With its proprietary platform, OPEN is trying to bring decentralized payment mechanisms to the centralized masses. The company is currently attracting a considerable amount of attention in the space and with the recent on-boarding of its first enterprise-level client (Zendesk), we thought now would be a great time to take a look at what’s underneath the hood.
So, in line with this, here’s our OPEN Whitepaper Review.
The Whitepaper kicks off with an introduction to the project and a bit of background as to why and what’s needed, so we’ll do the same.
OPEN’s abstract outlines the problem (the existing problem, that is) as follows:
“A core impediment to large scale adoption of blockchain platforms is their inability to make it easy for anyone to integrate with already present infrastructure. There are many ICOs and projects that attempt to provide payment gateways, or niche applications to specific problems, but these projects tend to be hardcoded for specific applications which forces more projects to attempt to reinvent the wheel.”
What OPEN is essentially saying here, then, is that there is no question as to the potential for blockchain technology to change the way global industries operate and function but that – right now – the nascent state of the industry has led to an adoption hurdle that is too high for many companies to clear.
But it’s not just about making things a little easier for current enterprise-grade customers. There’s also an element of scale here. Specifically, the company points towards the current dichotomy between centralized and decentralized technology as prohibitive to wide-scale adoption of blockchain and associated technologies. In line with this, Open is attempting to sort of bridge the gap with its offerings and, in doing so, facilitate the transition of blockchain technology from cutting-edge to the mainstream.
This is summarized in the penultimate paragraph of the Whitepaper’s abstract in the following way:
“Furthermore, OPEN is designed to make it easy for developers to integrate decentralized technologies into their current technology infrastructure. This is meant to facilitate mainstream adoption of decentralized networks.”
So that is the abstract out of the way.
This is where the Whitepaper really gets going.
The company uses an introduction section to dig into the above discussed previously outlined problem in a little more detail and, specifically, introduces to the reader the framework that will underpin a decentralized payments mechanism system.
The image below is pulled directly from the Whitepaper and is OPEN’s visual representation of the current payment structure (i.e. the infrastructure that underpins current technology).
In the image, the grey area represents transactions occurring over the internet, while the solid-bordered area represents a private financial network. Solid arrows represent real-time transactions, while dashed arrows are not. The company uses a specific use case to outline the concept so we’ll reiterate this use case for the purposes of this discussion, but it’s important to recognize that this is just one example of the wide range of potential applications for this technology (which, as an aside, is a real strong point for this Whitepaper in our view, but more about that shortly).
Anyway, the example given is one of a developer that has created an application that incorporates micro transactions through a traditional payment gateway. The developer has to go back and forth through a centralized third party so as to have transactions verified and this bottleneck type issue means that it can take up to 90 days post-transaction being made in order for the money to eventually become available to them.
The OPEN solution
That’s obviously a major problem.
So, what OPEN intends to do is to replace this third party with smart contract backed transactions, meaning in-app purchases (again, this is just one example) don’t need third-party verification and, as a result, are essentially executed instantaneously.
And the image below is a second graphical representation, this time outlining the upgraded system as reflective of how it would function if it was built on the OPEN technology. Again, this one came from the Whitepaper.
So, as illustrated above, this system is far simpler than the current system but that’s not the most important thing about it (in our eyes, at least). The most important element of all this is that the infrastructure essentially plugs into an existing framework.
So basically, and as outlined in the Whitepaper, the interaction between the application and an existing framework is as simple as using a function call, which as compared to the current solutions landscape (which essentially necessitates an adopter building their own system from the ground up before effective integration can be achieved) is a major advantage.
Getting to the specifics
This is where things get a bit technical but stick with us.
We’ll start off nice and simple. Take a look at the image below.
So, this image shows the top-down overview of the OPEN Platform model. Applications interact with developer services (which, in this instance, is a payment gateway) and these services then communicate with OPEN Core, which is the application-facing layer of the OPEN technology that, in turn, is built on a smart contract compatible blockchain (so, Ethereum, for example).
So, digging a little deeper, it’s all about modulation.
Take a look at this quote, pulled from the Architectural Design Approach section of the OPEN Whitepaper:
“The OPEN platform utilizes several different components of blockchain architecture, along with a Scaffold protocol which acts as payment infrastructure and verification scheme for a specific application, and an OPEN_State, which acts as the verified output that contains within it the desired result of the transaction or state of any payment scheme for a user of the application. At a high level the OPEN API serves as the connection between these components on the blockchain and the developer’s existing infrastructure.”
The Scaffold part is this is really important to understand for the purposes of this review since it’s integral to the OPEN Platform.
In fact, for us, the Scaffold element of all this is the heart of the entire system.
Well, the Scaffold is comparable to the third party in an analog transaction system. Say, right now, a company is required to verify that someone who is using an application has paid for a microtransaction in said application.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s call the person Jenny and the application is a first-person shooter game that allows Jenny to buy extra map packages. Right now, when Jenny makes a transaction, the third party has to verify payment and then issue some sort of receipt that Jenny can trade in for the extra map packages. Of course, the receipt is digital and it’s generally a behind the scenes process, but it’s only automated to a degree – there’s some degree of manual verification involved.
Under the OPEN system, this third party is replaced by the Scaffold and it’s constructed from smart contracts that verify payment and issue a notification of purchase automatically.
The OPEN Token
And where does the token come into all of this?
The token is essentially the activation key for the Scaffolds that a developer has created.
What does this mean?
Well, say a developer creates a Scaffold that replaces a third-party payment verification system within an application. In order to activate that Scaffold, OPEN tokens are required. Said developer has to purchase (or otherwise acquire) OPEN tokens and then use these to activate the Scaffold they have built and, in turn, inject life into the decentralized system of smart contracts that underpin the OPEN Platform integration.
We think this is a neat approach for a few reasons but, primarily, and we’re looking at this from an investment standpoint here, we think it’s a strong incentive to pick up tokens in anticipation of long-term value appreciation.
Because the more that developers use this system to create Scaffolds, the more OPEN tokens are going to be required to activate the Scaffolds they create. An increase in demand for OPEN tokens from developers will translate to a parallel increase in the price of the token on the open market.
So, and as outlined above, the fact that OPEN wants its system to make blockchain tech mainstream means that if the company can achieve that goal (and looking at its strategy, we think it has a great shot at doing just that), early-stage backers could be sitting on a very rewarding token.
One of the key aspects of this whole project is its developer-centric approach. At first glance, this is somewhat counterintuitive given the project’s goal of taking blockchain tech to the masses but when you take a second look things become a little clearer.
What do we mean by this?
Well, the team behind OPEN has realized that in order to allow for mainstream blockchain integration, you’ve got to make it accessible to the people that are going to be actioning the integration at ground level. And in this instance, that’s the developers.
Make things as attractive as possible for developers and the mainstream adoption should evolve as a natural next step.
And OPEN illustrates this developer focus throughout its Whitepaper.
There’s a developer program that’s in place specifically to reduce barriers to entry for developers when joining the OPEN community, to provide incentives for developers already on the OPEN Platform to grow the community and to o provide a means for developers to grow the OPEN community.
There is also a range of developer incentive type elements littered through the Whitepaper, with highlights including Developer Onboarding, a Developer Pool Token Airdrop and Developer Assisted Airdrops.
For us, this is a major strength of this project.
A grand vision is one thing and it’s something that 99% of ICO entities claim to have. A company that realizes what it’s going to have to do to execute on this grand vision, however, is an entirely different thing altogether, and with its focus on developer on-boarding, OPEN ticks this latter box.
Third Party Dependencies
This is a pretty short, but nonetheless important section.
Right now, the OPEN platform integrates with a number of third-party technologies to support functionality. These are:
- OmiseGo White-Label Wallet SDK
- GNOSIS, Oraclize, ChainLink
- Web3, ETHJS
Each of these third-party integrations advances the technology so that it can leverage an improved functionality. However, and this is something that’s important to recognize, each of these integrations is modular in the sense that if an improved technology comes onto the scene, OPEN can replace the integration with the improved version.
This modularity is key for us in terms of a strong rating on this Whitepaper.
Without modularity, it would be tough for OPEN to mature and improve as the industry advances (which it’s doing very quickly right now). With the modularity in place, however, OPEN can expand, improve and grow as fresh iterations of its third-party dependencies hit the shelves.
So what’s our final take on all this?
We like OPEN a lot.
The company has taken on a big task here but it’s one that has a very large potential reward if it can be executed on successfully. Our team of analysts feels that the OPEN team has made a smart move by creating a developer-centric environment and that there’s enough big-name involvement to really give this project a great chance of bringing blockchain to the masses.
Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.
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