Stoke vs. Silicon Valley — A View on Facebook’s Project Libra
200 years ago Stoke was centre of the industrial world, home of the industrial revolution and incredible founders like Josiah Wedgwood, but things have moved on a little since then and these days Silicon Valley seems to be the hot spot.
It’s amazing to see Facebook and it’s partners push the digital economy forward with Libra; but we think in terms of working code vs white papers. In this way, Stoke for the first time since the 1790s, may once again have an edge….
- Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Libra, will launch in early 2020
- Supported by Visa & Paypal (payments), Uber (transport), Spotify (music) & other well established brands
- The Libra whitepaper has been released, but no proven technology yet
- Libra will be capable of only 1,000 transactions per second at launch
- Libra will be governed by non-profit Libra Association, led by Facebook
- The Association will have 100 founding members; each will pay $10m for the privilege
- The Libra Blockchain will start as a centralised, permissioned blockchain
The world needs a platform that can serve 7.5 billion people and 500 billion devices. Project Libra is a great step in the right direction, but looks years and years off delivering at current web scales.
- The Radix test network is already live
- The Radix Ledger has run at over 1 million transactions per second across 1,187 nodes
- No fee for running a node; nodes can be run on anything from a Raspberry Pi upwards
- Radix is a fast, scalable, decentralised, permissionless platform
Yesterday, Facebook announced the launch of its cryptocurrency, Libra. Details are still light on when this will go live, but early indications are some time in 2020. With only the white paper and a website released as of yet, Project Libra claims the Libra Blockchain will be a “secure, stable and reliable” blockchain. It is claimed Libra will be backed by the Libra Reserve; “a reserve of real assets” which, Facebook hopes, will provide “stability, low inflation, global acceptance, and fungibility” to the cryptocurrency.
“The challenge”, as Facebook puts it in their whitepaper, “is that as of today we do not believe that there is a proven [blockchain / DLT] solution that can deliver the scale, stability, and security needed to support billions of people and transactions across the globe through a permissionless network.” The whitepaper then goes on to highlight that the Libra Blockchain will have an initial throughput capacity of just 1,000 transactions per second (TPS). It is unclear, therefore, how Facebook’s technology will be able to scale to even Facebook’s user base of 2.38 billion people today without the centralisation of control in the hands of a few privileged companies — the who’s who of the old-world internet monopolies — that Facebook has used as its starting point.
What is needed right now is a platform that aims to revolutionise the way that people hold and spend money on the internet. The world needs a platform that can do this and usher in the next generation of technology. For this to be the true financial revolution the world needs, it will need to be able to work for 7.5 billion people, on any device, simultaneously.
This week, Radix will prove its technology again by replaying the entire 10 years of bitcoin history — 400 million transactions — in less than an hour. It has already peaked at over 1 million TPS (1,000x+ more scalable than Libra) with full transaction and signature validation, on a network of over 1,000 nodes distributed across 17 countries throughout the world. This is a record for decentralised ledgers and is even faster than other established, centralised, payment processors like Visa, PayPal and WeChat.
Our live test will take place today, on the 19th of June at 17:00 BST.
For the first time since the creation of public, trustless networks, Radix has demonstrated a technology that can truly support even the world’s most demanding transaction applications. Radix is a completely decentralised platform. The ledger’s unique design, called Tempo, is a completely new database and consensus mechanism which is neither a blockchain or a DAG. Radix can scale to support 7.5 billion people and 500 billion devices, simultaneously.
Radix is technology built from the ground up for anyone to use, that anyone can run. Anyone can join the network and become a node. There is no $10 million upfront investment; no ongoing annual fees. All a user needs to do to become part of the new world revolution is to turn on their computer and point it at the Radix network.
Radix is proof that a tiny startup founded in Stoke-on-Trent has been able to deliver on the promise that distributed ledger technology holds for the world.