Concordium, an ambitious project whose founders have close links to companies including Volvo, IKEA, Saxo Bank and Nasdaq, is looking to shake up the seemingly glacial world of enterprise blockchain.
The most striking thing about Concordium, which launches its third testnet next month, is the way it pushes what was once anathema to big corporates: public and permissionless blockchains.
Businesses, wary of tipping their hands and giving away any competitive advantage, have traditionally preferred the idea of private and permissioned blockchains. But many advocates of blockchain tech believe only open systems hold true transformational promise. The oft-cited analogy centers on the relevance of internet versus intranet.
Toeing the line between the privacy requirements of regulated businesses and full-broadcast blockchains like those of Bitcoin and Ethereum has led some very smart people to opt for an attenuated architecture when it comes to distributed ledgers.
However, Concordium is confident it has found a third way, keeping sensitive data private using a clever identity and zero-knowledge-proof (ZKP) system, providing firms with a safe, flexible option to deploy open blockchains.
The momentum around projects like Baseline Protocol, which now has some 600 big firms using it, is a solid indicator ZKP tech is ready for prime time.
‘Something totally new’
According to Concordium CEO Lone Fønss Schrøder, sometimes you need a permission-based ledger; but in order to realize new business models, it has to come in combination with baked-in permissionless possibilities.
“I think that’s really what large corporations are looking for,” said Fønss Schrøder. “If you look at Hyperledger, for example, or R3, I don’t think it is blockchain in the sense of really providing something new. It’s not decentralized. Companies are seeing it as just another way to do their mainframe applications. But when you talk about permissionless blockchain, it’s something totally new.”
Blockchain today simply doesn’t meet the needs of corporations, says Fønss Schrøder, and a lack of permissionless flexibility has led to no uptick in business adoption.
Concordium’s chief marketing manager, Beni Issembert, went further: Businesses underwhelmed by today’s enterprise blockchain offerings are squarely in Concordium sights.
“Businesses that are open-minded feel a lot of frustration and desolation when it comes to using Hyperledger and R3 Corda. And we are talking to those disappointed businesses,” Issembert said.
It would be easy to write Concordium off as some kind of naive newcomer – both R3 and Hyperledger declined to comment on the Concordium white paper.
But the project, which has its roots in Denmark, features an impressive cast of players from business and academia. On the science side, Concordium’s research center at Denmark’s Aarhus University is run by widely cited cryptographer Ivan Damgard. Last September, Torben Pryds Pedersen, creator of the Pedersen Commitment cryptographic primitive, was appointed as Concordium’s CTO.
In terms of corporate clout, Fønss Schrøder is a boardroom director at IKEA, vice chairman of Volvo and spent 22 years at A.P. Moller Maersk. Concordium’s founder, Lars Seier Christensen, founded Saxo Bank in 1992, while the blockchain’s advisers include former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and heavy hitters from Nasdaq, Mastercard and Skype.
It’s one thing to announce a paradigm shift in the way businesses intend to use blockchain technology, but another to show hard evidence of this new permissionless demand.
“We are already in contact with those people [Volvo and IKEA] and looking at ways to fulfill what they would like to do. But we are not only targeting 20 or 40 businesses,” said Issembert. “We are focused on the next generation of commerce, the new unicorns; firms that you don’t have to convince the best approach is an open system.”
Open use cases
It should be pointed out that Volvo has blazed a trail when it comes to tracking the minerals used in electric car batteries with the help of Hyperledger Fabric. IKEA has also done some interesting blockchain experiments with the likes of Tradeshift using the Maker protocol.
Neither Volvo nor IKEA would confirm to CoinDesk whether they were testing Concordium at this time.
If large corporations have been mostly happy with proofs-of-concept using closed enterprise blockchains, what are the new use cases that open systems like Concordium can offer?
Fønss Schrøder said a major opportunity exists in rethinking the way procurement and supply chains work, for example. (In terms of new entrants to the enterprise blockchain space, there have also been some interesting moves from the EOS ecosystem, particularly in Latin America.)
“It could be smart contracts, which actually will function as marketplaces for you and your whole procurement sector,” said Fønss Schrøder. “I think about what Maersk has been doing, but the disadvantage for Maersk is that this should never have been built on a permission-based blockchain; it should have been permissionless. But that’s the kind of logistical use case I’m sure we will be able to support.”
Volvo board member Fønss Schrøder also sees plenty of uses for open blockchains in the car industry, across secondary markets, for instance, and the service agreements that come with that.
“Nearly every car sold by Volvo has some kind of lease arrangement or car-care, and blockchain is well suited to support this on the insurance side and on the service side,” said Fønss Schrøder.
Public, but private
As far as the ZKP secret sauce, Issembert called this the “backbone of the network,” but could not disclose details.
“For the ZKP design approach, we are going to come to the market with our own solution. It’s not something that has been seen yet,” he said.
Next month sees Concordium’s third testnet come into being, with a view to going live in January 2021.
“We will have the smart contract layer ready and then we will see which corporations will build on it,” said Fønss Schrøder. “It will be very interesting. I don’t think we will disappoint you.”
Where can you find the lowest fees on the crypto exchanges?
A trader in any market, be it stocks, currencies or cryptocurrencies that are currently trending, is surrounded by a multitude of additional costs. These are all kinds of commissions, spreads, swaps, etc. And if you plan your trades incorrectly, such costs can “eat up” the lion’s share of profits or even reduce them to zero (see our crypto currency converter for comparison).
Fees on cryptocurrency platforms
When using the services of a cryptocurrency exchange, a trader has to pay a number of commissions. The most common types of these on the trading floor are:
1. Transaction Fee. This is the most common commission that is charged for deposits or withdrawals at the exchange.
If a cryptocurrency exchange only supports the deposit or withdrawal of cryptocurrencies, then the trader only pays the commission charged by the miners for such transactions. The amount of the commission is usually insignificant in this case.
For transactions with fiat currencies, you have to pay a commission for the use of the payment system. At the same time, the amount of the commission varies depending on the system chosen (bank transfer or something else). In addition, the degree of verification of the merchant account usually also affects the amount of the commission.
2. Commission for closing a trade. This commission on cryptocurrency exchanges is calculated directly when trading, when placing an order. Usually the level fluctuates in the range of 0.1-0.25%, but on some platforms it can even be more than 1% of the trading volume.
Maker and taker
A maker is a trader who opens sales transactions. The name comes from the English word “to make” (to do something). It is assumed that the maker brings his assets to the stock exchange, that is, “makes the market”.
A taker is a trader who buys something. It is assumed that the taker reduces the liquidity of an asset class on the market because after the purchase the asset moves to an external account and is therefore no longer on the market. is available.
Since the maker provides liquidity and the taker takes it away, the amount of the commission for the maker is usually lower than for the taker.
However, there are cryptocurrency exchanges where there are no commissions at all for placing orders. Such sites are becoming increasingly popular, but the liquidity in their trades often leaves a lot to be desired. In addition, to compensate for the lack of trading commission, such sites often charge excessive transaction fees.
Cryptocurrency platforms with minimal fees
The following platforms differ from crypto exchanges in that they have minimal commissions:
ü Binance has the lowest fees among the most popular platforms – at 0.1%, and if you use the exchange’s own tokens, they are even lower.
ü On the HitBTC website, the commission for placing an order for both the maker and the taker is 0.1%.
ü On Bitfinex, the trading commission for the maker is 0.1% and for the taker 0.2%.
ü On io, a maker pays between 0% and 0.16% for placing an order, for a taker the commission is between 0.1% and 0.2%.
ü There is no trading commission for makers on the GDAX and itBit platforms. For takers it is 0.25%.
ü On the Livecoin exchange you will find an option with a commission-free deposit in fiat currency (via the capitalist system). When the trading volume is small, the trading commission is 0.18%.
Under the supervision
There is a wide variety of cryptocurrency platforms offering digital asset trading – from humble exchanges that focus on the local market segment and have different reputations to the top giants that are analogous to the NYSE, LME or the NASDAQ are in the cryptocurrency world. Therefore, every trader can choose an exchange with acceptable commission fees for himself. We wish you every success in such an exciting business as trading in cryptocurrencies.
Capitalizing on Blockchain’s Promise, Unicly Delivers NFT Fractionalization
Unicly’s decentralized and permissionless protocol empowers the community to fractionalize, combine, and trade non-fungible token collections through sharding, improving overall NFT accessibility and fungibility through its novel design.
Accompanying Unicswap DEX Attracts Millions In Liquidity
Non-fungible tokens have become all the rage as platforms onboard high-profile artists, entertainers, and evangelists seeking a new way to monetize their collectibles, creations, and works of art.
Yet, the eye-popping auction figures aside, NFTs represent one blockchain area that largely remains inaccessible to wider audiences as surging prices concentrate overall ownership. Moreover, this nascent market’s dynamics don’t correspond to the fungible token market characterized by high liquidity among popular tokens.
By definition, a non-fungible token is not designed to be easily exchangeable. Because an NFT is unique, it ordinarily has a single buyer, contributing to an absence of market depth and almost no real-time liquidity. Accordingly, building an efficient secondary market is difficult, especially given that NFTs all have different values and varying levels of demand.
Despite these very real obstacles, Unicly, led by pseudonymous founder 0xLeia, has unleashed a platform that can fractionalize NFT ownership. Besides granting NFT holders a new channel for monetizing their existing NFT holdings, the protocol can provide liquidity to whitelisted collections while promoting more widespread adoption and participation.
Transforming Non-Fungible into Fungible
Unicly has developed an innovative approach for improving NFT fungibility. Unlike other projects in the space, this anonymous, self-funded initiative has introduced sharding to the equation. Sharding effectively splits a blockchain network into multiple parts to process transactions quicker while adding scalability.
In Unicly’s case, each NFT gallery can be a shard, distancing itself from other competing solutions which shard each NFT individually. The new protocol will allow users to create and fractionalize NFT collections from NFTs minted in either of Ethereum’s ERC-721 and ERC-1155 standards. Each collection is independently named and configured before settings, including token supplies and tickers, are determined for each gallery.
Once the corresponding NFTs are moved from a user’s wallet to smart contracts, uTokens (with the ticker mentioned above) are issued. After a preset percentage amount of uTokens are staked, the collection is unlocked for bidding.
Building Up NFT Liquidity
Secondary market liquidity has been the Achilles heel of NFT trading platforms, but Unicly has devised a cunning answer where others have failed. Taking a page out of decentralized finance’s book, the platform has introduced Unicswap, a fork of the popular Uniswap protocol. This AMM DEX helps users stake their uTokens and other cryptocurrencies to farm UNIC, the native Unicly token, through liquidity pooling.
Since unveiling the mainnet just days ago, the platform has already garnered significant popularity. According to figures, Unicswap attracted $3.5 million worth of liquidity to whitelisted pools in just four days. Additionally, 24-hour volume of $1 million puts competition SuperRare squarely in Unicly’s sights. After reaching nearly one-quarter of the competing platform’s monthly transaction volume in mere days, the total capitalization of NFTs in Unicly’s marketplace has now topped $20 million.
Proving beyond a doubt that its model is valuable, some significant collections have already joined the platform. uMask, a collection of 85 hashmasks, has reached a value of approximately $16 million, marking a 16-fold increase in the valuation from its original listing at $1 million. The first gallery listed on the platform, uUNICLY experienced similar exponential growth after listing 3 branded NFTs, rising from $300 to an astounding $180,000.
Another gallery, titled uLEIA, was built as an homage to the anonymous founder of the protocol by combining 0xLeia’s profile picture with AI-generated content. The platform has also appealed Chris McCann, a National Geographic award-winning photographer who listed his uCM collection of NFTs and other noteworthy collections from DokiDoki, MoonCats, WAIFU, and Nubians.
Taken together, Unicly’s fresh approach to NFTs is already demonstrating that a better model for community engagement and egalitarian participation exists, thanks in large part to sustainable incentives and valuable user-centric features.
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