It’s been nearly a month now since dfuse and Block.one announced their partnership. Under the partnership dfuse will open source its blockchain development solutions allowing for anyone to freely use, distribute, and modify its products for any purpose. This means anyone will be able to use dfuse’s highly sought after array of development products for free. Developer can also modify and redistribute these prized blockchain solutions as they see fit. The question then is how will this affect EOSIO tech?
Why open source is valuable?
Open source software shares the same ideologies as decentralization and blockchain. It allows for anyone anywhere in the world to contribute in building powerful software and also help in securing it. It was popularized in the 90s as a way businesses can quickly evolve its processes by sharing and collaborating their source code with the global community. This free and global collaboration ensured that everyone partaking could push technology forward and fast-track the adoption of new technologies.
These same principals apply to blockchain, thus the similarities between open source software and blockchain should not be ignored. In its early days the term ‘open source’ was shunned upon by commercial businesses as they argued that it threatened intellectual property rights. Leaders of commercial industries didn’t want to give up power/control over technologies which gave them a clear advantage over smaller businesses who lacked these technologies. Same goes for decentralized blockchains, because they threaten to disrupt the commercial industry as they not only level the playing field, but elevate the processes of entities that implement them. Lowering transaction and maintenance costs in the process.
However, regarding open-source software, industry leaders eventually realized they were resisting the inevitable, and today they are some of the biggest contributors of it. For instance; Google is leading the development of the Android operating system, Microsoft open sourced some of its code and has made investments in Linux’s development, which is an open sourced operating system. Just like how Block.one is currently leading the open sourced development of what is considered blockchain’s operating system.
[Side note: It’s worth mentioning that Bill Gates was not a fan of open source, fighting it for years, and Microsoft only embraced the idea after he stepped down as its CEO. This year Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft’s board and his tone on cryptocurrency has changed, after years of being a critic of the technology.]
Similarities between Open Source software and EOSIO
Wikipedia highlights seven characteristics as value propositions of open source software compared to those of proprietary alternatives. Since EOSIO is also an open source blockchain protocol, it has led to the two sharing an uncanny resemblance.
Here are the similarities between the two and how dfuse open sourcing can benefit the entire EOSIO ecosystem. Note that the following value propositions of open source software are interchangeable with EOSIO.
Security – Having a global collaborative effort in searching and fixing bugs, is what gives open source software a huge advantage over its counterpart (proprietary software). Open source software is constantly being updated and patched for bugs every second of the day, making it harder for even the best hackers in the world to crack its code.
Affordability – Nothing can be more affordable than free, and that’s what open source software offers. Which is the reason why open source software has garnered world wide support, accelerating technological innovation in the process. Anyone can pick a software and immediately start developing applications on it. Most of the free applications we enjoy today on app stores is largely thanks to people experimenting with open source software.
Transparency – The code for open source software is publicly available, and the global community vets it every minute of the day. The benefit of having transparent code is that it creates trust among its users because now each of them can verify that its source isn’t fraudulent.
Perpetuity – Open source software lasts for as long as its community is around, unlike proprietary software where if the company closes then the software can no longer be updated or it stops working completely.
Interoperability – Simply put, this is the characteristic that allows open source software to effectively scale. It is what enables applications to run on different softwares but still be able to connect and communicate. Gaming, social, and finance apps etc. run on different operating systems whether it be Linux/Windows or Android/iOS, and still users of one operating system can communicate with the users of different operating system via these applications.
Flexibility – Open source software lasts for as long as there’s a community, so its users have the flexibility of upgrading whenever they wish to, rather than being forced to by the owner of a proprietary software.
Localization – Complete ownership of the software, that’s what open source offers. Since the code of open source software is freely available to everyone, people have the flexibility of modifying it for their individual use cases. With proprietary software you purchase a license to use the software, but you don’t have ownership of it nor can you modify its code to better suit your specific needs. You also can’t share proprietary software with other users or else you risk imprisonment or hefty fines.
Just because something is free and open source it doesn’t mean it has to be inferior to privatized alternatives. In fact, common sense dictates that it needs to be better because of the larger developer community and user bases it has. Things can be tested out quicker and updates implemented immediately. Which brings us to the dfuse and Block.one partnership.
dfuse x Block.one
dfuse organizes the world’s decentralized data to help developers quickly build and deploy scalable, and performant applications. Providing them application programming interfaces (API) to access blockchain’s vast features and data in an easy to follow format. It’s the kind of solutions that provide data in a way that any developer can understand, making it easier for them to transition from traditional software – to building blockchain applications.
Block.one on the other hand is the creator and largest contributor of the best performing public blockchain protocol in the world. They are constantly innovating and updating this open source protocol, with mass adoption in mind. The goal is to create an open source blockchain environment that every developer will want to build applications on because of its obvious benefits over all the other blockchain protocols. This partnership further solidifies that goal.
Nowadays, because of how competitive the open source environment is, simply having an open source project is no longer good enough. It’s the reason why everyone knows of Android (for mobile) and Linux (for desktop) as the leading open source software’s for computers worldwide. Every applications developer is sourcing code from these two projects to build their products, which cover a large scope of computing and not just mobile or desktop. For instance, anything from tv’s, smart fridges, and car stereos nowadays have built-in Android operating systems to offer greater functionality. Same applies for Linux as people can tweak its software to facilitate for their own specific needs.
How does EOSIO benefit from all this?
EOSIO will benefit the same way as other open source projects do, such as Android or Linux. Developers who build applications on top of EOSIO software, can choose to monetize their work to the global market. Some organizations will hire developers who are knowledgeable on EOSIO tech to help them build custom applications or even blockchains for their organizations. Everyone from businesses to governments will want to implement the best performing blockchain software into their operations.
Similarly, many companies could start to build real life products that operate using EOSIO software. I mentioned tv’s and smart fridges that run on the Android operating system; the same could apply for EOSIO. TV sets and smart fridges could use EOSIO as their operating, and conveniently have the capability of sending feeless micro-payments to pay for a Netflix subscription or automatically order replacement milk. That’s one use case of the many possible use cases we haven’t even thought of yet. And this partnership helps bring this mainstream future closer to reality.
Developers will benefit a lot from this, but what about the users?
Well the users will be spoiled for choice when it comes to first-grade blockchain applications. Think of the best applications that exist today, but with much better upgrades that can only come with blockchain technology. For example, being able to earn tokens that have real world value by simply interacting with your favorite app. Don’t forget those smart TV’s and fridges, and self-driving cars. EOSIO tech can service them too.
EOSIO is also unique in that it is a blockchain protocol, meaning anything that’s built on it will be running on a blockchain. These blockchains have tokens that anyone can purchase and keep in their accounts, which they have complete control and ownership of. Those tokens are what fuel the blockchains, thus the more applications built on them, the more the value of those tokens increases. That’s assuming that companies that build these products don’t completely privatize their EOSIO based blockchain, thus limiting public participation in their ecosystem i.e. token purchases.
In case you missed it, I wrote an in-depth article last week about the price and value of blockchain tokens: EOS | The Value Token.
This partnership between dfuse and Block.one is a step towards the future we know is inevitable. Blockchain is the future of a new generation of software and applications.
By open sourcing its application programming interface (API) solutions for EOSIO, dfuse is helping fast track the mainstream adoption of EOSIO.
Moving forward Block.one and dfuse will now collaborate to deliver new innovative solutions to the EOSIO protocol.
Thank you for reading!
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