Today, Robert Mao, former researcher from Microsoft Research, serial entrepreneur, and technology innovator, together with Flavien Charlon, the creator of Colored Coins, Open Assets Protocol, and Openchain, announce the launch of ArcBlock, the world’s first blockchain ecosystem for building and deploying decentralized applications. ArcBlock is aiming to seamlessly connect between the existing system and services, and blockchain networks, throughout dynamic industries.
Looking back on 2017, Bitcoin and ICO (Initial Coin Offering), which have been considered as “killer application” separately in Blockchain 1.0 generation as well as Blockchain 2.0 generation, has ushered in explosive growth. The price of Bitcoin surged 20 times —from $1000 in the beginning of the year, to $20,000 at its highest point. The total market value of the Top 100 crypto currencies have exceeded $600 billion, with ICOs raising more than $6.133 billion in the past 11 months, accounting for 96% of total financing over the past four years.
The sizzling Bitcoin and ICO markets caused an upsurge attention within the global community on Blockchain technology, as it is now widely believed to be a game changer. However, this also brings certain uncertainties when upgrading to blockchain 3.0, because it lacks the power of penetration into the real business world, numerous difficulties and obstacles prevent its real world application, and its “infancy” stage on the development of decentralized application.
Experts believe that the birth of ArcBlock is exactly the right time to further empower the blockchain technology to be implemented into the real world , and has an extraordinary epochal-making significance in the long run.
5 Obstacles Facing Blockchain Technology
Since the birth of Bitcoin in 2009, ArcBlock founder and lead architect Robert Mao teamed up with ArcBlock Chief Scientist Flavien Charlon, who was also his former colleague while working at Microsoft in Europe. Flavien Charlon participated in the early stages of blockchain technology development and innovation. He co-invented Colored Coins technology as the founder of CoinPrism and` became the most influential person for the technology. He was also the main lead on the establishment of Open Asset Protocol , which was designed for the open source accessibility in the blockchain. Robert Mao started to focus on the application of blockchain technology in non-financial fields from 2014. Their observations and analysis have revealed the five following obstacles in front of the developers and business owners for a successful blockchain decentralized applications:
- Underperformed Functionality
The blockchain that Bitcoin uses is designed to handle seven transactions per second, and Ethereum can only handle a few more. In December of this year, a simple CryptoKitties application accounted for lots of network traffic jams on Ethereum and as traffic increased significantly, the transaction fees raised up dramatically. This is a clear example of its limitation on handling large amount of concurrent users makes itself less competitive compared to existing non-blockchain alternatives.
- None Consumer Friendly
Nearly all blockchain applications currently require users to either run a blockchain node or install a “light node”. High criteria on new users’ learning capability prevent its expansion among the audience.
- Significant Cost
The extremely high cost of using blockchain technology is the major barrier to mainstream adoption. It also limits developers who need the flexibility to build free services. Similar to the Internet, blockchain technology should be able to support free applications. Developers and businesses should only charge from users for their innovations and development of the app, instead of charging transaction fees from them.
- Locked-In Platform
Developers have to decide which blockchain to support from the very beginning, the infrastructural design, and code are usually secured within the Blockchain. Unreplaceable once applied, the Platform cannot provide optimal user experience without support on various Blockchain technologies.
- Lack of Features
The world has high expectations for blockchain—the news media, evangelists, and journalists have painted a bright future for decentralized applications for the public, especially with the increasingly high prices of cryptocurrencies. Although decentralized applications on Blockchain have brilliant prospects, the majority of them lack rich functional features and do not have mechanisms that encourage the blockchain community to contribute to the feature stacks.
Revolutionary New Design is Leading the Blockchain 3.0 Trend
“ArcBlock solves these problems through its revolutionary new design,” Robert Mao says. “ArcBlock is a comprehensive solution that combines blockchain technology with cloud computing, rather than a standalone software package or set of APIs. In addition, it’s a marketplace driven by token economy. ArcBlock’s ‘Miners’ will contribute not only computing resources to the system, but also reusable components, new services, or ready-to-deploy applications to get token rewards. This is a blockchain 3.0 application ecosystem developed by the entire ArcBlock community – we’re just jump-starting the project.”
ArcBlock’s Open Chain Access Protocol enables the application to adapt to a variety of blockchain protocols including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, and more. It eliminates the platform lock-in issue and enables applications to run on multiple blockchain fabrics, vastly improving the developer and user experiences. Blocklet is another revolutionary component that takes advantage of the latest microservice architecture and serverless computing technology. Blocklet is a high-level application protocol that can be implemented with any platform or language. It leverages the full capacity of the native platform and offers the same level of performance, rather than running on a low-performing virtual machine.
Blocklet does more than access blockchains. It connects to any existing data source, and performs both on-chain and off-chain computing. Its unique design aims to provide a high-performance, user-friendly, cost efficient, and protocol-agnostic platform.
“We believe that ArcBlock represents a major technological advance that will usher in the 3.0 generation of blockchain applications,” Charlon says.
Building and deploying decentralized blockchain applications with ArcBlock has significant advantages over the vendor-specific frameworks available in today’s market:
- Built for the New Token Economy
ArcBlock is a self-evolving ecosystem—it’s not just a software platform built by one centralized organization. ArcBlock, Inc. and the ArcBlock Foundation are igniting the project; the platform is driven by the token economy and will continue to develop and grow on its own.
- Optimized for the Best Experience
The ArcBlock platform is using a “top-down” strategy that centers on the user experience. Applications built with ArcBlock offer reactive, real-time experiences. Users can simply access them from a web browser (no additional plugins required), or download a mobile app directly from an app store. Either way, the process is familiar.
- Built for the Cloud
ArcBlock is designed to run natively in the cloud. We will initially build on top of AWS and Windows Azure, then expand to support Google Compute Engine, major cloud computing players in China, and other platforms.
- Built with an Open Standard
In addition to open sourcing their core components, ArcBlock will actively contribute to a variety of blockchain communities. ArcBlock’s team members are actively involved with a range of standards organizations, non-profit foundations, and committees. These currently include the W3C Blockchain Community Group Community Group (CG), IEEE Blockchain Special Interest Group (SIG), Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Linux Foundation, and Hyperledger Foundation.
Following Cryptocurrency and ICO, Decentralized Apps are the Future
ArcBlock set out to design and develop its revolutionary platform at the beginning of 2017. 80% of the first-stage system’s development has already been completed. ArcBlock has also achieved initial intent of cooperation with many businesses, platforms, and institutions in the fields of IT, education, publishing, culture and tourism, health, and smart cities. At the end of November 2017, ArcBlock successfully raised angel round funding. The investor is a leading capital institution that is repositioning its all-out investment effort in the blockchain industry. They certainly recognize the promise of ArcBlock.
“When people talk about blockchain today, they only see crypto currencies represented by Bitcoin,” Mao explains. “Now blockchain is evolving to a stage with decentralized applications at the core. In the future, the value decentralized apps create will exceed what cryptocurrencies create today. We founded ArcBlock and built a global team. The purpose is to create the next-generation blockchain ecosystem for building and deploying decentralized applications. We are extremely excited about the bright future of blockchain.”