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THE blockchain revolution is struggling. The much-vaunted technology behind bitcoin promises to enable trusted transactions without intermediaries, so why have the overwhelming majority of new blockchain projects failed? One problem is that there is no longer a single blockchain: the past few years have seen an explosion of different proprietary versions.
Now a London start-up is adding yet another to the pile – but unlike its predecessors, this one is meant to connect them all. The creators of this meta-blockchain think it could restart the blockchain revolution.
Over the past few years, groups from governments to supermarkets have tried to make good on the promise of the blockchain. A real estate start-up recently completed the first home purchase on the blockchain and US supermarket Walmart is beginning to use it to verify the provenance of its groceries.
Last month, science and technology magazine New Scientist covered the Overledger project in a story titled, “The Blockchain to Fix All Blockchains.” The story emphasizes the need for data interoperability technology across different blockchains that could play a role similar to TCP/IP, which enabled the internet to thrive.
“[Overledger] seems to be a straightforward extension of the original atomic swap idea,” said Cornell University cryptocurrency expert Emin Gun Sirer, as reported by New Scientist . But instead of only supporting currencies as atomic swaps do, the Overledger works for any data that can be put on the blockchain.
The Quant Overledger project is just coming out of stealth mode. In conversation with Bitcoin Magazine Gilbert Verdian, CEO and co-founder of Quant Network, confirmed that a patent for Overledger technology was filed in the first week of December.
“The uniqueness of our operating system is that Overledger is not another blockchain,” Quant Chief Strategist and Executive Director of the UCL Centre for Blockchain Technology at University College London, Paolo Tasca, told Bitcoin Magazine. “We do not impose new consensus mechanisms, new gateways, adapters or special validating nodes on top of existing blockchains. Overledger is a virtual blockchain that links existing blockchains and allows developers to build multi-chain applications (or in other terms blockchain-agnostic applications).”
In accordance with Verdian, blockchain engineering should enable next-generation software to function across multiple blockchains, not be limited to any single a vendor or technology and permit seamless communication across multiple blockchains in addition to a comprehension of transactions and assets across blockchains.
As such, Quant is focussing on three aims: developing an API to connect the planet’s networks into multiple blockchains; bridging existing networks (e.g financial services) to new blockchains; and developing a brand new Blockchain Operating System with a protocol and a platform to create next-generation, multi-chain software.
Verdian pioneered the growth of Blockchain ISO Standard TC 307, that allows for interoperability, governance and reference architecture of blockchain technology to function between blockchains as well as allowing blockchain systems to interoperate with existing systems and networks in use today.