Wormhole SDK Allows Tokens to Be Created on Bitcoin Cash

Wormhole Release

Since the early days of Bitcoin, people have tried to use the underlying blockchain for other applications, such as alternative assets. This is possible due to the OP_RETURN instruction of the Bitcoin virtual machine, which allows storing arbitrary data on the blockchain.

Bitcoin.com has just made representing assets on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain much easier by launching the Wormhole SDK, a developer framework for creating tokens on Bitcoin Cash.

The OP_RETURN code has a controversial history within the Bitcoin community. The virtual machine feature allows storing arbitrary data in small chunks on the blockchain. Of course, people have used this for all sorts of things. By now we can find almost anything on the blockchain, including a photo of Nelson Mandela, Wikileaks documents, the original Bitcoin paper and many other pieces of data.

Whilst this script code has been present in Bitcoin since the early days, many have been opposed to its arbitrary use and have labeled it a source of spam on the Bitcoin blockchain. The data field size was even temporarily reduced from 80 to 40 bytes.

However, since the infamous fork in August 2017, the emerging Bitcoin Cash community has been more open to using these features. In a recent protocol update in May 2018, the data field has actually been expanded to 220 bytes.

bitcoin Cash
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Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Wormhole SDK has been developed by Bitmain and is based on the Wormhole protocol which allows the creation of tokens, crowd sales and permissionless smart contracts on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. The protocol is a fork of Omni Layer which provides similar features and is used, amongst other applications, but the Tether USDT stablecoin.

The Wormhole SDK provides an easy to use JavaScript interface to the Wormhole protocol and allows the creation of tokens equivalent to Ethereum’s ERC20 tokens and crowd sales. In the future, more complex tokens, such as ERC721 (as used by Cryptokitties) and other smart contract types are foreseen.

An Alternative to Ethereum?

The critical reader may ask how it is possible to implement complex smart contracts on a blockchain without a Turing complete virtual machine. The answer to this question is that talking about creating tokens on Bitcoin Cash is slightly misleading. Wormhole is a separate platform that backs up all transactions as data on the on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Essentially, the platform leverages Bitcoin’s integrity preserving global consensus network as a security layer.

Wormhole uses its own token, Wormhole Cash (WHC). This currency is issued by burning Bitcoin Cash. Already minted WHC can be purchased on exchanges.

Ethereum has been the go-to platform for token development and ICOs. Can the Wormhole and Bitcoin Cash combination be a viable alternative? Those that have accused Ethereum of being centralized due to its governance model might find an alternative in Bitcoin Cash. In terms of performance, Ethereum is likely to have the edge, as block generation time is much faster. It remains to be seen, whether Bitcoin Cash will be adopted as a token and smart contract platform. For now, it is good to see alternative uses of the blockchain to be embraced.

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Dr. Stefan Beyer
Dr. Stefan Beyer is editor-at-large at BlockTelegraph and a Blockchain consultant and smart contract auditor. He graduated from the University of Manchester in 2001 with a degree in Computer Science and obtained a Ph.D. in 2004 from the same university with the title “Dynamic Configuration of Embedded Operating Systems”. Since then he has worked in computer science research in distributed systems, fault tolerance, ubiquitous computing and cyber security. He is currently working as head of research and development for a medium-sized cyber security company in Spain.

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Börse Stuttgart Unveils New ICO Platform to Help Blockchain Start-ups

Stock exchange charts

Navigating the Regulatory Minefield

Blockhain-crypto start ups are here to stay, and while most of them are eager to play by the rules, they need a helping hand or two from organizations with expertise in regulatory matters. This regularity environment must walk a tightrope of clarity, best practices, and an aversion to overzealous oversight that risk throttle the industry. We’ve seen the fruits of such a beneficial environment already in Malta, which has formed the vanguard of crypto-friendly countries in Europe, and Estonia, which has designs on a “digital republic“.

However, financial and securities regulations aren’t easy to understand. Very often, start-ups interpret their offering in one way, only to find that regulators have interpreted it rather differently. Take, for instance, the dim view the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has taken of so-called utility tokens. Numerous start-ups believed their tokens did not fall under the definition of a security due to their ‘utility’ on the platform.

The SEC, following a principle of “Substance over form”, reviewed the aggressive marketing of these tokens and noticed the vast majority of people were buying the utility tokens with the expectation of a future profit. This classification from on high has led to a scramble among ICOs and a full scale swing to Security Tokens, which start-ups hope will avoid regulatory carpet bombing.

This is where Börse Stuttgart, Germany’s no. 2 stock exchange, enters the picture.

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ICOs need outside help to avoid the long arm of the SEC. Image credit: succo / Pixabay

 

An Integrated Platform

Börse Stuttgart is developing an integrated service offering for digital currencies, which, they hope, will remove the grey areas that often plague ICO sales. The company will allow blockchain start-ups to conduct their ICOs over their new platform in a transparent manner. The platform offers services in a centralized manner so that the start-ups can work with a single integrated service provider. Börse Stuttgart is also developing a secondary market for the ICO tokens sold over their platform. A secondary market are important for most blockchain-crypto projects, since brings in the much needed ‘network effect‘.

Börse Stuttgart is a well-established player in Germany with their floor-based stock exchange. Retail investors can trade in various products here — equities, securities derivatives, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and bonds, to name a few. Founded in 1860, and based out of Stuttgart, the company lays claim to broad expertise in various kinds of trading as well as regulation, all of which will come handy for ICO token issuers who use their new ICO platform.

The company is also developing a crypto trading app, named ‘Bison’, which they plan to release in September 2018. Their new ICO platform will follow the release of Bison. Alexander Hoptner, their CEO, is upbeat about the project which sits well with their strategy of promoting digital currencies in a transparent and regulated manner.

Börse Stuttgart isn’t the only stock exchange serious about blockchain and crypto; “SIX”, the company that owns and manages Switzerland’s stock exchange, is building “SIX Digital Exchange” (SDX), an integrated market for cryptocurrencies. Increasingly, it looks like Europe is taking the lead in blockchain and cryptocurrency technology. Time will tell if other global financial powers can keep pace.

 

 

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A New Survey Provides Insight into Blockchain Adoption in Advertising

blockchain advertising survey results

Advertiser Perceptions Reports on Survey Results

Advertiser Perceptions, an intelligence company in the advertising industry, recently reported the results of a survey commissioned by XCHNG, a blockchain based digital advertising platform. To complete the report, Advertiser Perceptions surveyed 300 advertising decision-makers. The focus of the survey was to determine how these decision-makers feel about blockchain technology, specifically media solutions related to it, including advertising.

One of the primary highlights of the survey is the finding that just 11 percent of advertising executives have bought ads utilizing blockchain technology. Considering the prevalence of blockchain, this is a particularly interesting figure. After all, this figure indicates that just over 1 out of 10 executives have utilized blockchain technology in ads. Despite the low level of execution, interest is high.

In fact, when questioned, almost half of those responsible for making decisions in advertising indicated that they see strong potential for blockchain technology. Specifically, the report found that these decision makers feel that blockchain may help them overcome issues such as inaccuracies across the supply chain and a lack of transparency. Since both of those factors currently negatively impact 70 percent of advertisers’ return on investment, according to the survey, the potential for using blockchain is there.

While the survey indicated positivity toward the potential applications of the blockchain in advertising, it also pinpointed some of the issues holding back widespread adoption. Two-thirds of the professionals surveyed by Advertiser Perceptions indicated that they are skeptical about solutions for media involving blockchain. The report found that this skepticism is the result of the mixed and negative information regarding cryptocurrency.

In addition to capturing overall sentiments regarding blockchain advertising as a whole, the survey also asked some targeted questions to those who have already discussed potential solutions with a blockchain provider. Of those who have taken this key step toward execution, the majority do plan to buy data via blockchain technology within the next two years.

xchng blockchain advertising
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Image Credit: XCHNG/xchng.io

XCHNG’s Interest in the Survey

As mentioned, XCHNG commissioned this survey and report. XCHNG is a unified and open-source blockchain-based framework that is specifically designed to work in the ecosystem for digital advertising. Kochava, whose CEO, Charles Manning, is also the XCHNG CEO, designed and deploys the XCHNG framework. With XCHNG, advertisers can target as well as activate audiences, take advantage of a next-generation record system, enhance the transparency and efficiency of advertising spending, and allow for tokenization of the framework.

As such, XCHNG has a great deal at stake based on the interest in blockchain technology used for advertising. An indication of high interest in the adoption of blockchain tech for advertising helps to show the potential of the XCHNG framework. XCHNG can use the interest levels indicated in the report to indicate its value to contributors and partners. At the same time, it can utilize the concerns mentioned in the report, such as the hesitation to adopt blockchain technology due to the occasional negativity surrounding crypto, to determine areas that it must improve upon. Simply put, the report provides XCHNG with valuable insight into the specific industry it hopes to target.

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