By means of this combination the most important benefits of a blockchain are preserved, while the drawbacks are mitigated:
- Mining on the Ascension blockchain can be used to mint coins and validate transactions, including smart contracts. Because a permissioned blockchain will be utilized, the mining function will be contracted out to sufficient geographically dispersed pools to provide adequate decentralization. (User clients will be able to run full nodes that do not mine.) This eliminates problems with hard or soft forks, uptake of software updates, and the dreaded 51% attack. All mining pools will operate under a binding business contract with the Ascension Foundation.
- Blockchain cryptocurrencies are often called digital cash, but this is a misnomer as they do not exhibit the characteristics of physical cash, specifically fungibility and anonymity. But cryptocurrency circulating in voucher form (not just Lyra but also BTC, LTC, etc.) is in fact true digital cash, which works analogously to physical cash. Just like a billfold, a wallet can contain many different voucher types side by side. Wallets cost nothing to create, and absolutely no identifying information attaches to them, not even an email address.
- For a detailed list of further problems with Bitcoin (and other “raw” cryptocurrencies) which are solved by means of the digital cash voucher architecture, please see this essay.
- Because the voucher network is already deployed, purchasers of OTO vouchers can take possession of their OTO immediately, and circulate them to others, before the Ascension blockchain is even initialized with its “genesis” block. (This is an ongoing project with a white paper, not a project consisting of a white paper.)
- The voucher network can scale as required simply through the addition of more hardware, and possibly also via future software changes to optimize clustering. In this characteristic it is similar to other systems with centralized clearing, such as PayPal or Visa.
- “DApps,” or distributed applications, can be deployed right inside the wallet client by implementing to the SVM API, eliminating the need for websites which can be shut down, or domain names which can be seized, or external “app stores” where certain kinds of apps (e.g. crypto wallets) may not be welcomed. All client code has published source, including plugins to support the client side DApps. The Ascension Foundation may also permit certain DApps to create additional OTO supply (on the server side), and add it to the total in circulation according to stipulated rules.
- Most cryptocurrency wallet clients have no chat capabilities, or at best a crude one bolted on as an afterthought. The wallet clients used for OTO originated as open source instant messaging clients, to which special-purpose plugins have been added in order to support wallet operations. This means that OTO users can not only spend to one another, they can also chat with one another, either one-on-one or in chat rooms. Secure chat is supported using OTR (Off The Record). Drag and drop file transfer, bookmarks and contact lists, and a host of other standard instant messaging features are also supported. (Even p2p voice chat can be supported, but isn't configured yet.) Our user community is meant to grow as a community, and our tools are designed from inception to facilitate this growth.
- Our network was not designed as a lab experiment, but rather from a business perspective, informed by the history of the digital gold industry in the 2000s, and earlier ledger systems such as Loom and Truledger. The fact that there are economic incentives for all of the entities, which have logically separate functions, allows for competition and decentralization via the business model, while still preventing the “tragedy of the commons” issues that have plagued Bitcoin. This avoids single points of failure or censorship, while allowing the Ascension Foundation to steer future technical development and monetary strategy for its own currency(-ies). Naturally, other currency Issuers on the platform can of course do likewise.