The cryptocurrency market saw an incredible boost in 2017, with Bitcoin reaching a value of more than $18,000. Subsequently, more people began to invest in various coins, hoping to cash out with huge profits. As investors delved deep into the digital currency market, general interest in blockchain-- the technology behind cryptocurrency-- also peaked.
The appeal of blockchain stems from its decentralized nature which allows for fast, transparent transactions across a peer-based network. These characteristics led developers and the general public to explore other useful applications of this technology and its potential to change the face of digital transactions completely.
What is OPEN Platform?
OPEN Platform is a blockchain-based payment infrastructure that solves the problem of cryptocurrency application payments. To fully understand the way OPEN solves this problem, it’s important to know how the problem originated. Soon after the rise of Bitcoin, several blockchain-based applications began to pop-up in various industries such as real estate, agriculture, and even art. With this influx of applications came several problems, the most prominent one being the issue of payments.
Over time, the increased usage of these applications has caused the appearance of gaps in backlog transactions on blockchain networks. This has slowed down the network considerably several times. One example is the case of Cryptokitties; the collectibles app congested the Ethereum exchange after being unveiled in 2017. Overloading apps can lead to slow transaction speeds on the blockchain that cause an inconvenience to other users. The next question that developers found themselves trying to answer is centered around the topic of scalability. How can blockchain be modified to handle the ever-growing load, especially with payment transactions?
The answer lies in OPEN platform, the first developer platform which uses its API to provide proper payment infrastructure that does not clog the blockchain network. Using several features, the platform ensures that cryptocurrency payments on applications are seamless and fast. OPEN API can easily be integrated with off-chain applications, allowing them to function with a blockchain network that facilitates payments.
Think Stripe, but for cryptocurrency transactions. OPEN API works just like the Stripe API for the integration of a reliable payment system. Normally, blockchain functions based on a decentralized structure. This structure hinders the existence of a centralized payment platform that caters to the cryptocurrency payment needs of several applications. Developers face the tiring challenge of finding easy and affordable ways to accept cryptocurrency in the form of app subscriptions, game fees, and in-app purchases.
Before OPEN unveiled its platform, simple applications solved the issue of payments using traditional cryptocurrency wallets and app store clients. But as these apps began to scale, they took on more complex transactions like payment information updates, authentication, tracking and verification. Transactions like these cost developers up to 30% of their profits in the form of fees for middlemen who serve as facilitators. Another problem faced was that developers had to wait, sometimes for up to 30 days to get paid.
Due to the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, tokens tend to fluctuate in value, and this means that if developers are not paid early, there’s a chance that their tokens will lose some value before they receive them. The difficulty of the process made payment inconvenient, not just for developers but users too, discouraging them from using these applications. Issues like these prompted the need for more reliable payment infrastructure that would work on a blockchain while still interacting with the off-chain structure apps. There was also a need for software that allows developers to withdraw their payments immediately, without paying exorbitant fees to intermediaries.
By integrating OPEN API with off-chain apps, developers can easily do any of the following:
- Accept payments for app purchases, subscriptions and fees in cryptocurrency without the difficulty of using several different apps and wallets to achieve these functions. These payments go directly to the receiver’s wallet and can be withdrawn at any time.
- Authenticate users who have made any form of app payments while also giving developers the ability to track these users’ transactions on the blockchain.
- Update payment information on app databases.
Although OPEN API helps developers to connect their off-chain applications to the blockchain seamlessly, the backbone of the architecture lies in Scaffolds. These are smart contracts created on the OPEN platform when the developer calls the OPEN API. Scaffolds contain a developer’s customized payment scheme for a particular application.
For example, a scaffold may contain a subscription model for a game app that costs $5/month. When a user pays Ethereum (ETH) tokens, equivalent to $5 into the developer’s scaffold via an OPENWallet, the scaffold verifies that the user has paid up to $5. Once the user is verified, an OPEN State is sent to the user’s OPENWallet, and the developer can now validate and receive the payment via the OPEN API. The OPEN State acts as a receipt which is created when a user makes a payment for an app service.
The great thing about scaffolds is those old ones can be switched out for new, updated ones without distorting the API. Scaffolds self-execute once a user makes any payment interaction, making the entire process fast and straightforward.
OPEN uses its own ERC20 token or cryptocurrency to facilitate several functions. The most important use of the Open token is to activate scaffolds and keep them working. To create a scaffold, a developer pays Ethereum tokens into a scaffold creator. This scaffold creator calls the OPEN API, which initializes a new scaffold. To activate it, a select amount of OPEN Tokens must be stacked in the scaffold. If the current scaffold is canceled, the tokens are returned to the developer and can be used to activate a new one.
OPENWallet acts as a medium to accept and deploy cryptocurrency payments on the OPEN platform. It has 3 distinct functions.
- OPENWallet accepts payment from users and transfers tokens to the developer’s wallet via the API.
- It acts as a storage medium for a developer’s OPEN Tokens which would be used to activate scaffolds.
- A Developer’s wallet stores all transactions that have been carried out on a scaffold.
OPEN Developer Program
As a way to incentivize developers and end-users to utilize the OPEN API, the platform stores tokens within a developer growth pool. At any time, 20% of the total amount of OPEN Tokens in existence is left in the pool. To achieve this, 3% of app payments go back into the growth pool, creating a self-sustaining process.
Developers are sent tokens regularly, according to the rate at which they receive payments through their scaffolds and the number of active scaffolds they have. The purpose of this is to motivate developers to use the OPEN API as much as possible and build the community. The program also has an onboarding process to screen and verify developers so that fraud is avoided.
OPEN is revolutionizing payments with its current model. The platform has the potential to connect thousands of applications to blockchain-based methods of payment without requiring a drastic change in their software architecture. OPEN’s Developer-friendly API ensures that all cryptocurrency payment transactions are quicker, more streamlined and very easy for end-users to navigate. A lot can be said for the future of blockchain payments with OPEN platform at its forefront.