Overledger Business Paper
10 March 2018Download PDF (517kb)
The potential of Blockchains are limited by the current approach — creating closed proprietary networks will fail like the closed networks of the early Internet.
Overledger is taking a Steve Jobsian-style approach to blockchains — taking a very complicated technology and making it much easier to use for Enterprise and developers.
The blockchain operating system Overledger was designed specifically to address the current limitations of blockchain technology by enabling interoperability between ledgers and existing networks and systems. In simple terms, this mean ensuring the seamless the communication between single-ledgers and to ensure that one ledger can recognise transactions on another ledger. Why can’t a transaction made on the Ethereum ledger be recognised by Hyperledger?
We faced similar challenges during the beginnings of the Internet before we had mass-adoption, leading to economic prosperity. The internet pioneers could not have imagined and predicted the innovation and growth that the inter-connected Internet brought. We initially had closed commercial networks operating in a monopolistic way, like Compuserve, Prodigy, AOL and research networks such as ARPANET, JANET, MILNET, AARNET etc that were only accessible to users from within these networks. It was through interoperability and connectivity, which gave birth to the Internet as we know it. Although with some risk. With a larger open network, we could no longer trust each other because we can’t know everyone single participant of the network. To protect us from each other, it was required building up defences and walls to protect everyone from each other. This is the “original flaw” of the Internet.
We are facing the same scenario in recent years. Closed Blockchain networks are being created and used in isolation of one another. Mimicking the challenges of the early internet faced. It is only through interoperability of inter-connected Blockchain networks to each other, then to existing networks which will lead to wide adoption and evolution of the original Internet to the Internet of Trust. We’re at the beginning of this journey and can’t wait to see the next generation of innovation, growth and prosperity the Internet of Trust will bring.
To understand Overledger, you need to understand how the early Internet evolved to the internet of today. Overledger is the catalyst needed to unleash the potential of blockchains to foster the next-generation of innovation and economic growth.
With the adoption of Blockchain technology, for the first time, we can honour the original vision of the Internet to create an open, interoperable and trusted network for people, machines and data to operate on, but without the original flaw of having to know everyone within the network.
For the first time, we can trust the network without the need to know and trust each other.
On the application side, people are limited to only use the features of one Blockchain at a time. DApps are created and exist in isolation within single Blockchain networks. Enterprise and developers operate at risk, by relying on a single technology, in the event that the technology fails, becomes insecure, or no longer can afford the monopolistic costs and fees with that Blockchain — or simply it’s no longer sustainable for the Enterprise or there is possibly vendor fatigue. With the current approach, it is not possible to easily migrate to another technology without huge risk, cost or downtime. From an Enterprise perspective, weary from being limited or tied to a single technology.
The birth of the web and evolution of web technologies allowed for web applications to exist on almost any platform.
The is the same for Smart Contracts. By only existing in one environment, the potential is limited. We see the huge potential by facilitating and allowing cross-chain smart contracts, know as Treaty Contracts, to recognise the execution and outcome of a smart contract on different networks.
Enabling interoperability is going to be the critical first-step in in order for us to witness mass-adoption of blockchain technology but it’s not a small task and there are key elements required in order to succeed.