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“I wish I were affiliated with CommerceBlock,” laments Bitcoin Foundation director Jon Matonis in a recent tweet.
The foundation works to ensure bitcoin’s acceptance by the world’s regulatory, legal and business infrastructure, but for the world to be ready for bitcoin and frictionless transactions, a cryptographically secure and interoperable blockchain infrastructure is required.
When CommerceBlock founder Nicholas Gregory is not practicing the martial art Shaolin—he trained under IP Man movie fight choreographer Leo Au Yeung in China—he is embroiled in the battle of bits and bytes to produce the most secure and interoperable blockchain protocols in the software engineering community GitHub.
Digitalizing trade transactions is one of the busiest areas of blockchain infrastructure development. Beyond the cost and efficiency benefits of replacing the paper chain with a digital chain of transactions tied to one smart contract, the decentralized and distributed ledger allows companies to integrate the tools traditionally controlled by intermediaries directly into their trade systems, eliminating the need for third parties to have access to assets and trade details.
This disintermediation unlocks value in business transaction flows and allows companies to pass it onto customers. As major organizations across the globe work on their own private blockchain solutions, foresighted developers are focusing on interoperability.
All CommerceBlock protocols have been peer-reviewed to ensure interoperability. Gregory and co-founder Omar Shibli have successfully drop-kicked their own implementation of the pay-to-contract protocol (BIP175), which secures trade between parties, into blockchain transaction code.
Automated Dispute Resolution
No doubt, Gregory’s 20 years of experience developing IT architectures for banks, enterprises and blockchain vendors has helped CommerceBlock build the trade smart contract of everything. In addition to smart contracting templates, trade management, asset issuance and payment functions, CommerceBlock’s smart contract takes care of currency risk management and dispute resolution.
Dispute resolution is made possible by several key blockchain protocols. When escrow funds are deposited into a multisignature (multisig) wallet, a trade channel is opened between the parties to manage asset delivery, invoicing and payment. To initiate the trade, the parties to the contract select the arbitrator upfront and send matching contracts.
The contract is validated using the public Blockchain whilst leaving no evidence of the transaction ever existing. Contract information is only validatable to the owners of the contracts making it impossible for any entity to view the associated contract data without the corresponding private keys. The BIP175 security protocol ensures only the signers receive cryptographic proof of the contract.
The parties may now sign and settle the contract or, if there is a disagreement, refer it to the dispute mechanism process. In the latter case, the arbitrator is automatically activated and reviews all trade records now transparent to them on the blockchain. Another protocol BIP32—an upgrade of the hierarchical deterministic wallet–provides another layer of security.
Plug-and-Play Digital Trade Solutions
CommerceBlock has built an open source ecosystem with its own token, CommerceBlock Tokens (CBT). Federated side chains are available while the new Lightning Network can provide fast off-chain functions with public keys.
Blockchain applications can use CommerceBlock’s eco system on a prepaid or subscription basis in the cloud, or the APIs and SDKs can be run directly on a firm’s hardware infrastructure.
Interoperability – The Key to the Transaction of Everything Over the Blockchain
Protocols that support interoperability will become more important as value added services are added to Blockchain solutions. Hitachi, for instance, is integrating its Lombada IoT platform, a data analytics engine, into its intelligent Blockchain to perform quality control and optimize procurement and logistics functions.
“Make no mistake,” says Matonis elsewhere. “We are witnessing a high-stakes protocol standards battle play out in real time. And it is just as important as last century’s battle for the internet’s TCP standard.”
As developers work on blockchain code on all corners of the globe, Bitcoin’s open source governance and immutable consensus is emerging as the protocol development standard. IBM has recently dumped 44,000 lines of its blockchain code in GitHub, increasing the likelihood that CommerceBlock’s GitHub-approved protocols will emerge as standards.
The CommerceBlock Token Sale
With plans to unlock more value in its trade ecosystem, CommerceBlock is setting aside 30 percent of its tokens from its upcoming token sale as incentives for enterprise integration partners. Forty percent of the one million CBT (ERC-20) will be available for public sale, while the other 30 percent is allocated to the company. The fundraising target is $25 million.