedger is built on BitShares, therefore becoming by default BitShares’ exchange and wallet.

Four problems

There are a series of issues standing in the way of crypto adoption, of which Boesing identifies four major deal breakers. The idea is that the new incarnation of BitShares will make those a thing of the past. ‘OpenLedger has been designed to solve the problems of speed, stability, security and transparency that still hamper cryptocurrency and prevent its widespread take-up,’ he says. But what does that mean in practice?

Cryptocurrencies rely on blockchain technology, which is powerful and secure but slow and limited in capacity. It’s a little unclear how they get around the problem, but OpenLedger is boasting ‘Nasdaq-like’ trading speeds and volumes, making it suitable for professional traders who require ultra-low latency.

Stability is a known problem in crypto. Simply, why would anyone convert their money into a form that can lose 10% or more of its value overnight? BitShares’ pegged currencies promise to fix that, giving users a stable store of value in which both to keep and trade their funds. It allows them to trade fiat against gold and other currencies and assets, with low fees and therefore better yields.

Security is another major consideration; exchange hacks are widely seen as the price of doing business in crypto. OpenLedger allows users to trade, whilst keeping full control of their own private keys - so no one can intervene, reverse a transaction, or steal their funds from a hot wallet.

Lastly, in an unregulated world, transparency is a big deal. OpenLedger’s ledger really is open - so anyone can audit it and check that funds are where they are supposed to be.

Four Horsemen

But crypto trading - starting with Ronny Boesing’s Danish startup, CCEDK - are just one area that the BitShares’ team plan to disrupt. Stan Larimer, the organisation’s president and operations manager, is taking a team out on the road to bring OpenLedger to a series of major potential partners. The plan is to licence their software to businesses, organisations and entrepreneurs who will benefit from the faster speeds, lower costs and reduced risks that blockchain tech enables. The range of possible application is immense. Larimer’s ‘Four Horsemen of Cryptoeconomics’ strategy targets the following areas:

Exchanges. Fast, scalable, transparent and high-capacity exchanges are the future of crypto trading - starting with CCEDK which, Boesing states, will rapidly grow in the next 18 months. ‘We can trade peer to peer anywhere in the world in a few seconds. We’ve got capacity for every existing exchange to become a member of our network, treating their own customers to the combined market depth of all exchanges on a shared transparent ledger.’

Music. Music industry veteran Eddie Corral is approaching his contacts with a view to revolutionising distribution and royalty payments. ‘We attended a meeting with all of the competitors we’ve been tracking for months,’ he explained. ‘They were considering managing digital royalty rights for artists on a bitcoin-style blockchain. I mentioned that we were deploying an industrial grade solution next week and are already signing up artists. Kinda brought the original agenda to a screeching halt!’

Finance. Former Sun Microsystems CEO John Underwood will be pitching his vision of ‘identity-based privacy’ to finance industry members. ‘We’ll never get massive adoption until all the big players know they are good to go with regulators and safe from the prying eyes of their competitors.’

VC. Chinese-American venture capitalist Bo Shen will be representing the BitShares team to prospective investors around the world, planning not only to explain the benefits of OpenLedger but to extol the virtues of blockchain technology in general.

For real?

There’s no doubt that, with OpenLedger, BitShares are staking their claim to a major slice of the crypto ecosystem and beyond. It’s a hugely ambitious project, and the outfit has a more organised approach to publicity than most crypto communities can muster. Whether it can deliver remains to be seen - this is, after all, bleeding-edge technology that will only fully be tested in the field. The impact of high trading volumes, real-world use and abuse, and the inevitable attacks from hackers cannot be anticipated. OpenLedger has, almost literally, promised the moon. It’s certainly going to be worth watching whether it gets there.

This article was sponsored by Ronny Boesing and CCEDK. To mark the launch of OpenLedger, CCEDK will be running a promotional campaign for the immediate future. Unique sign-ups to Openledger will be awarded a special ‘OLED’ token, and more will be available for certain activities on the CCEDK and OpenLedger platforms. These will be delivered automatically to customers’ wallets, and can be independently traded on the exchange.

Note: Due to delays associated with migration, wallets may not be accessible before midnight GMT

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